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Buddha
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So, how about Van the man?

Seeing people who weren't into Tom Waits ask about which albums would be good starter albums to check out was cool. Heck, it warmed this old jaded audiophile to the cockles of my heart.

Actually, deeper than that. Maybe way down into my sub-cockle region.

Anyway, this week is Van Morrison week here in exile, so...I thought I'd see if we could get some back and forth going on Van Morrison.

So, how about it, favorite Van Morrison albums?

Limit three.

I'll even go first.

1) Moondance. When this album hit, it shook me up. Solid from start to finish (except, I don't really dig "Stoned Me." Don't tell the fan club, I'll get kicked out.) Other than some 'hardness' to the sound in places, and the yucky way-over-in-one-speaker mixing, it's pretty Hi Fi, too. I especially like the Nautilus LP.
Originally released in 1970.

2) Trying to be a good soldier and head to the next decade...1982's "Beautiful Vision." I always thought "Cleaning Windows" and John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels" were soul mate songs.

3) OK, 1990 to present...I really love "Days Like This." Only two weak efforts, "I'm a Songwritier" and "Meloncholia." The song "Days Like This" also meshes well with another John Lennon song "Nobody Told Me."

I think of this as a 'new' Van Morrison album but, dang, it's 13 years old!

OK, that's it. One from each "era."

Plenty of room to add on, and then I'll go, "Geez! I should have listed that one!"

I'll also be curious to see what people think of the sound of his discs. I'd say he likes things mixed to the warm side, and is a little prone to have the bottom of his vocal range overpower the mic sometimes.

RGibran
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Poetic Champions Compose

RG

smejias
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

The only Van Morrison album I know well is Astral Weeks, and I love it. Like for Buddha with Moondance, it really shook me up. I had no idea that Van Morrison sounded like this, this mix of jazz and folk and psychedelia, with such great poetry.

It was also neat to hear where Bruce Springsteen got ALL his ideas.

The sound of this disc is as Buddha said, on the warm side, and it works so well. Really lovely, fluid sound.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Hi Buddha,

Nice post and great topic. Okay, so my 3 favorite Van The Man albums (and no bootlegs this time ):

1) I also have to go with Moondance since it was the first album I ever bought. Runner up: Tupelo Honey

2) It's Too Late To Stop Now... Van's first official live release and it's all killer, no filler. And the backing band ain't to shabby either. Runner up: Into The Music (the 3 song suite which closes the album is about as good as it gets: And the Healing Has Begun - It's All in the Game - You Know What They're Writing About)

3) A Sense of Wonder - a personal favorite for no particular reason, I just really like this recording. Runner up: Hymns To The Silence

Now it's time to chill out to some Van.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Good post Buddha,

My choices:

1) Veedon Fleece
2) Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
3) Poetic Champions Compose

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Maybe it's just the overplay of all his singles over the years, but I just can't connect with the guy in any way at all. The voice kind of grates for me, and the lyrics never did much for me either. But... I've changed before, so maybe I should go get a used LP from the local shop and give it spin just in case.

I'll pick the one this group seems to dig most and try and hear what all the fuss is about.

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Well, this next thing seems like blasphemy...like saying a movie was better than the book...but....

I like "Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl" better then the original.

I'd put this on the Van the man fan list.

(I also liked the movie of "Silence of the Lambs" better than the book, and "The Unbearable Lightness of being" gave me insights into the characters I didn't pick up in the book. To me, the movie made that story about Sabina, which I hadn't picked up on in the book.)

rvance
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

You can't imagine the impact Astral Weeks made in 1968. As a teen, venturing into the slipstream of late night freeway dreaming in SoCal with my 8-track and fine Columbian. What a wonderful way to figure out your place in the world when the world didn't make sense.

Moondance was so full of hope and joy and crystalline images of the simple pleasures of life that it lifted us up and away from the hard reality of Nixon and Vietnam.

As much as I avoid compilations for all the usual reasons, I can't help but love Polydor's 1990 Best Of because it has Gloria and Baby Please Don't Go and Here Comes The Night- where it all began with Them. Raw, pub-brawling proto-punk blues. When Them hit I was 13, Catholic school, 'nuff said.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?


Quote:
You can't imagine the impact Astral Weeks made in 1968. As a teen, venturing into the slipstream of late night freeway dreaming in SoCal with my 8-track and fine Columbian. What a wonderful way to figure out your place in the world when the world didn't make sense.

Moondance was so full of hope and joy and crystalline images of the simple pleasures of life that it lifted us up and away from the hard reality of Nixon and Vietnam.

