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Born To Sing: No Plan B

4.5 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Catalogue
  • ASIN: B008EZVNO0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,140 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Open The Door (To Your Heart)
  2. Going Down To Monte Carlo
  3. Born To Sing
  4. End Of The Rainbow
  5. Close Enough For Jazz
  6. Mystic Of The East
  7. Retreat And View
  8. If In Money We Trust
  9. Pagan Heart
  10. Educating Archie

Product Description

Product Description

This is the first album in four years from rhythm and blues veteran Van Morrison. Born to Sing: No Plan B was self-produced and recorded in his native Belfast, while also marking a return to jazz label Blue Note. It is Van the Man's 34th studio album in 45 years.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barry on 21 Dec. 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Yes, once again Van the man has managed to Wow his fans with this fantastic album. Van does not churn out one album after the other like some insipid lolly pop boy band. some years pass between the release of each recording and I spend those years checking to see if he has anything new on the shelf. When there is a new release I always find myself feeling a little nervous when I first play it. The reason for this is the fear that age might have finally robbed Van of his creativity and that powerful, gritty and wonderful voice of his. As sad as it is, age can do that. It happened to Sinatra and to many others

However the truth is that there are some who have a voice that matures and gets even better with age. Rod Stewart is an example and Van Morrison sounds better than I have ever heard him. If your a genuine Van Morrison fan you will not be disappointed with this album. There are no nasty surprises, no attempt to reinvent himself with some new musical style which is a typical mistake artists make as they get older. This is no nonsense, honest to goodness typical Van Morrison blues/jazz. The sax is heavenly. I Hoped this helped. Happy shopping
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By Angel Delta TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Born To Sing: No Plan B" is Van Morrison's thirty fifth studio album in forty five years and his first new album in four years. It is also a return to the celebrated Blue Note jazz label for which he recorded the critically acclaimed "What's Wrong With This Picture?" The good news is that his latest album deserves equal acclaim. Although the usual musical elements of celtic soul, blues, rock and jazz are evident it is the latter that dominates the set.

Recorded in Belfast with a six piece band the album was produced by Van and all ten songs were written by him. The lyrics are linked to a common theme - materialism and greed and the devastating effect that they have on society. On the lovely, lilting "Going Down To Monte Carlo", with Van also playing piano and alto sax, he observes:

"Sartre said that hell is other people, I believe that most of them are".

But, the grumpiness aside, this is a beautifully realised album with superb musicianship which is perfectly displayed in the compelling "Close Enough For Jazz".

Van's production makes the sound of Hammond organ, electric guitar, tenor sax, trumpet, piano, trombone and drums warm and blissful as he swings through some of his best songs in years. Yes, he is famously curmudgeonly and a serial complainer but when he can write and perform music as inspired as this he can surely be forgiven.
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Format: Audio CD
Is it treading water van has trod for years...yep. Is it offering something brand new and cutting edge...no. Is it still not much fun being van...yep. Is it loaded with paranoia...yep. But is it gorgeous smooth and genuinely uplifting.. You bet. His singing is fabulous and the jazz blues playing is sublime. It's not new but it is genuine quality and it is authentic. If like me you love Van's "no guru"....then this is right up your street.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was fortunate to attend the Van concert during the East Belfast Festival this summer, a very rare occasion with him playing so close to Hyndford Street, where it all began. A fantastic concert! Unusually for VDM, it was a real crowd pleaser with a lot of songs one would hope he would play in this venue. The biggest cheer of the night was for 'Star of the County Down', with superb saxophone intro & outro from Van. He also featured new material, and it sounded better live than on this subsequent album. In recent times his live shows have been where it is really at. He did a great (sellout) turn at the Odyssey Arena as well recently. There is always effortlessly superb musicianship with top performers being kept on their toes. I really wish he had recorded this album live at that concert in East Belfast! Take note Van Fans - see this man live, he still has it on the stage, if not in the studio! Saying that,surely the creative well has not run dry, I live in hope of another album worth getting to know really well over a few tipples of a weekend.
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Format: Audio CD
After 35 albums I'm relieved that Van does have something else to sing about. Here, he does question materialism generally but thankfully quite sublimely wrapped in some sumptuous melodies. Much has been said about Van revisiting a few themes perhaps a little too often. Also, the fact that its been 3 years since his last studio album rather than the an album almost annually, may have contributed to a significant increase in quality: and this being the best album he has released since the nineties. There is not a weak track on the album and several real highlights reminding us why Van Morrison was so rated in the first place. The songs are well constructed, memorable, brilliantly played, and sung with Vans best and most convincing vocal performance for many a year.

The album has a relaxed easy listening feel, but is not in any way bland. The opener is catchy, radio friendly and will no doubt find its way on future Best of's. Going down to Monte Carlo, End of the Rainbow, Born to sing, If in money we trust, are real highlights and wouldn't be out of place on some of his 70s classics. Even Pagan Heart, is arguably his best and most authentic blues track in years.

Generally, even on first listen you can instantly tell that the album has been produced and crafted with care: more thought has been put into the making of this album than some of Vans recent offerings. There are still lyrical references to one or two philosophers, one of Vans staple devices. More interestingly is the track "If in money we trust" the extended jazz workout second half of the song which has echos of the theme tune to the old "Money" program from the 70s, clever!

I'm not sure exactly where it would rank with the rest of his work. After playing it probably twenty times now I would tentatively put it in his top ten best albums. A bold placement I know, but I would rank it along side "Into the Music", a personal favorite of mine for shear listen-ability alone.
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