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Rock Your Gypsy Soul

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows
I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows
I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float
into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows
you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows
I got to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl…

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November 10, 2008 Posted by | Van Morrison, _ART, _POETRY | Leave a comment

Lester Bangs on Astral Weeks

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where the mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch and the backroads stop
Could you find me
Would you kiss my eyes
And lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again

Van Morrison

My heart of silk
is filled with lights,
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees.
I will go very far,
farther than those hills,
farther than the seas,
close to the stars,
to beg Christ the Lord
to give back the soul I had
of old, when I was a child,
ripened with legends,
with a feathered cap
and a wooden sword.

Federico Garcia Lorca

Another fine piece on this masterpiece from the greatest music writer of em all, Mr Lester Bangs!

Beautifully constructed and written as always!

This one comes from 1979.

It sounded like the man who made Astral Weeks was in terrible pain, pain most of Van Morrison’s previous works had only suggested; but like the later albums by the Velvet Underground, there was a redemptive element in the blackness, ultimate compassion for the suffering of others, and a swath of pure beauty and mystical awe that cut right through the heart of the work ……

Astral Weeks
by Lester Bangs
from “Stranded” (1979)

Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks was released ten years, almost to the day, before this was written. It was particularly important to me because the fall of 1968 was such a terrible time: I was a physical and mental wreck, nerves shredded and ghosts and spiders looming and squatting across the mind. My social contacts had dwindled to almost none; the presence of other people made me nervous and paranoid. I spent endless days and nights sunk in an armchair in my bedroom, reading magazines, watching TV, listening to records, staring into space. I had no idea how to improve the situation and probably wouldn’t have done anything about it if I had.

Astral Weeks would be the subject of this piece – i.e., the rock record with the most significance in my life so far – no matter how I’d been feeling when it came out. But in the condition I was in, it assumed at the time the quality of a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk; what’s more, it was proof that there was something left to express artistically besides nihilism and destruction. (My other big record of the day was White Light/White Heat.) It sounded like the man who made Astral Weeks was in terrible pain, pain most of Van Morrison’s previous works had only suggested; but like the later albums by the Velvet Underground, there was a redemptive element in the blackness, ultimate compassion for the suffering of others, and a swath of pure beauty and mystical awe that cut right through the heart of the work

I don’t really know how significant it might be that many others have reported variants on my initial encounter with Astral Weeks. I don’t think there’s anything guiding it to people enduring dark periods. It did come out at a time when a lot of things that a lot of people cared about passionately were beginning to disintegrate, and when the self-destructive undertow that always accompanied the great sixties party had an awful lot of ankles firmly in it’s maw and was pulling straight down. so, as timeless as it finally is, perhaps Astral Weeks was also the product of an era. Better think that than ask just what sort of Irish churchwebbed haints Van Morrison might be product of.

Three television shows: A 1970 NET broadcast of a big all-star multiple bill at the Fillmore East. The Byrds, Sha Na Na, and Elvin Bishop have all done their respective things. Now we get to see three of four songs from a set by Van Morrison. He climaxes, as he always did in those days, with “Cyprus Avenue” from Astral Weeks. After going through all the verses, he drives the song, the band, and himself to a finish which has since become one of his trademarks and one of the all-time classic rock ‘n’ roll set-closers. With consumate dynamics that allow him to snap from indescribably eccentric throwaway phrasing to sheer passion in the very next breath he brings the music surging up through crescendo after crescendo, stopping and starting and stopping and starting the song again and again, imposing long maniacal silences like giant question marks between the stops and starts and ruling the room through sheer tension, building to a shout of “It’s too late to stop now!,” and just when you think it’s all going to surge over the top, he cuts it off stone cold dead, the hollow of a murdered explosion, throws the microphone down and stalks off the stage. It is truly one of the most perverse things I have ever seen a performer do in my life. And, of course, it’s sensational: our guts are knotted up, we’re crazed and clawing for more, but we damn well know we’ve seen and felt something.

1974, a late night network TV rock concert: Van and his band come out, strike a few shimmering chords, and for about ten minutes he lingers over the words “Way over yonder in the clear blue sky / Where flamingos fly.” No other lyrics. I don’t think any instrumental solos. Just those words, repeated slowly again and again, distended, permutated, turned into scat, suspended in space and then scattered to the winds, muttered like a mantra till they turn into nonsense syllables, then back into the same soaring image as time seems to stop entirely. He stands there with eyes closed, singing, transported, while the band poises quivering over great open-tuned deep blue gulfs of their own.

1977, spring-summer, same kind of show: he sings “Cold Wind in August”, a song off his recently released album A Period of Transition, which also contains a considerably altered version of the flamingos song. “Cold Wind in August” is a ballad and Van gives it a fine, standard reading. The only trouble is that the whole time he’s singing it he paces back and forth in a line on the stage, his eyes tightly shut, his little fireplug body kicking its way upstream against what must be a purgatorial nervousness that perhaps is being transferred to the cameraman.

What this is about is a whole set of verbal tics – although many are bodily as well – which are there for reason enough to go a long way toward defining his style. They’re all over Astral Weeks: four rushed repeats of the phrases “you breathe in, you breath out” and “you turn around” in “Beside You”; in “Cyprus Avenue,” twelve “way up on”s, “baby” sung out thirteen times in a row sounding like someone running ecstatically downhill toward one’s love, and the heartbreaking way he stretches “one by one” in the third verse; most of all in “Madame George” where he sings the word “dry” and then “your eye” twenty times in a twirling melodic arc so beautiful it steals your own breath, and then this occurs: “And the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves to love the love that loves to love the love that loves.”

Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost, conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous, because he’s waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along. Sometimes he gives it to you through silence, by choking off the song in midflight: “It’s too late to stop now!”

It’s the great search, fueled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed.

When he tries for this he usually gets it more in the feeling than in the Revealed Word – perhaps much of the feeling comes from the reaching – but there is also, always, the sense of WHAT if he DID apprehend that Word; there are times when the Word seems to hover very near. And then there are times when we realize the Word was right next to us, when the most mundane overused phrases are transformed: I give you “love,” from “Madame George.” Out of relative silence, the Word: “Snow in San Anselmo.” “That’s where it’s at,” Van will say, and he means it (aren’t his interviews fascinating?). What he doesn’t say is that he is inside the snowflake, isolated by the song: “And it’s almost Independence Day.”

you’re probably wondering when I’m going to get around to telling you about Astral Weeks. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole lot of Astral Weeks I don’t even want to tell you about. Both because whether you’ve heard it or not it wouldn’t be fair for me to impose my interpretation of such lapidarily subjective imagery on you, and because in many cases I don’t really know what he’s talking about. he doesn’t either: “I’m not surprised that people get different meanings out of my songs,” he told a Rolling Stone interviewer. “But I don’t wanna give the impression that I know what everything means ’cause I don’t. . . . There are times when I’m mystified. I look at some of the stuff that comes out, y’know. And like, there it is and it feels right, but I can’t say for sure what it means.”

There you go
Starin’ with a look of avarice
Talking to Huddie Leadbetter
Showin’ pictures on the walls
And whisperin’ in the halls
And pointin’ a finger at me

I haven’t got the slightest idea what that “means,” though on one level I’d like to approach it in a manner as indirect and evocative as the lyrics themselves. Because you’re in trouble anyway when you sit yourself down to explicate just exactly what a mystical document, which is exactly what Astral Weeks is, means. For one thing, what it means is Richard Davis’s bass playing, which complements the songs and singing all the way with a lyricism that’s something more than just great musicianship: there is something about it that more than inspired, something that has been touched, that’s in the realm of the miraculous. The whole ensemble – Larry Fallon’s string section, Jay Berliner’s guitar (he played on Mingus’s Black Saint and the Sinner Lady), Connie Kay’s drumming – is like that: they and Van sound like they’re not just reading but dwelling inside of each other’s minds. The facts may be far different. John Cale was making an album of his own in the adjacent studio at the time, and he has said that “Morrison couldn’t work with anybody, so finally they just shut him in the studio by himself. He did all the songs with just an acoustic guitar, and later they overdubbed the rest of it around his tapes.”

Cale’s story might or might not be true – but facts are not going to be of much use here in any case. Fact: Van Morrison was twenty-two – or twenty-three – years old when he made this record; there are lifetimes behind it. 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 selves, paralyzed by the enormity of what in one moment of vision they can comprehend. It is a precious and terrible gift, born of a terrible truth, because what they see is both infinitely beautiful and terminally horrifying: the unlimited human ability to create or destroy, according to whim. It’s no Eastern mystic or psychedelic vision of the emerald beyond, nor is it some Baudelairean perception of the beauty of sleaze and grotesquerie. Maybe what it boiled down to is one moment’s knowledge of the miracle of life, with its inevitable concomitant, a vertiginous glimpse of the capacity to be hurt, and the capacity to inflict that hurt.