As much as I avoid compilations for all the usual reasons, I can't help but love Polydor's 1990 Best Of because it has Gloria and Baby Please Don't Go and Here Comes The Night- where it all began with Them. Raw, pub-brawling proto-punk blues. When Them hit I was 13, Catholic school, 'nuff said.

I know what you mean, man.

In September of 1965, the Rolling Stones released "Out of Our Heads," and the local FM station even picked up "I'm Free" and "Heart of Stone," and the next thing I knew, it was off to public school in disgrace.

If I'd a known that's how things would work out, I'd have spent more time with "12 X 5" the previous year!

Sister Henry was my teacher that year and she had this new fangled meter stick, which was three inches longer than a regulation yard stick.

After honing my skills at getting missed by 'that much' by a yard stick, those extra three inches gave her a decided advantage.

They kicked me out for being too familiar with Danielle D... at morning recess and then, after being told I'd be punished after lunch, I decided that wasn't very smart of them to warn me in advance like that, and went home for the day at lunch.

The nexy day, they said, "You aren't so smart, we'll just punish you today after lunch."

I thought, "I'm not so smart? Thanks again for the warning," and went home for the day at lunch.

Then they called the cops and my mom and the priest and all Hell broke loose and they had to corner me in a yard...it wasn't pretty.

And that, sir, is how I came to escape Our Lady of the Snows Catholic School.

Yup, first grade was a racous time.

rvance
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

I got my ass soundly kicked in public school because of my smart mouth. And there was always the weird "special" kid who would just beat you up for the fun of it. Funny thing, Catholic school was a secure little cocoon of order and salvation amidst the secular evil around us. We were radicalized by music, of course. Our older sibs intro'd us to all the cool stuff, then we'd subvert the social order of our peers. First Motown and Stax, then the British Invasion giving rise to all the great American groups. We shared the Beatles with our parents in '63/'64 to prove rock 'n' roll could be safe, but later we were listening to the Stones singing "Little Red Rooster," "Spider And The Fly" and "Play With Fire."

Went to a small Catholic boy's high school in Orange County during our formative psychedelic anti-war years. They put up with shit from me I still can't believe because they had FAITH and kindness. They were a teaching order that emphasized critical thinking, ethics and personal integrity. They did so without pushing an overzealous religious agenda. Our English teachers took us to the Vietnam Moratorium in San Francisco in '69. It was pretty cool.

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?


Quote:
I got my ass soundly kicked in public school because of my smart mouth. And there was always the weird "special" kid who would just beat you up for the fun of it. Funny thing, Catholic school was a secure little cocoon of order and salvation amidst the secular evil around us. We were radicalized by music, of course. Our older sibs intro'd us to all the cool stuff, then we'd subvert the social order of our peers. First Motown and Stax, then the British Invasion giving rise to all the great American groups. We shared the Beatles with our parents in '63/'64 to prove rock 'n' roll could be safe, but later we were listening to the Stones singing "Little Red Rooster," "Spider And The Fly" and "Play With Fire."

Went to a small Catholic boy's high school in Orange County during our formative psychedelic anti-war years. They put up with shit from me I still can't believe because they had FAITH and kindness. They were a teaching order that emphasized critical thinking, ethics and personal integrity. They did so without pushing an overzealous religious agenda. Our English teachers took us to the Vietnam Moratorium in San Francisco in '69. It was pretty cool.

Hey, man.

I was listening to Astral Weeks Live again, and it gets better every time. Maybe one of the great live albums. Anyway, it reminded me of your posts, so I thought I'd pop in.

I'm also digging Keep It Simple.

I have yet to get the Austin City Limits set, have you heard it?

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Re: So, how about Van the man?


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I have yet to get the Austin City Limits set, have you heard it?

Way better than Astral Tweaks, IMHO. Your in for a treat re great live albums.

RG

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Oh, man!

I was at Best Buy to look for that Sony four-decadollar disc player, and found Astral Weeks, Live, on LP!

It cost over half of what the disc player went for, but I took the plunge, anyway.

The way I figure it, the Sony disc player plus 8 LP's has to be a superior combination to buying the Oppo straight up.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Can't wait to hear how much your willing to fork over for the Austin City Limits set on vinyl, once you hear THAT!

Rolling Stone Review

RG

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

OK, I have been looking for the CD.

The Austin City Limits disc is hard to find.

How can a CD need to be "limited edition?" Did they run out of discs or something?

If you happen to know a link to a seller who doesn't want to retire on the sale price, I'm there.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Live at Austin City Limits Festival by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison is a limited edition live album recorded from the Austin City Limits Festival concert at which he was the first night headliner on September 15, 2006. It has only been made available at live Van Morrison concerts and at the Van Morrison Official website.

