Paul Simon's 'Graceland'

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Don't know if this has been done before, but...does the controversy over this album's production still resonate with anybody fifteen years on? Was it wrong at the time, and how does it look in light of subsequent events?

dave q, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

what was the controversy again, dq? was it that Ladysmith Black Mambazo weren't paid for appearing on the album or something?

rener, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Paul Simon made the singers suck his dick

Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 18 December 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
ha!

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 12:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hanle y's most delayed joke ever!

Thy Lethal Zen Ned (Ned), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
hehe, no what was the controversy though?

Bob Shaw (Bob Shaw), Thursday, 25 September 2003 13:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

he took basic tracks belonging to musicians from an entirely different country and culture then without altering the music itself (as in the case of at least gumboots),
and put his own usual autobiographical noo-yawk lyrical spiel over the top and claim all credit on the sleeve. it's paul simon : graceland to the naked eye after all. that's the gist of it isn't it ?

obviously ladysmith black mambazo would have had a very different, way less succesful career without him. it did much to put 'world music' on the cd players and coffee tables of homes across middle engerland.

i dont like that record as a whole much, the one before (hearts and bones) and the one after (rhythm of the saints) especially are like waaaaaaay under-rated and fantastic. it has it's moments.

i was made to study graceland for GCSE music 4 years after it had been released which can't have helped.

piscesboy, Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Didn't it concern appropiation of African musical styles that he tried to pass off as world fusion in an attempt to give himself sole credit? I axe 'cuz I've never heard the album, 'cept for the singles.

Francis Watlington (Francis Watlington), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, never mind. Question answered. Thanx, pisces.

Francis Watlington (Francis Watlington), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think you're wrong about the credit's piscesboys, I think he was quite scrupulous in that respect.

The real beef was that he was breaking the UN cultural embargo of South Africa at a time when apartheid was at it's height, and when political protest at it in the west was coming to a head. Doing so, he maybe didn't give explicit credence to Botha's regime but gave the impression of normalcy at a time when it was anything but.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Billy, that was it.

Jim Eaton-Terry (Jim E-T), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i dont like that record as a whole much, the one before (hearts and bones) and the one after (rhythm of the saints) especially are like waaaaaaay under-rated and fantastic. it has it's moments.

I remember at the time, Rhythm of the Saints got a very good response, but for some reason nobody talks about it now. I also think it's a much better record than Graceland.

dleone (dleone), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I could not listen to Graceland if it weren't for the MEAN FRETLESS BASS PLAYING.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 25 September 2003 15:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The most annoying thing about "Graceland" is how all the songs were improvised on top of the backing tracks. I mean, one of the world's greatest songwriter suddenly leaves most the songwriting process up to his backing musicians. That sucks!

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 25 September 2003 21:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, especially when his backing musicians are the best fucking players in South Africa!

M Matos (M Matos), Thursday, 25 September 2003 21:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

such outrage over authorship. none of you clever rock critics seem confused over the collaborative process behind the record. are you simply being outraged on behalf of those people who are being 'misled' by Simon's name on the cover?

Nearly 20 years later on, Ladysmith Black Mambazo's gotten a fair share of props. Clarify the problem with the album that got the spotlight shining in their direction beyond snarky one-liners, I'm interested.

(Jon L), Thursday, 25 September 2003 21:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I mean, one of the world's greatest songwriter suddenly leaves most the songwriting process up to his backing musicians.

hey geir, check allmusic. in the crucial cases, those 'backing musicians' got publishing. if you're so indignant, go learn their names.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=CASS70305221425&sql=Al68e4j470way


(Jon L), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I thought the big beef was that Paul Simon went to South Africa while South Africa was being shunned via (embargo|cultural blockage|sanctions) because of their runamuck Apartheid government?

