Paul Simon had to go to South Africa to create Graceland, but he’d probably say it was worth it. The album became the centerpiece of the singer-songwriter’s solo career in many ways, creating a whole new genre of influential tribal-tinged pop and winning 1986’s Album of the Year Grammy in the process. Now, Simon is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the record in a variety of ways, despite the fact that the album is actually turning 26 in August.
Legacy Recordings will release a myriad of remastered Graceland special edition goodies on June 5, including a collector’s edition two-CD, two-DVD box set that comes with an 80-page book on Paul Simon, original Graceland posters, and The Story of Graceland audio feature narrated by Simon. In addition to the new Under African Skies documentary included in the box set, there’s another DVD that includes Simon’s 1987 African Concert from Zimbabwe, music videos, interviews and more.
That’s a whole lot of Graceland, so Legacy is also releasing separately releasing the 25th anniversary remastered recording on CD and vinyl (which will be out April 21 as part of Record Store Day), as well as the Under African Skies DVD and Blu-Ray.
Fans who still have a trusty copy of Graceland may just be interested in the Under African Skies documentary, which follows Simon back to South Africa 25 years after the creation of Graceland and features interviews with David Byrne, Quincy Jones, Peter Gabriel and more. The rock doc, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, will begin a limited run in New York and L.A. on May 11th, as well as a handful of smaller film festivals. After that, the Joe Berlinger-directed documentary will make a TV debut on A&E; no date has been announced. Watch a preview of Under African Skies below.
So many ways to celebrate Graceland, which Simon will perform in full alongside African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo during a handful of European dates this summer.
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local