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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really is a full force gale
I was really lucky, you know. I had never heard any of his records when he came to my city (La Coruña, Spain) for a concert, and everybody in the local press went nuts praising him, so I decided to buy a record and see what the hype was all about. And I picked this one. So, of course, I got caught. Now I own 18 of his records plus the THEM best of, but this one is...
Published on 31 Mar. 2008 by Enrique Ovidio Carro Rey

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my own cup of tea, but lots of people love this album
After Wavelength was hammered by the press for being too American sounding, even though it was a great improvement on the previous album, Van possibly felt a bit confused-After all, how many artists can you say had consistently given a different sound to almost every one of their first ten albums? It's probably little wonder then, that this great artist came to indulge in...
Published on 16 Oct. 2007 by Lou Knee


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really is a full force gale, 31 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Into The Music (Audio CD)
I was really lucky, you know. I had never heard any of his records when he came to my city (La Coruña, Spain) for a concert, and everybody in the local press went nuts praising him, so I decided to buy a record and see what the hype was all about. And I picked this one. So, of course, I got caught. Now I own 18 of his records plus the THEM best of, but this one is the one I keep on hearing again and again. It's easy to see why. It is a full force gale unleashed, from the vigorous intro to Bright side of the road to the beautiful end of the record. A musical rollercoaster, ranging from the lush arrangements of Steppin' out queen to the beautiful old bouquet of Troubadors (My favourite track) and the longing of Angelou. So, I was lucky, I picked this one first. The best way of entering his world, and get lost in it. It's a superb record.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rousing stroll through the hills and down secret paths, 14 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
Sandwiched between 'Wavelength's guitar & synth rock and 'Common One's bizarre mixture of epic 'poems to music' and brassy soul is this belter of an album which starts off as spritely as can be (Bright Side of the Road) and gradually calms down toward the final slow balladeering of 'It's All in the Game/You Know What They're Writing About'.
Featuring gypsy violins, regal trumpets and Ry Cooder's acoustic slide guitar, 'Into the Music' is like no other Van album, but yet sits perfectly amongst all his other recordings. Probably the most accessible (i.e. commercial) of all his 1974-1986 output (possibly excluding 'Beautiful Vision') there are singable tunes aplenty - happy and sad love songs, affirmation of spiritual belief, jolly folk stories - all sung with Van's usual gritty passion and whispered tenderness.
Not as breath-taking as some of his other work, it definitely stands out as a bit of a one off. Certainly check it out before any of his early 80s stuff. In my opinion no Van collection would be complete without it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You make me feel so free..., 11 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
Van Morrison devotees are usually split between lovers of his classic R&B records like Moondance and Tupelo Honey and his more languid, spiritual recordings like Astral Weeks. For me this album manages somehow to marry the two. That's why I think it's easily his best work. Listening to this album is like being in the middle of a gospel choir, with it's soaring harmonies and beautiful words of spiritual redemption it just carries you away. This is Van bringing it all back home. Everything that's ever moved him in life, love, religion, nature, poetry, the ancients, and of course his music. This album is a celebration of all of these things and the old codger is loving every minute of it.
The opening song hits you like a fist, as Van belts out a classic song about the joy of life and love '..we'll be lovers once again on the Bright Side Of The Road.'. He swiftly follows this with an equally stirring song about spiritual renewal, '...like a Full Force Gale, I was lifted up again by the Lord.'. Steppin' out Queen is a fascinating number. A true original, the arrangement is unlike anything I've ever heard before yet it's no natural to the ear and one of my all time favourite songs. Only a genius could have written it. Next up it's Troubadours followed by 'Rolling Hills', songs about the ancient troubadours and the joy of a simple life. From this point on is where he really hits his stride. He sets a cracking pace with 'You make me feel so free', a song about his love of music, '...And so I yearn for mistress calling me, that's the muse, that's the muse'. Followed by the beautiful, tortuous Angelou, you can almost see the veins bulging in his neck as he reaches for the words '..will you be my baby', building slowly up into the most exquisite crescendo. Then he renews his love of music with And the healing has begun, '...When you hear the music ringin' in your soul, and you feel it in your heart and it grows and grows' as he whoops and hollers his joy at the simple act of singing and you find yourself joining in. For me it could have ended there and it would have been perfect but 'It's all in the game/You know what they're writing about' is a gentle soulful combination that eases you gently back to earth from the giddy heights of the previous song. Sheer bliss.
This isn't music, this is witchcraft.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this album ..., 10 Nov. 2009
By 
David (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into The Music (Audio CD)
I got to know and be amazed and uplifted by this album when I fell in love with the woman who is now my wife. After a previous painful separation/divorce and an ice age of loneliness there came along an amazing woman and a man who was brave enough to sing out his whole soul and not be afraid, a man who could teach me not to be afraid and let myself be loved. I could not (and still can't) listen to this without weeping my heart out: for sadness, at all those wasted years; for joy, that there are so many beautiful things in the world, of which this album is one. 'Blessed are those who grieve, for they shall be comforted' - or, as Van the Man puts it, 'the healing has begun'. Or, as when he asks Angelou 'Will you be my baby?', she says 'Yes I will' - people who haven't heard this album might think 'so what?', but Van Morrison sings it because he knows it means everything to him, to her, to you, to anyone who has ears to hear, and to anyone who might really *need* to feel that their proud but hurt heart might melt into love. Yes, and for those who have a brain as well as a heart, this (is it just a coincidence?) is what Molly Bloom says at the wondrous conclusion of James Joyce's *Ulysses*. And when he sings 'He will be there, with a small bouquet' in 'It's All in a Game', 'your heart will fly away' - it really will. So, buy this album if you are, have been, want to be or need to be in love.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Will You Be My Baby?" Van Asks On "Angelou" & After Hearing This FAB REMASTER -"Yes I Will You Moochy Old Codger" Is The Reply!, 7 Mar. 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into The Music (Audio CD)
This is the 3rd or even 4th re-issue on CD of "Into The Music" (released originally in August 1979) and I'll happily admit it - I'm blown away! I played this album to death at the time, and rehearing today in this extraordinary sound quality is a rediscovery well worth making. It's by far the best version of the album to date.