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

From here: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/singerunid/0d7f05eae3be3e5d4825698a00096233
The project and subsequent tour was bathed in controversy due to accusations (misconceived according to the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee) that Simon had broken the cultural boycott against South Africa. The success of the album in combining contrasting cross-cultural musical heritages was typical of a performer who had already incorporated folk, R&B, calypso and blues into his earlier repertoire. The album spawned several notable hits, 'The Boy In The Bubble' (with its technological imagery), 'You Can Call Me Al' (inspired by an amusing case of mistaken identity) and 'Graceland' (an oblique homage to Elvis Presley 's Memphis home).

and here: http://onyx.he.net/~hotmoves/LIC/dylan/ds2.html
However, in 1986 he was temporarily blacklisted by the African National Congress and United Nations for breaking the apartheid boycott of South Africa with "Graceland," which was inspired by South Africa dance music and featured the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. But the album was both a critical and popular success, and received the Grammy for 1988 record of the year. More controversy hovered over his short-lived 1998 Broadway musical "Capeman," based on a '50s New York Puerto Rican gang member.

Discuss....

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Billy already covered that

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Billy covered the accreditation issue too, I just wanted to grandstand for a second. I'm just a bit thinskinned on this whole concept of 'authorship'.

(Jon L), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I mean good god, I don't even own this record. why the hell am I so angry? this board is fucking dangerous. ok off to drink some water maybe.

(Jon L), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Daaaaaamn!
Not so weird thing: I didn't see Billy Dodds post.
Weird thing: We both used the word "beef" to bring it up.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Thursday, 25 September 2003 22:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

deflate, not like I didn't have a valid point, but my response was completely out of proportion to geir and matos' fun jabs. not like you guys even mind, but apologies, I've been working 14 hour days this week and at this point it's fun losing it over anything... ok off to buy a copy of 'rhythm of the saints' or something...

(Jon L), Thursday, 25 September 2003 23:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

my jab was at Geir, not you, so no worries

M Matos (M Matos), Thursday, 25 September 2003 23:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like Adrian Belew's guitar noises on Boy in the Bubble, but otherwise the record GRATES, partially ruined by living in the Bay Area and the subsequent world music overexposure

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Friday, 26 September 2003 00:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ah, one of the people sharing their iTunes libraries here at work has 'graceland' online... overall it's about as nice nice as remembered (it's been over 10 years), but wow, 'I Know What I Know' is sounding incredible. That surreal snare drum, and the backing chorus mixed LOUD throughout is so happy. What a fantastic song.

(Jon L), Friday, 26 September 2003 00:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Isn't there an issue here concerning 'world music' tho - I mean, what exactly happens during the translation from South Africa to the Grammies? Surely this whole issue can be framed in terms of appropriation or exploitation on some level?

The colonialist narrative is almost a potent as 'Buena Vista Social Club' - white entrepreneur 'discovers' long lost primitive music, conspicuously coded as 'exotic' and 'Other'? Fetishistic to say the least.

Michael Dieter, Friday, 26 September 2003 07:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He didn't perform in SA, he refused. He did what Springsteen and others did and performed in Zimbabwe and sneered over the border. I saw an interview with him where he was going on about how wonderful it was to play in SA over footage of the concert at the Rufaro stadium in Harare. He obviously had no fucking clue where he was or why.
The best thing about that album is all the township jive anyway, not really LBM. Whoever that band was, they sure as shit got too little credit.
Also it's bit ridiculous that he got blacklisted (ha!) by the UN. I mean, do you think that Botha was pleased that an African vocal group became world-famous?

Sam (chirombo), Friday, 26 September 2003 09:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Giving those musicians credit and publishing was probably a positive thing in the end, for South African music, for the fight against Apartheid etc.

I only with he had continued making "traditional" Paul Simon albums. "Hearts And Bones" was his best ever, and he has yet to record a proper followup that is mainly the work of Paul Simon and not just Paul Simon trying to show some talented ethnic musicians to the world.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, he tried that again on his doo-wop thing, and everyone hated it.

dleone (dleone), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The colonialist narrative is almost a potent as 'Buena Vista Social Club' - white entrepreneur 'discovers' long lost primitive music, conspicuously coded as 'exotic' and 'Other'? Fetishistic to say the least.

what if you don't care about the coding? I mean, is the music bad?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Xgau on Graceland

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Christgau: always wanting more.

dleone (dleone), Friday, 26 September 2003 17:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
Revive, please. I got to thinking about this album last night for no reason. Classic or Dud?

