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Thread: Ok, what's so great about... Van Morrison?

  1. #51
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    Not a fan myself - although, like others here, I do enjoy his hits. But I can see why so many people - and the whole rock-critic establishment - think he's fantastic. Like the other absolute greatest pop-music artists, he's transcended any sort of standard labeling and become an entire genre of his own. Yes, it's pretty clear that he's coming from R&B, Sixties rock, Irish folk music, and the singer-songwriter thing, and he's stylistically faithful to all of them - but what he does within and across them is unique, and sounds like no one else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    He was a huge influence on Springsteen, Bob Seger, Mellencamp....
    Although I could also say that he founded a genre - that particular strain of poetic white-guy R&B. In the way that Bob Dylan founded the whole Sixties-and-onward concept of the singer-songwriter, and Ray Charles founded soul music.

  2. #52
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    You mentioned those two albums.
    Yeah, but I said "from" and "to" (or I could've said "up to")... that leaves a few albums in between.

    On my compilation, if I'd not progressed chronologically album per album, I'd be even more confused
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  3. #53
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Great, great song. He was a huge influence on Springsteen, Bob Seger, Melencamp, blah blah. I need to get some of his albums.
    As much of an influence as he may have been, I would never associate Van Morrison with those singers, who all present a strongly American identity. Van's sound world is more universal.

    "When I was very young," the late Ralph J. Gleason wrote in a review of Moondance, "I saw a film version of the life of John McCormack, the Irish tenor, playing himself. In it he explained to his accompanist that the element necessary to mark the important voice off from the other good ones was very specific. 'You have to have,' he said, 'the yarrrrragh in your voice'." Van Morrison has the yarrrrragh. (Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll)

  4. #54
    Jefferson James
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    His music sounds nothing like The Cars, I know that much; I like "Moondance".

  5. #55
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    A family member who is a pastor told me that Van's songs about religion and his faith are particularly nuanced and complex, especially when compared to the pablum that constitutes contemporary Christian music.

    No one has noted the wonderful playing on the seminal Astral Weeks album, particularly Richard Davis' work on bass. That was one helluva band on that record and they pushed Morrison to a height some would argue he never would equal. Maybe not. Then again Moondance went in a totally different direction and that's pretty much a classic as well.

    Morrison can be pretty much a roll of the dice live, especially later in his career. Even the classic "It's Too Late to Stop Now" has a couple rushed numbers and the horn section would have been fined into oblivion if they had worked for James Brown. But mercy, side four JUST BURNS. The last two songs are particularly definitive. "Caravan" is just sheer power and the dynamics of "Cypress Avenue" are phenomenal. There's a moment, when the band stops and someone in the crowd is yelling, "turn it on Van, turn it on" and he says, just before kicking the band into another power surge, "it's turned on already". It gives ya the chills.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  6. #56
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I have a Barnes & Noble gift card and need to use it. I've seen Astral and Moondance in the bargain bin.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    As much of an influence as he may have been, I would never associate Van Morrison with those singers, who all present a strongly American identity. Van's sound world is more universal.l[/I])
    I've read interviews and seen documentaries of all the Heartland rockers. They all have in common: Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, early R&B, country music, etc. Of course they sound American. Recently bought a Springsteen CD called 18 tracks. There's one track, The Fever, where Bruce is obviously emulating Van. Good album, by the way.

    Guess I'll be visiting B&N this weekend. Definitely picking up Moondance.

  8. #58
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    ^ Didn't know that. Bruce really is trying to sound like Van on that track.

  9. #59
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    ^Agreed. 'Spirit In The Night' also reflects his influence.

  10. #60
    I think he is one the worst singers to ever get on a record and this is coming from a life long Rush fan. His music is lame-ass and does nothing. I rank it right up there with Bon Jovi, Dokken, Humble Pie (now there's an incredibly bad singer) Journey, Foreigner and Bruce Springsteen. And on that note, you will never have to worry about borrowing any of your Van Morrison records.

    What's his appeal? I have no idea and I am still wondering about the appeal of the bands I listed above. I take that back. I am not wondering about it because I don't give sack of rat's knackers about it.

    'cept maybe enough to post this nonsense.

  11. #61
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Suck it Toad.....

    .....and the boys do the boogie woogie on the corner of of the street.......

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreb View Post
    I don't understand these threads. If you actually need someone to explain why music by pretty straightforward performers like Van, Joni or Neil is great then it's not for you. Move on.
    Yup, like John said.

    If I have to tell you, then you wouldn't understand
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

  13. #63
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    ^Agreed. 'Spirit In The Night' also reflects his influence.
    never thought of that, but yeah, it's a possibility
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  14. #64
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    Van Morrison is towards the bottom of my list as well. Not as far down as Bob Segar but still pretty far down. I've never owned any of his stuff. I might at some point but there's so many other artists out there I would rather explore first. That being said if I saw "tupelo honey," "moon dance" or "astral weeks" on cd for five dollars I probably wouldn't hesitate to pick them up.

  15. #65
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Just purchased: Astral Weeks, Moondance.

  16. #66
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    Played Moondance. Eh, the title track is great, And It Stoned me is great too. The rest will grow on me, but not overly impressed. Still, I love Van's voice.

  17. #67
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    TBH, I don't find Moondance nearly as good as its reputation
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  18. #68
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    TBH, I don't find Moondance nearly as good as its reputation
    What about Astral Weeks?

  19. #69
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    What about Astral Weeks?

    Absolutely love it..; this is a all-genre top 100 album for me

    SDP would maybe find a spot in the top 300, and the others couldn't find a spot in my top 3000 (that doesn't mean they're bad albums of course).
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  20. #70
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    Listening to Astral Weeks now. About halfway through it. I hear the strong influence on Bruce and Bob Seger. It's uncanny. I'm enjoying this album.

  21. #71
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    Eesh, I didn't realize that Gov't Mule's Ballerina from the EP Mo Voodoo was a Van cover song.

  22. #72
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Eesh, I didn't realize that Gov't Mule's Ballerina from the EP Mo Voodoo was a Van cover song.
    I'm pretty sure the Allmans did a Van cover with Warren singing.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    That's funny because I only have CDs from Van's earlier period. Sounds like the "Zen" period is worth exploring. I think he's a very soulful singer.
    He is, indeed. Start with Beautiful Vision and Inatticulate Speech of the Heart. From there, A Sense of Wonder should absolutely come next, and then if you like the vibe of these, go for the rest of the albums from Into the Music through Poetic Champions Compose.

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  24. #74
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Thanks John.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I'm pretty sure the Allmans did a Van cover with Warren singing.
    Yup: "And It Stoned Me" and "Into the Mystic," both from Moondance, though Haynes first began playing "And It Stoned Me" with Gov't Mule, I think; I know he played it with them, but not sure which came first, chronologically.

    Haynes also sang "Caravan," another Moondance track, on the Last Waltz 40 Tour, since Van Morrison performed it on The Band's original Last Waltz.

    Clearly, Haynes loves Moondance....
    John Kelman
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