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. Baron Von Talbot

    Baron Von Talbot Well-Known Member

    "alter Knacker" is german."Alter Kocker" . i was 20 in 1978, so a 40 year old was 1 generation gap away from, me....

    Finally i found a cassette with Wavelength and listening to it atm. - Yes, i was right 'Venice/U.S.A' has inded a Reggae Beat....
    Song for Song Review : "Kingdom Hall" is a bit bland, but okay, "Checkin' It Out" is good, "Natalia" very very smooth and slick ; "Venice/U.S.A." is the highlight of Side 1 = pretty groovy- i am rockin' along to it atm...The Chorus Dum deedle Dum, Da Dah is actually quite funny. Perefct sing-a-long stuff. Is "Wavelength" the most sing-a-long album in Van's carreer ?
    "Lifetimes" is terrible, as only VM Songs can be terrible.. i hate everything about that. The arrangement, the chorus and esp. that fairground organ. "Wavelength" cools down my anger with Van's Falsetto
    and Soul Crooning. Great Intro, that leads one into a different direction, as the song actually heads in- Full acoustic guitars, drums an an upful beat make for the strongest track so far- A Hit as only VM can produce :). Loses momentum though, before it's through ( 4.5 ) ; Santa Fe is boring, but not bad, might be better in a different setting/mood , Obsession towards the end is stronger "yes i feel it in my heart, in my soul"- He works hard to get to that point - those comments before were right with their views, you can't force those magic moments, "Hungry For Your Love" well that's in a class of it's own, it felt a bit strange to me as a young man, but as a grown up i can relate and stand this better : " I Got that such a lot of love, i gotta give it to you..and after all these years, tears i ask for the truth now.." Great arrangement and solid backing , too. Van only takes his crooning a bit over the top for my money, so that this is on the wrong side of tasty some times. No "Tupelo Honey" Part 2... "Take It Where You Find It" is too dear to my heart to analyze it here and now. instead i sit back and enjoy it. A Record every Fan should at least have listened to a couple times. I WANNA WALK DOWN THE STREET UTIL I SEE..
    My Shining LIGHT- if it ain't subtle, use force the mesagge went home.
    A better record, than i remembered it. In my Top 10 i guess... a mixed bag, but it has it's share of vanglorious !
  2. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Atl., Ga, USA
    Lifetimes, terrible? I don't love the production, but overall I like it, and when it kicks in..."Listen to the music..." that's some catchy Van...
  3. juhtah

    juhtah Forum Resident

    Turku, Finland
    I like Natalia a lot, too! In fact the whole side 1 of the album is just great, except for Lifetimes, which is just downright pathetic. Kingdom Hall is a great upbeat opener and everytime I hear it just feels so good and right. I it is remarkably positive for a Van song - even the opening line "So glad to see you, so glad you're here" is something special from our sulking friend. Perhaps he really was feeling good when writing that song and line? Kingdom Hall is probably the best opener in any of his albums....

    The album might be an an attempt to cross over to the pop-market, but I love the positive and light-hearted mood of it. Van is known for his blues and jazz forays, but he does it quite well in the pop section too. It might not be for those who like the earlier stuff, but I think shows that he has versatility and musicality beyond the jazz/blues realm. Ok, side 2 sucks, but the songs on side 1 make up for that:D

    Anyways, Wavelength is good precursor to Into the Music, which I just picked up from a second-hand shop. I hadn't listened to it for a while, and really had forgot what a great album it is:agree: Again, an upbeat, positive, brilliant album opener (á la Kingdom Hall), Bright Side of the Road. Great song, great arrangement, great horns, great backup vocals, and a very positive, uplifting feeling.:thumbsup: Everything in that song works for Van, and it seems that things were working for Van, too, because he came up with such good mood stuff. Full Force Gale is in the same vein. Again a joyous song celebrating life (and religion?) in a way which I find a little bit of uncharacteristic from him. He used to be more of a mystic, and became one later on again, but in these songs he is really full of life and energy, bursting with joy (can we really say that about him:D ), and without too many references to mysticism. There are references to god and religion, but the approach is not as introspective as in many other songs before and after these. I do not know what was happening in his personal life, but it feels like there must have been something positive too. Right?:whistle:

    Ok, just my two cents!

