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4.6 out of 5 stars
38
4.6 out of 5 stars


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on 12 May 2017
The disc came and when I tried to play it absolutetly nothing happened. It'sas if it had been erased, didn't even register.
I wrote and told the seller about it and I was ignored.
I'd advise not buying from this seller poor product and zero customer care.
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on 5 May 2017
A classic version of 'it's all in the game'.
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on 14 December 2001
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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on 31 March 2008
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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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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on 13 November 2005
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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on 21 January 2013
A great album from van. Not a weak track and the quality of songs are maintained throughout. The tracks vary from the uptempo, Bright side of the road, and Full force gale to the romantic and earthy, Angelu and The healing has begun. Both sides have a distinctive feel and all tracks have plenty of tasteful brass and violin arrangements. The album as a whole is very accessible and you're want to hear repeatedly its that listenable. If you're fairly new to Van Morrison and have only heard greatest hits or Moondance and Astral Weeks, Into the Music would be a great addition and confirmation that it ranks along side his very best work
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on 11 July 2005
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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I played this album to death at the time of its 1979 original vinyl release and rehearing today in this extraordinary 2008 CD sound quality is a rediscovery well worth making. It's by far the best version of the album to date. Here are the Rolling Hills and Stepping Out musical details...

UK released January 2008 – "Into The Music" by VAN MORRISON on Polydor/Exile 5305454 (Barcode 600753054543) is an 'Expanded Edition' and part of "The Van Morrison Remasters" Series of CD Reissues for 2008 and 2009 - it plays out as follows (52:34 minutes):

1. Bright Side Of The Road
2. Full Force Gale
3. Stepping Out Queen
4. Troubadours
5. Rolling Hills
6. You Make Me Feel So Free
7. Angeliou [Side 2]
8. And The Healing Has Begun
9. It’s All In The Game
10. You Know What They’re Writing About
Tracks 1 to 10 are the original vinyl LP "Into The Music" - released August 1979 in the UK on Mercury 9102 852 and in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 3390.

BONUS TRACKS (Previously Unreleased):
11. Steppin’ Out Queen (Alternate Take)
12. Troubadours (Alternate Take)

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.

All in all - a fantastic remaster and “the healing has begun…” This is one CD reissue I urge fans and the uninitiated to get stuck into soonest…

PS: VAN MORRISON Remasters - Released and CANCELLED
Like "Tupelo Honey" - 28 other Van Morrison albums were to be re-issued in remastered form throughout 2008 and into early 2009. Each was to contain upgraded booklets, previously unreleased material and all were to be at mid-price. They were to be released in 4 batches as listed below (29 in total) - but famously batch 3 and 4 were cancelled indefinitely. These lists are for info purposes...

January 2008 (7 titles)
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)
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) - CANCELLED
Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972), A Period Of Transition (1977), Beautiful Vision (1982), Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Hymns To The Silence (2CD Studio Set), 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) - CANCELLED
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)
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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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