27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
This is the 3rd or even 4th re-issue on CD of "Tupelo Honey" (released originally on Warner Brothers in November 1971) and it's probably the best version to date.
Tracks 1 to 9 make up the original album with Track 10 and 11 being previously unreleased - an Alternate Take of "Wild Night" and a cover version of an old Traditional, "Down By The Riverside". I must say that both bonus tracks are excellent and not at all throwaway crap designed to sucker in punters (as some had feared). The upgraded booklet contains all the lyrics, but disappointingly no history of where the album fits in. The photo of Van, Lady and Horse originally featured on the LP inner gatefold is faithfully reproduced as the booklet centrepiece - a nice touch. There's band and production credits - and even lyrics for the two bonus tracks.
But the best bit is the SOUND. The original analogue master tapes have been 96K/24 Bit digitally remastered by Tim Young at Metropolis Mastering in London for this 28 January 2008 release - and the sound is just beautiful - and that's for almost every track. I say this because, I've had the 1998 remasters for a while and always thought they were `too' loud and `hissy' for comfort. Don't get me wrong, there is unfortunately still audible hiss on the gorgeous "Tupelo Honey" and "You're My Woman" (two on the best on here) but not `too' much to detract. Those without hiss are just unbelievably good.
The punch out of them! From the album opener "Wild Night" to "When That Evening Sun Goes Down" - the band might as well be in your living room - it's that vibrant and alive! The session men put in a blinder too - fantastic brass work by Jack Schroer and Luis Gasca on "Wild Night" with equally superb piano touches from Mark Jordan on "When That Evening Sun Goes Down". Ronnie Montrose, who later formed "Montrose" and created one of the hardest and best rocking debuts ever in "Montrose" (1973 on Warner Brothers, also produced by Ted Templeman) plays guitar, mandolin and even throws in some backing vocals too. Not everything on here is genius of course, but there's just something about his Warner Brothers albums (all of them) that's magical. And it's mid-price too - I picked up my copy for £6 in Central London.
All in all, a great sounding re-issue and one I urge fans and the uninitiated to get stuck into pronto.
Like "Tupelo Honey", 28 other Van Morrison albums are to be re-issued in remastered form throughout 2008 and into early 2009. Each will contain upgraded booklets, previously unreleased material and all will be at mid-price. They'll be released in 4 batches as follows (29 in total):
January 2008 (7 titles)
Tupelo Honey (1971), It's Too Late To Stop Now (2 CD Live Set) (1974),
Wavelenght (1978), Into The Music (1979), A Sense Of Wonder (1985),
Avalon Sunset (1989) and Back On Top (1999)
June 2008 (8 titles)
Veedon Fleece (1974), Common One (1980), Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart (1983), Live At The Grand Opera House, Belfast (1984), No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986), Enlightenment (1990), A Night In San Francisco (2CD Live Set) (1994) and The Healing Game (1997)
September 2008 (7 titles)
Saint Dominic's Preview (1972), A Period Of Transition (1977), Beautiful Vision (1982), Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Hymns To The Silence (2CD Studio Set) (1991), How Long Has This Been Going On (Live At Ronnie Scott's) (1995), Tell Me Something - The Songs Of Mose Allison (1996)
January 2009 (8 titles)
Hard Nose The Highway (1973), Irish Heartbeat (with The Chieftains) (1988),
Too Long In Exile (1993), Days Like This (1995), The Story Of Them (2CD Set) (1999), The Skiffle Sessions - Live In Belfast (with Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber) (2000), Down The Road (2002) and What's Wrong With This Picture? (2003)
Those hoping to see desperately needed sonic upgrades of his 1st and 2nd album masterpieces on Warner Bothers "Astral Weeks" (1968) and "Moondance" (1970) will be disappointed to hear that they're NOT in this re-issue campaign. Apparently there is still some dispute between the record label and Van that remains unresolved. A damn shame! They've both been on crappy-sounding non-remasters for over 20 years and they are glaring omissions here. Both of these recognised masterpieces deserve 2CD DELUXE EDITION treatment and soon. (Some tracks in remastered form are available across the 3 volumes of "Best Of"). Let's hope they sort their differences and soon!
Also, Van's new studio album "Keep It Simple" is due 17 March 2008 in the UK and 1 April 2008 in the USA
(For those interested in this re-issue series, I've also done reviews for "A Sense Of Wonder", "Into The Music", "Wavelength", "Back On Top" and the 2CD live set "It's Too Late To Stop Now")
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
These melodies sneak up on you and linger long after the music has stopped. That is why Tupelo Honey is one of Van Morrison's most accessible and commercially successful albums. This re-release has been enhanced by the addition of Down By The Riverside and an alternate take of Wild Night. The packaging includes the original artwork and the lyrics to all the songs.