Transfixed between pure rapture and anguish. Wondering if they may not be the same thing, or at least possessed of an intimate relationship. In “T.B. Sheets”, his last extended narrative before making this record, Van Morrison watched a girl he loved die of tuberculosis. the song was claustrophobic, suffocating, mostrously powerful: “innuendos, inadequacies, foreign bodies.” A lot of people couldn’t take it; the editor of this book has said that it’s garbage, but I think it made him squeamish. Anyway, the point is that certain parts of Astral Weeks – “Madame George,” “Cyprus Avenue” – take the pain in “T.B. Sheets” and root the world in it. Because the pain of watching a loved one die of however dread a disease may be awful, but it is at least something known, in a way understood, in a way measureable and even leading somewhere, because there is a process: sickness, decay, death, mourning, some emotional recovery. But the beautiful horror of “Madame George” and “Cyprus Avenue” is precisely that the people in these songs are not dying: we are looking at life, in its fullest, and what these people are suffering from is not disease but nature, unless nature is a disease.

A man sits in a car on a tree-lined street, watching a fourteen-year-old girl walking home from school, hopelessly in love with her. I’ve almost come to blows with friends because of my insistence that much of Van Morrison’s early work had an obsessively reiterated theme of pedophilia, but here is something that at once may be taken as that and something far beyond it. He loves her. Because of that, he is helpless. Shaking. Paralyzed. Maddened. Hopeless. Nature mocks him. As only nature can mock nature. Or is love natural in the first place? No Matter. By the end of the song he has entered a kind of hallucinatory ecstasy; the music aches and yearns as it rolls on out. This is one supreme pain, that of being imprisoned a spectator. And perhaps no so very far from “T.B. Sheets,” except that it must be far more romantically easy to sit and watch someone you love die than to watch them in the bloom of youth and health and know that you can never, ever have them, can never speak to them.

“Madame George” is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too. (Morrison has said in at least one interview that the song has nothing to do with any kind of transvestite – at least as far as he knows, he is quick to add – but that’s bullshit.) The beauty, sensitivity, holiness of the song is that there’s nothing at all sensationalistic, exploitative, or tawdry about it; in a way Van is right when he insists it’s not about a drag queen, as my friends were right and I was wrong about the “pedophelia” – it’s about a person, like all the best songs, all the greatest literature.

The setting is that same as that of the previous song – “Cyprus Avenue”, apparently a place where people drift, impelled by desire, into moments of flesh-wracking, sight-curdling confrontation with their destinies. It’s an elemental place of pitiless judgement – wind and rain figure in both songs – and, interestingly enough, it’s a place of the even crueler judgement of adults by children, in both cases love objects absolutely indifferent to their would-be adult lovers. Madame George’s little boys are downright contemptuous – like the street urchins who end up cannibalizing the homosexual cousin in Tennessee Williams’s Suddenly Last Summer, they’re only too happy to come around as long as there’s music, party times, free drinks and smokes, and only too gleefully spit on George’s affections when all the other stuff runs out, the entombing winter settling in with not only wind and rain but hail, sleet, and snow.

What might seem strangest of all but really isn’t is that it’s exactly those characteristics which supposedly should make George most pathetic – age, drunkenness, the way the boys take his money and trash his love – that awakens something for George in the heart of the kid whose song this is. Obviously the kid hasn’t simply “fallen in love with love,” or something like that, but rather – what? Why just exactly that only sunk in the foulest perversions could one human being love another for anything other than their humanness: love him for his weakness, his flaws, finally perhaps his decay. Decay is human – that’s one of the ultimate messages here, and I don’t by any stretch of the lexicon mean decadence. I mean that in this song or whatever inspired it Van Morrison saw the absolute possibility of loving human beings at the farthest extreme of wretchedness, and that the implications of that are terrible indeed, far more terrible than the mere sight of bodies made ugly by age or the seeming absurdity of a man devoting his life to the wobbly artifice of trying to look like a woman.

You can say to love the questions you have to love the answers which quicken the end of love that’s loved to love the awful inequality of human experience that loves to say we tower over these the lost that love to love the love that freedom could have been, the train to freedom, but we never get on, we’d rather wave generously walking away from those who are victims of themselves. But who is to say that someone who victimizes himself or herself is not as worthy of total compassion as the most down and out Third World orphan in a New Yorker magazine ad? Nah, better to step over the bodies, at least that gives them the respect they might have once deserved. where I love, in New York (not to make it more than it is, which is hard), everyone I know often steps over bodies which might well be dead or dying as a matter of course, without pain. and I wonder in what scheme it was originally conceived that such an action is showing human refuse the ultimate respect it deserves.

There is of course a rationale – what else are you going to do – but it holds no more than our fear of our own helplessness in the face of the plain of life as it truly is: a plain which extends into an infinity beyond the horizons we have only invented. Come on, die it. As I write this, I can read in the Village Voice the blurbs of people opening heterosexual S&M clubs in Manhattan, saying things like, “S&M is just another equally valid form of love. Why people can’t accept that we’ll never know.” Makes you want to jump out a fifth floor window rather than even read about it, but it’s hardly the end of the world; it’s not nearly as bad as the hurts that go on everywhere everyday that are taken to casually by all of us as facts of life. Maybe it boiled down to how much you actually want to subject yourself to. If you accept for even a moment the idea that each human life is as precious and delicate as a snowflake and then you look at a wino in a doorway, you’ve got to hurt until you feel like a sponge for all those other assholes’ problems, until you feel like an asshole yourself, so you draw all the appropriate lines. You stop feeling.

But you know that then you begin to die. So you tussle with yourself. how much of this horror can I actually allow myself to think about? Perhaps the numbest mannekin is wiser than somebody who only allows their sensitivity to drive them to destroy everything they touch – but then again, to tilt Madame George’s hat a hair, just to recognize that that person exists, just to touch his cheek and then probably expire because the realization that you must share the world with him is ultimately unbearable is to only go the first mile. The realization of living is just about that low and that exalted and that unbearable and that sought-after. Please come back and leave me alone.

But when we’re along together we can talk all we want about the universality of this abyss: it doesn’t make any difference, the highest only meets the lowest for some lying succor, UNICEF to relatives, so you scratch and spit and curse in violent resignation at the strict fact that there is absolutely nothing you can do but finally reject anyone in greater pain than you. At such a moment, another breath is treason. that’s why you leave your liberal causes, leave suffering humanity to die in worse squalor than they knew before you happened along. You got their hopes up. Which makes you viler than the most scrofulous carrion. viler than the ignorant boys who would take Madame George for a couple of cigarettes. because you have committed the crime of knowledge, and thereby not only walked past or over someone you knew to be suffering, but also violated their privacy, the last possession of the dispossessed.

Such knowledge is possibly the worst thing that can happen to a person (a lucky person), so it’s no wonder that Morrison’s protagonist turned away from Madame George, fled to the train station, trying to run as far away from what he’d seen as a lifetime could get him. And no wonder, too, that Van Morrison never came this close to looking life square in the face again, no wonder he turned to Tupelo Honey and even Hard Nose the Highway with it’s entire side of songs about falling leaves. In Astral Weeks and “T.B. Sheets” he confronted enough for any man’s lifetime. Of course, having been offered this immeasurably stirring and equally frightening gift from Morrison, one can hardly be blamed for not caring terribly much about Old, Old Woodstock and little homilies like “You’ve got to Make It Through This World On Your Own” and “Take It Where You Find It.”

On the other hand, it might also be pointed out that desolation, hurt, and anguish are hardly the only things in life, or in Astral Weeks. They’re just the things, perhaps, that we can most easily grasp and explicate, which I suppose shows about what level our souls have evolved to. I said I wouldn’t reduce the other songs on this album by trying to explain them, and I won’t. But that doesn’t mean that, all thing considered, a juxtaposition of poets might not be in order.

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where the mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch and the backroads stop
Could you find me
Would you kiss my eyes
And lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again

Van Morrison

My heart of silk
is filled with lights,
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees.
I will go very far,
farther than those hills,
farther than the seas,
close to the stars,
to beg Christ the Lord
to give back the soul I had
of old, when I was a child,
ripened with legends,
with a feathered cap
and a wooden sword.

Federico Garcia Lorca

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November 5, 2008 Posted by | OTHER_ARTICLE, Van Morrison, _MUSIC, _OTHER | Leave a comment

Sean O’Hagan on ‘Astral Weeks’ – 40th Anniversary

Is this the best album ever made?

On its release in 1968 Van Morrison’s second album, Astral Weeks, baffled both the public and his record company.

Now, 40 years later, it’s regarded as unique – a mystical, dream-like blend of spontaneous blues, jazz and folk. And Van himself is finally ready to play it live……


Sean O’Hagan
The Observer,
Sunday November 2 2008

Though this anecdote may have grown in the telling, it illustrates the adolescent Van Morrison’s otherness. A working-class boy from a Protestant neighbourhood, he had left Orangefield school with no academic credentials, and seems to have been an aloof-to-the-point-of-arrogant teenager; an only child who never quite shed his sense of aloneness. Years later, when his Belfast peers recalled the young Morrison, they stressed his solitary nature as well as his eccentricity. ‘Van was his own master,’ his boyhood friend George Jones told biographer Johnny Rogan. ‘People didn’t understand him.’ Another friend, Billy McAllen, remembered him as being ‘a bit strange, a bit weird’.

Fast forward to 25 September 1968. Morrison, 23, and already in retreat from pop stardom, stands in the centre of Century Sound Studios in midtown Manhattan. In the past few years he had tasted fame as lead singer of Them (dubbed ‘Belfast’s answer to the Rolling Stones’ in the music press), singing on two hit singles, ‘Here Comes the Night’ and the proto-punk ‘Gloria’. His first solo album – released in 1967, and entitled, in the spirit of the time, Blowin’ Your Mind – had yielded another hit, the buoyant ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’. Now, though, newly signed to Warner Brothers, he was intent on reinvention .

