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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be born again - a classic re-mastered
I've been listening to this record (my favourite of all time) for 40 years. It's always sounded this good in my head, but now with this Japanese-made re-master it sounds superb coming out of the speakers.
I even realise I've been mis-hearing a few of the lyrics.
If you love this record and have a good audio set-up, this could let you hear it properly for the...
Published on 14 Sep 2010 by Mr. R. Mcintosh

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, but the remastering could have been better
Off course, this is one of the true classics in singer/songwriter and rock history, but to my ears the remastering here could have been a little bit better. I found the bass to hard and the vocal a little bit too much in background. Surely other people will find it suitably remastered, but for me it wasn't the best sound. Apart from the remastering the music, performance...
Published 13 months ago by Karl L.


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be born again - a classic re-mastered, 14 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. R. Mcintosh "BobMac" (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
I've been listening to this record (my favourite of all time) for 40 years. It's always sounded this good in my head, but now with this Japanese-made re-master it sounds superb coming out of the speakers.
I even realise I've been mis-hearing a few of the lyrics.
If you love this record and have a good audio set-up, this could let you hear it properly for the first time.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Van paints his master piece!, 14 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
Ah Astral Weeks. I remember being young and living with my dad, just the two of us, and my dad used to have his own architect office and he used to work late at night. He would work in the afternoon, stop working when I got home from school until I went to bed and then work until those lonely quiet hours of the early morning listening to his music. My bedroom used be open plan, so I could hear the music he played and every night I would lose the battle with sleep while listening to the likes of Highway 61 Revisited, John Coltrane's Soultrane, Blood On The Tracks, The Band and also Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and Moondance…. Drifting between those shadowlands of being awake and dreamland while the music floated through the air into my bedroom trying to hold on because I didn’t want to miss any off the mystical glorious sounds I was hearing. Astral Weeks was always one of those records I found incredibly intriguing but that I never quite got, it seemed this guy was singing about things, and in a way that I could never quite fully understand, there was something manic and dark in his voice and the music, so much so that the album actually kind of scared me when I was young. I was far more at ease with Moondance, a slightly more straight forward album and a little less dark. I found the album hypnotising but I would always come away feeling slightly off balance after listening to it.
Years later, when I started buying all the albums my dad used to listen to when I was growing up on CD, I rediscovered Astral Weeks…. I got both Astral Weeks and Moondance on CD and although Moondance still remains one of my all time favourite albums, I really fell head over heels in love with Astral Weeks. There's pure brilliance in the ramshackle yet amazingly beautiful performances of a man fresh out of a mental institution… the album sounds like nothing else before or since including Van's own albums. The band brilliantly flesh out Van's acoustic epical songs of heartache, longing and despair… at times heavenly beautiful at times ramshackle madness a beautiful blend between Irish folk and jazz and something altogether unique.
A masterpiece.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 16 Feb 2012
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
This is the remastered version of Astral Weeks I have been waiting a long, long time for, and it was certainly worth the wait! This Japanese remastered version of Morrison's 1968 debut solo album has the best recorded sound I've heard since I last played my old vinyl version (bought, for the information of cognoscenti out there, in Douggie Knight's record library in Belfast's Botanic Avenue circa 1974). The sound of the 'standard' CD issue is harsh and not that pleasant to listen to. In this remastered version the sound is much improved and the level of instrumental detail is really striking. Quite why Warner Bros haven't seen fit to issue a remastered version of this classic recording in Europe and the USA is beyond me. This version also contains a useful booklet with song lyrics - although there are a few mistakes, viz in Madame George Van sings of Ford and Fitzroy (two streets in the University area of South Belfast) and not, as the booklet suggests, "Froid and Fitzroy". Similarly, in Cyprus Avenue Van sings "All the little girls rhyme something on their way back home from school" whereas the booklet miquotes this line as "I heard the little girl dropped something"! These minor quibbles aside, I cannot really recommend this CD highly enough - if you love this album you really owe it to yourself to buy this version, it may be around four times the price of the 'regular' version, but it is at least four times as good!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic genius and musical excellence, 31 Jan 2006
By 
M. E. Parker (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
Astral Weeks...
Well I certainly wouldn't be elaborating upon my feelings for this album by saying that I think it is quite simply one of the best musical creations of our generation. This album transcends its successors in both its musical atmosphere, which in itself captures a lost idealism of the late sixties, and in its lyricism. Morrison has never been questioned with regards to his ability to infuse a song with the most beautiful and poetic lyrics, but what is sometimes in question is his ability to contain such powerful lyrics within his music - in Astral Weeks I believe he succeeds in both to such an extent that we never again here the vocal, lyrical, and musical intensity achieved in Astral Weeks, apart from a brief retrospection in 'Veedon Fleece'.
This album provides the greatest insight into what I deem to be the frustrated genius of Van Morrison, in my opinion the greatest singer-songwriter of our time, and I urge anyone remotely interested in experiencing a rare musical treat to get it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent upgrade; even the best can be enhanced, 21 Sep 2010
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
More than 40 years on, "Astral Weeks" sounds as fresh as the night it was recorded. Many reviewers have pointed out that this is one of the greatest musical statements of all time: a true musician's album, impossible to categorise, standing out distinctively even from the rest of Van's voluminous and consistently excellent body of work over 40 years. All played in one inspired spontaneous burst, in a 12-hour studio session by musicians who had little or no experience of playing together: in the can, done and dusted, a timeless classic created in one night in NYC.