I lean towards the former, since I cannot get the songs out of my head (in a good way) without even listening to the freakin' album.

frankE (frankE), Monday, 7 June 2004 13:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ah yes, that was during the 1986-87 "accordion" craze, when that most ridiculed of musical instruments was suddenly and briefly "hip". People like Simon, J.C. Mellencamp, Los Lobos, Buckwheat Zydeco and others were selling many records and winning Grammys for accordion-drenched LPs. It didn't last long, but it was a fairly interesting development at the time. I never owned "Graceland" but heard it a lot from roommates when I was in school, and still like about half of the uptempo songs, mostly for the amazing fretless bass playing and, yes, the accordion.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, 7 June 2004 15:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like the "Boy in the Bubble" song.

King Kobra (King Kobra), Monday, 7 June 2004 16:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

At least now-a-days he's back to exploiting Garfunkel.

christoff (christoff), Monday, 7 June 2004 16:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
I like this.

djdee2005 (djdee2005), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 08:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeez, listen to "Boy in the Bubble" and it sounds like it was written yesterday. lasers in the jungle, bombs in baby carriages, a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires and baby... What a great song.

The whole album's good, and the best songs are way better than good.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 08:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(M.I.A.'s next cover should definitely be "Boy in the Bubble")

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 08:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

!! thats a good call actually

djdee2005 (djdee2005), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 08:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Fantastic. Really nice, pleasant record. TOTAL classic. God bless Paul. I mean, i like Paul m. better. but god bless Paul s!

Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 09:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dud, unfortunately. Hearts and Bones and Rhythm Of The Saints are his most consistently wonderful albums, but it's always GracelandGracelandGraceland! What's more, the production has definitely aged for the worse, whereas H&B, for example, still sounds great.

derrick (derrick), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 10:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i would like the songs on Graceland if they removed the African beats and kept it to a guy and his guitar.I apologise if this offends anyone because it's meant to be rascist.

chevy chase, Tuesday, 8 February 2005 10:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The colonialist narrative is almost a potent as 'Buena Vista Social Club' - white entrepreneur 'discovers' long lost primitive music, conspicuously coded as 'exotic' and 'Other'? Fetishistic to say the least.

You're the one saying 'primitive', 'exotic' and 'other', buddy! I don't think that's how the record is received. What has fetishism got to do with it anyway?

Miles Finch, Tuesday, 8 February 2005 10:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OTM Miles. Ry Cooder has always been into exploring roots music, wherever it's from. He was genuinely moved by the Cuban music he heard and rightly believed more people deserved to hear it. Buena Vista made stars of Ibrahim Ferrer & Ruben Gonzalez et al, not Cooder.
And what exactly is primitive about Cuban son (or the African hi-life Simon incorporated into his music) It's incredibly complex music that requires great skill to play. And it's joyous dance music too. Anyone can respond to that, it's not a case of exoticism.

stew, Tuesday, 8 February 2005 11:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i think my parents got like 6 copies of this (on vinyl) as xmas gifts the year it came out. it was inescapable! i have a nostalgic fondness for it, but haven't actually listened in years. casiotone for the painfully alone are doing a cover of the title track, which i'm looking forward to hearing.

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 12:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My dad used to listen to this on cassette in the car all the time. My brother loves it also. There was a period I hated it bcuz I was sick of it, but going back is like home.

djdee2005 (djdee2005), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 12:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Couple thoughts:

At this distance, the album is both a classic and overrated. There is an awful lot of filler on the second side. But the first six songs are among the best Simon has ever written, musically and lyrically. Boy and Graceland, especially, have fabulous lyrics, and Diamonds remains stunningly pretty. Nothing on Rhythm of the Saints or Hearts and Bones -- both of which I like a lot -- really comes close to those.

The colonialism charge is completely misplaced. This was totally different than, say, Joni Mitchell's Jungle Line, where she recorded over loops of field recordings of African drums, and used those sounds as a metaphor for mystery, darkness, man's primitive nature, primal truth, etc. Simon was inspired by a new kind of music he heard, but he was never using it in an objectified way. His use of township jive for hipster New York narratives emphasized the sophistication and (gulp) universality of the music, not its exoticism. He was using African music much the way Kurt Weill used blues in Mahagonny, or Mahler used Chinese music in Das Lied von der Erde, or Cheb Khaled used Irish music in Abdul Qadr, or David Byrne uses Brazilian music all the time, or, for that matter, all of alt-country: acts of cross-cultural engagement and respect, not appropriation.