Here's how it's laid out: Tracks 1 to 10 make up the original album with Tracks 11 and 12 being previously unreleased alternate takes of "Steppin' Out Queen" and "Troubadours". At seven minutes "Steppin' Out Queen" is extended over the 5:20 minutes of the final album cut - and it's an absolute peach. The alternate take of "Troubadours" clocks in at 5:32 minutes as opposed to the 4:41 of the album final - and again, a superb version. I'm always wary of outtakes and alternate versions as bonus material on re-issue CDs when they're not any better nor an equal to the original and act as a cheap way of suckering fans to purchase more of the same. But these two choices are inspired - and an absolute must-have for Van lovers.

The upgraded booklet contains all the lyrics in the same script style as the original vinyl album and a detailed list of who sessioned on what, but disappointingly there's no history of where the album fits in, no new liner notes, nor any photographs. However, a nice touch is the lyrics to the alternate takes - the record company could have lazily reproduced the lyrics twice at the end of the booklet, but closer examination shows they haven't - the lyrics actually reflect the free-forming of the different expanded versions - a nice touch.

But the best bit is definitely 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 BEAUTIFULLY CLEAR and WARM - making you reassess every song and the superb musicianship on each. RY COODER lends his Slide Guitar to "Full Force Gale", MARK ISHAM his trumpet playing to almost every track, while ROBIN WILLIAMSON of THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND puts a penny whistle into "Troubadours" and "Rolling Hills" (for me one of the weakest tunes on here). KATIE KISSOON adds complimentary backing vocals to "Bright Side Of The Road" and the lovely "You Make Me Feel So Real". TONY MARCUS' violin is also heavily featured on almost every track. The remaster also brings out the rhythm section of PETER VAN HOOKE on Drums and DAVID HAYES on Bass.

His lovely cover of the Tommy Edwards 1950s hit "It's All In The Game" runs seamlessly into "You Know What I'm Writing About" and ends the album. Speaking of which, at 2:18 minutes into "It's All In The Game", Mark Isham's trumpet sails in like a soothing dollop of honey - and it's a truly beautiful flourish - puts a tear in my eye - sheer genius - and I realise again why I adored this album so much all those years ago! And the issue is mid-price too - I picked up my copy for £6 in Central London.

