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Friday, November 15, 2013

100 Records That Shook The World, #6

Well folks, I said I'd finish this list today, and finish it I will, despite the fact that there are six records remaining. Here goes.

Graceland (LP)

Paul Simon

Paul Simon's musical career was at something of a low ebb. Hearts and Bones had been a disappointment. The Graceland album was originally inspired by Simon's listening to a cassette of the Boyoyo Boys instrumental "Gumboots." He described the Boyoyo Boys track as "instrumental music with an accordion, electric guitar, bass, and drums.", and that it reminded him of "a certain kind of fifties rock 'n' roll." Simon later wrote lyrics to sing over a re-recording of the song, which became the fourth track on the album.

Graceland features an eclectic mixture of musical styles including pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, and mbaqanga. It was strongly influenced by South African musicians Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu, and the Zulu-Western pop cross-over music realized in their band Juluka. Juluka was South Africa's first integrated pop band. Much of the album was recorded in South Africa, and it features many South African musicians and groups. Simon was accused by organisations such as Artists United Against Apartheid, anti-apartheid musicians such as Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Jerry Dammers and the then Ghanaian Ambassador to the United Nations James Victor Gbeho that he had broken the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world against the apartheid regime in South Africa, which was in its final years at the time. Although supported by the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee, as the album showcased the talents of the black South African musicians while offering no support to the South African government, even the ANC protested the collaboration as a break in the cultural boycott. However Simon also received praise for encouraging South African music from Hugh Masekela, one of South Africa's most prominent musicians and an exiled opponent of apartheid, who subsequently toured alongside Simon and Miriam Makeba. The worldwide success of the album introduced some of the musicians, especially the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to global audiences of their own.

Here's the one you all wanna see. Enjoy.

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