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Saint Dominic's Preview


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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 CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00005FMMM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,755,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 21 Aug 2005
Format: Audio CD
Even low-key Van Morrison records can make worthwhile purchases, which is why this short and slightly eclectic piece should really be considered as essential as the more epic works from the V.M. back catalogue. If you are at all familiar with Van's work during this period, roughly 1970-1973, then you should have a vague idea of what to expect from this album. However, although a number of tracks continue the sound of his other key releases from the time, particularly albums like Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir and Tupelo Honey, there are a couple of great, epic-ruminations, that point more towards his more mystical, interesting albums, with both Listen to the Lion and the closing track, Almost Independence Day, picking up where songs like Madame George and Ballerina left off.. whilst also pointing the way forward to the sound of future albums like Veedon Fleece and The Common One.
The album opens with the great rhythm and blues inflected Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven when You Smile), which has become a sort of standard on classic rock radio stations and easily ranks amongst the very best songs Morrison has ever composed (...and it was famously covered by Kevin Rowland and Dexys Midnight Runners on their Too-Rye-Ey album, which is just as essential as this). Next song Gypsy is a personal favourite, mixing elements of folk, jazz and psychedelic pop to great effect, with Morrison playing some great acoustic guitar to compliment the subtle shades of piano and the shimmering horns. The subject matter of the song is classic Van, bringing to mind Caravan from Moondance with it's romanticised image of dusky gypsy maidens and a life of undiluted joy. This was still Van's happy period, when he was married and living in up state New York (hanging out with Dylan and The Band)...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov 2008
Format: Audio CD
In January of 2008 the first 7 titles of Van Morrison's extensive remastered reissues began - followed by 8 more in late June 2008/early July. Here in the UK, these issues came with inlays that advertised the forthcoming titles for phase 3 and 4 - seven more releases would follow in September 2008 - with the last 8 in January 2009 (30 in total).

The 3rd phase (in which 1972's "Saint Dominic's Preview" was scheduled) was then delayed on some databases to November 2008 - but it now looks as if they won't arrive until February 2009 - next year.

This review is by way of notice to that affect - and a warning to prospective buyers - anyone advertising these remastered titles for sale at inflated prices BEFORE their release date should be avoided.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 6 Jun 2003
Format: Audio CD
Van Morrison's 'St. Dominic's Preview' was for me a startling discovery. The seven songs that comprise the album are as varied as they possibly could be, ranging from the tight, punchy R&B opening track, 'Jackie Wilson Said', to the sprawling, semi-improvised 'Listen To The Lion' and 'Almost Independence Day'. The title track itself is a brilliantly produced and executed song, telling a personal tale of life and of being in the music industry, and revealing how Van Morrison himself always felt like an outsider in the business ('They were flying too high to see my point of view')..
'Jackie Wilson Said' stands out as the explosive opening to the album, bursting with energy and raw passion. Although, it's not representative of the rest of the album at all... it's almost as if Van Morrison says after each song, 'Right, I've done that genre, let's move on to something else.', which is great for the album as the result is a tapestry of different styles and emotions. 'Listen To The Lion' is another highlight. Sung straight from the heart, I bet that after capturing this performance on tape, the producers gave Morrison a standing ovation. Van Morrison pushes himself to the limit, and the result is a fantastically emotional, yet stunningly simple song that flys by, despite being over 11 minutes long. The improvisation is a far cry from that you may have come to expect from the likes of 'Astral Weeks', which in comparison sounds rawer and less well planned, albeit qualities in themselves, I prefer this song over anything on 'Astral Weeks', a compliment indeed.
'Redwood Tree' again is classic Van Morrison, that is more similar to something you may find on 'Moondance', with a typical lyric about the simple things in life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
This sixth Van Morrison record is so glorious I want to weep.
The first time you heard Jackie Wilson Said, it sounded like nothing else on earth, then Gypsy begins and your life will never again be quite what it was.
Listen to the sheer tremulous power of the last note Van sings on I Will Be There:

"I...will...be...THERE - !"

No wonder he himself has said he`s not a rock singer. No, he`s closer to Ray Charles
or Otis or the Wolf, or one of those old blues shouters like Big Joe Turner or Jimmy Rushing. This is soulful, "spiritual" singing that takes no prisoners. It is what they sometimes call righteous.
Listen To The Lion is a rumbling, grumbling ruminative extemporisation on a theme, a sobering eleven-minute meditation, a rant, a kind of rap.
After so much relative solemnity you`re ready for the joyously uplifting title track, a perfect rendition of a song that tends to make the sun come out and the birds sing.
Redwood Tree is next, an almost folky song in Van`s nostalgic vein. Oddly, I can imagine Gordon Lightfoot singing it (though I may simply be thinking of the Canadian`s song Redwood Hill).
Almost Independence Day is the grand finale to this great album, another vocal and musical exploration in Van`s "this`ll take as long as it takes" manner. It`s a tremendous tour-de-force. The accompaniment on this track, as on the whole album, is flawless, spontaneous, and exactly "right".
Throughout this man`s now illustrious career he`s often come up with masterpieces. My picks for such an accolade would include Astral Weeks, Moondance, Tupelo Honey,
Veedon Fleece, Beautiful Vision, No Guru...and Saint Dominic`s Preview.
Listen.
Magnificent.
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