Tupelo Honey is a work of genius: there's the gorgeous title track with its delightful imagery and the swirling I Wanna Roo You with its foot tapping rhythm. The catchy When That Evening Sun Goes Down has a propulsive rhythm whilst the structural complexity of Moonshine Whisky, with its tempo changes and delectable female backing vocals, makes for a magnificent composition, similar to some of those meandering gems on Astral Weeks.
Wild Night is a powerful R&B outing with an old time rock and roll feel and Straight To Your Heart is another melodic rocker. I also love Old Woodstock, a song filled with warmth and joy. And that is what this album celebrates - domestic bliss and the joy of life. In its own way, it is therefore as spiritual as most of his best work, although perhaps not so overtly mystical. Well whether you're into Van for his poetry or for his tunes, this album will please you. It's a masterpiece.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2005
There are two albums I simply could not go on without and Tupelo Honey is one of them.It is my favourite Van Morrison album which is a huge feat. This Album was made while Van was at his happiest with his then wife Janet Planet and his kids is his most warm and uplifting work and the best example of his Caledonian Soul period which spwned his best work. Stand out songs include Wild Night, Straight to your Heart(Like a Cannonball) which grabs your attention like Caravan does on Moondance and Jackie Wilson said does on ST. Dominics Preview. I wanna Roo You is another standout song which is very hard not to tap your foot to. Moonshine Whiskey is a slow burner due to the constant change in rhythm but give it a chance, it's worth the wait. Other songs like Old Old Woodstock and Your'e my Women are excellent while Starting a new life and when the evening sun goes down are both very listenable it is the title track which is the heart of the album. This is a love song more genuine and touching then anything I have evr heard, you cannot help but fall in love with this song. What are you waiting for, get this alb um a.s.a.p, you have missed out on so much already.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
It has been said, by some cynical and unkind critics, that Van Morrison has been releasing the same record for the past 35 years. What is certain is that between 1968 and 1974 Van released six of the most sublime records in popular music. Each album from this period deals with different aspects of his intensely felt emotions: death and sex, homesickness and depression, gentleness and playfulness and, with Tupelo Honey, a celebration of his marriage to Janet Planet.
All the songs were written by Van and it is evident that he was in one of the most buoyant periods of his life; the joy in his heart and voice is manifest.
Typical of his mood are the infectious "I Wanna Roo You Tonight", "When That Evening Sun Goes Down", "Like A Cannonball" and "Moonshine Whisky"; swinging, rocking, rollicking good fun, yet tender and romantic.
Underpinning the album are two gorgeous love songs: "Tupelo Honey" and "You're My Woman". The title track is a masterpiece, almost hymnal in its reflective and emotional transparency - among the best songs that Van has written. "You're My Woman" is a public baring of his Celtic heart to the woman he loved and who bore his child.
This is simply a stunning album with Van at his lyrical best and backed by some fine musicians, including Mark Jordon, who provides some inspirational piano. Buy it, you won't be disappointed
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2009
Is this really a Van Morrison Album? I've played it numerous times but haven't heard any mention of ` Gardens wet with rain'.
Yet another Van Morrison album that most critics rate lower than it really merits. As an album containing more than its fair share of Morrison classics, including the brilliant (Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannon Ball, it's hard to imagine why this album is generally overlooked in the classic album stakes.
Van had recently married, the oddly named, Janet Planet (was that her real name?) and his happiness and contentidness are very much on show, especially on the title track.
It's a combination of styles from his previous two albums. Opening track Wild Night, & also Moonshine Whiskey, would not be out of place on Moondance.
It's 100% top drawer Van Morrison but don't tell anybody because it's been kept a secret for the last 38 years.
No complaints about the cover on this one either. As Van Morrison sleeves go it's up their with the best. You really couldn't ask for more than that, except maybe 'a few gardens wet with rain'.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2002
now we all know van morrison (or van the man as he is known affectionately in my household) has been going a long time. and we also know that he has a llooooottttt of albums, but in my opinion this is one of the MUST HAVES in the van collection. on this record you can really experience the diversity of van's voice as you go from one track to the next. each song is so different and unique, but they all have one thing in common, positivity. van has been known for his songs that have bitter stories to tell, but it could not be more different with this record. all the songs are filled with stories of joyous occasions and incredible feelings that van has experienced. my personal favourite is the title track itself, tupelo honey. i reckon that it has to be one of the greatest love songs of all time. a classic track on a classic album. buy it!
ps. buy everything else of van's too ;)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Tupelo Honey" originally released in 1971 was Van's fourth album, following on from his 1970 classic "Moondance" and the very good but less well-known "His Band and Street Choir." At the time of recording TH, Van was living in Woodstock NY and in marital bliss with Janet Planet Rigsbee, in one of the happiest periods of his life. The radiant optimism spills over into his writing to give us a memorable album full of rich melodies, some positively danceable rhythms and plentiful evidence of mastery of his craft.
