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VAN MORRISON Album by Album Discussion: Part 2 (Wavelength 1978 - Enlightenment 1990)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Clarkophile, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    Robert Christgau's review

    a B+ from Christgau on this one...

    Poetic Champions Compose [Mercury, 1987]
    His first interesting album in five years sounds best as a CD for the same reason it isn't all that interesting--in his current spiritual state, which could last until he rages against the dying of the light, he doesn't much care about interesting. He just wants to roll on, undulating from rhythmic hill to melodic dale. If only he'd resequenced the third-stream instrumental "Celtic Excavation" so that it closed the full-length digital work instead of opening its nonexistent second side, he'd have framed his dinner music perfectly. Yeah, dinner music--I figure if it doesn't make me want to vomit, it must have something going for it. B+
     
  2. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    You are correct, sir, it is the Blake poem which was set to music by C. Hubert H. Parry in 1916. Heylin says that Van used to incorporate it into live performances of "Summertime in England."

    If you know the hymn, it doesn't take much of an imagination to hear Van singing this, does it? Sounds right up his alley.
     
  3. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    This I'd like to hear. I suspect it may be a just a bit less pompous than the ELP version :D
     
  4. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    I too would like to hear this - saw Van perform 'Summertime in England' once during this time period but sadly no 'Jerusalem'. The sentiment of the poem/song/hymn is perfectly aligned with his other Blake recording 'Let the Slave'

    Blake's intention - of seeking dignity/parity/freedom from exploitation for those who worked in the 'Dark Satanic Mills' is frequently overlooked whenever Jerusalem is sung/played at large gatherings in the UK, particularly at sporting events.

    What a shame Van's version hasn't officially seen light of day.

    Thanks for the information.

    Best Wishes
    David
     
  5. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    agreed, i've got a bunch of live performances of Summertime but have not come across a version with this, though there is one on a boot i havent lent an ear too in years, so i'll peruse that one tonight and see if its on that.

    Massa Tom....would you have any indications to what era of his live shows he was adding this poem to SIE by chance?
     
  6. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    Luckily, on the Internet nothing ever truly "disappears":

    From http://web.archive.org/web/20041214181145/http://www.ironworks.com/pictures/van.htm
    Van at his inconsistent best:

    Van the Man had agreed that this sleeve should feature a b/w landscape photo
    ...
    I suggested shooting in Ireland, but Van, via his assistant, declined.
    ...
    The resulting photo satisfied everyone except the Man, who wanted to know why the shot hadn't been in colour, and why it hadn't been taken in Ireland.
    :biglaugh:
     
  7. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Oops, I left Heylin at work:laugh: , but I think it was Common One-era shows, in the 1980 period.
     
  8. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    "Van hates having his picture taken more than anyone I've ever met, and is incredibly awkward in front of the camera."
    I wish somebody could post those three pics of Van with piano, Van with guitar and Van with sax to provide conclusive evidence on this point. :biglaugh:
     
  9. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    :tsk: ...how can you do your homework if you leave your textbooks in school?????
     
  10. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    This one scared the hell out of me with its opening notes. Van had completely redeemed himself, and started down a great path with No Guru. Then this next one opens with a return to the dreaded smooth jazz, and we don’ need no stinking instrumentals! What sax, this side of Coltrane, could possibly be better than a holy vocal transcendental romp?

    Thing is, while it sounds, for all the world, like it could have come straight off of ISOTH, I like it. I liked it from the very first time I heard it. At least enough to see it through…to Mystery. And then the healing had, indeed, begun.

    I pretty much like it all, from there on, and there are a quite a few here that are, to put it plain, top-shelf, even by Van’s standards – Queen of the Sliptstream, I Forgot That Love Existed…I love this arrangement of Motherless Child…Someone Like You – yeah, sure it is chick-flick fodder to the core, but there’s nothing in the world wrong with a little romance, and I’ve made good use of a bottle of wine and…well baby, sit down on the couch…lemme put on this Van Morrison record…an’ if you’d let me in…just a little bit…get a little of that…backstreet…jellyroll…

    Besides, isn’t it just cool as hell to put on a Van Morrison record at a dinner party and watch it wash over your guests like any inoffensive background music while you sail away on it, only to be interrupted when your friend’s wife asks “Isn’t this that Rod Stewart song?’ and “no,” you reply, “I’m pretty certain it is not.”

