Paul Simon Working on a 'Graceland' Reunion for 2012
With a career spanning more than four decades, Paul Simon released So Beautiful or So What in April. With a similar palette of sounds as and coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Graceland, Simon is preparing a reunion for his classic album, according to a profile in Billboard. For those too young to remember, Simon toured in 1987 for Graceland with his 24-member ensemble.
About the similar sounds of African and Southern African-American music between his two albums, Simon told Billboard: "It felt, not intentionally, like the recapitulation of the whole career. I started by writing the ballads, because I didn't want to start with the rhythm tracks, which is the way I have worked since [1990's] 'Rhythm of the Saints.'
"After I made up a guitar lick for 'Rewrite' I brought in a kora player that gave it an acoustic African feeling. Then I went to 'Getting Ready for Christmas Day.' That track has a Bo Diddley feel to it, a foot-stomping late-'50s/early-'60s New York feel. Once we added the sample of Rev. J.M. Gates it made the whole thing quite unusual. I'm using old sounds a lot-and always have--then some of the African things I am comfortable with. It was a track that worked--my favorite track on the whole album."
Also around the same time as Graceland’s 25th anniversary, Sony Legacy is releasing a compilation of Simon’s first four solo albums. Simon, as well, went to South Africa with his band, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo earlier this year for a performance in front of an audience of 300. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger captured it, and the footage will also be included in the box set, which is set for a spring 2012 release. Regarding the performance, Simon said: "The documentary took me back to the artistic aspects and the political aspects of making 'Graceland' and the controversy that surrounded it and how it was resolved, plus what remains of it and what we learn from it."
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