Strumming gently on an acoustic guitar, he begins to sing the first of several strange, stark songs he has been recently performing in small venues on the east coast to general disinterest. Around him, listening intently, are gathered three jazz musicians of the highest calibre: bassist Richard Davis, who had played with the likes of Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan, guitarist Jay Berliner, best known for his work with Charles Mingus, and drummer Connie Kay, a member of the esteemed Modern Jazz Quartet. They had been assembled, alongside arranger Larry Fallon, by producer Lewis Merenstein, who on first hearing the songs had immediately sensed that they would not work in a rock setting.

If the young Van Morrison felt awed in such exalted company, he did not show it. In fact, he betrayed little emotion at all, and throughout the session, spoke only to the technicians. ‘There wasn’t much communication,’ recalls Richard Davis, who now teaches music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ‘As far as I can recall, I don’t think I exchanged one word with the guy. We just listened to his songs one time, and then we started playing.’

Brooks Arthur was the sound engineer on that same session, though, inexplicably, his name would be left off the subsequent album credits. When he talks about it today, 40 years later, regret soon turns to excitement in his voice. ‘From the moment Van hit the first note I knew we were involved in something special,’ he recalls. ‘You have to understand, everything was live. There were no music charts. He ran it down once for the players and went into the vocal booth. Then we got the sound levels right and I hit the red light and he started singing.’

That first working day comprised two three-and-a-half-hour studio sessions, during which three extended songs were recorded. ‘There wasn’t too much stopping and starting,’ says Arthur. ‘Van took off and the musicians went with him. They were serious players, they didn’t have to think about it, they just did it instinctively, and it caught fire. We were working at the speed of sound. I tell you, we were breathing rarefied air in there.’

On 15 October the musicians and sound men reconvened. In another two short sessions, according to Merenstein, they produced ‘six or seven songs, two of which just didn’t fit the mood of the album’. Larry Fallon then spent another day overdubbing strings and horns on certain tracks. Throughout Morrison remained uncommunicative, self-absorbed. ‘People told me later that he was shy,’ says Davis, ‘but to me he seemed aloof, maybe a bit moody. He was caught up in his own thing. He communicated through his singing.’

It still seems scarcely credible that, under such strained conditions, an album was created that has since come to be regarded as perhaps the greatest work of art to emerge out of the pop tradition. Released in November 1968, Astral Weeks is a work of such singular beauty, such sustained emotional intensity, that nothing recorded before or since sounds even remotely similar – or, indeed, comparable. Elvis Costello would later describe it as ‘still the most adventurous record made in the rock medium’, adding that ‘there hasn’t been a record with that amount of daring made since’. When I spoke to Nick Cave about it a few years ago, he spoke enviously of ‘its power to mesmerise and disturb’, and wondered ‘at the sheer nerve of this young guy to attempt something so obsessive and uncompromising, and then actually pull it off’.

Initially, though, Astral Weeks was greeted by both the critics and the public with utter bemusement. The NME compared Morrison’s extraordinary voice to the mannered Latin stylings of José Feliciano. Initial sales were disappointing and it received little support from Warner Brothers. ‘They just didn’t know what to do with it so they did nothing,’ says Merenstein, scathingly. ‘They were expecting “Brown Eyed Girl”, and the first thing I played them was a seven-minute song about rebirth with no electric guitars and an acoustic bass. They just shook their heads.’

Since then though Astral Weeks has gone from a cult album to an acknowledged classic and has been celebrated, alongside the likes of Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s, in countless best albums of all-time lists. It was voted No 2 in a Mojo magazine critics’ poll of 1995 and at No 19 in Rolling Stone’s selection of the 500 Greatest Albums Ever Made in 2003. More surprisingly, it was also voted ninth greatest album of all time in the more populist Music of the Millennium poll conducted by Channel 4, the Guardian, HMV and Classic FM in 1997.

Now comes the news that the ever-contrary Morrison, having continually shrugged off Astral Weeks’ legendary status in interviews over the years, will be performing the album in its entirety at two shows at the Hollywood Bowl on November 7-8. The concerts are an intriguing prospect but it turns out that I am not alone in wondering at the wisdom of such a risky undertaking. ‘How does that old Buddhist saying go?’ says Merenstein. ‘Something like, “You can’t bathe in the same river twice.” I hear he is going to record the concerts for a live album, too. Man, I have mixed feelings about that. Part of me thinks, just leave it alone. It’s a moment in time that has become timeless. It’s just too unique, too magical to try and recreate.’

Astral Weeks is that rare thing in pop music, an album that lives up to its own legend. Its singularity lies, as Costello points out, in its vaulting ambition. It is neither folk nor jazz nor blues, though there are traces of all three in the music and in Morrison’s raw and emotionally charged singing. There are no solos save for the ethereal flute and soprano saxophone improvisations that are woven through the last, and shortest, song, ‘Slim Slow Slider’, the album’s elegaic coda. Throughout, there are interludes of breathtaking beauty when the music surges and subsides, rises and falls, around Morrison’s voice.

And it is that voice, by turns flinty and tender, beseeching and plaintive, that is the most extraordinary instrument of all. It is the sound of someone singing to himself, utterly immersed in the words that are pouring out of his mouth. This is that adolescent aloofness transmuted into a kind of enraptured self-assurance. ‘His voice has so much integrity and conviction,’ says the singer Beth Orton. ‘It’s as if he has sung the whole album into being just by his conviction, his absolute self-belief.’

At times Morrison seems overwhelmed by the intensity of the feelings he is attempting to express. ‘His voice is a thing of quite extreme beauty,’ says the psychologist and author Adam Phillips, a longtime fan of the album. ‘What is extraordinary is the emotional atmosphere he creates in the songs and the sense that he is not even remotely concerned about communicating with an audience or a listener. He’s just singing out his songs, and we are, in a sense, listening in.’

It has long been my contention that Astral Weeks is an album rooted in adolescence; its confusions and frustrations, its often volcanic emotional turbulence. On ‘Cyprus Avenue’ he is ‘caught’ and ‘captured’ by adolescent sexual desire, and ‘conquered in a car seat’. On ‘Beside You’, the most dense and tortured song on the album, he sounds traumatised – though by what one never knows.

‘On Astral Weeks I think he is haunted by something,’ says Phillips, ‘and I am not even sure he knows what it is. He sounds confounded, literally confounded. I don’t think he has a clue what this music is about, other than it comes from somewhere deep inside him. As a psychologist, one often encounters people who harbour these sort of confused feelings but what you don’t very often encounter is someone who has found a form for them. That is what is startling here, and almost unique in the medium of popular music.’

For all that, there is a mood of exultancy and, in places, abandonment, on Astral Weeks: words break down or are repeated until they lose their literal meaning and become mantras of desire and loss. ‘I always think Astral Weeks sounds somehow victorious,’ says Beth Orton. ‘It’s as if he has won a great victory but lost so much too. He sounds altered.

There are few moments in popular music as affecting as the repeated refrain on ‘Madame George’ of the line, ‘dry your eye, your eye, your eye…’ as the strings swell around his voice then fall away, leaving just his acoustic strumming and Davis’s wonderfully insistent bass pulse. It is the sound of someone trying to retrieve the irretrievable: lost youth, lost innocence, lost love; and at the same time realising the impossibility of ever experiencing those heightened moments again.

Astral Weeks is also a long goodbye, both to his younger self and to the city of his youth, a prelapsarian Belfast untouched by bomb or bullet. It was recorded just as the Troubles began, and remains, alongside Derek Mahon’s poetry and Gerald Dawe’s memoir, My Mother-City, one of the most tender…#65279; evocations of a straight-laced and hard-edged city, whose more progressive youth were embracing the creeping bohemianism of the times. On his brief return to Belfast after Them split, Morrison hung out for a time with an arty student crowd, but he was an outsider there too.

The two songs on Astral Weeks that are most infused with a sense of place – ‘Cyprus Avenue’ and ‘Madame George’ – are also undercut with the deepest sense of melancholy and longing. ‘What he is tapping into on those songs is a collective experience,’ says Dawe, a Belfast-born poet who knew the young Van Morrison. ‘It’s about describing the familiar in extraordinary detail, even as you are leaving that familiarity behind once and for all. Van grew up in an intense, tight-knit community, and knew early on that he did not fit into that community, that he was, as artists often are, an outsider. That feeling was really brought home to him when he returned to Belfast after his brief pop stardom. He didn’t fit, and knew he would have to leave again, this time for good. All those complex emotions echo through Astral Weeks. That’s why it resonates so deeply with people from home, many of whom have left there with the same anxieties of belonging.’

Astral Weeks may be the moment when Van Morrison accepts that he can never truly go home again. ‘Ain’t nothing but a stranger in this world,’ he sings towards the end of the title track, echoing the gospel hymns of his youth. ‘I got a home on high…’

When I interviewed Morrison back in 1987 he did not want to talk about Astral Weeks at all. We met in the Chelsea Arts Club. He arrived very late and for the first hour was tight-lipped and combative. It was only when we moved off the subject of his music that he began to open up. ‘Basically, Irish writers, and I include myself here, are writing about the same things,’ he mused at one point. ‘Often it’s about when things felt better. Either that, or sadness… It’s the story about going back and rediscovering that going back answers the question, or going back and discovering it doesn’t answer the question. Going away and coming back, those are the themes of all Irish writing.’