    I was up to my ears in Alan Watts’ books when I first heard Alan Watts’ Blues. That was cool. And so is the song. In fact, it’s a perfect bridge from In the Garden to So Quiet In Here. You gotta wonder how this man could have such moments of peace and still be such a crank, but I love him.

    I love you, Van. Man to man.

    There’s your poem, William.

    I’m not nuts about the chirping background singers in Did Ye Get Healed, and Allow Me is a bit too Kenny G for my tastes, but that’s OK, because by the time I got here I’m so full I’m about to burst. Does it get better than this? Actually, it does. And soon. But this is pretty damn good.

    Tim
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Great post, Tim.:righton:
     
  12. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    i'm glad someone wrote a poem, good going Tim....And once again I get to counterpoint a point of yours... I LOVE the chirping swingle singery background chirping vocals on this one. I find it another subtle and brilliant slide into the jazz vibe he was shooting for. as he was gunning for an all instrumental album, I have to wonder if the chirping wordless "hook" of this song was well in place as is, before he came up with lyrics for this song. When I get that chorus in my head it sticks there all day, but in a good way for me.


    another great post Tim, thanks for taking the time, time and again to really add something to think about for all of us in your posting on these albums.
     
  13. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    To be honest, the chirping used to bug me, but there was one occasion when I listened to the song and the repetitiveness of it was practically trance-inducing. The spell was cast.
     
  14. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    The chirps don't really bug me much. I'm being extremely picky in my criticism of the last two songs on this album. I don't think I've ever shut it off early.

    Tim
     
  15. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile Thread Starter

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    I'm still hoping somebody can post those three pics of Van from the inner sleeve.:shh:
     
  16. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    but the Van police might shut us down if we post these.....:angel:
     
  17. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    In that Poetic Champions cover photo, he looks like he's about to call the police. Right after he screams "Get offa my lawn!!!!"

    Tim
     
  18. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    yea, i give that look to a few of my neighbors who watch their dogs poop on my lawn and dont pick it up...

    I have been trying to figure out that look and thanks, i've now got it figured out....
     
  19. laughingboy

    laughingboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bucks, UK
    A Happy Album

    Poor Steve Rapport. He shoots a great picture of Saddleworth Moor, and it is rejected because it is in monochrome, and this is a "Happy Album".

    So, another photoshoot later we get: a photo of Van chewing a wasp - in black and white! :confused:

    Besides, what kind of "happy album" has a song called Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child? :rolleyes:

    Van? Difficult to work with? Never!
     
  20. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    Tom and I would like to inform all participants that the next album in our discussion WILL NOT BE Irish Heartbeat. We are holding that one for an all day discussion on Saint Patricks Day, where we will discuss all things Celtic as far as Van is concerned.

    The next album come monday then will be
    Avalon Sunset.


    We are also toying with the idea to finish St Pats week off by focusing on the just released "Keep It Simple" album and wondering if many of you plan to scoop this one up on release day? We would also revisit this album in its rightful place at the end of this thread....

    Now back to Poetic Champions Compose
     
  21. jiminiss

    jiminiss Forum Resident

    Location:
    western mass
    release day for me. night before if i'm lucky...
     
  22. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    hey nice Van Avatar. I've seen you ppsting in some other Van threads and I hope you'll contribute in this one on albums you have and have an opinion on. its all Avatar all the time in here..
     
  23. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Good. I like that one!
     
  24. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    how fortunate for us....:agree:
     
  25. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    Well I managed to hear the first radio cut which is "That's Entrainment" from the new album "Keep It Simple"....I heard the 3:36 "radio edit" and I really dug the tune....

    "...well you take my breath away, whoa, you, even on a cloudy day, you made me holler when I come around, you make me holler when you shake em on down, thats entrainment, thats entrainment, thats entrainment..."

    “Entrainment is when you connect with the music…It’s kind of when you’re in the present moment – you’re here – with no past or future.” -Van Morrison

    if this is any indication, "Keep It Simple" will be quite an album....
     
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