Learn why Graceland was so controversial in 1986 and why Paul Simon faced such vehement criticism.
Paul Simon’s Graceland album, an experiment in cross-cultural collaboration, was also commercially popular, selling 14 million albums worldwide and winning Grammys for “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for the title track. Today, it’s considered one of the most significant recordings of its time. But why was Graceland so controversial in 1986? Why did Simon face such vehement criticism? In 2011, filmmaker Joe Berlinger accompanied Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in the original album, capturing Simon’s unique homecoming as he reflects on the landmark events. GREAT PERFORMANCES: Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey airs Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 11 and 1011).