And, just to make things clear to those who were not around then, Simon bent over backwards to credit his African collaborators at the time. Not just Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but also especially Ray Phiri (guitar) and Baghiti Khumalo (bass), both of whom also contributed to Rhythm of the Saints and toured with Simon for years. But there was never any question that these were Paul Simon songs (except for the one song that was recorded over a pre-existing track). That is part of what gave the project its strangeness and excitement.

Vornado (Vornado), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 15:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

maybe because they are "lobos" (wolves"

Immediate Follower (NA), Friday, 10 April 2015 15:27 (two years ago) Permalink

tru

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:29 (two years ago) Permalink

its all good i support los lobos jihad against paul simon but i prefer if they wld include the story about the drummer who didnt want to play drums anymore every time

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:29 (two years ago) Permalink

"soyrev - if u don't like graceland you don't like southern african music, the musicianship is godly"

i'm pretty sure it's precisely because i like southern african music that i don't like graceland. i first heard the album in the context of a class called Sub-Saharan African Music (taught by michael veal, a onetime touring bassist for fela and author of an incredible book on dub, without a doubt the single most music-comprehending mind i've ever met; irrelevant to topic at hand but i can never pass up an opportunity to prostrate myself in his honor, seriously get his dub book if you have any interest in the genre or good music writing), and it sounded like such banal shit in comparison to the source music. and yes, i'm seldom one to cry "cultural imperialism" when it comes to music, but that aspect of the album seemed written all over the face of these songs in a really gross, craven way. (w/e w/r/t musicianship, btw, that much is nearly a given when it comes to african music that actually made it to wax in its time.)

i'm impressed with lag8n's logic though, i never would have guessed paul simon had his own proto-directioners.

soyrev, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:43 (two years ago) Permalink

so uncomfortable playing drums

call all destroyer, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:46 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm impressed with lag8n's logic though, i never would have guessed paul simon had his own proto-directioners.

― soyrev, Friday, April 10, 2015 11:43 AM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oy a logic man i see, very good, very nice

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:49 (two years ago) Permalink

thx for the Veal rec, hadn't heard of that book before

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:52 (two years ago) Permalink

man, it is so good. i remember noticing a lot of the amazon reviews complained about how technical it is, but i don't think that's the case and kind of doubt someone else on ILM would find that a problem anyway.

soyrev, Friday, 10 April 2015 15:54 (two years ago) Permalink

Also, my tape copy of Graceland bought in the late eighties shows Simon giving songwriting credit to many of the African musicians.

iirc, this was retroactive. The initial pressing(s?) gave sole credit to Simon.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 April 2015 15:59 (two years ago) Permalink

p sure ur just making that up

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 16:15 (two years ago) Permalink

While I'm not a fan of this record, I don't think it's a pile of shit, nor does my view of Simon as a person affect my enjoyment of his work, generally speaking. But I do remember hearing at the time that Simon had to change the credits (and of course I can't find a link to anything supporting that).

But wrt Los Lobos/Steve Berlin, they only brought up the dustup when asked about it. It's not like they went out of their way to make sure everyone knew about Simon's thievery.

(and Simon's response is hilarious: "there was no mention of 'joint writing.'" "Hey, you guys never told me that I didn't write that song of yours, so I just assumed I wrote it.")

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:24 (two years ago) Permalink

los lobos talk abt it like constantly

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 16:29 (two years ago) Permalink

From 1986 to 2008, they didn't say anything publicly about it. Steve Berlin has since been interviewed two or three times since, and has been asked about it every time.

So, not exactly "constantly."

