Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paul Simon's 'Graceland' 25th Anniversary+documentary

Legacy Recordings marks the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon's Graceland with the release of new commemorative editions (including the new documentary "Under African Skies") on June 5.

"Under African Skies," a new documentary film chronicling the controversial recording of Graceland and its subsequent impact--and enduring influence--on world music and pop culture, premiered to rave reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and continues its festival run throughout the spring and early summer.

The critically-acclaimed new documentary from Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger ("Brother's Keeper," "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," the West Memphis Three/"Paradise Lost" trilogy) will have its broadcast debut on the A&E Network on May 25 (10 p.m. Eastern, check local listings).

Additional festival screenings of "Under African Skies" include Human Rights Watch Film Festivals, the Sydney Film Festival (June 6-17) and Jacob Burns (June 22). The film recently completed simultaneous full-week bi-coastal runs at the Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles and the IFC Center in New York.

AMEX will host a special premiere event at the fabled Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5, to celebrate the release of the Graceland 25th Anniversary editions.

"Under African Skies" travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, a quarter century after the making of Graceland. Simon revisits the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis.

His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, and received universal praise from critics around the globe.

By January of 1987, "You Can Call Me Al" was everywhere and Graceland won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album earned the Song of the Year Grammy with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles--"You Can Call Me Al," "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" and "The Boy in the Bubble"--while keeping Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years.

"Under African Skies" features interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel.

"Under African Skies" will be available in the following Graceland 25th Anniversary configurations:

Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD - Original album plus bonus tracks including previously unreleased demos from the 1987 legendary Ovation Studio Sessions in Johannesburg, South Africa and "The Story of Graceland" as told by Paul Simon. DVD features "Under African Skies" plus bonus scenes and extended interviews.

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25th Anniversary Edition Collector's Edition Box Set 2 CD/ 2 DVD - Includes all CD/DVD material plus two books and collectible poster housed in deluxe slipcase. First book collects new and archival photographs, new interviews with Paul Simon and a complete telling of the Graceland story. The second book is a facsimile reproduction of  handwritten lyrics pad for the album.

Disc One – remastered Graceland CD

1. The Boy in the Bubble
2. Graceland
3. I Know What I Know
4. Gumboots
5. Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes
6. You Can Call Me Al
7. Under African Skies
8. Homeless
9. Crazy Love, Vol. II
10. That Was Your Mother
11. All Around The World or the Myth of Fingerprints

Disc Two – Bonus Tracks

1. Homeless (demo)
2. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (alternate version)
3. All Around the World or The Myth of Fingerprints (early version)
4. You Can Call Me Al (demo) (previously unissued)
5. Crazy Love (demo) (previously unissued)
6. The Story of "Graceland" - as told by Paul Simon (previously unissued)

Disc Three - DVD 1 - UNDER AFRICAN SKIES- Paul Simon's Graceland Journey

Bonus footage includes extended interviews with film participants

You Can Call Me Al
The Boy In The Bubble
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – From Saturday Night Live, November 22, 1986

Disc Four - DVD 2 - GRACELAND: THE AFRICAN CONCERT - Released on DVD for the first time

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The full-length "Under African Skies" documentary will also be released as a stand-alone Blu-ray title on June 5.

The original Graceland album was released on audiophile-grade 180-gram vinyl in April in honor of Record Store Day 2012. The highly-collectible new vinyl edition of Graceland includes a collectible poster plus MP3 downloads of the album and bonus songs.

Digital configurations will include the Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition (original album plus bonus tracks including previously unreleased demos from the 1987 legendary Ovation Studio Sessions in Johannesburg, South Africa and "The Story of Graceland" as told by Paul Simon) and the "Under African Skies" long-form video will be available for download in standard and high-definition formats.

Pre-orders for the Graceland - 25th Anniversary Edition digital album (with bonus tracks and videos) are being taken now on iTunes.

All Graceland - 25th Anniversary Editions, including the deluxe box set,
may be pre-ordered now on the official Paul Simon website.

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