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Van Morrison - Album by Album discussion - PART THREE

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DJ WILBUR, Feb 29, 2008.

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  1. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Well, if we've got all the postive opinions we're going to get on Back On Top, I guess I'll break it out tonight and make a new attempt to appreciate it. "In The Midnight" and "When The Leaves Come Down" seem to be the consensus choices for songs-I-am-missing-out-on-due-to-doodyheadedness, so I'll focus on those :D
     
  2. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I saw The Prodigal Spy in a book store before I knew the cover photo duplicated the Van CD. Did a double take.
     
  3. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    yeah the book image would have made for a better album cover. the man is plagued with bad album covers...
     
  4. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    From the barnstorming opener, "Goin' Down Geneva," which features the heaviest, most aggressive guitar solo to ever grace one of his albums, it's clear that this isn't going to be a by-the-numbers Van Morrison record. Thinking back to my first listen, I have the distinct memory of "Wow, Van means it." If Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan had released this it would have been celebrated as a welcome return to fighting form. Listen to the band's increasing intensity throughout the course of the song, especially the clickety-clack of what sounds like a stand-up bass (someone will correct me if I'm wrong about that) propelling the thing along like a train barely able to stay on track.

    "Philosopher's Stone" is yet another in an endless series of spiritually questing songs. Yes, I know it mines areas already dealt with ad nauseam on previous albums, but I, for one, take solace in the predictability of Van's spiritual-quest songs. Stuff as serious as this is never settled, it's never finalized--until he is dead. I never want to see him stop writing songs like this, yet it will when either he or myself are gone.

    Are we suffering from Collective Van Burnout Disease here? Apart from the horrific bellyaching in "New Biography," this is all top-shelf Van, imo. I'm always open to new ideas and opinions, but when I get down to it, I fail to understand the negative reviews for this stuff.
    This is Van doing what Van does best: impeccable horn lines, spiritual messages, melodies that seep into one's consciousness. I see no hit single here, but we all know Van moved beyond that years ago. Nine great songs and one glaring misstep is a pretty fine batting average for me. What could possibly be missing?

    Autumnal songs?
    Check:thumbsup: ---> "When the Leaves Come Falling Down"/"Golden Autumn Day"
    Lush (but not saccharine;) ) orchestral accompaniment in both.
    I believe the violent mugging lines in the latter are a metaphor for fending off attacks from forces of evil (cf. with "satanic mills" line in next stanza, which is pilfered from Blake's "Jerusalem"). It's a beautiful golden autumn day, all right, but there will always be rampant imperfection and sin on this side of heaven, thus Van is left "pretending" that it's paradise. (Other allusions to satan and evil are featured in "High Summer".)

    Chick Flick Love Song?
    Check:thumbsup: ----> "Reminds Me of You"
    "Reminds Me of You" was written during the aftermath of Van's temporary estrangement from Michelle. There's a great love song on just about every Van album; this is it.

    Upbeat Single?
    Check:thumbsup: ---------> "Precious Time"
    Not sure, but I think this single was a fairly successful calling card for the album. Van couches his usual spiritual incantations and reminders about the impermanence of life in a happy-go-lucky number that wouldn't be out of place on His Band and the Street Choir--and I daresay it's a lot better than the majority of that album.

    Gotta get back to work now, but in short, I really don't know how much better Van can get than this album. This is a guy in full command of his band and his vision. If you don't dig this, I really don't know what you might dig from here on in. I'm not coming down on anyone who doesn't like this, but if you don't like Back on Top, it's probably a waste of your time to delve any deeper into Van's catalogue from this point forward.
     
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  5. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Which came first? Maybe this is where I heard the rumour that it wasn't Van on the cover?
     
  6. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
    The books came out in 1998 and the album came out in 1999.
     
  7. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Aha!
     
  8. laughingboy

    laughingboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bucks, UK
    [Cut to countless insights later]

    :D

    I love it when Tom 'organises his thoughts'!
     
  9. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    he makes a solid case on this point.

    a wonderful review from our Tom! thanks for it.
     
  10. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    :laugh: ;)
     
  11. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Another great review from Tom. :righton:
     
  12. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
  13. peterC

    peterC Aussie Addict

    Location:
    sydney
    Great to see John Platania and David Hayes in the band.

    Hey, Georgie's there too!

    Van on the stool has a Solomon Burke touch.
     
  14. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Nice link. Van is in good voice, losing some weight has been good for him.

    Thanks, I may have to buy Keep It Simple this week.
     
  15. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
  16. Craig

    Craig (unspecified) Staff

    Location:
    North of Seattle
    Rumors on the Van mailing list are that this will be released as a DVD.
     
  17. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Yes, I'm uncertain whether Forum rules permit you to continue posting in this thread unless you own Keep It Simple. ;)

    I'd buy it in a second. That and the Rainbow '73 gig.
     
  18. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Uh-oh. Now in addition to being a doodyhead I may be violating forum rules :angel:
     
  19. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    :laugh:

    I'm surprised that language like "doodyhead" made it past the Forum censor. One would have thought it would appear as d********.
     
  20. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Yes, I will be drummed off the Vanatics thread.:eek:

    I admit that I have been negligent.:o

    ;)
     
  21. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Well, because you and curbach offer such consistently insightful offerings, we'll let it go this time.;)
     
  22. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Pay The Devil!!!

    Mr. T. You are far too wennie-ent on those two wee trasgressors...You must make sure they get theri proper punishment for derrilickshun of Van doody by having to listening to The Healing Game for 24 hours solid, e-qued to emphasis the backing vocals...:agree:

    For my part, after buying Keep It Simple on vinyl the day of release (all for store copies disappeared quickly...) we put it on a Cd-r with the vinyl only bonus live stuff, but, just yesterday, I spied a promo cut-out pristine copy of KIS for only $6.99, so I bought it too, dooing double doody as it were...

    How do you fellas thing KIS made the top ten, first time even for Van?, butt fort Forum support and mad campaigning... Curbach, especially, I am SOOOO discappointed...:shake:

    I wouldda never thunkit... :(



    cheers,

    :cheers:
     
  23. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    where is doodyhead's scathing review?
     
  24. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
  25. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    ooops...dont cough me, turn the page and read on macduff....
     
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