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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
    Down The Road

    So, two and a half years later I finally picked up Down The Road (because I found it in a clearance bin for $3 :shh:). I gave it a listen then went back to this lovely thread to re-read all the perceptive reviews of my fellow SHtv Van lovers--way back on page 35.

    DJ Wilbur was right. I really don't need this album. But I can't really disagree with the generally positive comments in this thread. It's all pretty pleasant and well done. No real stinkers except may be "All Work And No Play". It doesn't bore me or annoy me like most of his other records from this period. But. . . I just don't hear anything truly compelling, although "Steal My Heart Away" and the last 5 tracks (oops, not counting "Man Has To Struggle") come close. May be they'll grow on me.

    Speaking of those last 5 tracks, the length of this cd is really offputting. It just keeps going and going and any of those last 5 songs would have made a nice closer. This album could definitely benefit from some judicious pruning.

    BTW it appears Down The Road has gone OOP, so if you are interested better grab a copy now while they're still cheap.

    Anyway, happy to revive the thread :wave:
     
    jason100x likes this.
  2. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

  3. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    Good video. The one on Hard Nose the Highway is my favorite Van song.

    Who is the woman to Van's right?
     
  4. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Van Morrisson- TNN’s “Live From Ireland On St. Patrick’s Day” (a live televised broadcast from Dublin, Ireland on March 17, 1994). It was hosted by Ireland’s Paddy Reilly and the featured performers were Country Music’s Hal Ketchum, Irish songwriter Mick Hanley who penned “Past The Point Of Rescue” (for artists- Mary Black and Hal Ketchum), Deirdre Reilly and Van Morrisson. Each artist performed solos and then all joined together for the finale led by Van- “Will You Go Lassie Go”

    I think its Deirdre Reilly...
     
  5. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

  6. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

  7. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Thanks DJ. :righton:
     
  8. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    :wave:...


    Hey so as an aside...has anyone "discovered" the unreleased "Choppin' Wood" album out in the ether?

    see the wiki for more info

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_the_Road_(Van_Morrison_album)

    The album was originally recorded with singer and pianist Linda Gail Lewis within a month of the release of You Win Again. It was originally entitled Choppin' Wood,[1] but Morrison re-recorded it, removing Linda Gail Lewis' contributions to the songs and deleting other songs from the album. Morrison recorded another nine songs to the album in late 2001 and retitled it, Down the Road.[2] The songs that were included were increased from an original ten to fifteen tracks and a lengthly sixty-seven minutes


    those Linda Gail Evans versions are circulating...sure would imagine it would anger the man who scrubbed her out of these recordings no end...
     
  9. daviddaniel

    daviddaniel Forum Resident

    Location:
    france
    Hey so as an aside...has anyone "discovered" the unreleased "Choppin' Wood" album out in the ether?

    Been reading the 3 threads recently, sorry to see them quiet...
    Anyway, I have listened to the unreleased "Choppin' Wood" album.

    Great sounds, different mixes of course and at least one masterpiece "Princess of Darkness" .
     
  10. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    I must be sick I just reread this thread. Some pretty nice reviews and a lot of funny stuff too. Hello chaps! Happy new year.
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Yes, you're sick.

    Seriously though, this thread was the most fun I've had on this board. Spirited, insightful exchanges, with DJWILBUR's implacable levelheadedness and Curbach's trademark drollery keeping me in check.
    I learned a lot from everyone in that thread, yourself included. And I've lived to regret my Yanni/Vanni comment re Inarticulate Speech of the Heart.

    I've toyed with posting my positive review of Born to Sing: No Plan B, but am deathly afraid of the deluge of criticism that would befall me from that rapscallion Curbach.

    Happy new year to you too.
     
    dee likes this.
  12. TSmithPage

    TSmithPage Ex Post Facto Member

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I am in the process of playing through several Van Morrison Japanese import CDs bought during one of Dennis Metz' big sales, which has inspired me to collect the rest of the collection. I bought about 18 CDs from Dennis, so that leaves me a bit less than half way to go (I only had his biggest albums before this purchase). I have quickly discovered a) some of the discography is out of print and b) some of the CDs were remastered w/bonus tracks back around 2008. This combination of facts immediately bogged me down. Without my reading through these 39 pages in this thread as well as the 2 previous threads, what is the general consensus about the merits of the remasters/bonus tracks vs. the original releases? Was the entire catalog remastered or only a portion? Are these modern remasters, i.e. ear bleeding highly compressed CDs? Are the bonus tracks mostly live tracks or are any of the remastered versions particularly worth getting (keeping in mind that for some reason the remasters seem to be selling for $20+ each whereas used copies of the non-remastered versions can mostly be had for $6 or less each). Any thoughts on these issues are appreciated. If all of this has already been covered somewhere in these 3 threads, let me know and I'll hunt it down...
     
