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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. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
    Thank goodness he's mellowed since he met Michelle...
     

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  2. Randy W

    Randy W Original Member

    Yeah, but I bet he's like Neil and doesn't do more than one encore if some idiot runs across the stage... ;)
     
  3. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    I don't know diddly about Van's personal life. Who is Michelle?

    Tim
     
  4. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
  5. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    You just made my day posting that pic!:laugh:
     
  6. seriousfun

    seriousfun Forum Resident

    Somewhere on the autistic spectrum IMO.
     
  7. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
  8. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Last time I saw him (York, UK last tour) there was no encore.

    Best Wishes
    David
     
  9. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Hard Nose The Highway has never been among my favorite Morrison albums. It can’t help but suffer when compared to his catalogue-to-date. What has baffled me about the album in recent years is that he had a better album of outtakes in the can (to my ears, anyway) . Thankfully those saw release on The Philosopher’s Stone:

    1. Not Supposed To Break Down
    2. Laughing In The Wind
    3. Madame Joy
    4. Contemplation Rose
    5. Don't Worry About Tomorrow
    6. Try For Sleep
    7. Lover's Prayer
    8. Drumshanbo Hustle


    I can only assume that he felt the above tracks were too similar in feel to Saint Dominick’s Preview, without eclipsing that album and he wanted to do something different. Which is fine… I just didn’t like the resulting album all that much. I love disc one of The Philosopher’s Stone.
     
  10. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    You have hit the nail on the head here, Guy. I would submit that any of the above songs are better than anything on the actual album. I seem to recall reading that Hard Nose was originally intended to be a double lp. Hopefully, thread historian/quote-meister Jasan can fill us in on some details, since I've forgotten and don't want to look it up myself :winkgrin: More thoughts once I actually listen to the album again. . .
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Meh, I like about half of those songs [bolded]; the rest I can see why they were ditched. I know the liner notes say "recorded in 1973", but do we know for certain that they were recorded before or during the sessions for HNTH? What I'm saying is, do we know they were in the can at that time and rejected in favour of the material that became HN?

    Paging Jason...
     
  12. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    oi, I dont agree with this being a stronger batch of songs at all. "Try 'For Sleep"...the Jimmy Somerville experience. and I love falsetto, but this is was and always will be nothing but a throwaway.

    i like Hardnose a lot myself. Snow in Anselmo, man I love the balls it must have taken for him to lead his new album with this ultra cool jazzy outing with choir. Bravo to him. and the one two punch of Autumn Song and Purple Heather make this album significant IMO. these two, the title track and Warm Love, and we've got five unbelievably great and IMO classic and also "Mellow" Morrison cuts.

    I love this highway he got on, so relaxing, so refreshing... reminds me of something Neil Young wrote in Decades, something like "he got off the road and entered the ditch, as it was more interesting in the ditch". And this is where Van went, got into the ditch and put out this languid mellow magical musing, the first of many more interesting experiments to come.

    Certainly not as "commercial" as anything before it and thank god. I was getting sick of all the super perfect pop masterpieces :eek:

    now we get to think and travel with Mr. Hard Nose himself, its the beginning of his new road, so its not paved perfectly yet and so be it....and this road leads us to my favorite destination where those two Irish Wolfhounds were sitting on that lawn....:love:

    Amazing to me anyone who doesnt hear the magic in this slab. Granted the three in the middle are kinda light, but the other five are so terrific, its an album i rarely skip a track...head and shoulders above Tupelo IMO.

    :edthumbs:
     
  13. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist


    Yep - the original US WB CD sounds like it's from a dull tape copy whereas the original Polydor is fine - still not from the master but plenty of clarity.
     
  14. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Ahh, good Sir William, welcome back from the wars.:wave:

    I like "Try for Sleep" because it's got almost a pre-Veedon-type vibe goin' ahn. "Lover's Prayer" is almost Tupelo Honey-ish, except not as distinguished, which is probably why it got shelved.
    But back to HNTH, I'm a little shocked there aren't more folks coming to its defence.

    As much as you like the album, William, surely you agree that album cover art is indefensible. Geez, that wouldn't be topped for sheer awfulness until A Period of Transition.:laugh:
     
  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    BAH! I have to buy the dang thing - er, find it first - and then listen to it!
    I like Warm Love from the live release, not so sure about Wild Children.
     
