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"No Guru, No Method, No Teacher" is part of the 2nd wave of Van Morrison remastered reissues to hit the shops in 2008 (see full list below). Released Monday 30 June 2008 in the UK and 1 July 2008 in the USA, it boasts truly superlative remastered sound quality, an upgraded booklet and 2 bonus tracks for the first time - one of which is an entirely new song.

Here's the layout (60:26 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 make up the original album - it was released in July 1986 on Mercury
Tracks 11 and 12 are previously unreleased bonus tracks - "Oh The Warm Feeling (Alternate Take)" and "Lonely At The Top" (the new song)

96K/24 Bit remastered from the original analogue master tapes; the sound quality on this re-issue is truly beautiful - clear, clean and a joy to the ears. Throw in the really strong song material, superb musicianship and bonuses actually worth owning and you're already reaching for the credit card!

The upgraded booklet has the lyrics to the Alternate Take and New Song after the rest of the album, session notes and beneath the see-through inlay is a photo that matches the original artwork. Disappointingly, there's no new liner notes, no interview, no photos - no extra history of the tracks - where they fit in - shame that.

The bonus tracks are the best of the 4 CDs I've bought so far in this 2nd batch; the alternate version of "Oh The Warm Feeling" is really lovely and sounds like a proper album track with the same production values - not like some outtake or a poorly recorded demo. The new song, "Lonely At The Top" is ok - a bit disappointing to be truthful, and although it doesn't tell us in the liner notes, I'd swear that's BRIAN KENNEDY's vocals in the background.

For my money, this is the best remaster so far - and finally gives this underrated gem the sonic muscle it's long deserved. Highly recommended.

PS:
30 Van Morrison albums are re-issued in remastered form throughout 2008 and into early 2009. Each title contains an upgraded booklet; previously unreleased bonus tracks and all will be at mid-price. The releases are in 4 batches as follows:

28 January 2008 (7 titles)
Tupelo Honey (1971), It's Too Late To Stop Now (2 CD Live Set) (1974),
Wavelenght (1979), Into The Music (1979), A Sense Of Wonder (1985),
Avalon Sunset (1989) and Back On Top (1999)
(see SEPARATE REVIEWS for all 7)

30 June 2008 UK/1 & 8 July 2008 USA (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)
(see also SEPARATE REVIEWS for "Veedon Fleece", "Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart", "Enlightenment", the live 2CD set "A Night In San Francisco" and "Common One")

November 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) and 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 - on either side of the pond. "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" in particular have both been languishing around on crappy-sounding non-remastered CDs for over 20 years now and they're glaringly obvious omissions in this supposedly 'extensive' re-issue campaign. These universally recognized masterpieces have long deserved 2CD DELUXE EDITION treatment (some tracks in remastered form are available across the 3 volumes of "Best Of"). However, I've recently been informed by a good source that all 3 are NOW AVAILABLE since June 2008 in JAPAN in RHINO REMASTERED form. See the excellent Japanese site CDJAPAN.CO.JP for details (worded in English).
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on 24 February 2012
This album is Van Morrison's final masterpiece. His only 5-star albums to come are the "applaud the old geezer for making something just quite good" type as is the case of so many. But this one... It's given a measly 3 stars by allmusic while, incredibly, three of his albums from the 00's are higher rated. This is to know nothing of Van Morrison's genius.

On this album, he allows us access to his inner being, the spiritual core. Every track, barring the last, is up there with Astral Weeks, and the best moments of St. Dominic's Preview, Tupelo Honey and Veedon Fleece. The better thought of Poetic Champions Compose and Inarticulate Speech of the Heart are so much wasted space in comparison.

It's on No Guru, No Method, No Teacher that Van dips from the wellspring of his creative genius, and so consistently that there is barely another album in his cannon which stands up beside it. AND ALLMUSIC GIVES IT 3 STARS while, at the same time, assuming the role of expert!
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Enhanced by two additional tracks, No Guru No Method No Teacher is an album of gentle ballads and meandering instrumental passages that reveal an understated mood of contentment. The mellow rumination on childhood, Got To Go Back, has undulating instrumentation, on both versions of Oh The Warm Feeling Van's characteristic spirituality shines through whilst Foreign Window with its lovely female backing has a dreamy texture.

The tempo picks up for the catchy song A Town Called Paradise with its gripping guitar, sax and trumpet, inspiring lyrics and exquisite arrangement. The album title comes from the lyrics of In The Garden, a song with louder and softer sections and prominent rolling piano, whilst Tir Na Nog is a gorgeous Celtic excursion with lush instrumentation and poetic lyrics.

Here Comes The Night is a lilting soulful love song whilst Thanks For The Information has a jazzy edge to it and a semi-spoken vocal. One Irish Rover is closer to traditional folk, but still infused with Van's unique sense of the mystical. The album concludes with the previously unreleased Lonely At The Top. you won't find Morrison's most passionate or ecstatic moments here, but rather a sense of calm and tranquility in the soothing and delectable melodies.
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