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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

    :hide: well feel free to come down under here and visit us down here since we mostly seem to be under here. I'm surprised as I thought I'd lose the bit of credibility I do have in here :)confused: if i have any really)...surprising love for this song...and yes, it is Rod Stewarts fault....Van's went to maybe 13* on the A/C charts, Rod, topped it or close to it and sold mega units....

    though this is about the time in Vans career that the Best Of Van Morrison came out, that and the Concert video came out about the same time...

    the best of was compiled by Van and this thing never stopped selling really and this forced Mercury to start delaying future finished Van releases, much to the grumpy mans chagrin, hence the double Hymns coming up soon..that was two different albums that the best of sales delayed and the man was stockpiling albums and not too happy about it, but i'm jumping ahead. we'll cover the best of's at the end of the album thread and Englightenment is coming up soon....

    any more thoughts on Avalon before we put it into the sunset of the 80s?
     
  2. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    All I can say about Rod Stewart is he must be one of Van's favorite singers. He certainly has put a few coins in Van's pocket.:agree:
     
  3. butch

    butch Forum Resident

    Location:
    ny
    Avalon is a piece of the greater puzzle that I call Van's Sliver Age(at least I do!).There was a creative magic that existed on No Guru to The Healing Game that is a glorious run for Van the Man from Belfast,Northern Ireland.Yeah,we heard "Have I told you Lately" a gazillion times thanks to Rod the Mod,but Van's version is still wonderful in spite of its ubiquity at the hands of another(some say lesser) artist!For me,Avalon sets the stage for Enlightenment and is a continuation of one of Van's extended eras of excellence.That being said,shall we head out to the "Days Before Rock and Roll"?
     
  4. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    Yeah, Van never writes songs about how the Music Biz has actually worked for him, does he? The Cranky Muse always gets the spotlight.

    And now I'll patiently await a letter from Exile Productions' solicitors. :whistle:
     
  5. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    there are some great things from his 90s for sure...and we'll be discussing them starting next week....
     
  6. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    And speaking of Exile Productions, I noticed an interesting bit of revisionism is occurring with the remasters. My original Poetic Champions disc says produced by Van Morrison for Caledonia Productions. The remaster replaces Caledonia with the current Exile Productions. I guess it's no different than reissuing the album on a different label, but it seems odd to say Van produced the album for an enitity that did not exist at the time. Ah, well these things are probably of interest only to me :yawn:
     
  7. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    no, i'm sure Tom will find that interesting too....:angel:
     
  8. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Haven't at least a few of his songs been hits for other artists (besides Stewart)? I thought I remember there was a cover of Crazy Love that did well on the R&B charts? Plus, there's his own songs/recordings in films, too, which must have made him some money and good publicity?

    Yeah, that Best Of disc was a stone-cold seller there for a long time - maybe it still is (kinda like Marley's Legend, but on a much smaller scale I imagine). It's one of those cd's whereupon a listener/consumer might base his/her entire Van-ness on.
     
  9. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    Thing is, it is very interesting.
    I guess Caledonia Productions is now in Exile.:shh: :laugh:
     
  10. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    see, i told you....Tom's a details guy....:cheers:
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    Oh, yes, and more power to him. I don't begrudge Van his success one bit. In fact I'm thrilled for him. But his interminable whingeing on the subject of the Music Biz in songs like "Big Time Operators" and a dozen others makes it seem like he's living the life of a hobo-- that and the fact that this bitterness seems to drain him of any poetic lilt in his lyrics, resulting in song after song of stilted and cliched phrases.
    Van has been successful, he has gained control, and yet he's still complaining about the same old stuff, which is kind of boring. Look at "They Sold Me Out" from Magic Time. I could stand a thousand more songs about gardens wet with rain when the leaves are fallin' down over one more lyric like this (and I'm not buying any kind of explanation that this is somehow a Biblical allusion):


    Sold me out for a few shekels and divided up my robes
    They sold me out
    It´s the oldest story that´s ever been told
    They sold me out
    Didn´t even give it no shred of doubt, no, no
    They sold me out
    Didn´t even sit down and try to figure it out
    They just sold me out

    For the few shekels more, they didn´t even think twice
    For a few shekels more, another minute in the spotlight

    My own people did it to me just ´cos they could
    They sold me out
    So beware brother it could happen to you
    They sold me out