In a way, Van Morrison has grappled with those same themes ever since. For a long time his albums were about the great quest for home, the search for a place to belong, be that a tradition or a belief system or an actual landscape. In his songs he has drawn on Romanticism and esoteric theosophy, and evoked the names of John Donne and WB Yeats, TS Eliot and Seamus Heaney. On Astral Weeks, though, there is no questing. He is simply there, transported by his words and his voicing of them. No one in popular music, including Van Morrison himself, has since come close to that exalted place .

1968 and all that

In the news

5 November Richard Nixon narrowly beats Hubert Humphrey in the US presidential elections.
26 November New race relations law in the UK makes it illegal to refuse housing, jobs or public services on ethnic grounds.
30 November The Trade Descriptions Act outlaws the selling of an item with a misleading label or description.

At the cinema
Barbarella Jane Fonda plays the 41st-century astronaut in this hedonistic sci-fi romp.
Oliver! Musical version of Charles Dickens’s classic tale.
Girl on a Motorcycle Road movie with Marianne Faithful.

In the shops
Sliced white loaf – 1s 7d (8½p)
Pint of milk – 11d (4½p)
Bag of sugar – 1/4 (6½p)
20 cigarettes – 4/10 (24p)

On the radio
‘Those Were the Days’ – Mary Hopkin
‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles
‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ – Joe Cocker

At the theatre
Hair Controversial rock’n’roll musical.
Forty Years On Alan Bennett’s first West End play.
The Real Inspector Hound Tom Stoppard’s farcical whodunnit.

On the bookshelves
The Armies of the Night Normal Mailer’s Pulitzer-winning nonfiction novel.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Tom Wolfe’s pioneering account of Merry Pranksterism.
Eva Trout Elizabeth Bowen’s last major work. Ally Carnwath

How Van the man found his voice

Born George Ivan Morrison on 31 August 1945 at 125 Hyndford Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Courtesy of his father George’s extensive jazz and blues record collection, he grows up listening to the likes of Ray Charles, Leadbelly and Mahalia Jackson.

1958 Joins the Sputniks as a saxophone player. Later groups he plays in include Deanie Sands & the Javelins, the Olympics and the Monarchs.

1964 Forms Them, and the group begin a residency in the Maritime Hotel in Belfast. Two hit singles follow: ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’/ ‘Gloria’ (November 1964) and ‘Here Comes the Night’ (March 1965).

1968 Astral Weeks, his masterpiece, is released.

1970 Changes direction again and releases Moondance, a soul-jazz classic.

1973 Tours with his finest band, the Caledonian Soul Orchestra, and in 1974 issues one of the great live albums, It’s Too Late to Stop Now.

It is followed in October by Veedon Fleece, a record that some critics compare to Astral Weeks.

1980 Releases Common One the first of a series of albums, among them Inarticulate Speech of the Heart (1983) and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986) that explore themes of transcendence and spirituality.

2008 Decides finally to revisit Astral Weeks. He will play the album in its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl this Friday and Saturday.

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November 5, 2008 Posted by | OTHER_ARTICLE, Van Morrison, _MUSIC, _OTHER | Leave a comment

Van Morrison’s full Q&A on ‘Astral Weeks’ – 40th Anniversary

I only am what I am. But I sure do like the timbre of John Lee and I wouldn’t mind if I sounded like Leadbelly.

Nice piece on happy-go-lucky prankster and Bob Dylan pal (and rabid hater of all things file-sharing!), Norn Iron songster Van da Man talking about his greatest LP, the sublime Astral Weeks which still sounds as fresh today as it did 40 years ago.

However, I should not have said “… still sounds as fresh today as it did 40 years ago.” I can’t say that with certainty since I never listened to it 40 years ago.

Why? Well because I didn’t have a record player then.

Oh, and also, I wasn’t fucking born!!!

Vanmo450_2 In-depth interviews with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Van Morrison are exceedingly few and far between. But in conjunction with his performances Nov. 7 and 8 at the Hollywood Bowl, where he’ll perform his 1968 album “Astral Weeks” in its entirety for the first time anywhere, along with other songs from throughout his career, he agreed to respond by e-mail to questions from Times staff writer Randy Lewis. The feature story will appear in Saturday’s Calendar; the following is the full text of that Q&A.

What combination of opportunity and motivation was behind the decision to revisit “Astral Weeks” in a live setting now?

I am not “revisiting” it, as this is a totally different project. I had always wanted to do these songs fully orchestrated and live. I never got around to it — then I thought, well, we have lost the great [drummer] Connie Kay already and Larry Fallon the original arranger –- so I thought I should probably get to it now. Jay [Berliner] and Richard [Davis] have never done it fully orchestrated and live before either so I see it as a new project.

Update: In the paragraph above, we originally identified Connie Kay as the bassist. He was the drummer on “Astral Weeks.”

What’s your thought at this stage of your career about the boldness of a 22-year-old Belfast musician with some rock hits to his credit going into a New York studio with the likes of Downbeat’s jazz bassist of the year [Richard Davis], the Modern Jazz Quartet’s drummer [Connie Kay] and one of Charles Mingus’ collaborators [guitarist Jay Berliner]?

Well, first, I think I have probably always been more advanced in my head, in my thinking, than the calendar age of 22. My thinking musically has always been more advanced — it is difficult to get it down onto paper sometimes, even now. And the Music on “Astral Weeks” required these great musicians because no one else could have pulled it off like they did. There is another reason, too, and that is the fact I did not settle for anyone other than these guys — they were the ones I insisted on.

What, if any, contact has there been with Richard Davis and Jay Berliner (or Kay before his death in 1994) over the years?

Connie Kay called me a lot over the years, on a regular basis. He was the drummer on “Tupelo Honey” and “Listen to the Lion.” He is also on several recordings I did in the ’80s, numbers I have not released yet. Connie was the best drummer I have run across yet. The original arranger, Larry Fallon, kept in touch with me over the years, but we had lost contact with him, unfortunately. I actually called him for this project, but I found out he had passed away not too long ago. That was a shame — he was a great arranger. He seemed to understand this music — which is rare and is not easy to do. I was in touch with Richard a few times over the years.

The circumstances that brought you to the East Coast of the U.S. at the time [in 1968]?

I had been with Bert Berns’ Bang Records label, and I didn’t get paid, so I was living on a shoestring — a very hand-to-mouth existence at that time — in Boston and for a long time after that too. I went down to New York and this is when I got the offer from Warner Brothers. They had told me they had to buy out the Bang deal. Then I got involved with [producer Lewis] Merenstein, et al. The real reason I made Astral Weeks Recordings in New York is because I was literally broke and they kept me stranded there.

Did these songs emerge more or less fully formed lyrically and melodically, or did you spend considerable time reworking, shaping and editing them during the live performances that led up to the recording session?

Well, I had already written “Ballerina,” in 1966!, if this tells you anything, and the poetry written on the backside of the “Astral Weeks” album [cover] was an excerpt from something else I had written prior to that! Matter of fact, thinking back, I had previously recorded “Madame George” and “Beside You” well before the ’68 Warner release, for Bang Records. But the arrangements were nothing like what I had in mind for those songs. I had also previously played versions of a few of the songs Live at the Catacombs [club] in Boston well before going in and making what became the “Astral Weeks” recordings that ended up as the record. We made that record straight through finally like I wanted them, without stopping. We did it my way in the studio that day.

So, yes it took a very long time and a lot of thinking and arranging and hard work to structure these songs like I wanted them, like I envisioned them in my head. That was the hardest work, but then I found out I then had to work through the people in the music business, and then the people that come around as a result that you are in the music business, and that was even harder, but in a different way. All for the sake of making my music, my song.

What were you reading, listening to, experiencing, feeling after “Brown Eyed Girl” and all the Bert Berns sessions that sent you in this direction musically and philosophically?

“Brown Eyed Girl” is misunderstood. I already had that song down — so I did not turn anywhere or change direction — it was already done, just not released. If you listen closely you can hear there is depth to that song; there are layers of arrangement in my original version. Thing is, Bert required a “hit” record. He thought “Brown Eyed Girl” was the hit single. The song sounds catchy and pop, but [it] is really multi-dimensional. I was not happy with it, as the music in my mind is much more sophisticated than that.

I call that ‘The Money Song’ — because they got all the money and I got none. What happened after that is I ended up with zero money. I was broke and depressed and remained that way for many years after that, and I just decided to make a stand for myself and do things my way, not theirs, like I was already doing in songs like “TB Sheets” and “Who Drove The Red Sports Car?”— which I guess were over the heads of those who were so-called “in the know.”

I did not ever want to be on a pop label — I thought Bert was musically beyond that, but it turned out he was more interested in money than musical ability, song craft and poetic artistry. Despite all that, if Bert were not in with a bad crowd, I think he may have been interested in having the ears that hear. He probably did.

How did you settle on Lewis Merenstein to produce “Astral Weeks”?

Merenstein came about when my back was against the wall. I did not have a choice at the time. I was all the way on the ground. People only have a choice when they have money — I did not have either, they made sure of that. Then I found out when you have success, then come the sharks in disguise — and those [were] quite obvious. I did most of the [production] work myself, though, if the truth be told. I wrote it all, put it all where it needed to be.