All in all, a FANTASTIC REMASTER and one I urge fans and the uninitiated to get stuck into soonest.

PS:
Like "Into The Music", 30 Van Morrison albums are to be re-issued in remastered form throughout 2008 and into 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:

January 2008 (7 titles, see reviews)
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, see reviews)
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 - now delayed until February 2009 (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 - delayed, probably May/June 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)

PPS:
Those hoping to see desperately needed sonic upgrades of his 1st and 2nd album masterpieces on Warner Bothers "Astral Weeks" (1968) and "Moondance" (1970) or even "His Band & The Street Choir" (late 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! "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" have both been languishing on crappy-sounding non-remasters for over 20 years now and they're glaringly obvious omissions here. These universally recognized 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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BLAST OF JOY, 17 Jun. 2003
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
This joyous album kicks off with the snappy Bright Side Of The Road and continues in the same powerful vein with the stirring Full Force Gale, a full throttled celebration of spiritual ecstacy. The beautiful violin is the hero on both Stepping Out Queen and the bucolic Troubadours, whilst Rolling Hills is a hypnotic Celtic ballad with a sing-along chorus. You Make Me Feel So Free is a soulful love song with delightful sax infusions and Angelou, a passionate love song embellished with lovely snatches of violin and piano, demonstrates Van's vocal prowess. With its soaring melody, whoops, hollers and shimmering violin, And The Healing Has Begun is my personal favourite on this exquisite album. But the subdued It's All In The Game and the lengthy You Know What They're Writing About are brilliant too. On this album the music is infused with happiness and an uplifting spiritual quality. Into The Music is right up there with Van's acclaimed masterpieces like Tupelo Honey, Moondance and Hymns To The Silence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can't stop playing it, 13 Nov. 2005
By 
J. Brennan "irishlinks" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
My first introduction to Van was probably Brown Eyed Girl - but I was pretty young then and didn't even care or know who he was. At the age of about 18 I heard Beautiful Vision - and was hooked. Gradually I bought up albums over the years. Avalon Sunset was my favourite for a while - but I think that Into The Music has now taken that position. I got the CD over 2 years ago but probably only listened to it in the car - a bad move. It is not really made for driving to. You need to be in a darkened room - no distractions - volume high and let it rip. I got it out 3 weks ago and can't stop playing it - especially the last 4 tracks - The best album ever ? Probably
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Will You Be My Baby?" Van Asks On "Angelou" & After Hearing This FAB REMASTER -"Yes I Will You Moochy Old Codger" Is The Reply!, 6 Feb. 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
This is the 3rd or even 4th re-issue on CD of "Into The Music" (released originally in August 1979) and I'll happily admit it - I'm blown away! I played this album to death at the time, and rehearing today in this extraordinary sound quality is a rediscovery well worth making. It's by far the best version of the album to date.

Here's how it's laid out: Tracks 1 to 10 make up the original album with Tracks 11 and 12 being previously unreleased alternate takes of "Steppin' Out Queen" and "Troubadours". At seven minutes "Steppin' Out Queen" is extended over the 5:20 minutes of the final album cut - and it's an absolute peach. The alternate take of "Troubadours" clocks in at 5:32 minutes as opposed to the 4:41 of the album final - and again, a superb version. I'm always wary of outtakes and alternate versions as bonus material on re-issue CDs when they're not any better nor an equal to the original and act as a cheap way of suckering fans to purchase more of the same. But these two choices are inspired - and an absolute must-have for Van lovers.

The upgraded booklet contains all the lyrics in the same script style as the original vinyl album and a detailed list of who sessioned on what, but disappointingly there's no history of where the album fits in, no new liner notes, nor any photographs. However, a nice touch is the lyrics to the alternate takes - the record company could have lazily reproduced the lyrics twice at the end of the booklet, but closer examination shows they haven't - the lyrics actually reflect the free-forming of the different expanded versions - a nice touch.