    For the few shekels more, they didn´t even think twice
    Just for a few shekels more, another minute of two in the spotlight

    My own people did it to me just ´cos they could
    They sold me out
    Got to beware brother it just might happen to you
    They sold me out
    Sold me out for a few shekels and they divided up my robes
    They sold me out
    It´s the oldest story that´s ever been told
    They sold me out
    Sold me out for a few shekels and divided out my robes
    They sold me out
    It´s the oldest story that´s ever been known
    They sold me out
    They sold me out
    They sold me out
    They sold me out
     
  12. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    Someone much smarter than I once said that God is in the details.:righton:
     
  13. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    david bowie?
     
  14. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    Not to venture too deep into religion, but whoever it was they were wrong. Hell is in the details. God, like unobtainable audio, resides in a place devoid of granularity. :)

    Tim
     
  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I was agreeing with you on this :) . I mentioned other artists covering Van songs, and Van's film songs, and his popular best of disc, to try to show that the business hasn't been all bad for Van. :)
     
  16. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    I wasn't taking issue with your post, I'm just amazed that he's still, still, STILL writing songs like "They Sold Me Out." When a new Van album comes out and I glance at the titles, it's always very easy to play "Spot the Whinger." :laugh:
    I'm hoping the new album doesn't have one of these anti-Biz diatribes on it, but I have the feeling that "School of Hard Knocks" is going to be the one.:shh:
     
  17. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    The first two that come to mind are, Jackie Wilson Said, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Wild Night, John Mellencamp. I'm sure he deposited a few checks from those. There have been at least two Van tribute albums and He contributed the song Fast Train to Solomon Burke's "come back" that went gold.
    Totally bitter songs from Van do not sit well at this stage in his career. :rolleyes:

    Besides being a lame song They Sold Me Out could be perceived as perpetuating anti-semitic cliches. I hope Van does not go Mel Gibson on us.:eek:
     
  18. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    There are many things I could say about Rod Stewart, but I've given up venom for lent...

    Tim
     
  19. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  20. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    VAN MORRISON "ENLIGHTENMENT" 1990

    Real Real Gone (3:41)
    Enlightenment (4:06)
    So Quiet in Here (6:18)
    Avalon of the Heart (4:50)
    See Me Through (6:20)
    Youth of 1,000 Summers (3:44)
    In the Days Before Rock 'n' Roll (8:13)
    Start All Over Again (4:14)
    She's My Baby(5
    :17)
    Memories (4:22)


    As I started to think about Enlightenment, I reflected on how big a rock radio hit “Real Real Gone” was. Such a rocking opening track, reminding me of "Wild Nights" or “Jackie Wilson Said”…and that sort of POW opening song Van used to deliver to us….so as I have access to Mediabase, I thought I’d peak and see how many radio stations still play this “classic rock” track….well a whopping 13 stations in the USA played it since January 1st, 2008, combined, about 40 spins nationally..

    How sad that one of his best rockers and his last big rock radio hit and its nowhere on the radio in 2008, in our sea of classic rock radio. So I thought, let’s see how many stations played “Wild Night” since the first of this year….130 radio stations and hundreds of spins later, I was surprised to say the least. I guess 1990 doesnt make it 'classic' enough...

    Such is life I suppose in the classic rock world. Silly of me, to think this song had the staying power I’d assumed on the radio, this like everything else going forward for Van is Real Real Gone, as far as radio support is concerned and how sad and unenlightened radio is in this decision.

    I really like "Real Real Gone", and what a barnstorming out the gate soulful kinda tune this which opens his first album of the 1990s. Granted the tune had been around for a while, but so what, he gets it right on this take and it rocked and brought us back to the Youth of 1,000 Summers close to The Days Before Rock N Roll, well not exactly, but that sounded good to write…..and Sam Cooke gets name checked here and we know we’re on another Van magic carpet….I prefer Avalon Sunset in a way and this album sort of feels like Avalon Sunset part two to me, not a bad thing, but after a couple of weeks with Avalon Sunset, well this one just doesn’t trump it for me in 2008….Though I would have said before this thread that I preferred Englightment, maybe now at this time, I don’t…

    Still, two of my favorite meditative numbers are on this one back to back… So Quiet In Here and Avalon of the Heart, now this is an amazing tune, I love the way it grows and just so beautiful. Really the first four tracks are just a perfect quartet for me of his Soul and meditative songs…. and then we get See Me Through, another highlight of the record for me…

    The second half, Youth of 1000 Summers, another rocking track, fun, into The Days Before Rock and Roll…I love the visual of him as a kid trying to pull in art back in the day, on the “wireless”, its so great the bits of his life that we get from his lyrics, and this is an interesting muse..