What was the immediate aftermath for you? Was it a natural evolution, or a sharp turn toward the more easily accessible verse-chorus song structures you used in many of the songs on the “Moondance” album?

First of all “Moondance” was written by me in 1965, as an instrumental, so I did not turn toward anything other than what I had already written and done. I have always played what I feel like playing whenever I feel like playing it.

I put out records to this day that are not necessarily in a sequence of anything. Some could be written a while back, some not. There is no set pattern. I just put things out when I decide to put it out; [that] does not mean that it’s what I was thinking or doing or writing in any time frame. It usually comes down to what goes with what else, or what needs to go out whenever. It would be a mistake to think such and such because something comes out or came out when it did. My records do not require a lot of thought of ‘What is this?’ and ‘What is that?’ That would be too contrived for me.

Vanmo450_2Do you connect differently now with the “Astral Weeks” material, and what is it about these songs that make them feel like they exist outside of time? I’ve talked to some musicians who say they didn’t understand the real meaning of some of their songs until years later; that their music reached beyond their intellectual understanding of themselves at the time.

“Astral Weeks” songs were written over a period of time -– some early 1966 — and evolved musically. They are timeless works that were from another sort of place — not what is at all obvious. They are poetry and mythical musings channeled from my imagination.

The songs are poetic stories, so the meaning is the same as always — timeless and unchanging. The songs are works of fiction that will inherently have a different meaning for different people. People take from it whatever their disposition to take from it is. It is like Tolkien’s “Hobbit” — the hobbit is what it is. I doubt he would change what the stories [are] just because time went by.

“Astral Weeks” are little poetic stories I made up and set to music. The album is about song craft for me — making things up and making them fit to a tune I have arranged. The songs were somewhat channeled works — that is why I called it “Astral Weeks.” As my songwriting has gone on I tend to do the same channeling, so it’s sort of like “Astral Decades,” I guess.

I am about the arrangements and the layers of depth in the music. So, no, I do not see it any differently than it is — it just is whatever it is.

Did you know what you wanted and what you’d achieved right away?

It is all poetry I made up anyway. It’s like asking “What is art?” It is whatever the beholder decides it is. To this day most all of my music comes from a similar place. I am not exactly sure where the location it comes to me from is located, but it always comes from the realm of the imagination. It is all fiction, and like all art, listeners can take from it what they want from it — or not.

Like the song “The Way Young Lovers Do.” What is it? I do not know — I made it up. Anyway, what 90-year-old does not want to feel like young lovers do? Most probably would — it is as simple as that.

It’s a funny feeling that you actually have the courtesy of asking me about my songs. Did you know there have been numerous books written about my music where none of the authors were interested in my take on my music? None of the authors have ever had the courtesy of asking me to elaborate on my own music — 500-page books and not one word did they want from me — on anything, ever. I have tried to offer up help and am refused. They have flat out refused all insight from me. 🙂

I guess they all want to make it into something it’s not or was not intended to be by me. Anyway, it’s bizarre to me.

Does it mean anything to you that “Astral Weeks” is so highly regarded — No. 2 on the Mojo list of all-time greatest works — yet it took 33 years to go gold?

The music on “Astral Weeks” is sophisticated poetry that is multi-layered in sounds that I do not think the majority take the time to wrap their head around. It’s subjective. I think it would be reductive for me to try to answer why.

I’d guess there are many reasons why it took so long, but yet it is recognized. It’s different than anything then and different still than anything that is obtainable now. Maybe there is not a big market for thoughtful deep music, I do not know. It speaks different things to different people. Maybe it spoke “Don’t buy me” to some –- not sure. I have always been quite sure it is not Top 40 material.

Does “Astral Weeks” represent to you something unique and extraordinary within your own body of work, more than any other album you’ve made?

Now that I really think about it, this, like all of my work, comes from the collective unconscious, I suppose. That is why it speaks different things to different people. All of my records are unique unto themselves and this one is no different. It is just part of what I do as a songwriter. These are just another set of stories and poetry, like all of them.

Over time has it gotten easier or harder to make your records the way you want to make them, and why?

Harder to find musicians that understand the depth of the arrangements as I originally write them, and harder because my style is a mixture of many elements. But easier because I am my own producer and I make them myself. I have the freedom to create, rather than to be stifled by someone else’s notions or far off-the-mark ideas.

Vanmo450_2Your albums continue to sell impressive quantities of physical CDs — nearly 2 million in the last year, I understand — in an era when the music industry has shifted its attention to downloads and sometimes can’t give music away. How do you interpret the continuing success of your music when it’s not being played heavily on commercial radio or promoted intensively by record companies?

Yes, I am lucky I have an audience that is not into the fad of the download. I am very grateful for that. My fans must intrinsically understand the value of having a record in their hand. With so much standing to kill the record business and make it extinct, I think it is great there are still people who appreciate the beauty of a record — a real record, not a purchase of bad quality air through a wire that can erase with a punch of a button 🙂

People must really want to save the records — in spite of the record business that cannot seem to see the forest for the wood.

People in the record business have always been concerned about making money, but when you were a young fan and then started out as a recording artist, there were label owners like Sam Phillips, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler who actually had ears — people who knew music inside and out, rather than treating it strictly like a commodity to be marketed for maximum profit. You’ve made no secret of your disdain for many aspects of the music business -– did you start your own record label at least in part to show what’s still possible when music itself is the driving force?

Let’s put it this way: When these men started selling off and moving on it was the beginning of what is now becoming the end of the record business. For the record business to win and win big it has to have people within it that have ears for music and who understand the old greats and respect [them]. With the way things have gone, it looks more and more like there is not much of a chance for new men with ears to emerge in the music business. It’s too money driven and no one seems to know how to really do simple mathematics.

Ahmet knew the value of respecting true ability and those who were there for the long haul. Today record companies are run by 30-year-olds who are more into who “famous” came in the building. They don’t care about selling hard copy CDs, where their real long-term money is. If they did, they would stop shooting themselves in the foot by ignoring the tried and true, and stop betting on so many losing horses. And they would learn how to use a calculator.

I have been independent with my own label since late ’70s early ’80s. I am really not trying to set any example for anything. It is the only way I can do what I do. It is the only way I can operate.

You’ve written some of the catchiest pop songs in the history of rock music (“Jackie Wilson Said,” “Wild Night,” “Bright Side of the Road”), as well as some of the most deeply spiritual (“Listen to the Lion,” “In the Garden,” “When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God”). Do those come from two different places inside?

No, I think everything comes from the same place in the imagination, just a different topic du jour, so to speak. I have worked with my art of song craft, and the result of that is somewhat of an across-the-board variety. I have experimented with many types of singing and use of voice as well as many types of songs, most ending up a mixture of a lot of different styles. But I prefer writing and crafting the spiritual-leaning songs the most.

Is there a legitimate place for music that simply entertains rather than music like yours that seeks to touch the heart and soul? Conversely, is it inherently destructive to commercialize music, which is fundamentally a sacred form of human expression?

Well, I myself will start playing entertainment-type songs if the audience is not understanding, or if I get a vibe they are not really listening, or if they seem to need to go somewhere else, or if I need to go somewhere else.

When music is commercialized, others tend to copy the formula. Then we end up with the drone of the constant loop of the same old thing over and over.

When music is contrived to the nth degree I do not think it can be sacred in that form. It loses its soul its heartbeat; its freedom to be.

Were you always a spiritual seeker?

Of course. How could I be a musician or write poetry if I am not?

Has all the inner work you’ve obviously done led you to a deeper understanding or knowledge of your role in life? Is that a never-ending process for you?

I do therefore I am. I do not assume that I have any “role” — I do not think I do. That word does not feel right to me. I do not wear it well.

Perhaps the better word would be “purpose,” or “mission”?

My spiritual understanding has grown only to the extent [of my knowledge] about myself. But there is no role. That is illusion placed upon me by other people. I have no illusions about who I am. As a writer interested in wordsmith, what I gain spiritually can only help me and my writing or topics of my writing. But I have no role, no role at all. I am on no mission. I am what I am, and I write what I write.

I’ve always admired your sax playing, because it truly seems to express something you can’t get out any other way. So even though you could probably hire whatever session great you wanted –and many times you have — those where you choose to play sax yourself seem very special. What outlet opens for you when you pick up your horn?

Thank you for the compliment. I really enjoy the sax and [in] fact, I sometimes throw in an ‘entertainment’-type of kick-up song just so I can play it. On the other hand, I like playing very spirit-driven songs like ‘St. James Infirmary’ live on the sax. Can’t beat that feeling of just taking it where it wants to go. There is a freedom in that — a good feeling, for sure.

I’ve been told by record execs at Warner Bros. and Rhino that the reason there has never been a Van Morrison CD box set is that you never wanted to stop looking ahead long enough to do it. Is that true, and given this decision to return to “Astral Weeks” now, is that still the case?

Well, Warner Bros. and Rhino don’t speak for me. They do not know me. I have always been forward-thinking, but other than that I have not really thought much about it. Putting “Astral Weeks” live to orchestration is my idea of being forward-thinking.

