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Paul Simon Celebrates Graceland's 25th Anniversary with New Documentary and Album Re-release

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Paul Simon Celebrates Graceland's 25th Anniversary with New Documentary and Album Re-release

Paul Simon Graceland Album

For anyone in their early-to-mid 30s (like me), Paul Simon's Grammy-winning 1986 album, Graceland, likely played a huge part in your childhood.  For me, even to this day, Graceland is the ultimate soundtrack to any road trip.  As a child, I have fond memories that involve playing the cassette tape all the way from Chicago to Washington DC, where my aunt and uncle lived.  It's hard to believe that we're coming upon the album's 25th anniversary. Man, how time does fly. 

Paul Simon
Photo Credit: Harrison Funk
A&E IndieFilms will commemorate this important anniversary with the release of a new documentary, Under African Skies, which tells the story of the making of this landmark album.  Directed by two-time Emmy & Peabody Award Winner and Oscar nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the West Memphis Three/Paradise Lost trilogy), Under African Skies will premiere on A&E this Spring, following it's limited theatrical run in Los Angeles and New York City, which begins May 11th.  According to the press release:
"Featuring interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel, "Under African Skies" travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, 25 years after his first visit, and recounts 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."
Debuting in January at the Sundance Film Festival, the critically acclaimed documentary has been making it's way around the film festival circuit even winning an Audience Award at SXSW 2012 last month. The film is slated for a variety of screenings this spring and summer, including showings at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival and the RiverRun Film Festival.  In May Under African Skies will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival and Sundance UK, as well as festivals all over the world.

Paul Simon Graceland
Photo Credit: Luise Gubb
In addition to the documentary, on June 5th, Legacy Recordings will release several 25th Anniversary editions of the album to commemorate the occasion.  For more information on the the various 25th special editions, see BELOW:
  • The official Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD set – a two disc music and film set featuring the remastered original album with five bonus tracks and audio narrative "The Story of 'Graceland'" as told by Paul Simon. The DVD features the "Under African Skies" film with extended interviews, three original music videos and "Saturday Night Live" performance of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes." 
  • "Under African Skies" Blu-ray Disc – the feature documentary in state-of-the-art 5.1 sound with bonus extended interviews.
  • Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Vinyl – This audiophile edition is remastered on 180-gram 12" vinyl and includes an art-quality collectible Graceland poster and a download card with the full album plus three bonus tracks. It will be available beginning Saturday, April 21 at independent retailers worldwide participating in Record Store Day.
  • An ultra-deluxe Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Box Set package - The ultimate Graceland set includes the boxed set, the 180-gram 12" vinyl and a signed and numbered autographed commemorative poster--will be available direct-to-consumers during a limited time exclusive offer on the official Paul Simon website (
Watch the trailer for Under The African Skies BELOW as well as the music video for "You Can Call Me Al," featuring Chevy Chase.

Check out Paul Simon on the web:

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