I can’t remember when I first got into Graceland. It certainly wasn’t in the 80’s when I was much more into dance music and rave culture! The singles that charted give a flavour of the South African musical contributions and influences of this album, but the real gems sit on the album itself. Simon’s lyrics are cleverly constructed but it is the musical and vocal performances that make this album worth listening to. The drums, percussion, accordions and guitars create rhythms and tunes that are uplifting and joyful, even when the lyrics aren’t quite so. The harmonies are just great and are wonderful to listen to. If you haven’t listened to Graceland and “world” music isn’t your thing then you should give it a listen if you want something different. It still holds up fantastically after 30 years.
Standout track: Under African Skies