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Poetic Champions Compose [CASSETTE]


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Biography

One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast.
Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life.

Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 ... Read more in Amazon's Van Morrison Store

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (21 Sep 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Uni/Polygram Pop/Jazz
  • ASIN: B000001FMP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SMc on 15 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD
This album not only saw Morrison at the height of his creative powers that saw its genesis with 1978's "Wavelength" but, in fabricating an album of an atmospherical and musical frame, it also showed his acceptance for me as a really good alto sax player as much as his songwriting. I believe he has a good and very melodic style of playing and should play more sax than he actually does !

On this album - as with 1983's "Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart" - it could be said that he almost went 'instrumental-crazy' again with "Spanish Steps", "Celtic Excavation" and "Allow Me" being examples of my previous comment regarding his sax playing ability. Within the twelve bar blues of "Celtic Excavation" (which opens side two of the original vinyl) he creates a wonderful ambience with the alto before Neil Drinkwater's piano takes over, both coming back together in a wonderful crescendo. I have never tired of hearing this track over the last twenty-odd years.

"Allow Me" too, has a similar vibe and ambience and recreates the mood from the opening track of side two.

"Queen Of The Slipstream" is one of those typical 4-chord progression songs that he has composed over his forty-odd years of songwriting and "Someone Like You" was covered by Dina Carroll for a very popular film soundtrack."Did Ye Get Healed" concludes with a sentence spoken with a delightful female Ulster accent.

Other songs, such as "Alan Watts Blues", "The Mystery", "I Forgot That Love Existed" as well as the traditional "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" are typical Van Morrison fayre, are well-constructed and well-executed by all the musicians involved in this wonderful atmospheric album that followed the disappointing 1984's "A Sense Of Wonder".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Mar 2006
Format: Audio Cassette
The instrumental Spanish Steps is the languid jazzy introduction to this album of understated songs. The album takes it name from a line in Queen Of The Slipstream, a gentle ballad with a haunting melody. I Forgot That Love Existed is another jazzy number with gorgeous instrumental flourishes, whilst Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child has more of a soul or R&B feel in its yearning vocals and has something of the same effect as Blind Faith's Can't Find My Way Home.
Celtic Excavation is an ethereal and evocative instrumental with tinkling piano and a lovely lilting flow and Someone Like You is a slow and moving love song. My favourites include the bouncy Alan Watts Blues with its twanging guitar and the rhythmic uptempo Give Me My Rapture, a catchy inspirational song with great organ flourishes.
The piece Did Ye Get Healed? has swirling female backing vocals and the album concludes with another jazzy instrumental titled Allow Me. The album is quite cohesive in creating a mood of contented contemplation with Morrison's characteristic spiritual undertone. It is probably not considered to be amongst his greatest work, but still a classic in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Dec 2010
Format: Audio CD
"Poetic Champions Compose" recorded in 1987 is a truly exceptional Van Morrison album and one of his all-time greats, and might appeal to you even if you're not normally a fan of Van's varied and prolific output. It showcases his virtuoso alto-sax playing like no other album and has a high-quality, relaxed and ambient feel which makes for a sublime soundtrack for almost any occasion: Sunday morning, late evening, lazy afternoons. A mix of instrumental and vocal pieces which work together as a fine collection, almost all these compositions are truly beautiful and linger long in the memory. The album works as a cohesive whole with a thoughtful and introspective character and can be listened to again and again. It's instantly accessible and almost easy-listening whilst at the same time the lyrical songwriting and superb arrangements avoid any association with the derivative or the bland.

If "Tupelo Honey" has a country-music feel, the predominant theme of PCC is that of good quality ambient jazz. Van's insistence on high production values shines through and the result is a rich, polished and professional sound.

PCC has been a personal favourite of mine for more than 20 years and in the 1990s was played almost every day. It never ages, and if you add it to your collection the chances are, like those of us who know and value this musical treasure, you'll listen to it often.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fantastic album, full of bluesy sounds. It's lovely to put on and relax too, or have on in the background when friends come over, it's simply a gorgeous album. Well worth listening too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for Van Fans 12 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my three favorite Van Morrison albums, the others being "No Guru" and "Moondance". This is one that even non-fans will love. Beautiful instrumentals, love songs, songs of spiritual longings. The best from the best.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Jazzy and atmospheric 16 Mar 2006
By Pieter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The instrumental Spanish Steps is the languid jazzy introduction to this album of understated songs. The album takes it name from a line in Queen Of The Slipstream, a gentle ballad with a haunting melody. I Forgot That Love Existed is another jazzy number with gorgeous instrumental flourishes, whilst Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child has more of a soul or R&B feel in its yearning vocals and has something of the same effect as Blind Faith's Can't Find My Way Home.