For all B.B. King has accomplished as a guitarist and a singer, when I talked to him recently, he said “If I could sing like Bobby Bland I’d be a happy man.” Do you ever have a similar view of your own abilities as a songwriter, a singer or instrumentalist?

No, I only am what I am. But I sure do like the timbre of John Lee and I wouldn’t mind if I sounded like Leadbelly.

What musicians haven’t you worked with that you’d still like to?

I would have loved for Miles Davis to have played on a record of mine. Actually, he said he would, but I didn’t get to him in time. I would have loved to have played with Howlin’ Wolf, Leadbelly, Lightnin’, Mahalia Jackson, Ella, Billie Holiday, so many.


Photo credit: Mark McCall


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November 5, 2008 Posted by | OTHER_ARTICLE, Van Morrison, _MUSIC, _OTHER | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – Christmas Special 1998

https://i0.wp.com/john-donne.easytree.org/VanMorrisonCoversBootlegsPart2/1998/1998_12_19_Christmas_Special_front.jpg

Van Morrison Christmas Special 1998

Rockplasta 19-12-98
Düsseldorf, Philipshalle

High quality boot of a Van show back in December 98 in Germany.

Tracklisting

0) INTRO “Chicken”
1) Jackie Wilson said (I’m in heaven when you smile)
2) These Dreams (of you)
3) Raincheck
4) Moondance / My funny Valentine
5) Rough God goes riding
6) Give me a kiss
7) That’s life
8) Naked in the jungle
9) In the afternoon
10) Satisfied

Personnel:

Van Morrison, vocals, harmonica, guitar, alto sax
Johnny Scott, guitar, backing vocals
Liam Bradley, percussion, backing vocals
Ralph Salmins, drums
Geoff Dunn, drums, percussion
John Savannah, hammond organ, piano, backing vocals
Nicky Scott, bass, backing vocals
Katie Kissoon, backing vocals
Pee Wee Ellis, tenor, soprano & baritone sax, flute
Matt Holland, trumpet & flugelhorn
Special guests:
Fred Wesley, trombone
Candy Dulfer, alto sax

Here be vandaman

Sorry friends!

Links removed! Web sherriff warning! Same bullshit as before!

I’m getting real tired real fast of supporting Van!

This is a bootleg! Nobody’s losing money!

If anything, it may help Van gain a few new fans! Else it may encourage existing fans to check out some of his official output or decide to attend a gig!!

I am a real Van fan and have spent far too much hard earned cash on Van tapes, vinyl and CDs – some of which were rubbish – down many years, as well as on tickets for many of his gigs – some of which were rubbish too !

No more though!

There’s a new music paradigm out there now – whether we like it or not. Nobody can change that.

Unless the internet nazis (or Palin’s Republicans!) ultimately destroy every internet server!

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September 10, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | 4 Comments

Van Morrison – "Caravan"


by TiViD

“Caravan”
Mp3 @ 275 kbps VBR

Album Moondance
Released February 1970
Genre R & B/Country rock
Length 4:57
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Van Morrison
Composer Van Morrison
Producer Van Morrison and Lewis Merenstein

“Caravan” is one of the wonderful tracks on Van’s great 1970 album, Moondance. It has been a concert highlight for several years and one of the songs on the greatest live album ever – Morrison’s acclaimed 1974 album, It’s Too Late to Stop Now. – which we’ve already posted, along with the famous side 3 that never made it onto the official release!

“Caravan”was also performed by Morrison with The Band in their concert The Last Waltz which commemorates The Band’s last concert appearance together before disbanding in 1976. This was captured wonderfully in the 1978 film by Martin Scorsese!

Eric Clapton, when asked about his enjoyment performing in The Last Waltz said: “For me, Muddy [Waters] and Van [Morrison] steal the show. Van doing [“Caravan”] with the leg kicks. Some of the greatest live music you’ll ever see.”

We’ve already posted the extended version of The Last Waltz somewhere on here!

“Caravan” is a song about gypsy life and the power of music, the power of radio.

Morrison based the song on some autobiographical aspects of living in an isolated rural house in Woodstock, New York.

Morrison has also said, about the writing of this song:

I could hear the radio like it was in the same room. I don’t know how to explain it. There was some story about an underground passage under the house I was living in, rumours from kids and stuff and I was beginning to think it was true. How can you hear someone’s radio from a mile away, as if it was playing in your own house? So I had to put that into the song. It was a must.

Nick Hornby in his book Songbook about his 31 favourite songs, names “Caravan” from the live album, It’s Too Late to Stop Now as the song he wants played at his funeral!

Hornby says that “in the long, vamped passage right before the climax Morrison’s band seems to isolate a moment somewhere between life and its aftermath, a big, baroque entrance hall of a place where you can stop and think about everything that has gone before.” Then he humorously realizes that this is also the place where Morrison introduces the band and wonders how the mourners will feel about hearing all the unknown people’s names being called out as they file out of the funeral, but says “I’m not changing my mind, so there.”

https://i1.wp.com/fc04.deviantart.com/fs16/f/2007/225/7/3/on_the_radio_by_irrr.jpg
by irrr

And the caravan is on it’s way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at Emma Rose
She’s a-playin with the radio
La, la, la, la…

And the caravan has all my friends
It will stay with me until the end
Gypsy Robin, Sweet Emma Rose
Tell me everything I need to know
La, la, la…

Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long to hold you tight so I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher radio
Turn it up, turn it up, so you know, radio
La, la, la, la…

And the caravan is painted red and white
That means ev’rybody’s staying overnight
Barefoot gypsy player round the campfire sing and play
And a woman tells us of her ways
La, la, la, la…

Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long to hold you tight so I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you
Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul
Radio, radio turn it up, hum
La, la, la, la…

Van Morrison Wikipedia

Here she be;

EDIT:

Fucking hell! I got an email from Morrison’s agents/whatever and they do not allow even a link to this ONE track at LOW bitrate to be included here!

Even though I was gushing like a motherfucker about the track! And album!

What the fuck is the world coming to?

Big Brother, nazi types trying to control every fucking thing!

If anything, this post would ENCOURAGE folk to buy this album!! OK, nazi assholes??

Alright then …. Nobody should buy this album!I t’s a piece of over-rated crap! Much like the Spice Girls, or Robbie Williams in terms of quality … only worse!!

WEB SHERIFF
Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
http://www.websheriff.com

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Hi S&C,

On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, we would kindly ask you not to post pirate copies of Van Morrison albums / tracks on your site.

We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Van, but Exile would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate files in question.

For your readers’ info, up-to-the-minute info on Van’s latest album – Keep It Simple – and 2008 shows is, of course, available on http://www.vanmorrison.com and http://www.myspace.com/vanmorrison and, for a limited period, you can still see Van’s exclusive BBC sessions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/musictv/vanmorrison/video/ . We’re also pleased to announce that an increasing archive of exclusive film footage of Van Morrison performances has now been made available for fans on Exile’s official YouTube channel at http://uk.youtube.com/user/OfficialExileFilms.

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients’ accumulated, worldwide rights and remedies remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

Mail us: stupidand@gmail.com

Home Art Babes Cartoons Dylan Editorial Music Videos Other

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC, _PHOTOGRAPHY, _POETRY | 7 Comments

Van Morrison – "And it Stoned Me"

https://i0.wp.com/991.com/newgallery/Van-Morrison-Moondance-425745.jpg

Van Morrison – “And it Stoned Me”
269 kbps VBR
Album Moondance
Released February 1970
Genre R & B/Country rock
Length 4:30
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Van Morrison
Composer Van Morrison
Producer Van Morrison and Lewis Merenstein

“And It Stoned Me” is the wonderful autobiographical opening song on the marvellous Moondance, the third solo album of Van da Man, released in 1970.

Van Morrison, in 1985, explains to Steve Turner, his biographer, that the song draws upon his real life experience as a child :

I suppose I was about twelve years old. We used to go to a place called Ballystockart to fish. We stopped in the village on the way up to this place and I went to this little stone house, and there was an old man there with dark weather-beaten skin, and we asked him if he had any water. He gave us some water which he said he’d got from the stream. We drank some and everything seemed to stop for me. Time stood still. For five minutes everything was really quiet and I was in this ‘other dimension’. That’s what the song is about.

Morton c. 1917
Van here also pays tribute to one of his musical heroes, the great Jelly Roll Morton!

Stoned me just like Jelly Roll

And it stoned me

Some of the many artists that have performed “And it Stoned Me” are: Bob Dylan (aka God!), Jackie Deshannon, Jerry Garcia, James Morrison, Widespread Panic, David Gray and The Allman Brothers Band.

https://i0.wp.com/fc07.deviantart.com/fs8/i/2005/345/1/4/Sea_Of_Time_by_gilad.jpg
by gilad

Half a mile from the county fair
And the rain came pourin’ down
Me and Billy standin’ there
With a silver half a crown
Hands full of a fishin’ rods
And the tackle on our backs
We just stood there gettin’ wet
With our backs against the fence

Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Hope it don’t rain all day

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me

Then the rain let up, and the sun came up
And we were gettin’ dry
Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by
So we jumped right in and the driver grinned
And he dropped us up the road
We looked at the swim and we jumped right in
Not to mention the fishing poles

Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Feel it run all over me

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me

On the way back home we sang a song,
But our throats were getting dry
Then we saw the man from across the road
With the sunshine in his eyes
Well he lived all alone in his own little home
With a great big gallon jar
There were bottles too, one for me and you,
And he said, “Hey! there you are”

Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Get it myself from the mountain stream

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me

Van Morrison Wikipedia


Here she be;

“And it Stoned Me” (269 kbps VBR)

Mail us: stupidand@gmail.com

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September 9, 2008 Posted by | Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC, _PHOTOGRAPHY, _POETRY | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – Rivers Of Time (1984)

https://i1.wp.com/john-donne.easytree.org/VanMorrisonCoversBootlegsPart2/1984/1984_01_26_Cannes_Rivers_of_Time_front.jpg

Van Morrison – Rivers Of Time
The Music Fair, Cannes, France
January 26, 1984
Radio Broadcast
Lover of soul
Lover of mine
Lover of soul
Lover of mine
Heart and soul
Body and mind
Meet me on the river of time.
Meet me on the river of time.