As all connoisseurs of Van's 40-year musical output will know, he seamlessly fuses rock, soul, rhythm & blues, American country music, British-Irish folk styles and jazz into something instantly recognisable as the unique Van Morrison sound. It's lyrically rich, whimsical, clever, extraordinary; diverse and often musically experimental but never losing sight of the fact that he is performing for an audience. TH has a more country feel than any other Van album: many of the songs' lyrics evoke the wholesome country life well lived, home and fireside and warm love, reflecting Van's personal life at the time. Rhythms range from the hard-driving "Wild Night" to the 3-4 waltz-time of "I Wanna Roo You" to the syncopated complexity of "Moonshine Whiskey" (being Irish, he can't spell "whisky" properly!). His ode to Janet "You're my Woman" is one of the cornerstone tracks of the album, a deeply personal song referencing her giving birth to their child.
The 4-star rating does not imply TH is a lesser offering: it's way ahead of most music of its time (and all time), but not quite right up there with Van's very best work - though it's close.
The January 2008 digitally re-mastered (mainly by the superlative skills of Tim Young in London) version is the one to buy. It contains two additional tracks to add to the original nine: a longer and better variant of "Wild Night" (was the "original" a shortened version of this longer recording?), and a cover of the non-Van composition "Down by the Riverside." A new insert is included containing all the lyrics, absent from both the original vinyl record and from previous CD releases. The quality of the sound, to this semi-tuned ear, is the best ever of this material. It's affordable, too. So if you have a serious music collection and you don't have it, buy it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
These melodies sneak up on you and linger long after you’ve switched off the CD player. That is why Tupelo Honey is one of Van Morrison’s most accessible and commercially successful albums. There’s the gorgeous title track with its delightful imagery and the swirling I Wanna Roo You with its foot tapping rhythm. When That Evening Sun Goes Down is another catchy song with a propulsive beat whilst the structural complexity of Moonshine Whisky, with its tempo changes and delectable female backing vocals, makes for a magnificent composition, similar to some of those meandering gems on Astral Weeks. Wild Night is a great R&B outing with an old time rock and roll feel and Straight To Your Heart is another melodic rocker. I also love Old Woodstock, a song filled with warmth and joy. And that is what this album celebrates – domestic bliss and the joy of life. In its own way, it is therefore as spiritual as most of his best work, although perhaps not so overtly mystical. Well whether you’re into Van for his poetry or for his tunes, this album will please you. It’s a masterpiece.
Whilst this 1971 album by Van Morrison is often overlooked in comparison with his earlier masterpieces Astral Weeks and Moondance, it still has much to commend it. Recorded at a time which coincided with Morrison moving home from New York to California, along with his then wife, Tupelo Honey is infused with a sense of positivity, calling to mind an idyllic, summery setting (as typified by the album sleeve's artwork). Whilst this overall flavour has the effect of, perhaps predictably, translating into a set of (for the most part) reflectively romantic lyrics, Morrison still manages to imbue the album with a healthy dose of passion and soul.
Stylistically, there is a heavy country influence evident on many of the songs (with John McFee's steel guitar prominent), a phenomenon consistent with Morrison's stated intention for Tupelo Honey, but, despite this, there is also plenty of soul and a little r n' b thrown in for good measure. In fact, it is this latter influence that is so vibrantly redolent on album opener (and, for me, one of the outstanding songs here) Wild Night, a song which eschews the album's more reflective tone (probably because its composition pre-dates much of the other material here) with its tale of a (musical) night out on the town ('And the boys do the boogie-woogie on the corner of the street'). Although this is true of a number of the songs here, for me ,it is Wild Night's infectious feel (featuring its dynamic horn arrangements and Ronnie Montrose's guitar) which is probably the most obvious pointer to the later styles of artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Graham Parker.
Soul-wise (if you like), my highlights are the album's title song, with its superbly dynamic slow-build, Van's most soulful, idiosyncratic (semi-spoken) vocal here and Jack Schroer's nicely judged sax solo; Morrison's heartfelt love paean in the bluesy You're My Woman ('It's really, really, really real') and his reminiscences on idyllic family life back East in the soulful Old Old Woodstock, which features a beautifully lyrical piano solo from Mark Jordan. Then, also maintaining the album's positive vibe are the jaunty (Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannonball and the self-explanatory and acoustic Starting A New Life, on which Morrison delivers a nicely restrained turn on harmonica.
A fine and (unusually, in many ways) uplifting album.
Let`s keep it brief.
Gorgeous, summery, soulful, sensual, gently funky, loved-up, earthy - a timeless Vanload of songs that never lets you down. Taken as a whole, one of his best albums. It may not be quite as spectacular as No Guru...or unique as Astral Weeks, but gives as much sheer pleasure. An improvement on the good-but-a-bit-hippy-drippy His Band & Streetchoir, and looks forward to St Dominic`s Preview, Veedon Fleece and all the many other great albums to come in this man`s remarkable musical odyssey.
Dusty did a terrific version of the title track. Wish Van had collaborated with her - rather than Cliff or the dread Brian Kennedy.
Lovely music. Hesitate not.