Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paul Simon - Graceland (1986)

Note: the CD I listened to was an original pressing from 1986, not the 2004 reissue that included 3 bonus tracks.

This release introduced the world to the group Ladysmith Black Mombazo. If that's all it had done, it would still be considered a great CD. But this CD is so much more than that. Recording music derived from South African, Zydeco, and Tex-Mex styles, this "world beat" release consistently appears on "Best Albums of the 80s" lists. It was very different from music I was listening to at the time. In 1986, I most likely considered Simon to be a washed-up singer/songwriter that was one-half of Simon and Garfunkel. I was wrong, of course, but this remains the only Paul Simon solo release in my collection.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #3

Tracks: Not a weak track in the bunch. My favorites include The Boy in the Bubble, Graceland, and Under African Skies. My least favorite track is the hit single You Can Call Me Al, but that may be because of its overexposure at the time of its release (it could also be because of the horrible video with comedian Chevy Chase).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: When my family traveled to Memphis in March 2007, I made sure that we listened to the song Graceland as we drove into the city and again when we actually arrived at Graceland itself.

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