But the best bit is definitely 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 BEAUTIFULLY CLEAR and WARM - making you reassess every song and the superb musicianship on each. RY COODER lends his Slide Guitar to "Full Force Gale", MARK ISHAM his trumpet playing to almost every track, while ROBIN WILLIAMSON of THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND puts a penny whistle into "Troubadours" and "Rolling Hills" (for me one of the weakest tunes on here). KATIE KISSOON adds complimentary backing vocals to "Bright Side Of The Road" and the lovely "You Make Me Feel So Real". TONY MARCUS' violin is also heavily featured on almost every track. The remaster also brings out the rhythm section of PETER VAN HOOKE on Drums and DAVID HAYES on Bass.

His lovely cover of the Tommy Edwards 1950s hit "It's All In The Game" runs seamlessly into "You Know What I'm Writing About" and ends the album. Speaking of which, at 2:18 minutes into "It's All In The Game", Mark Isham's trumpet sails in like a soothing dollop of honey - and it's a truly beautiful flourish - puts a tear in my eye - sheer genius - and I realise again why I adored this album so much all those years ago! And the issue is mid-price too - I picked up my copy for £6 in Central London. This is my 4th purchase in this batch of re-issues and they've all been revelations.

All in all, a FANTASTIC REMASTER and one I urge fans and the uninitiated to get stuck into soonest.

PS:
Like "Into The Music", 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 (1978), 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)

PPS:
Those hoping to see desperately needed sonic upgrades of his 1st and 2nd album masterpieces on Warner Bothers "Astral Weeks" (1968) and "Moondance" (1970) or even "His Band & The Street Choir" (late 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! "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" have both been languishing on crappy-sounding non-remasters for over 20 years now and they're glaringly obvious omissions here. These universally recognized 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 on 17 March 2008 in the UK and 1 April 2008 in the USA

For those interested in this series of re-issues, see also reviews for "A Sense Of Wonder", "Tupelo Honey", "Back On Top" and the 2CD live set "It's Too Late To Stop Now" and "Wavelength"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece enhanced, 1 May 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into The Music (Audio CD)
This uplifting album kicks off with the snappy Bright Side Of The Road and continues in the same powerful vein with the stirring Full Force Gale, a full throttled celebration of spiritual ecstacy. The beautiful violin is the hero on both Stepping Out Queen and the bucolic Troubadours, whilst Rolling Hills is a hypnotic Celtic ballad with a sing-along chorus.

You Make Me Feel So Free is a soulful love song with appealing sax infusions and Angelou, a passionate love song embellished with lovely snatches of violin and piano, demonstrates Van's vocal prowess. With its soaring melody, whoops, hollers and shimmering violin, And The Healing Has Begun is my personal favourite on this exquisite album. But the subdued It's All In The Game and the lengthy You Know What They're Writing About are brilliant too.

The two added tracks are alternate versions of Troubadours and Steppin' Out Queen, both longer than the originals. On this celebratory album the music is infused with happiness and a joyous spiritual quality. Into The Music is right up there with Van's acclaimed masterpieces like Tupelo Honey, Moondance and Hymns To The Silence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyful sounds, 27 Nov. 2004
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into the Music (Audio CD)
This joyous album kicks off with the snappy Bright Side Of The Road and continues in the same powerful vein with the stirring Full Force Gale, a full throttled celebration of spiritual ecstacy. The beautiful violin is the hero on both Stepping Out Queen and the bucolic Troubadours, whilst Rolling Hills is a hypnotic Celtic ballad with a sing-along chorus. You Make Me Feel So Free is a soulful love song with delightful sax infusions and Angelou, a passionate love song embellished with lovely snatches of violin and piano, demonstrates Van's vocal prowess. With its soaring melody, whoops, hollers and shimmering violin, And The Healing Has Begun is my personal favourite on this exquisite album. But the subdued It's All In The Game and the lengthy You Know What They're Writing About are brilliant too. On this album the music is infused with happiness and an uplifting spiritual quality. Into The Music is right up there with Van's acclaimed masterpieces like Tupelo Honey, Moondance and Hymns To The Silence.
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