Sunday, 27 October 2013

Van Morrison Outed in Domino Lyrics

Note to the Web Sheriff and Van's lawyers: no serious Van Morrison believes Van Morrison is gay.  The following has been re-posted to show what's happening on the extreme edges of Van comment on the internet.  In no way is this meant to damage Van's reputation. Van himself, has commented about the extreme analysis his lyrics have been subjected to.    


Van Morrison has supposedly been “outed” in the lyrics of Domino.  Add to this the transgender-friendly lyrics of Madame George (Van’s first name) and you have a “full-blown” gay conspiracy.  It's amazing that all this gay speculation is fascinating to so many.  Here's Domino lyrics:    

Don’t want to discuss it
I think it’s time for a change
You may get disgusted
And think I’m strange
In that case I’ll go underground
Get some heavy rest
Never have to worry
About what is worst and what is best
Oh oh domino
Roll me over...

And here are comments from the therapists, free-thinkers, intellectual elite, university professors and Nobel Prize winners who comment on sites like this:

Anonymous   -   The first verse is a man talking to his girl, asking for something different in their sexual practices, which he is afraid she is going to object to or be disgusted by, i.e. anal sex.  The second verse is the girl's reply in the affirmative - roll me over, Romeo. Get it?
Anonymous   -   I'm pretty sure that in this case Domino is a man's name and Van is talking about mano a mano - roll me over Romeo?- c'mon I'm pretty sure that along with the strange/disgusted/underground lyric that this debate is over.

Anonymous   -   Or is this simply one of those songs that was written to be musically appealing, but needs some kind of lyrics to make it a song, so the writer just packs it with a lot of "word salad" to fill the order?
Ripvano   -   If Van was to glance at these ideas he'd probably get a good laugh.   Every now and then a writer throws a line at you for fun-designed to make you puzzle and search for hidden meanings which were not there to begin with.  There is nothing better than a word game in a song.  But what I've read here will be good fun to relate at the pub.  You guys are looking for a forest when there aren't even any trees around for miles.

BrooklynJimmy   -   I loved this song but never paid attention to the lyrics until recently. Yes this is a homosexual dalliance; "roll me over Romeo." There is no ambiguity there. "Thinking I'm strange." Going into uncharted territory where he's never threaded before; and those around him might find it strange. "Underground", he'll just keep it a secret.

Anonymous   -   Jimmy's right. It's obviously a tale of homosexual dalliance.
Anonymous   -   I think Morrison is referring to a homosexual affair.

Jerrye   -   I think this song is about the writer’s frustration with the game of love, in light of the fact that his lover is seeing another man, a Romeo.   One definition of domino is a game played with a set of small blocks. Perhaps this song is about playing love games, in light of the references to Romeo and “never hearing from him.” Most of us are aware that Romeo references a "a lover, passionate admirer, seducer of women."  “And if you never hear from him, that just means he didn’t call,” supports the idea that writer is addressing the fact that his love interest has interest in another man. The fact that the writer says “roll me over, Romeo,” suggests that the other man is the Romeo.
So, if the other man is the Romeo, and the writer says, “I think it’s time for a change,” this could mean that the writer is contemplating backing off in the relationship with his love interest, in light of her involvement of Romeo.   I don’t know why the writer’s potential change would disgust the love interest. I could see a love interest being disappointed or angry. But disgusted sounds like “discuss it,” from a previous line, and this may be the writer’s best effort at lyrically conveying the love interest’s potential disappointment or anger over the proposed change.  

I think the writer means that, if the love interest chooses to continue with Romeo, in light of the writer’s proposed change, the writer will retreat, disconnect from, and ignore the love interest and possibly self medicate, either literally or figuratively.    If the lover continues with Romeo, the writer may want to rid his lover from his mind. The writer would want to avoid thinking about whether it’s better to stay with the lover, and put up with the lack of exclusivity, or retreat. The writer seems to say that he doesn’t want to argue or negotiate. He seems firm.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Van Morrison Quotes - Part 5

41. You've got this stuff running through your head all the time. Sometimes you just want to turn it off. It can be annoying to have to go and get a paper an write it all down. These thoughts, these half dreams, these bits and pieces that people might say. It can be so annoying that sometimes you just want it to go away.

