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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Paul Simon CD, 16 May 2009
This review is from: Essential Paul Simon (Audio CD)
While the restless artisanship of Paul Simon's music has been previously anthologized more than once, this double-disc-plus-DVD set instantly takes its place as the most comprehensive yet musically insightful overview of his solo career. Six tracks from the singer's Grammy-winning triumph Graceland, the 1986 collection that both reinvented Simon's career and pushed world music into a well-deserved spotlight, serve as the collection's focal point. They bridge the more traditional '70s singer-songwriter fare Simon pursued after his split with partner Art Garfunkel and the often openly experimental avenues that more recently led to his rewarding 2006 collaboration with Brian Eno, Surprise. Simon's innate artistic curiosity is further underscored by the album's creative sequencing, which eschews strict chronology for a tack that weaves the songs into a more musically and thematically cohesive tapestry. The bonus DVD culls together visual materials that range from the expected videos (including a turn with Mickey Mantle in the early "Me and Julio," the signature, Chevy Chase-starring "You Can Call Me Al," "The Boy in the Bubble," and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" from Graceland) and TV performances that include a plaintive "Mrs. Robinson" from a 1970 Dick Cavett show and three era-spanning appearances on Saturday Night Live, including a warm 1976 duet with George Harrison on "Homeward Bound" that legend says was nearly the catalyst for a full onstage Beatles reunion.
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