Van Morrison - Astral Weeks

Original Album on 180 Gram Vinyl LP Reissue

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Astral Weeks is the second studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, originally released in November 1968 via Warner Bros. Records.

Astral Weeks is generally considered one of the best albums in pop music history, but for all that renown, it is anything but an archetypal rock and roll album. It isn't a rock and roll album at all. Van Morrison plays acoustic guitar and sings in his elastic, bluesy, soulful voice, accompanied by crack group of jazz studio players: guitarist Jay Berliner, upright bassist Richard Davis, Modern Jazz Quartet drummer Connie Kay, vibraphonist Warren Smith and soprano saxophonist John Payne. Producer Lewis Merenstein added chamber orchestrations later and divided the album into halves: "In The Beginning" and "Afterwards" with four tunes under each heading.

Morrison's songs are an instinctive, organic mixture of Celtic folk, blues and jazz. He fully enters the mystic here, more in the moment than he ever would be again in a recording studio. If his pop hit "Brown-Eyed Girl" was the first place he explored the "previous" - i.e. the depths of his memory - for inspiration and direction, he immerses himself in it here.

The freewheeling, loose feel adds to the intimacy and immediacy in the songs. They are for the most part, extended, incantory, loosely narrative and poetic ruminations on his Belfast upbringing: its characters, shops, streets, alleys, and sidewalks, all framed by the innocence and passage of that era. Morrison seems hypnotized by his subjects; they comfort and haunt a present filled with inexhaustible longing and loneliness, and he confesses as much in the title track.

Morrison doesn't reach out to the listener, but goes deep inside himself to excavate and explore. The album's centerpiece is "Madame George" a stream-of-consciousness narrative of personal psychological and spiritual archetypes deeply influenced by the road novels of Jack Kerouac. The climactic epiphany experienced on "Cyprus Avenue" paints a portrait of place and time so vividly, it fools listeners into the experience of shared - but mythical - memory.

"The Way Young Lovers Do", its swinging jazz verses and tight rhythmic choruses underscore a simmering, passionate eroticism in Morrison's lyric and delivery.

Astral Weeks is a justified entry in pop music's pantheon. It is unlike any record before or since; it mixes together the very best of postwar popular music in an emotional outpouring cast in delicate, subtle, musical structures.

Check out the tracks: “Madame George”; “Cyprus Avenue” and “The Way Young Lovers Do”.

This 2015 remaster release on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl is pressed in Europe.

 

(0081227950378)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Astral Weeks

7:06

A2

Beside You

5:16

A3

Sweet Thing

4:25

A4

Cyprus Avenue

7:00

B1

The Way Young Lovers Do

3:18

B2

Madame George

9:45

B3

Ballerina

7:03

B4

Slim Slow Slider

3:17

SKU 0081227950378
Record Label Warner Bros. - Seven Arts Records
Label / Model # Warner
Catalogue Number 81227950378
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 27 November 2015
Original Release Date (Year) 01 November 1968
Barcode # 0081227950378
Shipping Weight 0.2900kg
Shipping Width 0.005m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000493000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Folk Rock
Genre Blues
Genre Jazz
Genre Blues Rock
Format VINYL LP

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