42. You have to understand a bit about the poetry of the blues to know where the references are coming from.

43. Then you had R&B people like Slim Harpo and Harmonica Fats. And then also Ray Charles at Newport. There seemed to be something happening between the horns and the way Ray was singing and the harmonies. So I keyed on that. And I also listened to Gerry Mulligan, and people like that who really like to blow. I remember getting a saxophone and going to a teacher to get lessons. I also played some folk guitar, and that turned into working with rock 'n' roll bands.

44. When I played clubs, same thing -- you walk through the audience, have a drink with some people from the audience. Nothing about you're up here, and they're down there. So this is the environment I came from, where everyone was the same. I was always more music-oriented and less star-oriented, which is why I've never been comfortable on big stages in big halls.

45. I always related more to what the jazz people were doing. Louis Armstrong said, "You never play a thing the same way twice." That's me, but people expect you to play it the way they know it, and I can't do that. If I just had a hassle with somebody, there is no way I'm going to paint a smile on my face and say, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. And now for my latest record." That is not where I'm at. If I had a hassle, I'm not going to be feeling good. The next night I may be happy. I just take it as it comes. I can't turn it on.

46. It is like how people perceive me. It's all an illusion, all about how others project an image on you. John Lennon said it in his last couple of interviews. He said, "This is a load of shit. This is not how it really is. I will tell you the way it was, but nobody wants to hear it."

47. I don't think I will ever mellow out. I think if you mellow out, you get eaten up. You become like a commodity. So I don't think I will mellow out. It is not in my blood. 

48.  There is one thing I don't understand about Astral Weeks. Of all the records I have ever made that one is definitely not rock. You could throw that record at the wall, take it to music colleges, analyse it to death. Nobody is going to tell me that it is a rock album. Why they keep calling it one I have no idea.

49.  People think I'm eccentric, cranky. If I'm eccentric because I've never been into mainstream things, then I am eccentric. I've never been comfortable working live, and I'm still not. I was never able to adjust to it because when I started and we played dances, you would finish a couple of songs and just walk through the audience and say, "Hi, how you doing?" No stuff about being a star.

50. I was in Ireland when Brown Eyed Girl started to happen. I never wanted to be commercial, and suddenly Brown Eyed Girl was making me even more commercial. The people I was listening to never sold a lot of records. John Lee Hooker was never on the charts, so I was never in it from a commercial point of view. Other people expected things from my records, but I never did.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Michael Buble is Better than Van

I originally wanted to use a sentence or two of the following post on one of my random comment collections called “Funny Things People say”.  However, the whole article is pure gold.  In the opinion of dying2beheard385 Michael Buble trumps Van Morrison as a singer.  Surely this is just his attempt at humour?  The fact that he claims one of his favourite films is the excruciating August Rush has to confirm it, surely? Here's most of the post:

Moondance: Michael Bublé = WIN!!!
Van Morrison = FAIL!

No matter how many times  I listen to this song I still think  Van Morrison was not meant to sing this song. I don’t think he really nailed the jazz element he was going for. He sounded so out of breath, and unmotivated while singing this song. I just can’t believe this song was as successful as it was when it came out.  I came across a cover done by occasional jazz singer Michael Bublé and I thought his version was so much better. Michael Bublé makes this song just bearable, he doesn’t sound like he’s trying too hard to sound like a jazz singer it just comes naturally. I’m very familiar with Michael Bublé’s  music so I guess there is a little bias judgement involved.  When Van Morrison was singing his diction was really poor, certain words such as the one word (Moondance) he pronounces as the word (mundance) which is not even a word.
I have never heard someone try so hard to hit notes that aren’t even that hard to hit. It’s not like he’s trying to imitate Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera, I don’t get why he has to scream certain lyrics. It’s like when you submerged in water that is too warm for you so your stomach keeps contracting in, I feel like every time the contraction happens that’s when he decides to belt out what ever lyric is next. I’m usually able to pick lyrics that I can repeat in my head over and over to fill in for the words.
I don’t know but when Van Morrison sang Moondance I felt bored, he didn’t sound like he even wanted to sing this song.  Every time I listened to his version I never remembered the lyrics but when I would listen to Michael’s version   I would get happy because he sounds so good, I just love how smoothly he transitions into each note he sings that everything is smooth.

I guess I’m in the minority when it comes to loving Michael Bublé’s cover because several people have commented on the you-tube video saying he’s not a great singer and preferring Van Morrison’s version over his. I guess something is wrong with my ears (sarcasm) because Michael Bublé = Win and Van Morrison = Fail.

