Friday, 9 November 2012

Your Favourite 3 Van Al###s

At the Naim radio music forums “Sloop John B” asked readers for their three favourite Van albums.  As usual all kinds of suggestions were offered.  A Period of Transition and You Win Again got nominations!  Naim has a lot to offer the Van fan with plenty of bizarre Van opinion available about a variety of Van topics. 

Sloop John B   -   About a month ago I got A Sense of Wonder on CD second hand in Freebird Records in Dublin. It was one of the half of his catalogue to be remastered 2008. I never had it before and it was just excellent (as well as great sounding - as Vans' productions usually are).

I decided to do an Amazon trawl of this series and get some of the albums I don't already have. While not adhering to the Greil Marcus view of a 15 year dearth of good albums I had really thought Avalon Sunset was probably his last top notch one.  Then I put on the Healing Game from 1997 and was immediately entranced and wondered how on earth I had managed to miss such a superb album.  We had a mini Naim night in Dublin last Tuesday and David from this parish was talking about Hymns to the Silence as one of his favourites and this is another I have not really heard.  One often sees the odd Van album showing up in the "What are you...." thread and it would be interesting to see what the forum's favourite Van Morrison albums are. 
So here's my (current) 3 (no order) Actually 5:  Common One, A Period of TransitionThe Healing Game, Moondance and Into the MusicI could go to ten no trouble. For all the adulation he gets he is "criminally overlooked" compared to some artists who seem to make the cover of Mojo every 3rd month.

Lloydy   -   My top 3 would be (based on most played) Down the Road, You Win Again and Days Like This.

Stone Rose   -   Astral Weeks (one of my all-time favourite albums), Back on Top and Moondance.
Whizzkid   -   Veedon Fleece, Moondance and Wavelength.

Northpole   -   St Dominic's Preview,  Into the Music and Moondance.

graham55   -    Astral Weeks and Moondance. I wouldn't suggest a third, as I don't think that anything else comes close.  If forced, I'd go for St Dominic's Preview. Of course, Astral Weeks would be in contention for one of the best albums by anyone, ever.

Hot Rats    -    Moondance, Wavelength and It's Too Late To Stop Now.

Guido Fawkes    -    Astral Weeks is a great album.

Chris Kelly   -   For me it has to be Moondance. Special album with special memories for me.

Tonym   -    Enlightenment, Moondance and Into The Music.

Gianluigi Mazzorana   -   No Guru, No Method No Teacher

Sloop John B   -    Isn't it amazing variation in people's favourites?

I really believe Van is under-recognised as the unique soul artist he is. I can't think of any other artist ( including Dylan and HMHB) with a stronger cannon. I remember the way Solomon Burke spoke of Van at a gig of his, it was the way you'd expect him to talk of Ray Charles or Otis. Made me think of familiarity - contempt / artist never recognised at home etc. There are some Van albums here I didn't expect as the reviews weren't great I'll have to rethink that decision.

TN  -  Poetic Champions Compose, Moondance and No Guru No Method No Teacher

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