Thursday, 13 June 2013

20 Facts About Born to Sing

    1.  Born to Sing: No Plan B is Van's 34th or 35th studio album depending who you listen to. 
    2.  It was recorded in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is 59:54 long.  Can we just call that an hour?
3.  The album states the content as ten new original songs although Close Enough for Jazz was featured as an instrumental on his 1993 release Too Long In Exile. 
   4. On most internet sites that count these sort of things, Goin' Down to Monte Carlo is the fan favourite from the album.
   5.  If in Money We Trust finds Van meditating about the all-encompassing power of money and the ways in which cash has replaced God at the centre of the modern belief system. Said Morrison: "That came from looking at a dollar bill and turning the concept on its head. I thought, 'what is this stuff on here, what does it mean?' Some people's God is money."

  6.  Born To Sing is Van's first album of original songs since 2008's Keep It Simple.
  7.  The album features three songs at around the 8 minute mark - Goin' Down to Monte Carlo (8:12), If in Money We Trust (8:02) and Pagan Heart (7:52). 

  8.   It cracked the Top Ten in the U.S, Austria, Ireland and Spain.
9.  Born to Sing is the first Van album to feature a trombone (supplied by Alistair White).

10. The album was favourably reviewed generally with most reviewers giving it four out of five stars.  

11.  The only vocals on the album are Van's.

12.  Van plays was recorded live at the studio and features a six piece band of musicians, with Morrison on vocals, piano, guitar and alto-saxophone.

13.  One of the album's themes and some of the songs reflect on the current worldwide financial crisis and Morrison has spoken out that he felt the need to comment on what he perceives as "the worldwide preoccupation with money, materialism, income equality, and the greed that has poisoned society". 
14.  The single from the album was Open the Door (To Your Heart) and was released by EMI on 24 September 2012.
15.  In an interview with John Bennett with the Belfast Telegraph, Morrison described his meaning of the title as: "Well it’s all about doing what you’re meant to do and no frills, like Mose Allison said about me, if you want to look it up, ‘There's no smoke or mirrors, there’s no lights. It is what you get.' That’s basically what you get. I’m not a tap dancing act. It’s just singing."

16. Slant Magazine called it the "recession album but four years too late"
17. Van originally wanted to do an album of jazz covers but Blue Note President Don Was nixed that idea. ("C’mon man, let’s do the real thing: write some songs that mean something to you. And let’s make a real record!”)
18.   The 'East' Morrison is singing about on this song is east Belfast (his home city). This song finds the singer disgruntled and fed up with the world. He explained the song's meaning to The Guardian: "When you've had a conspiracy against you, then you can't speak, because nothing that you say will be even taken on board. If the media wants to bring somebody down, which is what they were trying to do to me at the time, you can't fight that 'cos it's too big. So that's what that's about."

19.  The single from the album, Open the Door (To Your Heart) , was featured as the Record of the Week on BBC Radio 2 during the week commencing 25 August 2012.
 20. Educating Archie refers to both a ventriloquist's dummy on a popular BBC radio show of Morrison's youth and television's working-class anti-hero Archie Bunker, both representing the kind of average guy whom the singer warns, "You're a slave to the capitalist system/Which is ruled by the global elite."

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