With Van everything sounds like he’s starting to lose his breath which would cause him to take a deep breath then scream out the note before losing his breath again. It’s like he’s competing with the demo version of this song and losing. While listening to this song I always needed to have the lyrics with me at all times or I’ll end up learning the wrong words. Also for some weird reason when ever I would listen to this song it would remind me of a person who claps off beat to music, it’s painful to watch and hear and you want to correct them so badly, but  also you can’t understand how they can’t get something so simple as staying on beat or at least singing a song that he’s basically talking.

I’m starting to think Van Morrison is bigger than what I think he is because another one of his songs is was used for a scene to one of my favourite movie August Rush. I mean usually mostly mainstream musicians have their music played in movies.  It’s rare for me to hear a song and then look up the artist and see they’re still in that unknown phase.  I didn’t even remember this scene, but even the actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers did a better job at singing the song than Van Morrison did, I guess because he had Kerri Russell as his muse.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Van's US Album Sales

Van's Biggest Hit at 5.4 million copies

Earthslayer posted the following data about Van’s U.S. sales on the Greasy Lake Blog.  The U.S. has traditionally dominated album sales in the rock era usually out-performing sales in the rest of the world combined.  Click on the link to find more info.  Album sales by David Bowie and Joni Mitchell have also been posted.     


Note: Things that are not included below:
* bootlegs and/or counterfeit releases
* promotion-only and/or giveaway-only releases
* interview-only and/or spoken word-only albums unless they have been released by VAN MORRISON's record company or specifically licensed by them
* 'Various Artists' and Collaboration releases
* EP or Mini-Album releases (album must contain at least 7 VAN MORRISON tracks or at least 30 minutes of VAN MORRISON music)
 * Export Sales: albums made in USA but shipped overseas to be sold in other countries

1967   Blowin' Your Mind   -   225,000

1968   Astral Weeks   -   850,000

1970   Moondance   -   4,400,000
1970   The Best Of Van Morrison   -   75,000

1970   His Band And The Street Choir   -   325,000
1971   Tupelo Honey   -   900,000

1972   Saint Dominic's Preview   -   575,000
1973   Hard Nose The Highway   -   375,000

1974   T.B. Sheets   -   80,000
1974   It's Too Late To Stop Now   -   200,000

1974   Veedon Fleece   -   225,000
1977   A Period Of Transition   -   225,000
1978   Wavelength   -   450,000
1979   Into The Music   -   250,000
1980   Common One   -   175,000

1982   Beautiful Vision   -   200,000
1982   Two On One: Moondance/Street Choir   -   50,000
1983   Two On One: Saint Dominic/Hard Nose   -   25,000

1983   Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart   -   150,000
1984   Live At The Grand Opera House Belfast   -   100,000

1985   A Sense Of Wonder   -   245,000
1986   No Guru, No Method, No Teacher   -   200,000
1987   Poetic Champions Compose   -   275,000

1989   Avalon Sunset   -   650,000
1990   Best Of Van Morrison   -   5,400,000
1990   Enlightenment   -   325,000
1991   Bang Masters   -   60,000
1991   Hymns To The Silence   -   300,000
1993   Best Of Van Morrison, Vol. 2   -   300,000

1993   Too Long In Exile   -   400,000
1994   A Night In San Francisco   -   125,000
1995   Days Like This   -   600,000
1996   How Long Has This Been Going   -   175,000 

1997   The Healing Game   -   280,000
1998   The Philosopher's Stone   -   125,000

1999   Super Hits   -   50,000
1999   Back On Top   -   600,000

2002   The Complete Bang Sessions   -   30,000
2002   Down The Road   -   650,000
2003   What's Wrong With This Picture   -   325,000

2005   Magic Time   -   350,000
2006   Pay The Devil   -   250,000
2006   Live At Austin City Limits Festival   -   25,000
2007   Morrison At The Movies-Soundtrack Hits   -   200,000

2007   Best Of Van Morrison, Vol. 3   -   100,000
2007   Still On Top - The Greatest Hits   -   300,000
2008   Keep It Simple   -   175,000
2009   Astral Weeks-Live At The Hollywood Bowl   -   125,000

2009   The Bang Sessions   -   5,000
2012   Born To Sing: No Plan B   -   100,000

+ domestic US sales of foreign-pressed albums   -   350,000

TOTAL US ALBUM SALES   -   22,950,000

Friday, 11 October 2013

More About the October Moondance Release

Mike Duquette asked, 'Do Artists' Opinions on Their Catalogue Titles Influence Your Purchases?' Below is most of his interesting post discussing that question and making reference to the new Moondance release in October, 2013 followed by some reader opinions.

