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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. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Any other notable covers? I've already mentioned the Waterboys having covered "Sweet Thing"; Johnny Rivers covered "Slim Slow Slider."

    What else?
     
  2. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    Secret Machines cover Astral Weeks... but it's not good.
     
  3. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    The funny thing about Morrison biographies (and I've read three of them, but not Collis') is that I always feel like I've learned more about the author than the subject.

    I'll see if I can find any other interesting tidbits about the making of Astral Weeks in any of them. (Lord knows Van won't be participating in a VH1 "Classic Albums" segment any time soon :))
     
  4. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Oh, man, you are so right about that. Every book I've read has been slim on hard facts, but chock full of speculation and (usually negative) conjecture about Van's motivations, moodiness and temperament, relationships, et cetera.

    Not hard to see where the bitterness in Back on Top's "New Biography" came from.
     
  5. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Wow I just sat here and imagined how the Nat King Cole trio might have sounded doing this, with Cole's warm voice taking it nice and slow. It would have been a perfect fit!
     
  6. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa

    Wouldn't it though? :) I dont know how the actual melody would have fit Mr Cole. I can almost here a different one in my head.But those words are pure Nat material imo.
     
  7. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    I bet that is beautiful. I dont have any Jeff Buckley material for some reason.I will search it out. Thanks!
     
  8. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    Astral Weeks: An album for the ages.
    Nothing I've ever heard is quite like it. Folk/jazz/blues/pop...it's all here.
    I never really "got" this album until I was in my 40's and started liking Jazz.
    Now I find it a fascinating and compelling listen.
    Truly beautiful and haunting.
    Richard Davis' bass playing is terrific (I've got him on a lot of Blue Note albums from the 60's, notably Andrew Hill)
    Love this album and although it's a term used often, it truly applies here: Masterpiece
     
  9. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    there is a 1 disc ep and a 2 disc 1 dvd complete Sine-E concert performance. You'll want the whole thing I would wager.

    tom, I do not know that Johnny Rivers cover, but I'm just discovering him, I think he's terrific. What was this cover song on?
     
  10. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    The album was called Slim Slow Slider.


    Yet another fun fact:
    "Slim Slow Slider" was edited down (by Merenstein) to 3:20 from a length of approximately ten minutes.
     
  11. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    oh thats not such a fun fact Tom, more a depressing one for me....would love to hear the whole thing someday. wonder how many lyrics got shaved out of it? the live version from The Point in 95 runs over 5 minutes, so maybe even Van decided over time it was too long at ten minutes!
     
  12. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    No vocals lost, just instrumental jamming, according to Collis.
     
  13. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    Yep, probably due to album length restrictions as sound quality of the album side may have been severely compromised if they tried to fit the whole song on there. Plus the album was chock full of 7+ minute songs already. Not that I mind, as I consider it a perfect ending anyway. I look at it as a nice "encore" to the rest of the album.

    I do wonder what the rest of the song sounded like though, and if any of it even survives in the vaults.
     
  14. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    A little more on the background and sessions for Astral Weeks, summarized from Clinton Heylin’s Can You Feel The Silence

    Morrison: "All the songs on Astral weeks, and a lot of my early albums, were just channeled. They just came through. I mean, I’d get whole lines, whole verses just coming through. It’s almost like automatic writing – not automatic writing, I want to emphasize that – but similar. I’d just write them down. I got whole songs like that."

    Heylin also reveals that the presence of Madame George and Beside You might have been due at least in part to a contractual release agreement with Bang. The release states that at least two songs published by Web IV (Bang’s publisher) had to go on the next LP. Another clause in the release stipulates that Morrison would have to write 36 songs for Web IV over the next year. This is the reason for that "contract busting" session that came out several years ago, comprised of silly, pointless songs that I challenge anyone to listen to more than once.

    Regarding the sessions, Heylin says that Davis was designated session leader. Lewis Merenstein, who produced the album: "When you wanted to have a great session, you hired [Davis] because he’d get there early and start practicing, and when the other musicians walked in the room there was such awe and respect that they came to a different level of playing…And if you listen to the album, every tune is led by Richard and everybody followed Richard and Van’s voice."

    Merenstein consciously chose to use jazz musicians, allowing Davis, who chose people he liked playing with, to make the specific personnel calls. Morrison didn’t interact with the musicians very much at all and Connie Kay says that Morrison gave him no instructions other than just to play "whatever I felt like playing."

