Kevin Forde wrote the following piece about what he calls the world's strangest album.After a brilliant stint with musical pronoun Them, Morrison signed as a solo artist for Bang Records in 1965 and recorded eight songs, originally intended to be released as four singles. The songs and band had been chosen by Bang boss Bert Berns, but Morrison was unhappy with the sessions. Ignoring the singer’s protestations, Berns instead released all eight tracks as Morrison’s first solo album with the truly terrible title of Blowin’ Your Mind! The album name was almost as bad as its cover.
The Celtic minstrel was not happy and his arguments with Bang Records would continue after Berns’ death in 1967. Morrison wanted out of his deal. The label refused and insisted he deliver them some more short snappy pop stuff like “Brown Eyed Girl” (a song Morrison claims Bang never paid him royalties for).
Unable to record the music he wanted with the band of his choice, Van became understandably distraught. His state of mind wasn’t helped when Ber Berns’ widow (who blamed the argumentative Irishman for her husband’s heart attack) tried to have him deported. A quick marriage to his U.S. girlfriend Janet Rigsbee ended that problem.
|ringworm - the condition|
Surprisingly, the bizarre set was deemed unfit for release by Bang Records who seemed to think that they were somewhat below Van Morrison’s regular output. They eventually saw the light of day under a range of different names from the mid-90s (including, but not limited to, Celebrities at their Worst Volume 3.1) and remain some of the strangest and funniest songs in rock history.