Scared I would miss out I threw down at the website. Can't remember what I paid. Doesn't look like it's available on vinyl. Must have...Happy Hunting.

RG

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

OK, now I'm ticked off.

rvance
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Re: So, how about Van the man?


Quote:

I have yet to get the Austin City Limits set, have you heard it?

Saw it, heard it(awesome) looked for it without luck (on the publc tv concert dvd sales site). Thanks for asking, but now we know- too bad no vinyl, tho'.

rvance
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Re: So, how about Van the man?


Quote:
Live at Austin City Limits Festival by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison is a limited edition live album recorded from the Austin City Limits Festival concert at which he was the first night headliner on September 15, 2006. It has only been made available at live Van Morrison concerts and at the Van Morrison Official website.

Scared I would miss out I threw down at the website. Can't remember what I paid. Doesn't look like it's available on vinyl. Must have...Happy Hunting.

RG

Hey RG,

The only thing I could find at the website is a link to Amazon for the Live Astral Weeks DVD and an announcement the cd and vinyl release was coming all good news).

No mention of the Austin concert cd. or info.

rv

RGibran
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Hopefully, when they get the store up and running again at the official website they will once again have it available.

I remember Jazzfan gave it a great review. I looked for it but forum doesn't seem to let one search that far back...2006?

It may be THE best Van the Man! A bit of all his genres and killer live sound.

RG

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Listening to the great vibes sound on "A Night in San Francisco" disc two, cut three - "I'll Take Care of You/It's a Man's Man's Man's World."

You can just taste "Lonely Avenue" on its way.

_________________

Gonna check out Van at The Joint when he hits Vegas - not sure if it will be a "Van Gives a Shit" show, or the other type of Van show.

He used to do shows at Bimbo's in SF when we lived there - even in a place that holds 300 people he would be hit or miss.

RGibran
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

I heard he was headed your way to perform Astral Weeks.

Don't need to tell you it doesn't get much better than when Van and the band or ON! Better be there.

Take 12 minutes to listen to the August 09 interview.

What type venue will the Vegas show be in?

RG

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Re: So, how about Van the man?

It's a crime against humanity that "St. Dominick's Preview" is presently out of print.

"Back On Top" from last year is pretty darned good, especially the cut "Precious Time".

Mostly I'm a fan of that '70s run of hit albums from "Moondance" through "St. Dominick's", after which I find some of his more self-indulgent moments kind of hard to take. But dang he made some wonderful R&B. And most of those classic albums were recorded live in the studio with only a few minimal overdubs.

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

It will be at the new Joint, which I heven't been inside yet.

The old Joint had a gloriously good sound system - all an artist had to do was plug and play.

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Re: So, how about Van the man?


Quote:
Gonna check out Van at The Joint when he hits Vegas - not sure if it will be a "Van Gives a Shit" show, or the other type of Van show.

I do hope you will give us a play by play of the evening as well as some insight as to the new venue.

Buddha
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

Went to see him at The New Joint (bigger, not exactly better) Friday night and the first thing I did was look for a merchandising table to see if they had the live in Austin disc - alas, nada.

The show was great. Van seemed to be trying to do a good job and was involved for the entire evening!

I can't believe how great that bastard's voice is.

My favorite Van tempo is from his sort of slow reflective songbook, and he stayed there pretty much all night.

Set List:

Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
That's Life
Fair Play
The Mystery
Foreign Window
In the Garden
Queen of the Slipstream
Moondance
Help Me
Have I Told You Lately
And the Healing Has Begun
It's All in the Game / You Know What They're Writing About
Common One
Gloria

The knockout of the evening was a near Greatful Dead length extended version of In The Garden. The drunk guy to our side said it was his wedding song and started to cry.

Van spent some time on the piano, sax, and various guitars.

The new Joint has gone from having lots of horn loaded speakers to the standard array of whatever the arena speaker of the day is. We sat close in and got the sound mostly from the stage monitors they have facing outward. I used my dB meter and they ran about 85-90 dB, so not too oppressive. The mix was a little too treble oriented for me, so some Kleenex in ear equalization made things just right.

If you can, catch Van on this tour, this is the 'good Van.'

_____________

Caught Flogging Molly the night before, they play a nice show.

rvance
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

I got caught "Flogging Molly" once. It was really embarrassing.

Glad the Van man was on it. Just listened to Bang Masters the other night. What a teen phenom he was.

RGibran
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Re: So, how about Van the man?

So much for the Astral Weeks Tour, I guess.

Maybe that

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