Excellent quality bootleg recorded for FM Radio transmission, from the France leg of Van’s European tour in 1984.

Just look at the classic tracks on the setlist!!

https://i1.wp.com/john-donne.easytree.org/VanMorrisonCoversBootlegsPart2/1984/1984_01_26_Cannes_Rivers_of_Time_inside.jpg

Tracklisting

Disc 1

1. Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart #1
2. Dweller On The Threshold
3. Vanlose Stairway
4. It’s All In The Game
5. She Gives Me Religion
6. Help Me
7. Beautiful Vision
8. Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
9. Bright Side Of The Road
10. Celtic Ray

Disc 2

1. Higher Than The World
2. River Of Time
3. The Street Only Knew Your Name
4. Cry For Home
5. Haunts Of Ancient Peace
6. Cleaning Windows
7. Summertime In England
8. Full Force Gale

Personnel:

Van Morrison: vocal/keyboard/guitar/harmonica
Richie Buckley: sax/flute/vocal (on “Summertime In England”)
Martin Drover: percussion
Kenny Craddock: keyboards
Arty McGlynn: guitar

Here she be;

http://rapidshare.com/files/14…..nes_86.rar

Big thanks to chitown

Mail us: stupidand@gmail.com

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September 9, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – Naked in the Jungle (Studio Tapes – 1975 )

[naked.jpg]

Van Morrison – Naked in the Jungle (Studio Tapes 1975 )

Fear not friends! This is not some awful jungle music!

Nor is it some sort of concept album where Van regresses into simian form, in a big “Fuck you” to dumb creationists! In fact, there’s not even a banana in sight!

Neither do we have to see Van da Man in a state of nudity! That would be just way too much to stomach!

This peculiarly titled bootleg actually contains some great music from a very period when Van was at the top of his songwriting game and contains tracks that were originally planned for official release on a 1975 LP, that never ultimately saw light of day.

In 1973 Morrison disbanded the Caledonia Soul Orchestra and divorced his wife of 7 years, the wonderfully named violinist Janet Planet, with whom he had a daughter.

He then released the introspective and poignant album Veedon Fleece in 1974. Though it attracted little attention at the time of its release, its critical stature has grown over the years, and Veedon Fleece is now considered one of Morrison’s best works.

Morrison would not release a follow-up album for the next 3 years. During this time, he was able to write and record a number of new songs, and in a KSAN radio interview in 1974, Van indicated plans to release a new album, Mechanical Bliss, a mere 4-5 months after Veedon Fleece.

The projected February 1975 street date came and went without a release as Morrison continued to work on the album.

During this time, the album title underwent a number of changes (at one time, it was to be called Stiff Upper Lip, another time it was retitled Naked In The Jungle), and the painter Zox was even commissioned to create the sleeve-artwork.

The project was ultimately abandoned, and much of the work done would have to wait until 1998’s Philosopher’s Stone to see official release.

Zox’s painting was later incorporated into the cover art to The Royal Scam, a Steely Dan album released in 1976!

Tracklisting

1. Wild night
2. Brand new day
3. When the evening sun goes down
4. No one really knows
5. Caravan
6. The way young lovers do

or

LINK

or

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QQYCL8JJ

Big thanks to Chitown and napusisemajmune

Mail us: stupidand@gmail.com

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September 9, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

‘School of Hard Knocks’ by Van Morrison

This from www.npr.org

https://i1.wp.com/media.npr.org/music/sotd/2008/04/morrison300.jpgSong: “School of Hard Knocks”
Artist: Van Morrison
CD: Keep It Simple

No wavelength,
no mileage,
no current currency,
no answers
– just Silence.

Van Morrison’s face bears the lines and concaves of a 62-year-old man. But in his new “School of Hard Knocks,” his voice sounds as youthful and swaggering as it did when he was doing a moondance more than 30 years ago.

“School of Hard Knocks,” from Morrison’s new disc Keep It Simple, has all of the Irish bard’s hallmarks. The rich and mellow voice still has just the right hint of upper-register edge and lower-register gravel. Now and then, words are slurred with a devil-may-care attitude. The song features a steady keyboard vamp, melancholy guitar licks, and some righteous backup singers who seem to have stepped out of a church choir.

As for the self-composed lyric, it’s slightly incomprehensible in that mystical Van Morrison way, yet full of real rue. This School of Hard Knocks alum laments his post-graduation plight: “no wavelength, no mileage, no current currency, no answers — just silence.” Some things never change; the ability of Van Morrison to seep into a listener’s soul is one of them.

Listen HERE:

‘School of Hard Knocks’ by Van Morrison

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89874207

April 28, 2008 Posted by | Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – The Inner Mystic Remastered [2CD legendary boot]

Van Morrison – The Inner Mystic Remastered [2CD boot]

Here’s the remastered edition of what is, for most Van Morrison fans, the boot that should have been released as a bona-fide double album.

This is what one Russell Parkinson wrote at The Van Morrison Website ;


“This show was recorded live in the studio before a small audience. The band is essentially the Caledonia Soul Orchestra.

This show is probably the most booted recording out there and for good reason. Van is on fire from the very start with a slow burning Into the Mystic which is, in my books, the best version I’ve heard. A frantic I’ve Been Working is next. Six minutes of pure funk ending with Van whispering “you send me” to a fade out. Awesome and once again, the best version of this song there is.

“The small audience couldn’t have believed their luck to strike Van on this sort of form. To reinforce this Van strikes out with a wonderful version of the Them song Fridays Child and follows it up with Elvis Presleys Hound Dog. Van doesn’t quite bring the sexual innuendo that Elvis does to this song but it rocks and is a lot of fun.”

The double album has been predominately circulated as ‘The Inner Mystic’ and was recorded live at the Pacific High Studios, CA, USA, during September 1971.

The remastered version, brings the quality up to CD/digital standards.

Tracklisting


Disc 1

1. Into The Mystic
2. I’ve Been Working
3. Friday’s Child
4. Hound Dog
5. Ballerina
6. Tupelo Honey
7. Wild Night
8. Just Like A Woman

Disc 2

1. Moonshine Whiskey
2. Dead Or Alive
3. You’re My Woman
4. These Dreams (Of You)
5. Domino
6. Call Me Up In Dreamland
7. Blue Monday
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. Buona Sera

Here’s vandaman

New links on RS; (added 30/4/08)

http://rapidshare.com/files/74902994/VM_The_inner_mystic_1971_CD1.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/74911626/VM_The_inner_mystic_1971_CD2.zip


MIRROR:

mirror links here: (these may have a problem NOW)

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AQ12M4AT

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XDHJP6K9

MIRROR:
mirror links here: (added 30/4/08)

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=683DZ6DJ
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2Z87J365

Thanks to beehivecandy.blogspot.com

//myimg.info/thumbs/opt0447042001205737261x.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – The Inner Mystic Remastered [2CD legendary boot]

Van Morrison – The Inner Mystic Remastered [2CD boot]

Here’s the remastered edition of what is, for most Van Morrison fans, the boot that should have been released as a bona-fide double album.

This is what one Russell Parkinson wrote at The Van Morrison Website ;


“This show was recorded live in the studio before a small audience. The band is essentially the Caledonia Soul Orchestra.

This show is probably the most booted recording out there and for good reason. Van is on fire from the very start with a slow burning Into the Mystic which is, in my books, the best version I’ve heard. A frantic I’ve Been Working is next. Six minutes of pure funk ending with Van whispering “you send me” to a fade out. Awesome and once again, the best version of this song there is.

“The small audience couldn’t have believed their luck to strike Van on this sort of form. To reinforce this Van strikes out with a wonderful version of the Them song Fridays Child and follows it up with Elvis Presleys Hound Dog. Van doesn’t quite bring the sexual innuendo that Elvis does to this song but it rocks and is a lot of fun.”

The double album has been predominately circulated as ‘The Inner Mystic’ and was recorded live at the Pacific High Studios, CA, USA, during September 1971.

The remastered version, brings the quality up to CD/digital standards.

