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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. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    excellently put! you sir, are really speaking my mind; this is what I was going to try to write in my own way....excellently put post I have to say. So I'm going to pass on further listening to it, cause I played it today and its so "meh"....and sometimes i feel so uninspired to write about something and I feel that way about this one. It's not bad, its just not so good and....

    Curbach said it well with the "wow, its on Blue Note, gonna be great" thought that I also had when it came out, that and the cool album cover, but its one of the lowest on the totem pole for me at this point. pleasant enough but not a "magical time"...

    which I am moving on to now so I can cobble some hopefully well worded observations in the coming days....
     
  2. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    No, no names, other than "Curbach, The Verb." But Austin is a place of legend that I've never visited. I'd love to see it, and I do have room in my trunk for a big ol' can of whoopass! (It's a redneck NC thing, you wouldn't understand...). But I digress...

    What's wrong with this picture?

    Whinin' Boy Moan (Really this a pleasant enough shuffle, but it describes far too much of the rest of this album)

    Too Many Myths

    Stop Drinking (Where's Linda Gale when he needs her?)

    Gold Fish Bowl

    Fame

    Get On With The Show

    I count 4 "I'm so misunderstood and abused by my decades-long faithful following, legendary artistic status and House of Lords lifestyle" That's too damn much, even for me. When I get to the last one and he opens it with "I just can't seem to take much more of this," I enthusiastically agree.

    I could get past it, is suppose, if they were otherwise good songs, but they're not. His muse seems to understand what a crybaby POS this theme is, and only delivers the most pedestrian melodies and arrangements to these songs. Then it buries them in hideously clumsy phrasing, like the aforementioned opening line of Get On With The Show. Van can rattle off a list of poets and philosophers that would fit better in a lecture than a song, and make it sound as sweet and natural as the breath of a sleeping child, but this whiny boy moan crap invariably comes off stilted. I'll take that as a good sign.

    The next opportunity to get past it, of course, would be the other songs, but too many of them are too bland to save this turkey from laying its egg. I'm almost with Curbach on this one, except the whines piss me off enough to wake me up:

    zzzzzzzzzzMythszzzzzzzFishzzzzzzFamezzzzzzzzShowzzzzzzzzz.....

    But it's not quite that bad. There's an EP here:

    Like Evening in June
    Meaning of Loneliness
    Once in a Blue Moon
    St. James Infirmary
    Little Village

    It's not a great EP, but it would be worth owning. A better path, I think, would be if Van had just realized he was in no mood to make an album, and had saved Evening in June, Little Village and this wonderful read of St. James Infirmary for another time.

    An interesting aside: The deep dive into Van that this thread has inspired has had the unexpected result of making me a big Georgie Fame fan. I'm still struggling with the cartoon stage name, of course, but the organ playing is just exceptionally tasty. The percolating Hammond part that trickles all through The Meaning of Loneliness elevates an OK ballad to a great listen. It ain't flashy, but it is fundamental. A brilliant little piece of rhythm section.

    Tim
     
  3. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Love Mr. Fame too! Yeh Yeh....
     
  4. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atl., Ga, USA
    "What's Wrong With This Picture?"
    "Somerset"
    "Meaning of Loneliness"
    "Once in a Blue Moon"
    "Saint James Infirmary"
    "Little Village"

    Other than the typical Van problem of running songs too long, the above ones make the album for me. I am indifferent to the rest of the album, but 6 enjoyable songs is beyond good enough for me. If the album were shorter overall, the strength of these ones would raise the album, but looking collectively as it, this half the album... so I guess it averages out to a decent, uneven effort, but the good stuff is well, good.

    And I like the retro album cover too. Two Van Morrison covers in a row - that's amazing.
     
  5. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    Albert, I find the fact that we don't agree on the composition of the EP encouraging. Maybe I just need to give some of these more time. I think I'll make myself a playlist of everything but the 4 whiners, maybe throw in a couple of favorite tunes off of Philosopher's Stone, and let it ride awhile...

    Tim
     
  6. drewslo

    drewslo Forum Resident

    Just wanted to point out that Georgie Fame isn't on this album. Richard Dunn plays the organ.
     
  7. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    Well then I like him as well!