Bursting with youthful energy, musical originality and jazz-improvisation, featuring some of the most inspired poetic lyrics ever committed to song, the whole beautiful, timeless marvel is carried along by strings, brass, flute, acoustic guitar and the most delicious driving bass playing you'll ever hear. And then there's Van's youthful and right-on-the-edge voice, articulating those poetic stream-of-consciousness lines with such power and conviction you feel he's baring his very soul.

This 2010 Japanese re-master restores the sound to a crispness and depth not heard since the original 1968 vinyl release when played on a top-class sound system. It really is so much better than any previous CD release. And an additional bonus: an 18-page insert with all the song lyrics in both English (thankfully) and Japanese, missing form all previous CD releases. If you love this album as so many of us do, and want to hear it as it should be heard, this is the one to buy. Why WB has not so far released this near-perfect re-master in the USA or Europe is incomprehensible: it's definitely worth the extra money.

Someone said of Astral Weeks many years ago: "You can't really say why it's so great. You have to listen to it to understand that. It just is."

Words like "seminal" seem somehow inadequate to describe "Astral Weeks." There's nothing else like it, nor ever likely to be. It's gorgeous, rich, delightful, transformative, inspired, a one-off. If you've never heard it, then it's time you did and this is the version to buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phl Lynott said this is the only classic, 11 Dec 2009
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
I was into Thin Lizzy at the time around the early 80s and was reading a Phil Lynott interview he commented ''People talk about classic albums and to me there is only one classic album and that is Astral Weeks '' I bought it the next day. I was then and still am Hooked by this album . Buy it have a couple of drinks and listen to it . I do mean listen sit down shut your eyes and drift off . Get back to me. you know .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 14 May 2009
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
I just needed to add my 5 stars to the collection. My first hearing of this was at uni with a crashing hangover. Staying over at a friend's flat. "What's that amazing music?" I thought. Must borrow it. Which I did. And that was it. A 40 year love affair with the best album of all time. I have played it thousands of times and I look forward to playing it thousands more. It is still as fresh and appealing to me with every playing. I still can't believe it was recorded in a couple of days by a group of people that hardly knew each other. It sounds like every note and phrasing has been hand picked and balanced a thousand times before being allowed to take its place. And I mean every note. Don't ask me what the words are all about though; I don't know. I am not sure that I even know what the words are. Maybe I should care - but I don't really. They just work - and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end - as does the music - every time you listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Poetry, Perfect Songs, 22 Nov 2008
By 
pikeyboy (carmarthen, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
Is this the greatest album of all time? Truthfully, I don't know. At the tender age of 18, I thought so. I had no concept of Van Morrison except for Dexy's great cover of Jackie Wilson Said. So, I got on the train to Chester, because they had Penny Lane Records, and I knew I'd find it there. I bought it together with St. Domininc's Preview, so that if I didn't dig Astral Weeks I'd have the album with JWS on and all would not be lost. From the floating, opening strains of the title track, I was immediately hooked. I had never heard anything so fresh, so free, and I already loved Dylan and The Beatles and - for good measure - Scott Walker, but nothing matched this, until I later discovered the likes of Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, Neil Young, etc. But it has to be said - Nick Drake aside - none of the others mentioned ever released an album as self-contained, as