Earlier this year, I took a moment to reflect back on some long trips in the car with my dad and some of the lamentable music choices he made in the late 80’s. Occasionally, however, he would hit it big and pick up a really great album. Never was this more true than when he introduced me to Paul Simon’s 1986 classic, Graceland.
Several of these long car trips that came to mind for me were our annual summer vacations to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Maybe it was because this was the time of the year when dad’s tape collection would be most conveniently at hand, but it was during these vacations that I spent the most time listening to and absorbing Graceland. Every year, I would make sure the album was packed and every year, I made a point to have it in my walkman a pretty fair bit. I didn’t really have to try to do that; it’s an enjoyable, easy listen, but it became my own little Outer Banks tradition. I always thought it was a really good record, but every year for that one week, I was always reminded that Graceland wasn’t just good, it’s a great, great album.
If my own opinion isn’t enough to convince you, the music staff at NPR were inspired to search for the most universally loved albums, based primarily on how great they all thought Graceland was. One or two albums (mostly by the Beatles) might end up beating out Graceland, but it’s going to end up very, very high on their list of the most universally loved albums.
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes – Paul Simon