Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Under African Skies Trailer

It’s safe to say that Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland is near and dear to a lot of folks’ hearts around HT headquarters. The landmark album was considered somewhat of a “comeback” record for the legendary singer-songwriter, who was coming off the disappointment of 1983’s Hearts & Bones, which at the time had many considering if Simon’s best days were already behind him. The Queens native answered those skeptics in a resounding way, with an album that helped to introduce the poly-rhythmic sounds of South African Soweto and world-beat music to a global audience and in the process took home Grammys for both album and record of the year as well as went five times platinum in the United States, and sold some 14 million copies worldwide.

The album was a bit of a controversial undertaking at the time as Simon recorded a good portion of Graceland in South Africa which was still under apartheid rule. While Simon faced accusations that he had broken the cultural boycott of the country, with some critics feeling it impeded progress towards abolishing South Africa’s system of racial segregation. This was not the view of the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee who supported Simon’s use of local black musicians. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the album, which is the subject of a new the documentary Under African Skies, a film that chronicles the making the the record, the subsequent tour, which lasted five years, and Simon’s return to South Africa last year. The movie, which recently premiered at Sundance, will receive a limited theatrical run and air on A&E this spring and will also be included as  part of the 25th anniversary Graceland box set. Let’s check out the trailer…

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