Not long after Joe had posted about Rhino’s upcoming expansion of Van Morrison’s Moondance, I vocalised my pleasant surprise at the news. Morrison’s history with reissues has been spotty at best.  A late-2000s reissue campaign was quickly halted. The next day, however, Morrison issued a statement denouncing the project, taking particular issue with the wording of the press release suggesting he was involved. “It is important that people realise that this is factually incorrect,” the statement read in part. I did not endorse this, it is unauthorised and it has happened behind my back.

This is hardly the first time an artist has openly criticised their own catalogue works. Prince, who was allegedly paid to stay out of the compilation and release of The Hits/The B-Sides in 1993, insisted on a bevy of changes to 2006′s Ultimate Prince and then planned a new album to curtail its release. Elvis Costello, whose catalogue has been released three times as expanded CDs on three different labels, suggested that current rights owners Hip-O/UMe had “gotten off on the wrong foot” with a series of live reissues, “doing too many records from the same time period and the same repertoire.” And Morrissey, even as he has gotten involved in radically revisiting his own catalogue, has had choice words for previous box set efforts.
Generally, though, such instances are rare. When it comes to the major labels, most will not (and in some cases cannot) embark on a vault project for a beloved artist without the consent (if not participation) of the artist in question. This isn’t for fear of bad publicity, but the more obvious legal entanglements.


Joe F.   -   While an artist’s okay is a blessing, it doesn’t always mean that a project’s a curse if they are not involved– especially if they seem unwilling to ever revisit some of their work when both they-and frankly, most of their most dedicated fans are getting old. Take this Moondance re-issue. If the record company is sincere and attempts to remaster, or remix the album from the best available sources, and utilising the services of talented engineers, while spending time on packaging and notes and then prices the finished product accordingly, why not? Now, I realise that some re-issues are slap dash, or overpriced, or even come out sounding worse than the original album, and that could happen with or without an artist’s involvement. 

John   -   I agree with the sentiment in this post. As someone who was previously in the music industry with a little hand-dipping into catalogue A&R, I can say that labels aren’t all money-grabbers as many perceive. Most catalogue departments are staffed by music enthusiasts who want to “Do the right thing” in terms of a reissue. Van may be annoyed that he is not contractually be required to participate, but I hardly believe this reissue was done to tarnish his legacy; quite the opposite. (Personally, I am not a fan of him).

Joe F.   -   Does money have anything to do with it? I mean would Van receive the same royalty rate on a multi-disc reissue that he would on the same single disc Moondance that has been on shelves for decades? In other words, is there a financial incentive for him to get involved?

Brian from Canada   -   The labels, to me, are often the ones doing the right thing when it comes to these bigger reissues. Many artists don’t perceive the past work the same way fans do, and they often focus instead on the present or future. But don’t deny the fans material just because you don’t want to look back.  Where the labels err is in the continuous reissue of the same material. David Bowie pretty much ground to a halt right before the interesting stuff (Berlin trilogy, pop trilogy). We haven’t gotten many classic Billy Joel concerts, and the 90s stuff was all recorded DAT. And the list goes on and on and on.

Mike   -   Like Lou Reed, Morrison is a miserable a##hole and always has been. I’m sure he’ll get paid for this reissue, so he should really just cash the checks and not worry about it. He’s entitled to his opinion, of course, but his complaining is all too predictable.
Chief Brody   -   This is a VERY, VERY complicated issue with a lot of different facets to it, IMO. As for Van, the guy is a curmudgeon of legendary proportions, so I’m not surprised he’s disowned this Moondance reissue. Personally, I think his catalogue (especially that album, in particular) deserves the royal treatment, and it looks like WB is gonna treat this this title with the respect it’s deserved for so long. I hope I’m right. It’s a shame that the only decent digital mastering of it was on a long-OOP Japanese import that’s now commanding big money on the used market.
I’m not always sure that an artist is necessarily the best judge of his or her work, but ultimately it’s their creation, and if they have the legal right to do so, they can do with their work whatever the hell they want to do with it. Doesn’t mean we as consumers have to like it or buy it, though. I tend to view these things on a case-by-case basis.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Six Degrees of Separation