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:32 (two years ago) Permalink

paul should give them a writing credit

And let’s say a new Hozier comes along, and Spotify outbids you (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:38 (two years ago) Permalink

on 'Cars Are Cars'

And let’s say a new Hozier comes along, and Spotify outbids you (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:38 (two years ago) Permalink

"we're jamming with Paul Simon on a song WE wrote" vs "we're jamming with Paul so he took the songwriting credit" is too thin for me to care about Los Lobos' complaints. It's a he-said/he-said scenario.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:56 (two years ago) Permalink

or rather "we're jamming with Paul AND he took the songwriting credit"

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 16:56 (two years ago) Permalink

there's some really weird thought process going on in this thread. i have no way of verifying los lobos' side of the story and my stated interest in believing them was merely a joke (i hate this album either way), but it's pretty clear they never said "we jammed with Paul and he took all credit." it was, "we played a finished song of ours in front of him, he wanted to sing new words on it, he sang new words on it, and he took all credit."

soyrev, Friday, 10 April 2015 17:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Right – it's their word against his that they brought a finished song.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 17:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Loudest truth bomb of the last month:

When I become Emperor I will ban all songwriting credits from ever being published

― 龜, Sunday, April 5, 2015 11:05 AM

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 17:16 (two years ago) Permalink

One more recommendation for Michael Veal's dub book (Amazon link); his Fela book (Amazon link) is really good, too.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 10 April 2015 17:31 (two years ago) Permalink

I like the album, but I also think there could be some truth to the allegations. Also, Los Lobos weren't the only ones complaining re song credits on this:

The book "The Kingdom of Zydeco" has the story on Simon learning about zydeco, working with zydeco musicians, recording sessions with 3 zydeco bands and taping a Rocking Dopsie zydeco instrumental (that turned out to be based on an old Creole standard) and from that creating the credited just to Simon song "That was Your Mother"

The book discussion is in google books too

― curmudgeon, Monday, January 27, 2014 4:00 PM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

so who should he have credited

― lag∞n, Monday, January 27, 2014 4:

When Rockin Dopsie complained that he should have gotten a credit, is when Simon's lawyer said Dopsie's song was taken from an old Creole standard and therefore if Dopsie tried to challenge Simon in court they would bring that up.

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 April 2015 17:38 (two years ago) Permalink

so who should he have credited

― lag∞n, Monday, January 27, 2014 4:

probably safe to just credit every American song ever written to "anonymous black guy"

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 April 2015 17:48 (two years ago) Permalink

When Rockin Dopsie complained that he should have gotten a credit, is when Simon's lawyer said Dopsie's song was taken from an old Creole standard and therefore if Dopsie tried to challenge Simon in court they would bring that up.

― curmudgeon, Friday, April 10, 2015 1:38 PM (12 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the funniest part of the Steve Berlin interview:

I remember he played me the one he did by John Hart, and I know John Hart, the last song on the record. He goes, "Yeah, I did this in Louisiana with this zy decko guy." And he kept saying it over and over. And I remember having to tell him, "Paul, it's pronounced zydeco. It's not zy decko, it's zydeco." I mean that's how incredibly dilettante he was about this stuff. The guy was clueless.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 April 2015 17:54 (two years ago) Permalink

Songwriters Paul Simon and Zy Decko

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 April 2015 18:05 (two years ago) Permalink

^^On that tip, I seem to recall an interview with Simon where he was pushed about the Los Lobos thing, and he kept mentioning how David HILLDEGGER had never confronted him about it.

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 10 April 2015 18:07 (two years ago) Permalink

I would be curious to read a Hidalgo compare/contrast re: working w Simon vs. working w Dylan

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 April 2015 18:11 (two years ago) Permalink

its cool how paul simons huge deficit in musical knowledge compared to los lobos doesnt prevent him from making far superior music, almost like this noise doesnt really matter

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 18:14 (two years ago) Permalink

i mean obvs i have sympathy for it mattering to the ppl actually involved, ppl building a war crimes case against paul simon... lol at u

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 18:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Dilettante that I am, I mispronounced "superfluous" for years.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 18:18 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm pretty sure it's precisely because i like southern african music that i don't like graceland. i first heard the album in the context of a class called Sub-Saharan African Music (taught by michael veal, a onetime touring bassist for fela and author of an incredible book on dub, without a doubt the single most music-comprehending mind i've ever met; irrelevant to topic at hand but i can never pass up an opportunity to prostrate myself in his honor, seriously get his dub book if you have any interest in the genre or good music writing), and it sounded like such banal shit in comparison to the source music. and yes, i'm seldom one to cry "cultural imperialism" when it comes to music, but that aspect of the album seemed written all over the face of these songs in a really gross, craven way. (w/e w/r/t musicianship, btw, that much is nearly a given when it comes to african music that actually made it to wax in its time.)

