Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mr Simon goes back to 'graceland'. . .

In Imagine (BBC1), Paul Simon returned to South Africa, revisiting the musicians with whom he'd controversially made Graceland in 1986.

Nearly three decades later, he remained insistent that he'd done nothing wrong in defying the cultural boycott that had been in place at the time, though it was left to the viewer to decide whether artistic freedom should be unconstrained by political considerations -- and, indeed, whether Simon had merely used the talents of unknown black musicians to further his own career.

Certainly, the album that resulted is generally recalled less as a collaborative work than as one of Simon's more notable achievements. The film, though, was engrossing, not least because it didn't shirk the hard questions.

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