Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DJ WILBUR, Feb 29, 2008.
ok, now that you're on a "I GOT TIX TO VAN MORRISON" high....
why not cobble a few magic time thoughts for us here....not doing your homework in a timely fashion could make the Van gods not give you a magic time in toronto next month....
The Van Gods must be appeased! Being in the audience for just the 2 Van shows I've been too, it was like sitting on pins and needles, with his notorious stage demeanor in mind. I was like a little kid (in a good way, though). I was like, ok, be very nice to Van, be quiet and respectful shh: ) of the man's musical genius, but be a supportive audience member too, By all means, do not shout any song titles out, , and harshly reprimand anyone who does . And maybe most importantly, channel love and peace towards "the man," . And maybe, just maybe, "The Man," will reward you, or you'll just get lucky enough to be there and receive one, or two, great concerts. Best of Luck! And all in good jest.
where is Tom on this one?
is there anybody out there?
Give me a couple of days to throw something together. Are we skipping Pay the Devil?
i see no reason to skip Pay the Devil...but based on the lack of voices in here these days, i'm fine with skipping it too....
No, I meant I didn't think we should skip it either, so I could prepare something for Devil and you could finish up with the new one after that. Sound good to you?
As for lack of voices, let's remember folks are reading too as opposed to contributing--if you know what I'm sayin'.
As long as no one else is piping up, I'll say a little more since I had the disc in my car player all weekend. I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the rest of the album as I am about "Celtic New Year". A lot if it sounds half-assed, a lot of it sounds like showtunes, and a lot of it sounds like half-assed showtunes. Still there is enough worthwhile material that I'm glad I added Magic Time to the pile. If Van had cut it back to 8 songs instead of 13 I think he would have had a much stronger album. As it is, I'd rate it about on par with The Healing Game which is to say ok and better than most (all?) of his more recent albums. Oh, and I hate the cover.
It's a little frustrating having a song as good as "Celtic New Year" suddenly appear this late in the game. If Van can still pull off something like that, why is wasting our time putting out junk like "Goldfish Bowl"?
When Van is singing some of the lyrics to Just Like Greta, as I hear them, in waiting, I keep expecting to hear Brian Kennedy repeating Van's lines.
I agree Celtic New Year is the stand out track on Magic Time, and as I posted before it and Stranded are my two faves... Is Little Village on there?
The rest I can easily live without, but, it is amazing this song as good as it is, and came out this late in the game... nothing on KIS can touch it... his last masterpiece, as of now... as soon as I heard CNY it was the first track i put on my next mbwr compilation...
The one I keep coming back to, along with 'Celtic New Year,' is 'The Lion This Time.' Airy, spacious, tuneful---everything that Van's griping blues workouts aren't. This song is a late-period wonder.
Like curbach, I'm puzzled: if he can still knock off something this solid and beautiful, why does he waste his time with blues shuffles?
because he can....we all see the glimpses of brilliance on every album, but lets face it, the man is lazy in the studio, mr. one take i'm outta here. that Knopfler story i read in here said it all. He did one take, the tape op guy screwed up the take and Van refused to sing it again....wtf?
if he'd spend time on these releases i mean several weeks vs. hours and really worked at making an amazing record, we know its in his realm of possibility...but he likes to 'keep it simple and "capturing a performance", vs. the definitive performance....I think much of his catalog would be stronger if he worked on getting a definitive performance...and we all know whats on the cutting room floors...brilliance...even the sequencing of these things tend to make the records worse in many respects...
such an odd fellow...i love him though...warts and all...
I don't think the rigid one album per year schedule he has maintained is helping matters either. He clearly can no longer generate enough quality material for that pace, so the albums feel like churned out, thrown together product. But it seems Van has enough loyal buyers that it doesn't matter, and some critic is always eager to proclaim it his best since <fill-in-classic-album-of-your-choice>.
Is it all worth it to get "Celtic New Year" once in awhile? Dunno. That's why Van has fallen into my second tier of cd purchases (i.e., get it later used and hope for the best).
Personally, in my advancing age I much prefer the new album every 3-5 years schedule that most established artists seem to go with. It fits my life-style better And it still seems like the albums are coming out too fast
One could easily compile a comp made up of stuff from the last ten to fifteen years that features songs of this high calibre. When this is all said and done, I think I'm going to compile iTunes lists of 90's faves and 2000's faves:
No Grousing, No Moaning, No Tetchy vols 1 and 2.
I look forward to this list Tommy Boy...
oh and, Happy Birthday today!!!! Hope its a great birthday indeed....
Saw the man in circa 78, Manchester
One poor sould repeatadly shouted for, Madams George (I think)
Van eventually stopped the band and said " f##k off there's people trying to work up here"
You've been warned
It was just a gag.
