1970: Domino. This opening track his fourth album is a tribute to Fats Domino and was originally a longer piece but was cut down when Morrison was asked for more ‘radio-friendly’ singles. White R&B with a touch of God thrown in for good measure. Classic Van.
– Kristen Anderson
It was a “Cold wind in August” with Mick Ronson on guitar, Dr. John on piano – excellent live video footage from 1977.
– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975.
Recently, a new article about the origins of Van Morrison‘s Astral Weeks was making the rounds of Facebook, here’s a few words that I’ve jotted down on how I “hear” that album: I’ve never understood why people feel the need to expand the tale (and myth) of Astral Weeks. It’s perfect just the way . . . → Read More: Come On People, It’s Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, by Pat Thomas
45 years ago today, 2/28/1970 – Van Morrison released the Moondance album. I jotted down a few thoughts on what I think in 2015.
Van Morrison’s second Warner Brothers album is so good; it arguably could have been a ‘best of’ collection. One of those rare records in which there’s no bad tracks. At . . . → Read More: Van Morrison’s Moondance: A Perfect Album, by Pat Thomas
40 years ago today, Van Morrison released the Veedon Fleece album – for every person who moans that Van never recorded another Astral Weeks – this album is for you. For everyone who claims Van is an “old git” – but thinks that someone like Robyn Hitchcock is still relevant, then keep in mind . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – Linden Arden Stole the Highlights, by Pat Thomas
I’m very glad someone filmed this appearance by Van at Montreux in 1980. Different Youtubed song clips from it float my way from time to time. Right after Common One, this had to be A peak, even THE peak.
…not to mention fishing poles…
This live version of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” is OK, although the foghorn needs some help. But I should have flagged this file: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVAnlke_xUY, the original album version. It’s the heart of Moondance, a nearly perfect album. This song seems to be about a spiritual quest and also about an act of love . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – Into the Mystic, By Randy Rendfeld
This truly is an “awesome” version. It may have additional lyrics not heard on the album version. Or it may not.
I don’t know that I’ve heard this version before, but it is pretty good:
I’ve loved Van’s reading of it since Hymns to the Silence, but this is nice.
Never had heard this either.
I am becoming more and more a fan of Youtube. It pretty much replaces my . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – I Can’t Stop Loving You – Crazy Love (with Ray Charles) By Ron Swanson
This eloquent trad-rocker is a gem from George Ivan “Van” Morrison’s later career. First released on the full and excellent 1991 recording, Hymns to the Silence, this many-layered tune offers numerous wise and poetic turns of phrase such as Van’s characterization of his audiences, “there were hypocrites and parasites and people that dream” and . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – Why Must I Always Explain?
A lovely, minimalist version of “In the Garden” from No Guru No Method No Teacher with Van’s inimitable voice surrounded by transcendant piano, bass and acoustic guitar.
This may have been a small step for Van at the time, but it comes across as a giant leap for Vankind 30 plus years later. Recorded at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1980, here is a clip with top notch sound of Van at a late career peak– Common One had just come . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – Tupelo Honey – Live With Great Solo by Pee Wee Ellis
Go here to view the vid.
Thanks to Pat Thomas for the tip.
There’s no need to worry about coverage or co-pays when you get your health insurance through John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison:
Thanks to Pat Thomas for rediscovering this Lester Bangs quote about Van Morrison‘s legendary 1968 album, Astral Weeks.
“What Astral Weeks deals in are not facts but truths. Astral Weeks, insofar as it can be pinned down, is a record about people stunned by life, completely overwhelmed, stalled in their skins, their ages and . . . → Read More: Lester Bangs on Astral Weeks
Here is a previously unreleased early 70’s Van Morrison recording, never been issued, (yanked from several releases), Van says, “It’s hard to work out why you didn’t put something out at the time. Usually it felt like it didn’t fit… When I was with Warner Brothers they were very minimalist.”
– Pat . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – When I Deliver, By Pat Thomas
In the summer of 1983, needing a break from my high-paying, but totally dead-end job at Kodak in Rochester, I asked for a month off and got it – and I bought my 19 yr old self a plane ticket and Euro-Rail Pass and set off to Europe. I brought a Walkman and just . . . → Read More: Now I Can Die in Peace, They Have Finally Remastered Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, His Band & the Street Choir, and Moondance Albums on CD, by Pat Thomas
I’ve always had to call into question not just the musical taste of someone who claims not to like Van Morrison, but their entire being. For me, it would be like saying that ‘I don’t like to breathe fresh air’ or ‘I prefer to live in a dark cold cave’ than enjoy a sunshine . . . → Read More: The Van Morrison Bible Has Been Written by Peter Mills, Read it Now, While Swinging Down at the Kingdom Hall, By Pat Thomas
At Mississippi Records in Portland this past weekend, not only did I find a DJ promo copy of Veedon Fleece on vinyl for $4, but also Cahoots by the Band, which I never knew had this collab with the Belfast Cowboy.
“Oh, Belfast cowboy, lay your cards on the grade Oh, Belfast cowboy, can . . . → Read More: The Band ft. Van Morrison – 4% Pantomime, By Jonathan Zwickel
No artist ever did a better job of turning an innocent lip-synch into a monumental fuck-you.
– Scott Schinder