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Van Morrison Album by Album Discussion: Part 1 (1968-1977)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DJ WILBUR, Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Here I come, rising to the defense of a very fine Van Morrison album. But first off I will readily admit that nothing here attains the transcendent grandeur of "And It Stoned Me" or "Into The Mystic", and "Blue Money" pretty much stinks. Those disclaimers aside, I just don't understand the negative attitudes toward Street Choir.

    Outside of "Blue Money" every track here is the equal of or better than anything on side 2 of Moondance. And the album is much better paced--Van didn't frontload this one. "Domino" (naturally), "I'll Be Your Lover, Too" (especially), "I've Been Workin'", "If I Ever Needed Someone", and "Street Choir" are all pretty great. I'll even give a nod to the enigmatic "Crazy Face". And how can you not get caught up in the Dixieland fervor of "Call Me Up In Dreamland"? I for one enjoy the looser feel of this album. I actually pull it out a lot more often than Moondance.

    Note to Jason and Tom: I've got one more Van biography lying around that you guys haven't referenced yet. As near as I can tell so far it doesn't contain any different background info on the recording of these albums than Heylin and Hinton, so I'll be content to sit back and let you guys dole out the interesting tidbits. :winkgrin: I found researching for the Cale thread somewhat exhausting . . . :D
     
  2. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Despite my ardent love of Street Choir I have to say this is a thoughtful criticism (and perhaps more valid than I'd care to admit. . .)
     
  3. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Aww I don't mind "Blue Money.."
     
  4. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    This is an interesting sentiment (and not one I necessarily disagree with), but it certainly goes against the grain of common critical consensus. At the risk of derailing this thread a bit, let me just ask this: is there another artist of Van's vintage that sailed through the 80's so gracefully. Not a single embarrassing and/or dated album. He wasn't chasing a hit; he wasn't artistically exhausted; he just kept on making great music--different than the 70's for sure, but just as great.

    Or perhaps we can save this particular discussion til we actually get to his 80's output. . .
     
  5. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I enjoy side 2 of this album more than side two of "Moondance" (I didn't mention that "Brand New Day" is my favorite song from side 2 of Moondance"). I am a bit bored of "Domino" these days - I've heard it enough - and usually start the CD at track 7 (side 2).

    My favorite song from "His Band And The Street Choir" is "Gypsy Queen". It sound like a cross between "Crazy Love" and "Tupelo Honey".

    Crazy Love --> Gypsy Queen --> Tupelo Honey --> Kevin Bacon


    Let's save it. I am also a fan of his eighties albums. I felt very let down by his post eighties albums.
     
  6. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    well, we can chat for a bit about this now. as we need folks in here to chase a few of those 80s albums down so we can talk about them...

    none of the albums are dated for me, and there are but a few embarrassing minor moments on maybe one or two of the 80s output...but Mercury sure did chase songs like "Whenever God Shines His Light" and "Real Real Gone" at radio...and lemme tell you, Van completely expected them to get him hits and on the radio in this decade.
     
  7. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    :hurl:
    cringeworthy
     
  8. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I like his Call Me Up in Dreamland. It swings. :)
     
  9. Randy W

    Randy W Original Member

    Domino may be his biggest hit ever.

    Good album, not Astral Weeks or even Moondance however.

    Sounds great on LP though!
     
  10. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Tomorrow I'm going to post a quote from Van about His Band and the Street Choir. If you guys think I've been hard on this record, wait'll you hear what V-the-M has to say about it.:laugh:
     
  11. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    A funny thing happened on my way to read folks' comments about this record - I played it (probably for the first time in ten years or so) and ended up liking it more than I remembered. Not the greatest songs in his catalogue, but I like the feel of the record. In these days of micro assembled multi tracked shiny glop, it sounds like a band all in one room playing the song at the same time, and that counts for something.
     
  12. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    But not as cringeworth as the Fable from Moondance, and it doesn't take two weeks to read it. :thumbsup:
     
  13. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    THAT'S what makes topics like this, (and this forum itself) great! :righton:
     
  14. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Yes, I thought about Van and Street Choir when someone started a thread not long ago about artists slagging their own albums. . .
     
  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Agreed!
     
  16. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I've Been Working is a deceptive song, imo. The music has the "feel" of "just a groove thing" going on, but it's actually a superbly crafted composition, imo.
    I enjoy both Crazy Face and Call Me Up as well.
     
  17. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Yes. It sounds "organic" and "real" and very "folksy" to me, and yet it's as much or more R&B as it is Country or Folk. And that makes the record interesting to me as well. And enjoyable.
     
  18. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
    I had never thought of this before, but I like "Street Choir" a lot so it seemed like a good album ender to me.

    I do have feelings along that line when it comes to No Guru, No Method, No Teacher and I'll bring that up again when we get there - probably sometime next spring. :winkgrin:
     
  19. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    I feel this album (and the following) is a bit of a let-down after the first three (or first two depending on whether you reckon Blowin' Your Mind is an actual album). However, I love I've Been Working.
     
  20. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    It is a different album than Astral or Moondance thats for sure. I am one of those who really like this album and didnt realize that it wasnt liked by many( then again we could say that about Astral Weeks also).

    "Domino" "Blue Money". Great songs imo. A much simpler album than the other two.His style seems to reach backwards here.A R&B throwback.He may have been looking to just lighten up and have some fun at this point.Again, his voice is really sweet on this album.

    I have a lot of fun listening to this album It has a lot of humor and personality to it.Sometimes a bit over the top but it sure makes me dance at various times.

    Here is hoping Steve will get to do this one for WB's.
     
  21. gohill

    gohill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    Yes this is one i'd really like Steve to do as well. The warners cd is ridiculously quiet and flat sounding, (the complete opposite of the current just deleted remasters of St Dominics and Veedon Fleece which are way too shrill and bright). Its one of the few Van albums i havent had on vinyl.

    My Warner green label of Saint Dominics Preview is like night and day to the cd. I would love to hear a good vinyl mastering of this set. Like everyone else i like pretty much half this one with Domino really standing out. Ultimately its one of his lesser works coming in the middle of a particularly golden period.
     
  22. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    "Ivory Tower"? Yep, I know what you mean. Seems like an afterthough or a bonus track or something. But when it comes to NG,NM,NT
    I'll have little else in the way of negative criticism:love:.
     
  23. gohill

    gohill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    yes NGNMNT is easily in my Van top 5 and the only slight weakness is the throwaway Ivory Tower
     
  24. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Wonderful Album

    While this album didn't blow me away to the degree that Astral Weeks and Moondance did, it is still a fine album in its own right.

    Here is mine,
     

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  25. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    It's in my top three!

    Cant wait to talk about it and it will be in Winter when we get to that one....or only 14 weeks away....:laugh: , unless we rush the live records into a day or two as I'm not sure anyone's live records would need a week...thoughts????
     
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