  16. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    yes, i am in agreement I am not a fan of this album cover, i think its the first album cover I've not even brought up in my comments on each album. Still, I never even look at it, either i listen to this via my Squeezebox (all my van listening is via lossless streaming these days) or on my Ipod...

    I "like" Try For Sleep, honestly it is a nice track, and his falsetto is cool...and that list of songs mentioned above is a good batch...but i was kinda cranky last night so all my thoughts must be tempered down this morning a tad....

    5 great songs on Hard Nose IMO, Purple Heather is one of my Top TOP all time Van Morrison tracks ever. I think from Astral to Hard Nose its my single favorite song from all those albums. It's one that puts me in an alternate universe of joy.
     
  17. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Almost everything I wanted to say about this one has been covered already. I applaud Van's courage to open with Snow in San Anselmo, but I don't think it is successful. He wants to expand his sonic palette and the chior is a potent sound. Wild Children is not entirely charmless but it sinks under the weight of its nostalgia. He really flounders though on The Great Deception, I might have substituted Not Supposed to Break Down and Feedback on Highway 101.

    The rest of the album is pretty good. Warm Love is the best falsetto Van vocal, and a well crafted tune. Hardnose the Highway is gritty and soulful, but the album really has that autumn vibe and that is its' stongest point. Autumn Song and Purple Heather are tranquil and meditative, the band is all communicating.

    As for Being Green I like the cover. It is done without irony, but it is good natured and shows Van has a sense of Humor. After all he had a child just the right age for Sesame Street and he must have heard Kermit. Van gives it the Sinatra treatment, and he has the chops to pull it off.

    Finally, this to me is the first album where I see that I'd rather have Van include a couple of cover songs that he loves than self-penned second rate material. Van is a singer and can deliver the song if he feels it. His McPeak Family and Kermit (Joe Raposo) covers are both first-rate.

    For a guy who has put out six albums in five years and gotten married, had a child, moved across country then divorced it is a pretty strong showing. Still I feel it is more of a "place holder" or punctuation point in his career.
     
  18. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    http://www.harbour.sfu.ca/~hayward/van/reviews/dltinterview.html

    "MR: There's a Ray Charles feel to it.

    VM: Yeah, well the closest I can get, there's a picture in, oddly enough, in a book called, um, I hate the term, but "Rock Dreams." It's paintings of, like, loads of people. There's a painting of Ray Charles in a car, driving through the desert. And it's called "The Fugitive's Dream" or something like this.

    MR: That might be awkward for Ray Charles to drive.

    VM: Exactly. But he does drive. He's a pilot as well. Ray Charles is a pilot.

    MR: Would you go up in the air with him?

    VM: Yeah. I don't know." :laugh:
     
  19. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    I don’t think I’d go so far as curbach and say that every outtake on Philosopher’s Stone is better than any of the tracks that made the finished album – I’ve always loved Snow in San Anselmo for one. But the unreleased material connects with me in a way the album doesn’t. I always thought that Hard Nose the Highway would grow on me over the years, that it had an easy listening “adult” kind of appeal. But while I’ve come to love a broad range of artists my college-aged ears rejected (such as <<<George Jones) HNTH has never clicked for me. In recent years I’ve tried listening to all 16 tracks together (programming a hypothetical double album, letting them unfold on random play) but that didn’t open any doors either; the songs seem to be coming from a different place.

    This begs the question that Tom raised; whether the songs are true “outtakes” or come from a different series of sessions conducted during the same year. I remember looking at the studio and musicians credits when Philosopher’s Stone was released and they seemed to be of-a-piece, but who knows?

    Not that I'm whining... to my ears his best was yet to come.
     
  20. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Jason is conspicuous in his absence.:shh:
    I'm sure he's busy gleaning info from Heylin to edify us.
     
  21. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Mr. Kruppa is somewhat "under the weather".

    i'm sure he will be back with oodles of useful information very soon....
     
  22. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    "Get well, soon, Jason. Or else ...
    Best wishes, your friend,
    Van Morrison"
     

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  23. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    well, admonishment from the Man himself, ain't I speshul. :D

    I'll post something as soon as I can about this album from the Heylin book. As for me, I've never heard the sucker except for the sound clips on amazon. I don't feel like I'm missing too much. I'll be ready for Veedon Fleece though!
     
  24. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    oh are you planning on skipping the live album too...
     
  25. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    DOH!

    Yeah I guess I need a copy of that one. I've been interested in hearing that for a while, and this thread's just as good a reason as any to finally get it.
     
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