Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece - what a great album!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tangledupinblue, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Tangledupinblue

    Tangledupinblue Forum Resident Thread Starter

    London, UK
    I am amazed considering this forum's leaning towards older music that there only seems to be one substantial discussion of this masterpiece (and that was back in 2005), one I consider to be Van Morrison's greatest achievement. This to me combines the best of Astral Weeks and Moondance with the kind of idyllic lyricism and folksy mysticism of the former without any of its longeurs, the greater soulful and R&B/jazz inflected singing of the latter and all the wonderfully intricate and poetic instrumental interplay of both.

    I can't do justice to the greatness of this album in just a few paragraphs so I'll leave others to comment on the rest, but I'll just mention a few of the highlights; "Fair Play" inspired like the rest of the album by his then recent cathartic trip with his fiancee to Ireland, is as melodic and captivating an opener as one could wish for, like the heralding of a summer dawn, with a lovely breezy piano part which celebrates the joy of life, nature, beauty and love rediscovered combined. Streets of Arklow has a kind of Celtic-infused melancholy and epic feel belying its 4:22 length, with sweeping strings and gorgeous recorder parts. Bulbs is a great uptempo, dancing and singalong number harking back to Come Running only IMO better; and Country Fair closes the album in the way Fair Play started it, with a kind of late summer evening glow, again with more Celtic style, dreamy, impressionistic recorders and gentle guitar strumming. And last but not least, You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push the River is probably the greatest song Van the Man ever wrote, urgent, impassioned, majestic and ecstatic both vocally and instrumentally in a kind of fusion of folk rock and early 20th century English classical music - the attention to detail is just incredible, with all these shimmering strings, jazzy piano parts, that unforgettable ever-present flute and deep-hued wind accompaniments all above an intricate and irrestistable bass groove that never loses its grip.

    Only minus for me is Morrison's scat vocals on Cul de Sac which are a bit overdone and just prevent this from being a 5-star album, but other than that, everything is virtually flawless.

    Your thoughts?
  2. Pjotr into Music

    Pjotr into Music Don't be afraid to play this LOUD

    Have Been playing it in my car for weeks lately , it never grates.. wonderful album !

    I am totally in love with "Comfort you" personally ..
  3. Rickchick

    Rickchick Forum Resident

    Cul-de-sac just might be my favorite cut on the lp!
    steelinYaThighs and jerico like this.
  4. Lloyd

    Lloyd Forum Resident

    Cleveland, OH
    I just rediscovered this album during the last couple years, and it is tied with Astral Weeks as my favorite VM record. I certainly have listened to Veedon more over the last couple years than any other Van album. Streets of Arkow is on par with the Astral Weeks title track. Both have that timeless transcendtal quality. I was surprised to hear Arkow only clocked in at 4.22. It seems like one of his 7-8 minute masterpieces.
    steelinYaThighs likes this.
  5. fitzrik

    fitzrik Forum Resident

    Apart from the famous songs, this album was my first proper introduction to Van Morrison and I was blown away. Must go and listen to it again :)
  6. florandia

    florandia Forum Resident

    for me.....LINDON ARDEN STOLE THE the one i always listen to...... but,what the hell is it about
  7. tcbtcb

    tcbtcb Forum Resident

    sugar hill nh usa
    Couldn't agree more--probably my favorite Van album. I do have to disagree w/the comment re: "Cul de Sac", though. Love that tune, and the scatting at the end--sounds like someone so overtaken w/emotion they can't control themselves, which is how it can make me feel.
    "Don't Pull No Punches", "Masked Man", "Bulbs", "Comfort You" & "Fair Play" are other favorites... But a deep, rich, emotional set of songs overall. Great album.
    steelinYaThighs and Rickchick like this.
  8. GregM

