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Here's the layout (70:44 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 6 make up the album "Common One" released in September 1980
Tracks 7 and 8 are previously unreleased Alternate Takes of "Haunts Of Ancient Peace" and "When Heart Is Open".
The Band consisted of:
MICK COX on Lead Guitar
HERBIE ARMSTRONG on Acoustic & Electric Rhythm Guitar
MARK ISHAM on Trumpet and Flugelhorn
PEE WEE ELLIS on Saxophone and Flute
TONI MARCUS on Sitar and Violin
JOHN ALLAIR and MARK JORDAN on Keyboards
DAVID HAYES on Bass
PETER VAN HOOKE on Drums
(Strings on "Summertime In England" and "Wild Honey", the Choir on "Haunts Of Ancient Peace" and the extra horn section on "Wild Honey" were all arranged by Pee Wee Ellis)
96K/24 Bit remastered from the original analogue master tapes; the sound quality on this re-issue is BEAUTIFUL - clear and clean. The booklet is naff though, functionary at best - it reproduces the lyrics (Alternates included too) and session details, but no new photos, no history of the record - an opportunity missed.
As most of the tracks are lengthy, his sessioned musical partners in the band get to stretch out - and what superb musicianship is on display here - one second all jazzy and trippy, the next soulful and peaceful. Choirs and strings combine too - to devastating effect.Read more ›
There is an air of peace, contentment and above all hope to this album which makes it unique in Morrison's canon/ouevre/whatever you want to call it and which, much as I love other albums, by him puts it on a par with Astral Weeks.
If you own this album, listen again to When Heart Is Open as George Michael once suggested i.e without prejudice and consider this...'can you feel the silence?'
Intellectual musings aside, this is an album full of emotion, spirit and,perhaps above all, heart. After all, it ain't why, it just is.
Summertime In England, the first of the opus tracks running to 15:35 is based on Morrison's own poetry and indeed features a couple of spoken word passages. It namechecks famous poets in its' lyrics and shifts direction a few times. Starting with a drum shuffle this is up tempo compared to the opener, but suddenly changes to a processional pace with swelling strings and Hammond Organ backing before speeding up again. With further tempo changes, it's a masterpiece that in a live environment surely bore comparisons with the manner in which James Brown could hold an audience in the palm of his hand, taking the song 'down' before bringing it back 'up' again. Pee Wee Ellis' saxophone is used to great effect in this respect.
Satisfied is as catchy as it's possible to be with a great underpinning organ theme from John Allair, superb brass stabs and a lovely bass run from David Hayes. It's a deliberate, rock solid pace that gets into a funky groove and doesn't leave it.
Wild Honey is similarly paced to Haunts Of Ancient Peace, with both brass and strings prominent. Seeming religious pronouncements, particularly "And the light comes shining through" and "I'll be waiting for thee" pepper the lyrics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb album, one of Van's later greats. Up there with Astral weeks, Moondance, Veedon Fleece, St. Dominic's previewPublished 12 months ago by stoad74
I found this to be a truely mesmerising album. To my taste Van Morrisn's music falls into two broad catagories - the idylic pastoral as exemplified by Astral weeks and the more... Read morePublished 16 months ago by David Johnson
Excellent CD. If you don't know it but know his music I'd thoroughly recommend it.Published 16 months ago by Alan J W
Playing this brought back a lot of good memories. Great album.Published on 25 Jun. 2014 by Richard Edwards