So, you record an album in a couple of days when you're nothing more than a wet-behind-the-ears scallywag from Belfast. Paraphrasing Dylan, channeling Robert Johnson, Van had stuff bustin' from his head. It didn't match up with what he did with Them, there were no pop songs there, it was all a bit over the place and no one quite knew what to do with it. From the early 70s on, however, "Astral Weeks" began to appear on best of lists from here to there. Never a big seller, it has nonetheless become one of the touchstone albums of the past few decades. Morrison never revisited that type of sound in the studio, though he obviously still had a great love for the album. For whatever reason, because he found the sound in his head from 1968, because he doesn't own "Astral Weeks" (notice that it isn't included in the recent remastered album series), he took it out, gave it a shake, dusted it down, assembled a great band and took the whole thing to Hollywood. Though his voice doesn't have the range it did all those years ago it works a treat. This could have been a polished, clean and sharp performance; instead there's a real sense that Morrison is pushing the songs and the performers and, whisper it, enjoying the arse off himself. This could have been a disaster (the cover certainly is!) but it isn't; it's a powerful, moving, hugely enjoyable performance. The songs skip and skittle from Van and the band and there's a real sense of performance - this isn't an exhibition of a work of art from the past, it's a vital, dynamic revisiting of a weird, odd, moving and beguiling collection of songs. Van lobs in a couple of bonus tracks too - the fabulous Listen To The Lion and the much underrated Common One (which is essentially a vocal sparring match between him and Richie Buckley). A treat. Now, Van what the hell is going on with those teeth?