Paul Simon – Graceland (Leaping Ahead #80)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #80: 160320

[A song from the 1980’s (3)]

The lead single from the 1986 release of his seventh studio album ‘Graceland’, Paul Simon’s original accompanying music video didn’t find favour. It was a performance of the song Simon gave during the monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the perspective of a video monitor. Instead, and to coincide with the single’s release, a replacement video was conceived wherein Chevy Chase lip-synced all of Simon’s vocals in an upbeat presentation, with gestures punctuating the lyrics.

Simon only sings to provide bass harmony on the “If you’ll be my bodyguard” and “I can call you Betty” phrases during the chorus. But he does play a penny whistle solo following the second chorus, after which the two men perform a rhythmic dance step in unison during the bridge. The result is a masterpiece in simplistic videography – the perfect accompaniment to the song.


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