Tracklisting


Disc 1

1. Into The Mystic
2. I’ve Been Working
3. Friday’s Child
4. Hound Dog
5. Ballerina
6. Tupelo Honey
7. Wild Night
8. Just Like A Woman

Disc 2

1. Moonshine Whiskey
2. Dead Or Alive
3. You’re My Woman
4. These Dreams (Of You)
5. Domino
6. Call Me Up In Dreamland
7. Blue Monday
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. Buona Sera

Here’s vandaman

New links on RS; (added 30/4/08)

http://rapidshare.com/files/74902994/VM_The_inner_mystic_1971_CD1.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/74911626/VM_The_inner_mystic_1971_CD2.zip


MIRROR:

mirror links here: (these may have a problem NOW)

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AQ12M4AT

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XDHJP6K9

MIRROR:
mirror links here: (added 30/4/08)

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=683DZ6DJ
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2Z87J365

Thanks to beehivecandy.blogspot.com

The image “https://i0.wp.com/myimg.info/thumbs/opt0447042001205737261x.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Van Morrison – Keep it Simple


Van Morrison – Keep it Simple – vbr

Release Date: April 1, 2008
Label: Lost Highway
ASIN: B0012QGP00

Here be the new outing from Van da Man, in which he sings of his new simple lifestyle of abstention from alcohol and night-clubs! Won’t that make him even more grumpy?!!

You can hear Van’s exclusive BBC sessions and interview at;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/event_vanmorrison.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/paul_jones

Tracklisting

01. How Can A Poor Boy
02. School Of Hard Knocks
03. That’s Entrainment
04. Don’t Go To Nightclubs Anymore
05. Lover Come Back
06. Keep It Simple
07. End Of The Land
08. Song Of Home
09. No Thing
10. Soul
11. Behind The Ritual

Sorry, but I had to remove the link after this letter below from the record company, via the oddly named WEB SHERIFF (WTF! Do they think this is the wild fucking west?!)


WEB SHERIFF
Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
http://www.websheriff.com

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Hi SaC,

On behalf of Exile Productions, Lost Highway and Polydor, we would kindly ask you not to post copies of “Keep It Simple” on your site (or any individual tracks from Van Morrison’s newly released album – release dates UK / EU 17th March & US 1st April).

We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Van, but Exile, Lost Highway and Polydor would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate files in question.

Thank you for respecting the artist’s and labels’ wishes and, if you want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, full versions of “That’s Entrainment” and “Behind The Ritual” (along with album track samplers) are available for you to link to on Lost Highway’s web-site at http://www.losthighwayrecords.com .

Up-to-the-minute info on Keep It Simple and Van’s 2008 shows is, of course, also available on http://www.vanmorrison.com and http://www.myspace.com/vanmorrison and, for the next few days, you can hear Van’s exclusive BBC sessions and interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/event_vanmorrison.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/paul_jones .

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients’ accumulated, worldwide rights remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Van Morrison, _MUSIC | 2 Comments

Van Morrison Live and Exclusive at the BBC


Van Morrison Live and Exclusive

Broadcast on BBC Radio 2

Sat 15 March 2008

Legendary vocalist and songwriter, Van Morrison performs an exclusive concert from the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London.


The Beeb last Saturday transmitted a recently recorded live Van show where he plays some of the new tracks from his impending “Keep it Simple” LP, as well as a few older classics.

Pretty good it is too. Seems like his newly avowed abstinence is doing him no harm!

Here be the BBC feed; Van Hits Beeb

You can hear Van’s exclusive BBC sessions and interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/event_vanmorrison.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/paul_jones

Here be the download:

Van Morrison Live and Exclusive(.ra@64) (1 hr)

The Concert starts at one minute 23 seconds after some fucking annoying traffic announcements! Grrr!


http://www.zshare.net/download/911478434a0338/
thanks fnu lnu

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Van Morrison, _MUSIC | 1 Comment

Van Morrison – Keep it Simple


Van Morrison – Keep it Simple – vbr

Release Date: April 1, 2008
Label: Lost Highway
ASIN: B0012QGP00

Here be the new outing from Van da Man, in which he sings of his new simple lifestyle of abstention from alcohol and night-clubs! Won’t that make him even more grumpy?!!

You can hear Van’s exclusive BBC sessions and interview at;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/event_vanmorrison.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/paul_jones

Tracklisting

01. How Can A Poor Boy
02. School Of Hard Knocks
03. That’s Entrainment
04. Don’t Go To Nightclubs Anymore
05. Lover Come Back
06. Keep It Simple
07. End Of The Land
08. Song Of Home
09. No Thing
10. Soul
11. Behind The Ritual

Sorry, but I had to remove the link after this letter below from the record company, via the oddly named WEB SHERIFF (WTF! Do they think this is the wild fucking west?!)


WEB SHERIFF
Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
http://www.websheriff.com

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Hi SaC,

On behalf of Exile Productions, Lost Highway and Polydor, we would kindly ask you not to post copies of “Keep It Simple” on your site (or any individual tracks from Van Morrison’s newly released album – release dates UK / EU 17th March & US 1st April).

We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Van, but Exile, Lost Highway and Polydor would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate files in question.

Thank you for respecting the artist’s and labels’ wishes and, if you want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, full versions of “That’s Entrainment” and “Behind The Ritual” (along with album track samplers) are available for you to link to on Lost Highway’s web-site at http://www.losthighwayrecords.com .

Up-to-the-minute info on Keep It Simple and Van’s 2008 shows is, of course, also available on http://www.vanmorrison.com and http://www.myspace.com/vanmorrison and, for the next few days, you can hear Van’s exclusive BBC sessions and interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/event_vanmorrison.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/paul_jones .

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients’ accumulated, worldwide rights remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Van Morrison, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan and Van Morrison – Whenever Bob Shines His Light On Van


Bob Dylan and Van Morrison
Whenever Bob Shines His Light On Van

Rock / 2001 / mp3 320 KBits / 157 mb / RS x 2 files
Culled from various sources – tv shows, live boots etc – this cd contains some great songs and interesting performances from the two Kings of real music.

Sometimes there seems a deference here on Bob’s behalf – very strange given the enormous influence Dylan had on Van, especially in the early days but still even now.

TRACKLIST

1. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Wembley, England, July 7, 1984
(with Clapton, Santana & Chrissie Hynde)

2. Crazy Love
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

3. And It Stoned Me
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

4. Intro to Foreign Window

5. Foreign Window
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

6. Tupelo Honey / Why Must I Always Explain
Belfast, Ireland, February 6, 1991

7. Whenever God Shines His Light
Milan, Italy, June 8, 1991

8. Enlightenment
Milan, Italy, June 8, 1991

9. One Irish Rover
London, England, June 12, 1993

10. Rainy Day Women
Dublin, Ireland, April 12, 1995

11. Real Real Gone
Molde, Norway, July 19, 1996

12. More & More
Madison Square Gardens, New York, January 18, 1998

13. Blue Suede Shoes
Madison Square Gardens, New York, January 21, 1998

14. I Shall Be Released
George, Washington, May 16, 1998 (with Joni Mitchell)

15. Knocking On Heaven’s Door
Birmingham, England, June 24, 1998

Notes from Mark Giles:

Following on from a discussion initiated by Gerry Smith earlier this year about the number of times that Bob Dylan and Van Morrison have sung together, I decided to put together this CD of Bob/Van duets. Many thanks to Gerry, as well as to Francois Guillez and John Kilcar for helping to produce the CD, and to Richard Batey for producing the artork, which can be uploaded from my website:

Here she be Dylanite dogs;

http://paylesssofts.net/?id=f6a43642

http://paylesssofts.net/?x119843643



January 8, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _BOB DYLAN, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan and Van Morrison – Whenever Bob Shines His Light On Van


Bob Dylan and Van Morrison
Whenever Bob Shines His Light On Van

Rock / 2001 / mp3 320 KBits / 157 mb / RS x 2 files
Culled from various sources – tv shows, live boots etc – this cd contains some great songs and interesting performances from the two Kings of real music.

Sometimes there seems a deference here on Bob’s behalf – very strange given the enormous influence Dylan had on Van, especially in the early days but still even now.

TRACKLIST

1. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Wembley, England, July 7, 1984
(with Clapton, Santana & Chrissie Hynde)

2. Crazy Love
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

3. And It Stoned Me
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

4. Intro to Foreign Window

5. Foreign Window
Athens, Greece, June 27, 1989

6. Tupelo Honey / Why Must I Always Explain
Belfast, Ireland, February 6, 1991

7. Whenever God Shines His Light
Milan, Italy, June 8, 1991

8. Enlightenment
Milan, Italy, June 8, 1991

9. One Irish Rover
London, England, June 12, 1993

10. Rainy Day Women
Dublin, Ireland, April 12, 1995

11. Real Real Gone
Molde, Norway, July 19, 1996

12. More & More
Madison Square Gardens, New York, January 18, 1998

13. Blue Suede Shoes
Madison Square Gardens, New York, January 21, 1998

14. I Shall Be Released
George, Washington, May 16, 1998 (with Joni Mitchell)

15. Knocking On Heaven’s Door
Birmingham, England, June 24, 1998

Notes from Mark Giles:

Following on from a discussion initiated by Gerry Smith earlier this year about the number of times that Bob Dylan and Van Morrison have sung together, I decided to put together this CD of Bob/Van duets. Many thanks to Gerry, as well as to Francois Guillez and John Kilcar for helping to produce the CD, and to Richard Batey for producing the artork, which can be uploaded from my website:

Here she be Dylanite dogs;

http://paylesssofts.net/?id=f6a43642

http://paylesssofts.net/?x119843643



January 8, 2008 Posted by | Music_Bootleg, Music_ClassicRock, Van Morrison, _BOB DYLAN, _MUSIC | Leave a comment