― soyrev,

I am surprised by this, as PS did not anything much to change what the musicians would normally do.

Daukins (Arctic Noon Auk), Friday, 10 April 2015 19:17 (two years ago) Permalink

the album was created via extensive non directed jam sessions iirc, Paul just told them to play anything

Daukins (Arctic Noon Auk), Friday, 10 April 2015 19:18 (two years ago) Permalink

ya watch the doc its pretty sweet

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 19:39 (two years ago) Permalink

I like that a song called "The Myth of Fingerprints" is the subject of endless authorship dispute. If Jonathan Lethem or somebody put that in a book, it would seem way too on the nose.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 10 April 2015 19:42 (two years ago) Permalink

Over the mountain, down in the valley, live some bitter Los Lobos

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 10 April 2015 19:43 (two years ago) Permalink

lmao

lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 19:44 (two years ago) Permalink

there was no doubt about it
it was the myth of collaboration

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 April 2015 19:50 (two years ago) Permalink

iirc, this was retroactive. The initial pressing(s?) gave sole credit to Simon.

― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 April 2015 15:59 (5 hours ago) Permalink

p sure ur just making that up

― lag∞n, Friday, 10 April 2015 16:15 (4 hours ago) Permalink

I had to check this out on Discogs (which has scans of the sleeves and labels of different pressings) and I can see no change in writing credits from American pressings in 1986 until now.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Friday, 10 April 2015 21:52 (two years ago) Permalink

The idea of my hating Graceland and So (they will always be associated to me) is like hating Santa

Master of Treacle, Friday, 10 April 2015 22:27 (two years ago) Permalink

XP Wasn't the album release held up because of the credits issue?

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 10 April 2015 22:30 (two years ago) Permalink

tbf to Los Lobos getting screwed out of a writing credit is kind of a huge deal for such a big-selling album as Graceland turned out to be. that's a lot of publishing royalties they got fucked out of.

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 April 2015 22:37 (two years ago) Permalink

"I am surprised by this, as PS did not anything much to change what the musicians would normally do."

as the architect/director for his own album, i think he simply had bad taste in terms of musical selection (and in his own songwriting, which, despite his collaborators' complaints, i'm sure happened plenty). and obviously, paul simon singing paul simon over the top is quite different from what those musicians would normally do.

and yeah, Outic, not really sure why there are apparently many people whom their story deserves contempt and disbelief. if you want to raise the argument that we will never know who really did what, that's fine. but to mock a band for caring about not getting credited on one of the major album events of its decade, and "always bringing it up" when asked about it, seems like something i don't normally see outside of k-pop fandoms.

soyrev, Saturday, 11 April 2015 01:51 (two years ago) Permalink

so if i have this right, you're saying it would be better if paul simon had recruited a bunch of k-pop musicians

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 11 April 2015 05:08 (two years ago) Permalink

nope. korean pop was horrible in the '80s.

if you have this right, maybe paul simon should not have made an album at all. :D

soyrev, Saturday, 11 April 2015 05:15 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Watching the Willie Nelson tribute concert on PBS w/my Dad and Paul Simon comes on with Buckwheat Zydeco and I'm wondering if Simon ever learned to say 'Zydeco' correctly and did he make the band suck his dick before going onstage.

Now I Know How Joan of Arcadia Felt (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 May 2016 04:08 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Ray Phiri RIP

Ari (whenuweremine), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Christ, the first three posts of this thread!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:49 (two months ago) Permalink

sad news about ray :(

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Phiri was only 70. Lung cancer...

curmudgeon, Sunday, 16 July 2017 12:49 (two months ago) Permalink

Aw.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 16 July 2017 13:05 (two months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.