GRACELAND: With Graceland, Paul Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one. It is true that the South African angle (including its controversial aspect during the apartheid days) was a powerful marketing tool and that the catchy music succeeded in presenting listeners with that magical combination: something they'd never heard before that nevertheless sounded familiar. As eclectic as any record Simon had made, it also delved into zydeco and conjunto-flavored rock & roll while marking a surprising new lyrical approach (presaged on some songs on Hearts and Bones); for the most part, Simon abandoned a linear, narrative approach to his words, instead drawing highly poetic, abstract, and satiric portraits of modern life, often charged by striking images and turns of phrase torn from the headlines or overheard in contemporary speech. An enormously successful record, Graceland became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured and continues to provide rewards to its listeners and remains a pivotal listening experience for writers, artists and fans. UNDER AFRICAN SKIES: The story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in Under African Skies, the new full-length documentary from two-time Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Under African Skies travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa 25 years after his first visit. Simon revisits the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis. His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime. Included is a CD/DVD set including the original album plus bonus tracks, including previously unreleased demos from the Ovation Studio sessions and new spoken word The Story of Graceland - as told by Paul Simon, full-length feature documentary film plus bonus scenes with extended interviews.