    The closer Memories is another fantastic song and another classic Van Morrison closing track.

    Enlightenment is nearly a classic and certainly an essential Van Morrison album with searching lyrics, a great band and Van the Man….There was a time I’d of used the word “Masterpiece” to describe this one, but this thread has opened my eyes to so much of his music again, and all the albums are re-aligning on my list of Van faves and this one still easily sits in the Top Fifteen, but its moved down a few slots….I blame Tom! :D :angel: :thumbsup:
     

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  21. Enlightenment, not one of my favourite Van Morrison albums, but it does features some nice highlights. "Real real gone", "Enlightenment", "Start all over again" and "The days before rock and roll" are all pretty good. I like this album much better than the double Hymns to the silence which followed.
     
  22. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    If Enlightenment was an ep it would be a classic for sure. It was the first Van album I bought on release after being wowed by "Real Real Gone" which did indeed get some airplay back in the day. I would also rate "So Quiet In Here" and "Avalon Of The Heart" high in the Van cannon. "Enlightenment", "See Me Through" and "Youth of 1,000 Summers", while not quite up to the level of the first three I mentioned, are quite fine and there's your 5 star ep.

    Unfortunately, I have no use for the last half of the album which really drags down my overall impression. None of those songs have ever reached me, but they are overdue for a revisiting which I shall attempt this week. . .
     
  23. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Some good songs here. I hear "Real Real Gone" piped-in at the supermarket all the time.

    I love "The Days Before Rock and Roll" - that really idiosyncratic voiceover makes it. Jus...tin. Gent-ler. Than a Maaan.

    On the whole I think I like this as much as Avalon. Its weakest moments are less irritating than those on the latter, although definitely the strongest moments don't rival "Orangefield" (how much does?)
     
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  24. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive Thread Starter

    So many name checks on here:
    Sam Cooke,
    Solomon Burke,
    Wilson Pickett
    James Brown,
    Gene Chandler
    ...and that's only the first song!

    Fats Domino (again!)
    Elvis
    Sonny (Boy Williamson? Terry?)
    Lightning Hopkins
    Muddy Waters
    John Lee Hooker
    Jerry Lee Lewis
    Little Richard
    and, of course, Ray Charles, "the High Priest":righton:

    Back tomorrow with some thoughts.
    William, great intro, I enjoyed that.:thumbsup:
     
  25. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    Yes, by all means, blame Tom.

    If I had the heart and focus and personal discipline to look at an album like this with any objectivity, if I could shake it off long enough to provide any kind of analysis, I may be able to stop short of masterpiece myself. But I’m a weak and emotional creature, I’m too busy drifting on the mantra of “So Quiet In Here,” sunbathing in the majestic glow of Avalon of the Heart, grinning like an idiot through “Youth of a Thousand Summers,” shaking my head, laughing out loud at “I’m down….on my knees…at their wire….less….knobs…” and I’m just in freakin’ holy modal meditative Celtic soul man cosmic Satori when Van starts generating static and trying to pick up Luxembourg with his bridgework.... "come in, come in, Ray Charles, the high priest….the killer, Little Richard…Justin…gentler…than the man…." Jesus, is there nothing this guy can't pull off? If John Mellencamp tried that we'd laugh him down to a quckmart clerk, but Van just owns this *****. I'm in awe.

    Then it calms down a bit and he delivers some more conventional song structures. That’s when it starts sounding more like Avalon Sunset to me. And that’s not a bad thing. What a great album to be like. But the part that is like Avalon Sunset, at least to my ears, is the beginning and the end. The middle, from the title cut through In The Days Before Rock and Roll, is the eccentric gorgeous soul of this album, and that middle has always made Enlightenment my favorite of this period. I like it better, even, than No Guru. But not by much. And only because of that wireless knobs thng. :)

    Tim
     
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