    Four songs were cut during the September 25 session: Cyprus Avenue, Madame George, Beside You and Astral Weeks. The second session was held on Oct 1, which didn’t go as successfully as the first. Only Young Lovers Do was used from this session. The third session, on Oct 15, saw Sweet Thing and Ballerina taped, with Slim Slow Slider ending the recording. Of the final song, the version on the album is an edit that removes an estimated three to five minutes of Davis, Morrison and John Payne improvising.

    Fallon’s string overdubs were done some time after these three sessions.
     
  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Enjoyed the info and agree with the "encore" idea.
     
  16. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    :)
     
  17. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Yeah, but the titles are freakin' hilarious, with all of Van's venom directed at Berns (I've bolded my personal faves:laugh: ):

    1. Twist And Shake
    2. Shake And Roll
    3. Stomp And Scream
    4. Scream And Holler
    5. Jump And Thump
    6. Drivin Wheel
    7. Just Ball
    8. Shake It Mable
    9. Hold On George
    10. The Big Royalty Check
    11. Ring Worm
    12. Savoy Hollywood
    13. Freaky If You Got This Far
    14. Up Your Mind
    15. Thirty Two
    16. All The Bits
    17. You Say France And I Whistle
    18. Blow In Your Nose
    19. Nose In Your Blow
    20. La Mambo
    21. Go For Yourself
    22. Want A Danish
    23. Here Comes Dumb George
    24. Chickee Coo
    25. Do It
    26. Hang On Groovy
    27. Goodbye George
    28. Dum Dum George
    29. Walk And Talk
    30. The Wobble
    31. Wobble And Ball

    You Say France and I'll Whistle
    by George Ivan Morrison

    You say "France"
    and I'll whistle.
    You say "France"
    and I'll whistle.
    I'll whistle,
    you say "France".
    No, you say "France" and I'll whistle.
    No, no, you whistle and I'll say "France".
    No, no, you say "France" and I'll whistle.
    Yeah, you whistle, I'll say "France", yeah.
    No, no,
    you say "France" and I'll whistle.
     
  18. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Deep man, deep. :cool:
     
  19. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Blake? Forget 'em all. Check out the introspective, sensitive lyrics to "Ringworm":

    Ringworm
    by George Ivan Morrison

    I can see
    by the look on your face
    that you've got ringworm.
    I'm very sorry but,
    I have to tell you that
    you've got ringworm.
    It's a very common disease.
    Actually, you're very luck to have
    ringworm
    'cause you may have
    had somethin' else.
    Oooh, aaahhh...
    Uuunnnhhhaaahhnnn...
    You've got ringworm.
    Oooh-oooh, oooh, oooh-oooh, oooh, oooh-oooh....
     
  20. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
  21. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Yes, I've got it bookmarked. Great resource.:righton:
     
  22. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    Yep, one of the first places I discovered when I entered the online world back in those days. I used to belong to the VAN-L mailing list too.
     
  23. dgstrat

    dgstrat Senior Member

    Location:
    West Islip, NY
    I'm a huge Van Morrison fan, but must say that Astral Weeks just doesn't do it for me. I played it a few times when i got it (maybe 10 years ago) and go back to it once and a while to see if it strikes me. Because of this thread I've played it a few times over the past few days, and conclude that it's just ok for me. I find it very meandering and unexciting. Kind of a free form folk music , if you will.....I read a few posts that compared it to jazz, but i really don't see that. The chord structures are pretty basic and un jazz-like , while the verses and timing are more improvised. I'd compare it to a movie with beautiful cinematography, that initially captivates, but doesn't have enough plot to sustain it. Ultimately losing me. .................I look forward to following this thread,as I have a great deal of appreciation for most of Van the Man's work. Thanks to DJ Wilbur and Mr. Tom for starting this thread.
     
  24. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Hey D, thanks for sharing. always brave in here to go against the grain, but your point of view is much appreciated and how cool you went back to it yet again after being un-amused by it to and give it even more time of your life...a valuable commodity for all of us......

    you coming into to see him in October? tix still available for the October 13th show...
     
  25. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Yep, it's always great to have differing viewpoints. Keeps ya thinkin'. If we were all ad idem it would be pretty dull, to say the least.
    And I'm delighted we're already at page 4 and we're still only on Astral! :righton:

    Let's hope you folks are still around when we're discussing Beautiful Vision.:laugh:
     
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