    Tim
     
  8. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Okay, we haven't had our resident Vannite Gort Craig do a drive-by to pass on an interesting tidbit of Van-formation like he usually does. What's up with that?
     
  9. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter


    so while waiting for Craig...when do we want to discuss Magic Time?
     
  10. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Gents give me a shot. I'll try to put down some thoughts on WWWTP tonight. Although, my feelings have pretty much been covered by DJWilbur and drewslo.
    :wave:
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Tomorrow, I think, William. Give the weekenders a chance to spin WWWTP and discover 'Little Village.':)
     
  12. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    I'll give you slow poke hard working blokes a few more days then....
     
  13. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    How can you hate a record that works "existential dread" into its lyrics? After spinning this one today on my ipod it was pretty much what I remembered.

    One song though I liked better this time around. Somerset had a sweetness to it that I found charming. It also features the clarinet of co-writer Acker Bilk. For you youngsters Acker Bilk had a big hit with the instrumental Strangers On the Shore. Van has an endearing habit of repaying the forgotten artists that he's liked.

    Little Village is the stand out track, but not the one made famous by Sonny Boy Williamson (featuring that in studio chatter with Leonard Chess "Little Village mother f***er).

    Yes, Van is a Blues shouter on a par with Jimmy Rushing or Joe Turner but somehow it leaves me cold here. Van sounds like he's having fun I wish listening to these blues numbers was that much fun. St. James Infirmary is the sleeper. Only Van could pull that one off. It is one of the best cuts on the album.

    I do like the sound of this recording, and it has a nice cover. Like everyone else I feel the combination of Bluenote and Van promised more than it delivered. Somehow this album is less than the sum of its parts.
     
  14. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Now that's an opening line I like!:laugh: :thumbsup:
     
  15. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned (search says it hasn't) - I was trying for Google up where an unidentified concert recording I was listening to might be from and came across this:

    http://www.van-the-man.info/

    It will look familiar ;)
     
  16. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Good stuff. :righton: The What's New page offers a brief report about the trials and tribulations of the past few months re: the site.
     
  17. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    My fellow Van-o-philes, I'll be away for the next two weeks so if I do not respond to a witty barb that's why. I have no penetrating insights :rolleyes: to offer on the next two albums anyway since I don't own them. (I know Tom was eager to see how many z's I could type for a review of Magic Time, but alas. . .)
     
  18. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Will miss you Curbie,

    hurry back...

    and while your away pickup a used copy of Majic Time, it is my fave van cd since No guru... Celtic New yea ris awesome, and Stranded... and...:righton:

    hasta la buy buy...:wave:

    cheers,

    rmbill
     
  19. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Isn't the latest batch of remasters supposed to be coming in June? Stil;l no word on bonus track, is there?
    Where's Craig? He always knows this stuff weeks before anyone else.
     
  20. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Hello. Is anybody out there?

    Just wondering if we are permanently out of steam or merely taking a breather?
     
  21. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Personally speaking, just a hectic schedule in my off-SHtv life. We're still going to finish things but right now we're just on temporary hiatus.

    And musically, I, for one, needed a break from Van, and I'm fairly certain William feels the same.

    Then again, he may be preparing to post his tome on Magic Time at any moment, in which case I'm gonna look pretty silly.
     
  22. tfarney

    tfarney Active Member

    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    In Curbach's absence, I would like to make the following comment: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Just kidding. I actually like Magic Time.

    Tim
     
  23. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    I am getting "tired ears" for Van as well. And I have been buried at work. As tfarney can confirm, down here south of the border we are also just coming off of a three day holiday weekend.

    If we need to continue with our break for a little while longer I can certainly understand.

    Cheers!:wave:
     
  24. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Good. Let's reconvene at a date to be determined. In the meantime I'll have a chat with William and decide the plan from here on in, then I'll give everyone fair warning for when we plan to resume.
     
  25. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    i suggest the summer solstice to cover magic time...thats in a little over 3 weeks, i'm fried on Van too...and on a big prog rock jag...elp and yes and other monstrosities like that right now....that'll blow over soon i'm sure....:angel: ....

    then we'll wrap this one up by end of summer....magic time is very summery to me anyway.....
     
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