|1. Down The Road|
|2. Meet Me In The Indian Summer|
|3. Steal My Heart Away|
|4. Hey Mister DJ|
|5. Talk Is Cheap|
|6. Choppin' Wood|
|7. What Makes The Irish Heart Beat|
|8. All Work And No Play|
|9. Whatever Happened To PJ Proby|
|10. The Beauty Of The Days Gone By|
|11. Georgia On My Mind|
|12. Only A Dream|
|13. Man Has To Struggle|
|14. Evening Shadows|
|15. Fast Train|
With a band comprising long-time associates like David Hayes and 1960s guitar-great Mick Green, the dovetailing of Morrison's many influences is assured. His voice is the astounding instrument at the centre, capable of touching deep feelings others dont even know exist. On the awesome "The Beauty of the Days Gone By", he sings of how memories will "keep me young as I grow old". It certainly sounds as if he's found the perfect elixir. --Gavin Martin
Do not misunderstand. I have loved and admired his work for years and years and well...
The last couple of albums under the Virgin imprint put me right off and therefore I declined to buy this one. Until I came across it ..and I thought, why not?
I am glad that I did because with his return to his old label now renamed there has been a return to the Van of old. Not the van of the Caledonian Soul Express but the Van of Them, the Van of Georgie Fame.
As he travels back to his r'n'b roots Van has redicovered the sounds of the 60's and what a rich vein to mine. The songs may sound like the early sixties, as others here have pointed out but the interpretation and the originals are all Van. My initial scepticism was supplanted by tears of joy as I listened once and then listened again. When Van returned to Ireland in search of the Caledonian Soul, some of his fans did not understand and were lost. Increasingly this search has led him back to his youth and the songs that were on the radio and on records at the time.
The photo on the front tells it all and in a way I feel priviledged to share in Van's past and his later years. There is nostalgia here but there is passion too. Ultimately Van Morrison has followed his own road of discovery and his songs reflect what he has found. The songs may be of the sixties but he delivers them in his own inimitable way. If I had to pick out my personal preferences I would highlight 'Down The Road', 'Meet Me in the Indian Summer', Hey mr. DJ, 'What Makes the Irish Heartbeat', but overall I think that this is a great return to form from a man who was diverted but who has found his way back to the main road. Normal service has been resumed.
I will be buying the next Van Morrison album on it's day of release.
"Hey Mr. DJ" was released as a single, and is quite simply a fabulous bit of music; it makes compulsive listening for its upbeat nature and simple riff. Added to this are other gems such as "Man Has To Struggle", a good old moan about the trials of life, but set to a typical catchy Morrison tune and equally addictive. Other highlights are "The Beauty Of Days Gone By", a heartfelt song about, well, the beauty of the past - Morrison feeling his age perhaps, and this is a stirring, emotive song to prove it; added to this is his fabulous interpretation of the classic "Georgia On My Mind". No more need be say about that track; Van Morrison singing a famously brilliant song? Can't be anything short of excellent.
There is great variety in this album; although on first listen you might be overwhelmed by the divergent nature of the tracks both from each other and his more recent albums, this one grows on you without you realising, until it's the only thing you put in your CD player for months to come.
"Hey Mr DJ", the first single taken from the album, is perfectly-crafted and, in my opinion, one of Van's best - although possibly not typical of the rest of the album.
All in all, a very good album, although with its emphasis very firmly in the blues it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
It seems ages since a ‘Good’ Van Morrison LP surfaced, sure there are noteworthy tracks on every recording the man puts... Read more
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