In 1984, after a period of depression, Simon became fascinated by a bootleg cassette of mbaqanga, South African street music. He and Halee visited Johannesburg, where they spent two weeks recording with South African musicians. Further recordings were held in the United States with American musicians including Linda Ronstadt, the Everly Brothers, Good Rockin' Dopsie and the Twisters and Los Lobos.
Graceland features an eclectic mixture of genres, including pop, rock, a cappella, zydeco, isicathamiya and mbaqanga. Simon wrote songs inspired by the recordings made in Johannesburg, collaborating with African and American artists. He received criticism for breaking the cultural boycott of South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, and the album's legacy remains controversial. Following its completion, Simon toured alongside South African musicians, performing their music and songs from Graceland.
Graceland became Simon's most successful studio album and his highest-charting album in over a decade; it is estimated to have sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. It was lauded by critics, won the 1987 Grammy for Album of the Year, and is frequently cited as one of the best albums of all time. In 2006, it was added to the United States' National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important"
1 The Boy In the Bubble
3 I Know What I Know - Paul Simon with General M.D. Shirinda And The Gaza Sisters
4 Gumboots - Paul Simon with The Boyoyo Boys
5 Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes with Ladysmith Black Mambazo
6 You Can Call Me Al
7 Under African Skies
8 Homeless - Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo
9 Crazy Love, Vol. II
10 That Was Your Mother - Paul Simon with Good Rockin' Dopsie And The Twisters
11 All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints - Paul Simon with Los Lobos