We'll be moving on to Pay the Devil tomorrow afternoon.
Quick review today; I'm snowed under at work. Someone kick in and gimme a hand!
Surprisingly solid C&W genre exercise from Van, which works considerably better than his ham-fisted forays into jazz and the rote blue shuffles which litter practically every album from the 1990s on.
I find myself going back to this album more than I ever thought I would, which might sound like damning with faint praise, but it's meant as an sincere expression of my thorough enjoyment of this record. Country isn't my favourite genre by any stretch, but this album feels earnest, honest and committed. It also sounds warm, which isn't necessarily a common attribute anymore.
Fiddles, piano and pedal steel complement Van's delicately nuanced singing.
Works by more familiar songwriters like Hank Williams and Rodney Crowell mix with three Morrison originals, 'Playhouse,' 'This Has Got to Stop,' and the title track.
'Back Street Affair' is a wonderful performance, easily my fave track on the record.
1. "There Stands the Glass" (Alize Gresham, Russ Hull, Mary Jane Shurtz) –
2. "Half as Much" (Curly Williams) – 2:36
3. "Things Have Gone to Pieces" (Leon Payne) – 3:11
4. "Big Blue Diamonds" (Earl J. Carson) – 2:56
5. "Playhouse" (Morrison) – 4:14
6. "Your Cheatin' Heart" (Hank Williams) – 2:32
7. "Don't You Make Me High" (Daniel Barker, Ken Harris) – 2:47
8. "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It" (Clarence Williams) – 2:22
9. "Back Street Affair" (Billy Wallace) – 2:49
10. "Pay the Devil" (Morrison) – 3:03
11. "What Am I Living For?" (Art Harris, Fred Jay) – 3:57
12. "This Has Got to Stop" (Morrison) – 4:44
13. "Once a Day" (Bill Anderson) – 2:52
14. "More and More" (Merle Kilgore, Webb Pierce) – 2:46
15. "Till I Gain Control Again" (Rodney Crowell) – 5:59
I listened to "Pay The Devil" this morning. I think this is the most successful of Van's genre albums (How Long Has This Been Going On, Mose tribute, Skiffle, You Win Again would be the others). Van's voice fits perfectly with the material. Van first started really exploring country themes on Tupelo Honey and this is a developement of that style. The album with Linda Gail Lewis (You Win Again) also has a similar style, but this has the great advantage of featuring Van singing on his own. When I saw this tour I was hoping that Van might also sing a few of his earlier country style songs (like off of Tupelo) but he stuck with a fairly standard set outside of the new ones.
I don't find myself listening to this album very often but it is enjoyable, light and breezy. There is a certain sameness that makes the songs blend together, but taken individually, each song features a strong performance.
Van is singing about human suffering, relationship problems, drinking and other traditional country themes. Most of the songs are covers but Van's original compositions blend right in.
My favorite track is the cover of Rodney Crowell's "Till I Gain Countrol Again" (the final track). I own the special edition which also features a DVD of Van and the band performing at the Ryman Auditorium:
Till I Gain Control Again
Big Blue Diamonds
THis Has Got To Stop
There Stands The Glass
This live version of "Till I Gain Control Again" is stunning. Classic Van.
So I don't place this album among Van's classics but it works well as background music when I'm doing activities around the house. The thing with Van is that albums like Astral Weeks and St. Dominic's Preview demand your full attention. "Pay The Devil" doesn't. It's more like the neighbor dropping by for a visit, no need to meditate in the garden or visit Avalon in this context.
I have this one and have nothing to say about it (and I am not averse to country music). It's ok while it's playing, but has never managed to leave an impression on me. As drewslo says, the songs all seem to blend together. Nothing really grabs my attention. It's been awhile, so I'll try to give it a fresh listen this week. . .
If nothing else, play 'Back Street Affair'!
A very positive review by Thom Jurek in AMG:
I have really tried to get beyond this exact stage with the album myself. Whenever I do play it I quite enjoy it but it just doesn't grab me and become memorable like so many others have done. Have we seen the last of the real imagination and inspiration now and will we just keep on getting workmanlike albums?
A variety of reviews, both positive and negative, for Pay the Devil:
I agree with much of what is written here. My fave track by far is "buckett got a hole in it"...man I love that one....I did not know there was this dvd, so something to seek out....
i like this one, it works for me, saw him 3x during this album touring and heard various tracks of these live and they grew even stronger with roadwork behind the tracks....
so wow, looks like we're basically done here I think...Tom any thoughts to continue? we kind of covered the new one...and only have Bang and Them stuff left....so not sure there is much interest in this forum for this at this time....so I'm fine for plodding along and or calling it a day...
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