Search - Classic Albums - Paul Simon - Graceland on DVD

Classic Albums - Paul Simon - Graceland
Classic Albums - Paul Simon - Graceland
Actors: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Linda Ronstadt, Philip Glass, Paul Simon
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2005     1hr 15min

Paul Simon's 1986 album GRACELAND is a landmark record. Recorded in New York and South Africa, the album sold 14 million copies and was named the Album of the Year at the 1986 Grammy Awards. GRACELAND brought the sound of ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Linda Ronstadt, Philip Glass, Paul Simon
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Simon, Paul, Classic Rock, Educational, Classical, Documentary
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A very informative DVD
George Dionne | Cape Cod, MA | 03/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Good
A live performance for "Boy in the Bubble" in combined with the music video. Simon talks about how he was influenced by South African music as the tribal drums and accordion are accented. The video looks primitive by today's high tech standards. The song was a big hit at the time but I think you'll remember it by it repeated chorus: These are they days of miracle and wonder. The producer of Graceland said that the label Warner Brothers, had never heard anything like what Paul was doing. They show the studio recording footage set to the track "I Know What I Know". Everyone seems to be having a really good time, from the back-up singers to the drummer. We learn that most of the song writing was done in that very studio, not before hand. Paul discusses that the album's title track "Graceland" was tough to set to music. The twangy southern guitar sounds compliment it well during his Saturday Night Live performance. The video for "Homeless" was banned in South Africa although it only highlights South African's daily life and culture at the time. This was a time of apartied, so that was a major factor. The song makes a powerful point-gently, as Paul Simon puts it.

During the discussion of "Crazy Love Vol. II" Simon speaks of how he was criticized both South Africa and the U.S. for trying to raise awareness about the area. Simon clears up that's not why he went there. He fell in love with their music and wanted to play with their musicians, and let their musicians tell their stories. Another Saturday Night Live performance is highlighted when Paul duets with Linda Ronstat on "Under African Skies". The duo lay down some great vocal harmonies together. The song that everyone is familiar with is obviously "You Can Call Me All". Who can forget that penny whistle riff and funky bass line. There's so much more that you learn about the song here. Did you know that the base line is made up of a lick that is played forward then backward? Paul isolates the track in the studio to demonstrate. We also learn that the first video for the song sucked. SNL producer Lorn Michael's actually pitched the idea of Simon doing the video with Chevy Chase. The video was light and funny, but Simon thought it under-cut the deep meaning of the song, which is really about him.

The Bad

The Verdict
A very informative DVD; I have a whole new appreciation for Paul Simon's Graceland after watching it. I'm actually going out to get the album now.

A Man Walks Down the Street...
Mark Ebert | Lancaster OH | 09/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"No matter what the subject is, most people scream and run the other direction when they hear the word "documentary", but this is an insightful, personal look at the creative process that created one of the American music industry's most successful albums.

Paul Simon and his musical cohorts offer personal stories, recording footage, and a history of not only of the album, but the circumstances--both private and international--that influenced the birth of the concept.

The only drawback to this collection is that one never sees a video from start to finish; and that--or a complete song performed live--would have been nice."
A great journey!
Olivier Garnier | Chicago, IL, USA | 04/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I really loved this dvd. There is some information for everybody, beginners as well as advanced. There is also a nice presence from Paul himself who does not hestitate to retrace the painful and private premices of this album. I was not necessarily a huge fan of his music and knew absolutely nothing of his personnal life and of his method in composing. This dvd, without being too personnal, made me discover the craftmanship of the composer and the depth of the man.
I also enjoyed the discovery of the South-African music, their traditions and influence as described by some of the musician of that country. The many footages of the countryside were a pleasure, which worked perfectly with "Graceland" songs.
The anecdotes are meaningful, witty, funny, deep, depending on the situation. None of them self-indulgent or egotistical. This DVD is a truly great journey with one of the most influential folk composer's. I would rank this DVD up there with "The Clash, West way to the world" and
"U2, the making of the Joshua tree"."
D. Moss | HOPKINSVILLE, KENTUCKY United States | 08/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD shows the incredible talent and focus of Paul Simon as well as his great concern for those in unimaginal plight. Many believed his trip to Africa was inappropriate when he made the album but the film shows just the opposite. What an example of how powerful it is when peoples of this world work together in both cultural and musical harmony!"