Van Morrison - His Band And The Street Choir

Original Album on 180 Gram Vinyl LP Reissue

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His Band And The Street Choir is the fourth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, originally released in November 1970 via Warner Bros. Records.

Encouraged by his manager, Morrison and a sextet - including three players from the (previous album) Moondance sessions - hit the studio and delivered His Band And The Street Choir in time for 1970's holiday season. Morrison responded to the pressure by relaxing into it. The feel here is loose, often celebratory.

He digs deep into his long-held fascination with the New Orleans R&B tradition for inspiration. "Domino" is his highest charting single. The funky guitar lick, left-hand piano rumbling, driving, Memphis-style horns, and pumping bassline kick things off in grand party style. The ballad "Crazy Face", written in 1968, melds acoustic guitar, mandolin, and piano. Morrison's brittle, bluesy saxophone line and a grooving B-3 tip the balance toward R&B. "Give Me A Kiss" has a great Zigaboo Modeliste feel in the horn charts; Fats Domino gets referenced in Alan Hand's piano stroll, and the punchy, doo-wopping tag in the chorus nods at Frankie Ford.

"I've Been Working" (which dates to Astral Weeks) is Morrison at his funky best, roaring above a cooking choogle. The acoustic guitar vamp is highlighted by swirling organ, and electric Meters-esque guitar and basslines. Drummer Dahaud Elias Sharr lays down tough breaks and fills throughout as jazzy horns frame the singer. "Call Me Up In Dreamland" features the loose-knit "street choir" (musicians, wives, girlfriends, etc.). It's built on the ragged, Celtic soul-gospel template that Morrison would continue to refer to.

The intimate "I'll Be Your Lover, Too" adorned only by acoustic guitar and whispering drums, is haunted with a slow-burn. Second single "Blue Money" is a Rhodes-and-brass driven blues that returns to the NOLA trick bag for fire. The poetic "Virgo Clowns" is painted in a lovely meld of 12-string acoustic guitars and bass clarinet. "Gypsy Queen" is slippery love song, with Morrison offering a gorgeous falsetto. The Celtic soul in "If I Ever Needed Someone" is highlighted by the same trio of backing vocalists that appeared on Moondance's "Crazy Love".

The closing title track draws on swaggering, testifying gospel. The street choir's backing is sweeter, balanced by eloquent sax and harmonica breaks.

As an album, His Band And The Street Choir may not equal Astral Weeks or Moondance, but the aim was never that lofty. That most of these songs have endured as fan favorites is testament enough to their quality.

Check out the tracks: “Blue Money”; “Domino” and “Call Me Up In Dreamland”.

This 2015 remaster release on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve is pressed in Europe.

(0081227950385)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Domino

3:06

A2

Crazy Face

2:56

A3

Give Me A Kiss (Just One Sweet Kiss)

2:30

A4

I’ve Been Working

3:25

A5

Call Me Up In Dreamland

3:52

A6

I’ll Be Your Lover, Too

3:57

B1

Blue Money

3:40

B2

Virgo Clowns

4:10

B3

Gypsy Queen

3:16

B4

Sweet Jannie

2:11

B5

If I Ever Needed Someone

3:45

B6

Street Choir

4:43

SKU 0081227950385
Record Label Warner Bros. Records
Label / Model # Warner
Catalogue Number 81227950385
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 27 November 2015
Original Release Date (Year) 15 November 1970
Barcode # 0081227950385
Shipping Weight 0.3350kg
Shipping Width 0.008m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000789000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Folk Rock
Genre Blues
Genre Blues Rock
Format VINYL LP

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