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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 11 February 2004
V.M. walked out on Them and began a long solo-career with this album, 1968's T.B Sheets. This saw him enter into a brief contract with Bert Berns- whose death saw him free to do what he wanted after- Van was adrift in America. He'd ditched the band thing and was now becoming the solo artist.
TB Sheets is very much a prequel to career-high Astral Weeks (also 1968)- going so far as containing earlier, inferior versions of AW-tracks like Beside You and Madame George. Morrison was deeply affected by a relationship with a girl that had died of T.B., or perhaps that's all myth, or perhaps it doesn't really matter. T.B Sheets is generally up-beat Stones/Animals/Zombies-sounding joy- the next album would embrace folk and jazz a lot more. It's a brilliant mistake, songs like Brown Eyed Girl and He Ain't Give You None sounding curiously upbeat- even if Lester Bangs detected a whiff of Humbert Humbert about some of the affections here. Didn't H.H.'s nymphette-lover die of T.B in Corfu?
The key track here remains T.B Sheets itself, a nine-minute plus blues dirge, an elegy to a dying lover, a foot-tapping song which seems to suggest a kind of necrophelia. It should be familiar to many as a track which is used throughout Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead (most people think it's The Stones). But it seems too personal, a bit like PIL's Death Disco/Swan Lake, or Big Star's Holocaust. Bleak, bleak stuff. T.B-hacking in the wee-small hours-"look into my eyes/Your little star struck innuendows, inadequancies & foreign bodies...open up the window, let me breathe...". This recalls ancient blues, not to forget several Edgar Allen Poe poems- specifically Annabel Lee. It's perverse, compulsive and so...emotional. Just a cool drink of water- the sunlight shining through the crack in the window pane...looking down on the street below. It ends with repetitions of "I gotta go" and "There you go"- which seems a way beyond "The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room/And I can almost smell your TB SHEETS". Horrifying stuff- one of the darkest records made by anyone ever- Berlin is utterly lightweight compared...
This version of TB Sheets is worth buying for the title track alone, and does set the scene for the timeless Astral Weeks. But it probably does need a decent remastering job, it's listenable, but could probably be improved on. I could probably go on about the song TB Sheets until the end of time- it's that kind of song...
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on 8 May 2003
TB sheets is the supreme work of an outstanding artist, while less known than his famous Astral Weeks album it still contains some of his best work (TB Sheets possibly being the greatest song I have ever heard). In fact you can listen to two alternate versions of tracks from "Astral Weeks", both of them exellent. I have bought my first van Morrison tape at the age of 14 but TB sheets got me hooked again after 15 years. It is definately a must have record.
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on 25 January 2015
I've been listening to Van Morrison's music since I was about 14 years old (and going to his concerts), so contrary to the star rating I actually really like the music and the tracks on this album. Although the last track is the abysmally edited radio version of "Brown Eyed Girl". The problem with the whole album is that it just sounds flippin' awful; the sound quality really is atrocious and yet it is supposedly a remaster. It's with the other 30 Van Morrison albums on my CD shelf but this 'version' never gets played.

To make it absolutely clear, I refer to the 1990 Columbia Records reissue (COL 467827 2 / Barcode 5099746782726 DISC ID 5B0B1208) and this is the CD I own!

If you like this CD's arrangement of tracks I wholeheartedly recommend you do yourself a big favour and buy other compilation albums with these tracks on and make up the CD yourself. The sound quality will be 100 times better than this effort, and you'll get the uncensored version of 'Brown Eyed Girl' as well.

To help others find these tracks (there are only 8 so not difficult) I've made up this list of alternative albums.

Payin' Dues
Brown Eyed Girl
Midnight Special

01 - He Ain't Give You None
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special

02 - Beside You
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special
NB. The version on the Astral Weeks album is a totally different rendition of the same song

03 - It's All Right
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Midnight Special

04 - Madame George
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special *
NB The version on the Astral Weeks album is a totally different rendition of the same song
* The version on the album 'Midnight Special' has the first 30 seconds cut..so minus the initial "..put your fur boots on.." stuff.

05 - T.B. Sheets
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special

06 - Who Drove The Red Sports Car
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special*
* The version on the 'Midnight Special' album also includes 18 second studio intro of Van Morrison correcting song title before the take

07 - Ro Ro Rosey
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special

08 - Brown Eyed Girl
alternative albums: Payin' Dues; Brown Eyed Girl; Midnight Special
NB. The TB Sheets version is the 'censored for radio edit' and you'll hear a repeated line at 2' 19" in the song instead of the original "Making love in the green grass behind the stadium with you" which is restored on the other albums. Furthermore, it's a terrible 'chop and insert' effort and unbelievably noticeable.

I hope this helps.
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on 5 December 2013
The Columbia and Bellaphon versions of this album contain the edited/censored version of "Brown Eyed Girl" where "makin' love in the green grass behind the stadium" has been replaced by "laughin' and singin' behind the stadium". A small point perhaps but if you are a collector, then this seems to be the only place to get this "radio" version of the single.

As for the album, it still holds up after all these years.
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on 17 January 2011
Good album, but as other reviewers have pointed out, almost nothing on this album that hasn't been re-released in other and better editions
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on 18 March 2015
No problems at all. As advertised, arrived on time. What's not to like?
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on 25 August 2014
excellent,in every respect
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on 25 July 2005
One of the earliest versions of the Bang material that has been endlessly recycled in order to fool people into thinking they are buying new Van Morrison material (not by him). At least it has historical interest I suppose and it doesnt have the really bad stuff. I cannot remember what the original album was but I dont think this was it.
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on 8 October 2014
\\all good
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on 19 September 2013
Goods were received well before the expected delivery date. Goods were well packaged and received in excellent condition as per the description in the sale.
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