Celtic Excavation is an ethereal and evocative instrumental with tinkling piano and a lovely lilting flow and Someone Like You is a slow and moving love song. My favourites include the bouncy Alan Watts Blues with its twanging guitar and the rhythmic uptempo Give Me My Rapture, a catchy inspirational song with great organ flourishes.

The piece Did Ye Get Healed? has swirling female backing vocals and the album concludes with another jazzy instrumental titled Allow Me. The album is quite cohesive in creating a mood of contented contemplation with Morrison's characteristic spiritual undertone. It is probably not considered to be amongst his greatest work, but still a classic in my opinion.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A classic 28 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This and "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher" are my personal favorites out of Van Morrison's many albums. The instrumentals are among his best efforts in the jazz vein, the Black spiritual "Motherless Child" is done with great depth of feeling, and the other songs run the emotional gamut from the cheery "Give Me My Rapture" to the deeply touching "I Forgot That Love Existed." This album shows off Morrison at his best, and I still listen to it often.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Van The Man Reaching For The Best 23 April 2010
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After the somewhat tenative No Guru, No Method, No Teacher Van Morrison followed it up with one of his best albums of the decade and perhaps one of the grandest achievements of his career. This album found Van reaching back into the flavors that has made his music such a treasure and creating a musical tapestry that will stick right to your soul. In fact there are elements of this album that do recall his breakthrough twenty years before this with the genre defying/defining Astral Weeks. The music is a mix of mid,down and uptempo songs with a strong jazz and classic pop flavor. This man is not only someone mindfull of blues/R&B but on this album is clearly bringing the breezy orchestral pop/jazz flavors of Nat King Cole and Burt Baccharach before him. Van plays piano,sax,harmonica and guitar throughout this album and on the back of the CD you'll find little pictures of Van playing these instruments. That is kind of appropriate for this album as it starts of with a lushly orchestrated jazzy sax instrumental "Spanish Skies",perfect for an evening at a really elegant cafe or night spot or just a stroll on a warm moonlit evening with a loved one perhaps. The likeminded instrumental "Celtic Excavation" showcases the same flavor and both tunes are significant highlites of this album. There are of course plenty of his classic midtempo celtic soul type tunes in "The Mystery","Queen Of The Slipstrea","I Forgot That Love Existed","Give Me The Rapture" and "Allow Me". These songs all have more of a jazz/nightclub type groove than anything on the more folksy influenced arrangements on the previous album and are very much a production update of Van's classic sound he made so distinctive for himself during the 70's. His version of "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" is actually a genuinely beautiful expression of the joy and pain of personal isolation and the arrangment here carries the song right along from start to finish. "Alan Watts Blues" is one of the more rhythmic songs here that actually has a light jazz-pop-funk flavor to it and in some ways recalls some similarly styled music on his 1980 album Common One. One song that stuck out strongly to me was "Did You Get Healed?". As soon as I heard the upbeat soul/gospel rhythm and the melodic female backup vocals I realized this is a song I heard many many times as young man played around the house by my father. It was'nt so much a nostalgiac chord that it struck but more a catchy tune I once loved and hummed to that has found it's way back into my life and now I know where it comes from. In terms of his output of this decade this album is every bit as strong and rich musically as it's fans say that it is and that's with no bias whatsoever;as you'll see I am capable of giving an artist like Van Morrison a lower rating when it's deserved for one reason or the other. But all of the songs on this album will reach out of the album as you listen to them and grab you into the experience with their fluid sound and depth of soul. And along with Marvin Gaye,Stevie Wonder,Minnie Rippeton,Miles Davis,Chaka Khan,Curtis Mayfield and Mavis Staples I cannot think of many artists I've listened to over the years who've been able to produce the same accomplishment seemingly at a whim.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If You Buy Only 1 VM & If You Can Find it New 23 Oct 2010
By Mary Jfitzpatrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a listen-to while cooking, while driving, while doing nothing but enjoying a glass of Malbec, while working on tedious contracts, while introducing your younger friends to Van Morrison. I bought this when it was originally released as a European import and the sound quality was worth every penny. A well-woven development of songs build on each other in a way that tell somehow related melodies and stories. Shows his ability to play a wide range of instruments. Is less commercial, somewhat less playful, and somewhat less pensive than his other recordings. Even Van Morrison fans who have never heard this recording before immediately jump on Amazon to get it and are disappointed this is no longer being released new.
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