  13. r7splash

    r7splash Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I've also been recently acquiring the Van catalog, so I can pass on a few thoughts. In general, the remasters are not recommended. They are all a little too bright - not crushingly so, but when Van gets to a-wailin', it can be pretty darn shrill (note: I am not listening through a high-end system, which I believe are even less forgiving when it comes to shrill sounds). The 97 remasters cover nearly the whole catalog. The 08 remasters cover patches of the discography - there was a large reissue campaign in progress that was axed mid-way through. The albums that didn't get an 08 reissue (Hard Nose The Highway, for example) tend to be the pricier albums to find now. DR values on the remasters tend to be 2-4 points lower than on the originals. I've posted a few measurements on the DR Database.

    For Astral Weeks and Moondance, the Japanese remasters are pretty darn good. Haven't heard His Band.
    The US Warner Bros CDs are almost uniformly recommended for Tupelo Honey onwards, excepting Into The Music - the UK Polydor is much less bright in this case. Personally, I didn't find the 97 remaster of Saint Dominic to be as bad as some of the others - Tupelo Honey also passable - but Veedon Fleece is way better on WB.

    For albums that didn't originally come out on WB, the remastering is apparently more discreet - but I haven't heard these myself.

    Useful thread: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/the-van-morrison-cd-thread.144082/
     
  14. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Actually, I don't think there was too much mastering discussion in this thread. I started a separate thread on that topic, but it kind of died from lack of interest. Short answer: stick with the earlier cds. I assume Dennis sold you Japanese Polydor 1st pressings? Those should serve you well. The only remasters that might be worth exploring are the Japan only remasters of Astral Weeks and Moondance. I haven't heard them myself, but they seemed to be pretty well received and those are the only two albums where I felt the original masterings were sub-par. All IMHO.
     
  15. r7splash

    r7splash Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    His Band was also included in the Japan-only remasters, I believe, but is the hardest of the three to obtain.
     
  16. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Yeah, the only reason I didn't mention it is because I like the original cd for that one.
     
  17. r7splash

    r7splash Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Ah, gotcha. What's the policy on posting samples in this forum? I'd be interested in hearing a snippet from that remaster if someone around here has it.
     
  18. Jim N.

    Jim N. Get off my lawn, punk, or hear my Mossberg sing!

    Location:
    So Cal
    Agree on sticking with the earlier CD's for almost all of Van's titles. Curbach knows his Van......

    I personally prefer the Japanese remasters of Astral Weeks and Moondance though. For me His Band and Street Choir is a tossup between the original and the Japanese remaster.
     
  19. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    All three are readily available at Amazon Japan. WPCR-75421, WPCR-75420, WPCR-75419.

    I seem to recall "AW" having the same EAC numbers as the original CD, although, I could be remembering incorrectly. I don't keep any of these early albums in my collection anymore.
     
  20. r7splash

    r7splash Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Ah, thanks! The DR Meter plugin for Foobar gives a DR value of 10 for the Japanese 08 remaster, while the DR Database entry for the original WB has DR12.
     
  21. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thanks. I must have been thinking of another title.
     
  22. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Listened to Keep It Simple a few times this past weekend. I was thinking if the album was released in the midst of his late 80's and early 90's work, it might be heard or appreciated a little more or that was my take on it, as I listened to it and thought about it. Don't like it as much as No Guru/Poetic Champions of course, but hear it nearer Avalon/Enlightenment, though there are fewer high points on it than on those, imo. I found KIS a consistently enjoyable and interesting listen though. Got a nice tone to it too and like the sound of the music. Glad I have it to listen to. Also, revisited Back On Top a few times as well, and was more impressed and entertained with that one too. In anticipation of the Moondance party, been trying to get my Van on! Been listening to the Street Choir cd too and noticed that I thought there was some bouncy and nimble bass guitar playing I hadn't heard as much in the past on some of those songs. Hope there's a multi cd super deluxe version of that one too not too far down the road.
     
    Clarkophile likes this.
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