cohesive as this. It seems to exist in its own little bubble of time and space, and that time and space belongs to every person who rediscovers this, truly the greatest work of Van Morrison's fairly illustrious career. Perhaps that's why he decided to turn his back on it for so long, I don't know. Perhaps the weight of expectation created by its legend was outweighed by his need to carve out a career without succumbing to popular taste, i.e. to do his own thing. It really is difficult to fathom, when I read people saying they just don't 'get' this album, but each to his/her own tastes, I say. No amount of flowery prose will ever make me 'get' i.e. Joni Mitchell's Blue, though I like it a lot more than some of hers. Or anything on earth that will ever make me 'get' OK Computer, which seems to have replaced Astral Weeks at the top of everyone's current lists. Or Stone Roses, which is just about as good as, say, The Scars to me, and certainly a league below something like Crocodiles by Echo and the Bunnymen, which was great at 14, but I don't wish to hear it now. One thing's for sure: I'll be listening to Astral Weeks long after all the rest has fallen by the wayside, along with other evergreen classics such as Bryter Layter, What's Going On, Harvest, Blood On The Tracks, I'm Your Man, Dream Letter, and many more as well. Thus: no words will ever do justice to the way these songs stir such deep emotions in me. Astral Weeks always was and always will remain the album of adolescent awakenings, wherein poetry and song walk hand in hand, and the results, almost by chance, far exceed the sum of the parts. If you don't 'get it' now you never will. That's life! Still, I can't help feeling a little sorry for those who would overlook the beauty and majesty of Van Morrison's finest hour.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing up, 29 Jun 2006
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
Perhaps it was because of musical tastes too similar to my peers or maybe just sheer bloody-mindedness. But it was with this album and artist that I chose to stand apart.

At 14 it was easy dismiss Van Morrison's uncompromising voice and Folk/Jazz backing as un-melodic and boring.

I resisted it's pull for nigh on ten years. But we all grow up and the first time I listened to it with an open mind I found myself captivated.

To describe Astral Weeks (as I sit here listening to it) is a task beyond my humble abilities except to say that it is as involving and rewarding a piece of music as anything else I have heard.

If you derive anything more than a beat and a dance groove from your music then you really should try it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 30 Mar 2003
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
This album really is amazing. When I first listened to it (having only listened to The Best of Van Morrison before) I didn't like it; I didn't listen to it again for some time, but now I love it. I can understand though how I was fazed by it, it has a sound completely different to anything else.
I disagree with those who say it can only be listened to as an album and you can't only listen to certain songs. Madame George is my favourite on the album (and one of my favourites of all songs) but I went through a phase of only listening to Young Lovers. Sometimes I listen to the whole album, sometimes I mode it to my favorites. The other week I listened to just Madame George on repeat for hours. What I love about some of the songs is that they can kind of merge into your consciousness, you can do other things at the same time and they don't intrude.
As for the way it was cut in two days, and the way that sometimes the percussion loses its beat (noticeably towards the end end of Madame George) - I don't think it detracts from the music at all, more it reflects the spontaneity that that song in particular epitomises. It isn't meant to sound rehearsed and perfect.
Astral Weeks shows Van Morrison's true talent (dare I say genius?); the fact that he was only in his (very) early twenties when this was written and recorded makes it even more astounding. If you like Van Morrison and you haven't got this album, buy it. Now.
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