    Cheers everybody, and thanks for a great thread!:righton:
  4. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    St. Thomas, ON
    Welcome, juhtah.:wave:
  5. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    Hah, I haven't had time to dig through the boxes to find the book, sorry. Could you pretty please pick up the slack for me this week? I promise to reassume my duties next week. :)

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    or we can just move on to INto the Music. I mean, seems we're all talked out about this one....
  7. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    St. Thomas, ON
    Patience, sir. Patience. I haven't seen you this antsy since the day before we started Veedon!:laugh:

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    we'll give Wavelength another day or so and then get into the music again.
  9. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    I listened to Into the Music last night and was reminded of why it is that I just can't pick a favorite Van Morrison album.

  10. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    St. Thomas, ON
    The last two times I've played ITM I've been stunned with joy.
    I've very familar with this album, and for many years thought of it as just another Van album, but lately it has risen in stature so much that it's easily in my VM top 5.
  11. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    never mind ... :hide:

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    ok, lets keep the Into the Music epiphanies on hold til we get there...

    Where are all the Wavelengthers? are we done with that one at last?
  13. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    St. Thomas, ON
    William is being a rather strict disciplinarian today, isn't he?
    The only time to worry is when he pulls out the::tsk:
  14. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    St. Thomas, ON
    You see what you've done here, William?:laugh:
  15. Randy W

    Randy W Original Member

    Mine too.

    Bring it on! :righton:
  16. Buzzcat

    Buzzcat New Member

    Madison, WI
    Wavelength: It's got a great beat, and, I can dance to it...

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    Into the Music

    “That’s when I got back into it. That’s why I called it “Into The Music”…Van Morrison 1984

    With his eyes closed. Such a lovely album cover, after a string of heinous album covers, this image of Van is one of my favorites. Deep in thought, maybe creation, or meditation, possibly fast asleep, it doesn’t matter, this is the visage of “it’s a new day” for me and between the album title and this visual, it can’t fail me and it never has.

    This is another perfect Van album for me. And the healing has begun and our Troubadour is back after spending some time in the wrong Venice. So he spent some time back in Europe (like he did prior to cutting Veedon) and voila, inspiration again. I especially love the instrumentation on this album…phat acoustic guitar sounds, the mandolin, those violins, trumpets, saxes, penny whistle, the tabla (!), slide guitar, and then there is Van’s vocal performances on this set. This album contains some of his best vocals of the seventies IMHUMBLEO.

    He’s so exhuberant, excited, thrilled even, knowing he’s back on track. He didn’t convince me on the last two records, but when he whelps “alright” as the band takes a solo break in “You Make Me Feel So Free”…he really means this, the sentiment in these songs, that album title, his commitment is back. He’s going to be the best he can be.

    But to look at his 70s output, this album, after a patch of irrelevance in the past four years, he did a fine job of getting back onto the Bright Side of the Road….a perfect opener…

    "From the dark end of the street….
    To the bright side of the road,"

    It’s quite interesting imagery for him to begin with especially when coupled with the next song…. “Full Force Gail”. His Christianity is coming through loud and clear to me…I’m not sure if he’d had a bit of an awakening around this time, being part Irish myself, I get where he comes from, and its always there in the back of my mind. Maybe Van’s too? I wonder if at this time his religion is a bit more in front. But doing the dark end to the bright side into Gale’s “I was lifted up again by the Lord”…well its quite clear cut there for me.

    Then there is Rolling Hills”…one of the most overtly celtic sounding song’s he done up to this point. It leaves the gate wrapped up in his faith….“Among the rolling hills I’ll live my life in Him”, read the bible, write the songs…”

    I think it’s great he so captures his homelands sound in this ode to his faith and muse….all among the rolling hills. Just a lovely ditty this one but I wonder if he’d turned a few fans off with his now using the “lords” name, and having this theme begin infusing into the later recordings. Its never in a conversional tone, just matter of factly for him. I’ve always liked the “higher powered” van songs. He gives them his all and for obvious reasons. He doesn’t phone it in for Him!

    This album contains one of my all time favorite Van songs “And The Healing Has Begun”. His vocal and that violin again are the stars of this muse.

    When you hear the music ringin in your soul
    And you feel it in your heart and it grows and grows
    And it comes from the backstreet rock & roll and the healing has begun

    His spontaneous “whelps’, grunts, “ow’s”…and that lovely violin keeping its own slow train through this song as it seems to build and build. And then when he brings it down and he’s talking to someone, maybe no one, somewhat confessional, sensual, he’s gonna “jellyroll” to some Muddy Waters record. He’s nicely tying up his past, his present, and his future and his influences all right here. Tying it up within the music, his healing, the romance, his “loves” his god, the light, his river…again, water, we’re always by the lake, the river.