    GregM Senior Member

    Daddyland, CA
    Agreed, this and Hard Nose the Highway are my favorite by Van, with Astral Weeks a close 3rd.
    steelinYaThighs and janschfan like this.
  9. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    Jtycho likes this.
  10. pdenny

    pdenny 17-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    I love this album but admit I have to be in the right mood to put up with all the falsetto.
    arthurprecarious likes this.
  11. stonedhenge

    stonedhenge Forum Resident

    I rate two Van Morrison albums among the very best albums ever, by anyone: Veedon Fleece and Astral Weeks. Out of the two, Veedon Fleece has been the one I've played the most over the >30 years and I never tire of it. It manages to be intricate, musical, intelligent, melancholic, uplifting and moving all at once.
  12. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    Definitely in my top few Van albums, which means my top albums period. Hard to put it ahead of Saint Dominic's Preview though.

    Van has multiple albums that blow away most major artist's Greatest Hits albums!
    steelinYaThighs likes this.
  13. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Riverside, CT
    steelinYaThighs and Rickchick like this.
  14. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    One of my all time favorites. It just flows. Especially the first several songs.
  15. florandia

    florandia Forum Resident

    thankyou for the link...but the song is still very odd/mysterious,even for van morrison,it is of course very listenable and striking,which adds to the attraction,there is not another song in his discography that is even remotely similar.
  16. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    Shhhh.... I've been tring to track down a good original vinyl pressing, and you guys aren't helping.
  17. voigtskins

    voigtskins Member

    Atkinson ,NH USA
    Great disc as I just purchased this CD.
  18. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Sagamore Beach, Ma
    Great album. I've only seen 2 LP copies in my life, neither of them were better than VG+, so I skipped it....Not a rare record in any case. For some reason, this title is allergic to decent record care.
    Adamski777 likes this.
  19. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach

    Lafayette, Co
    And unfortunately the 1c/1c 1st press is never on quiet vinyl. 1974 WB Oil emargo era cheapness=surface noise. Even minty unplayed copies play this way. Love the music. Always thought Fair Play was inspired by Change Gonna Come in terms of the melody.
    JL6161 and A6mzero like this.
  20. sjaca

    sjaca Forum Resident

    Toronto ON, Canada
    Love this album. An underrated title from his fabulous catalogue (except amongst those who have spent time with it, see above posts). Just managed to find an early WB cd of this title & it sounds great. I'm going from memory here but the first remastered version of this title from the 90s was remixed and I recall my shock after listening to it & barely recognizing it as being Veedon Fleece! Not that it was terrible, just a lot different sounding. So, if you are looking for this item on cd the early WB version is your best bet. I also recall liking the newest remaster although its been a year or two since I listened to it. Goes without saying, though, that one would be best off with a nice vinyl copy.
  21. babyblue

    babyblue Forum Resident

    Pacific NW
    Veedon Fleece was my first Van Morrison album and is still one of my favorites. Since it was essentially my introduction to Van's music (other than the radio hits), Astral Weeks wasn't such a shock as it is for some listeners when I bought it a little while later. Cul de Sac is a highlight for me, scat singing and all. Classic Van all the way around.
  22. I had this and 'Astral Weeks' on vinyl way back in the day. I didn't like either album at the time so when I started buying albums on CD I never bothered with these two. Now it has probably been thirty odd years since I last heard these two so perhaps I should check them out again? I used to think Elton John's 'Blue Moves' sucked big time until thirty years later I bought it again on CD so who know? :)
  23. PBo

    PBo Forum Resident

    New England
    I always wondered if that was the case. The two copies of this I've owned looked like they were well cared for, but were very noisy.
  24. rob68

    rob68 i don't think that i'll see that time again

    Michigan USA
    An absolutely terrific album that I never even would have thought to explore without the urging of DJ WILBUR, so big thanks to him for that.
    DJ WILBUR likes this.
  25. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int just is"

    united kingdom
    love it...the songs often creep into my mind during unguarded moments..and when i drop the needle i never fail to wonder at the beauty of the whole. a masterpiece.
    adriatikfan likes this.

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