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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. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    :righton: I'll still be here in 35 weeks.
     
  2. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Precisely!:righton: :righton:
     
  3. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    I've just been through at random, and from 'The Way Young Lovers Do' through 'Coney Island' thru 'I'm Not Feeling It Anymore' to 'Redwood Tree' thru 'Linden Arden Stole The Highlights' to 'Crazy Jane On God' and 'Wild Night'. There must be few other artists who have, at random selection, such a high body of work. And a High Body of work that is as Spiritual as any other. Tennessee Grumpy Ivan!
     
  4. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    BTW Tom and Wilbur, this thread is taking me way, way back... and I'm loving listening to the music all again. You know how a great documentary or article takes you back and makes you wanna hear it all again...I'm gazing out the window and dreaming! Thanks guys and I can't wait to dive in further!
    (My personal 'cut-off point' was Enlightenment but there's a lot of fields to trudge through in the meantime, in that sweet summertime :wave: )
     
  5. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    First he was in the vortex of your dream, then he drank in the cleansing water, and here his soul was set on fire. The fire of the lustful flesh. It is Woodstock by way of Memphis. Van gives Street Choir a shot of R&B. This is Van's pattern the fire and the water, the Sacred and the Profane, tension and resolution. He swings, he shuffles, and he boogies. He gives us shot of Jame's Brown style groove "working so hard, up down, back up again." His metaphor is not subtle, but it sure is effective, no doubt what he is singing about. Van is a SOUL SINGER.

    It is tempered with a couple of "chamber" rock songs, Virgo Clowns and Crazy Face. He also has a couple of deeply felt acoustic songs, I'll Be Your Lover Too and If I Ever Needed Someone. Initially I heard, If I Ever Needed Someone, as another song of love, on an album brimming with them. Later with the perspective of time and the body of his work, I hear it as a song to the "Lord", a prayer.

    Van is exuberant here newly married, a tight band and a third album in the can. I don't think it is contrived happiness, it is of course tempered with some introspection, after all it's Van. He asks "is that a take?" and "how was that?" at the end of two songs revealing his insecurity. He has a contract with Warners that requires two albums a year, that is pressure.

    As for Blue Money, I remember hearing it on the radio when it came out, and I liked it. According to the scholarly Van site glossary, Blue Money or Breaugh money is a derivation of "Bureau Money," the Irish term for an unemployment check. And for anyone who has ever been broke, waiting for the check in the mail it rings true.

    He caps it with his first attempt at using a choir, something he tries again with Snow in San Anselmo, and the Eternal Kansas City. But this is a "Street" Choir, for a song of the street and is grounded. A down to earth choir for an earthy album. A fully satisfying album, but not transcendent one. In most artist's catalog this would be in the top five but not Van.

    One thought as for the Publishing credits, I don't know how much she contributed, but I understand giving your new wife some publishing money. They were in love and just took a vow to spend their lives together. Most people aren't thinking about divorce as soon as they say "I do." Maybe he put her name on the publishing because he felt they were united as one?
     
  6. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    Van ain't anyone. If it's been decided we'd stay one week for each album... It's too late to stop now. ;)
     
  7. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    I agree. It's Too Late to Stop Now deserves a thorough going over.
     
  8. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    IMHO....I think his first three live albums deserve a week.... ITLTSN, Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, and A Night In San Francisco.

    I'm not sure we need a week on the Skiffle Sessions.
     
  9. CM Wolff

    CM Wolff Senior Member

    Location:
    Motown
    I am a huge Van fan and haven't yet devoted the energy to chime in on the early albums because at least for me, they don't compare to what he has done in the last 15 to 20 years. That is, while those early classics have a special place in my heart, they no longer talk to me the way albums like "Hymns to the Silence" or "Enlightenment" do.

    As far as "common critical consensus" of Van's later period work, I honestly have not found enough thoughtful analysis to be able to personally put much stock in the "critical consensus" of Van's later period work. That is, in attaching what I believe can be summarized as fair to middling reviews to his latest works, so many authors gaze through lenses colored by Van's earliest classics, as opposed to experiencing the art for what it is. In the end, I don't trust the critical consenus that is too often based on a goal of determining whether Van has "returned to form", "made his best album since [fill in blank]," or achieved some other similar level measured by his past. I guess all "classic" rock artists that hang around for multiple decades experience this, but I've never seen an artist make as much richly, deeply, and spiritually satisfying music as Van has in his later periods and still get written off so quickly by those engaged in music criticism.
     
    entropyfan likes this.
  10. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON

    Your post made me want to stand up and cheer.
     
  11. CM Wolff

    CM Wolff Senior Member

    Location:
    Motown
    San Francisco certainly deserves a week, to me that is Van's greatest live achievement. It is as rich a live album as one can find.

    Van's achilles heel to me is his "genre" or tribute albums, such as the Skiffle Sessions, the Mose Allison, and the Linda Gail Lewis sets, although maybe many differ in their opinions of those sets. While I hope to find some viewpoints in this thread that will re-open me to some greatness in these sets, comparatively they don't seem to hold as much potential. But as already been pointed out, there is no hurry. We have the internet and Van's boundless catalog of greatness, the possibilities are limitless. :)
     
  12. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    thank you for joining the discussion. Tom and I, moderating this thread are in agreement with you, so I'm glad you're around to join the discussions on the 80s, 90s and today.

    many think he's phoning it in, but he's done some of his best work in the last 2 decades.
     
  13. CM Wolff

    CM Wolff Senior Member

    Location:
    Motown
    Thank you. This thread that you are so skillfully birthing gives me similar feelings.
     
  14. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    I agree!

    Certainly one of the greatest live albums of all time deserves a week!
     
  15. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    ok, i get the point..it is a fave of mine as well, just it's all material already being discussed....nothing wrong with a full review for it...no hurry here either...but as Tom knows, i'm WAY itchy to get to my #1 fave...following closely behind it.....:D
     
  16. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Not true! What about "Ain't Nothing You Can Do", "Bring it on Home to Me", "I Believe to My Soul", "Help Me", "Take Your Hands Out of My Pocket", stuff like that? Plus, it'll be interesting to compare the live versions with the studio ones, I think.
     
  17. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I enjoyed reading your entire review, and quoted my favorite parts! Good stuff.
     
  18. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Well said. Looking forward to reading what people have to write about some of these later releases.
     
  19. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Now I'm curious, whats your favorite?? :)
     
  20. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    (Psst, it's VEEDON FLEECE:shh: )
     
  21. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Haha..ok..I won't tell..;)
     
  22. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    One of the great things about this thread, I was browsing a CD store at lunch today and picked up a CD copy of "No Guru No Method No Teacher" for $5.99..I'll be checking this album out tonight during the walk with the dog..

    I'm not really familar with it so it'll be interesting!

    Also, not to jump the gun, but will we be discussing the "lost" 1975 album as well..Mechanical Bliss, or whatever it was to be called? Just curious..I'm always fascinated by "lost" albums..
     
  23. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    Now you guys have me interested in what you think of the 80's output.Looking forward to learning a few things.
     
  24. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    In my personal top 3 of Van's stuff.:righton: A remarkable album.
     
  25. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    It's hard to "rank" Van's albums for me simply because how they fall depends very much on my mood. True for any artist that speaks to the heart/soul as much or more than the ears.
     
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