    Van does an exceptional cover tune on this album. His rendition of “It’s All In The Game” is tour de force performance. Again that violin just meanders through the song while he delivers this song in a quiet intensity but by the end of this song, he’s performed another of his levitations; though I’m the one floating.. just floating right into the last track, “You Know What They’re Writing About”…

    so now that I’m floating, he’s got me meeting him again by the river, the water, he wants us to “meet him”. Like he was lost, couldn’t find his way, but he’s found it, his music, his muse, his voice, just meet him by the river…I love his vocals on this one,the last few minutes, the whispering out the last bits. It’s a spectacular, ending, but its all in the game, its Van at his most intense, he’s almost televangelical impassioned here, like he’s speaking in tongues. I’d of loved to have been a fly on the wall the day this was recorded to watch him record this with his eyes closed.

    Robin Williamson & His Merry Band: Whistle (Instrument)/Penny Whistle
    David Hayes: Bass
    Mark Isham: Synthesizer/Trumpet/Arranger/Piccolo
    Ry Cooder: Guitar/Slide Guitar
    Herbie Armstrong: Guitar/Vocal/Vocal (Background)
    Pee Wee Ellis: Arranger/Saxophone
    Zakir Hussain: Percussion/Tabla
    Mark Jordan: Piano/Keyboards
    Kathy Kissoon: Vocal/Vocal (Background)
    Toni Marcus: Mandolin/Violin/Viola
    Van Morrison: Guitar/Harmonica/Guitar (Rhythm)/Keyboards/Saxophone/Vocal/Producer
    Peter VanHooke: Drums
    Kurt Wortman: Drums

    Attached Files:

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  18. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Atl., Ga, USA
    For Van, that's relatively true.

    It's an enjoyable album. Not every trip need be into the mystic down the streets (or ancient highway) wet with rain, all while the healing is happenin'.

    Sometimes it's fun stroll through Venice.

    I listen to this one more than many others. I missed the discussions of earlier albums, but if I had been here then, I would have been probably outcasted for my dislike of Veeden Fleece (maybe the combination of views with Wavelength will do the trick...?)

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    oh nonesense Albert, welcome to the discussion. we'll expect 100 words or more on each previous album by tomorrow...:D

    dislike what you want, love what you love, there are no rules and if there is judgements to be made....they'll be made by :tsk:

    seriously, welcome aboard we look forward to your input.
  20. Buzzcat

    Buzzcat New Member

    Madison, WI
    If you'll read back Albert, you'll probably find you're not the only one who didn't go gahgah over Veedon. If I recall correctly.

    I love the album personally.
  21. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    You are not alone - there's at least two of us :D

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    its starting to sound like a majority even....
  23. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Atl., Ga, USA
    Thanks. Wow, I thought I was the only one. I had joined and the previous thread well, became the previous thread soon after, so I hadn't browsed much of it, but will try. Look forward to moving ahead with everyone. Definitely some good albums coming up.
  24. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Quick take: Listened to ITLTSN once again last night and enjoyed it so much. I kinda skip Help Me and Wild Children. There are 4 cover songs that are given transcendent performances imo, and they are I Believe To My Soul, Ain't Nuthin You Can Do, I Just Wanna Make Love To You, and dammnit I can't remember the other. Ok, then I went on to The Wavelength Tour CD, from NYC. I enjoyed listening to all of the Wavelength songs/performances. Natalia reminded me of both Here Comes The Night and Gloria, from ITLTSN.
    Hungry For Your Love almost sounds like a cover song to me, but it's a spellbinding performance. Checkin' It Out is kinda just fun, hearing Kingdom Hall is a joyous sound, and Wavelength is wonderful. I found it interesting hearing these "songs," and listening to their arrangements and performances, and came to be surprised that they didn't strike me all that different than the feel and energy of some of the ITLTSN recordings.

    By this time last night, it was really late, or early, but I had Days Like This out to listen to. I listened a few weeks ago to it, and renewed my fond relationship with it. All's I can say for now, is that it's one of my very favorite Van Morrison records, from any era.

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    yeah Days Like This didnt grab me the year it came out, but in the last few years its gone towards the top of the pile for me....

    anyway, it is time to get INTO THE MUSIC....
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