Popular novelist Lee Child has an East Belfast connection with Van Morrison.  It has emerged that Van and Lee’s father were both born within a very short distance in East Belfast.  Van was born in Hyndford Street and Lee’s father was born in Cyprus Avenue – a street Van has immortalised in song.  Lee has even gone on record as saying he thought Van’s family once owned the house his father was born in. 
Lee Child is an extremely popular crime novelist and his main character Jack Reacher is well known worldwide, particularly now that Tom Cruise has played Reacher in a movie.  Child’s real name is Jim Grant.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Funny Things People Say - Part 3

Heyho   -   Never forgave him for a really poor attitude he had in concert when I saw him years ago.  Played about 50 mins of a totally lethargic, bored out of your head, no hits set then walked off. As I walked out I said 'well that was a pile of crap' only to be lambasted by some die hard fans who basically said 'oooh well that's the beauty of Van, he is so unpredictable'.  Well he can shove his unpredictability up his miserable f###ing arse.

Nat Pearson   -   I know it's a bit far-fetched and unlikely, but, if a new Wilbury is to be chosen, why not Van Morrison?  Morrison's mystical lyric artistry, in particular, would complement Dylan's  edgy writing and George's humour.  He would fit perfectly as to age, experience, and talent into the Wilbury troupe. His songs have almost always been acoustic at heart, keeping in the Wilbury mold of back-to-basics music-making. 

Vic Stanley   -   Nobody would ever say Dylan is a great singer but many would say Van Morrison is. However, when Van is singing in his upper register he's completely tone deaf and painfully out of key. I wonder why nobody has ever had the nerve to tell him. I guess I just answered my own question.

Gary Shannon   -   Somehow, the rumour that Van Morrison was from Louisiana got started back in the late 60‘s when his hit Domino was riding the charts. 

Son of Brock Landers   -   Ugly male singers are everywhere (Adam Duritz, Ben Folds, Van Morrison, that dude from ELO with the shades & afro). Hell, David Bowie is ugly but chicks think he is sexy because he has a British accent, dresses weird-trendy, knows how to apply eyeliner and was pretty gay in the 70s.
M. Johnson   -   Hidden in the garagey R&B are many forms of transgressive sexuality that Van understands (and doesn't merely mimic from the Blues.) as well as a potent mysticism [see Hey Girl, Gloria and My Lonely Sad Eyes.]

As to the sexuality- well, it's most evident in Madame George, of course ["the hallway lights are slowly getting dim/ you're in the front room touching him,] but already the THEM and Bang! material, as well as ASTRAL WEEKS, Van makes reference to old homo paedophiles and well as his troubling desires for 14 year old girls. Van never made perversions his primary subject/affectation like Lou Reed, but it's there just the same.

Andy Greene   -   It would be hard to count how many times Paul McCartney’s  sung Blackbird, Lady Madonna, We Can Work It Out and Let It Be, but it's never like watching Van Morrison sleepwalk through Brown Eyed Girl for the millionth time. He still sings them with passion, and even something as well-worn as Yesterday manages to remain very moving.
Brian Kauffman   -   I've never seen Van live, but I've heard some bootlegs, and I get the impression that Van's music doesn't click in concert.

extremelisteningmode   -   Van’s blend of Celtic soul, jazz and groove has the power to inspire and beguile. Which is odd, as he is a gruff little tool with an unreconstructed sense of self-worth and a contempt for, well, anyone who isn’t him, really. Almost poetically rude, it still can’t deflect from a body of work the equal of any of his contemporaries.

Sea King   -   There are plenty of reasons to hate Van Morrison without getting into his wardrobe.
Matt Lisac   -   It wasn’t THAT long ago that you didn’t have to be pretty to be talented. Sure, it’s always helped, but consider the following:  FDR: polio,  Janis Joplin: Ugly, Bob Dylan: Weird looking, Van Morrison: Wow… and Miss Piggy: A pig.  What do all these people/puppets have in common?  They all became famous for their abilities/merits/hilarious obsessions with funny frogs. 

Felonious Drunk   -   Have you seen the purple onesie he wears in the Last Waltz 
Bock the Robber   -   We did our bit for Credible Country when we got rid of Charlie Landsborough. We also attempted to eliminate Kenny Rodgers and Van Morrison, but they were too quick for us, though we did manage to inflict an ugly flesh wound on Kenny. I’m not saying Van Morrison represents the dark side of Country music, mind you: we attempted to eliminate him on the very valid grounds that he’s Van Morrison, a miserable, sour git.

 Anonymous   -   If Van Morrison has a religion, it's music and music alone, in spite of whatever you may hear about God on some select Van Morrison songs. Music is what he has come back to over and over again, from his childhood, through his philosophical searches, through to present day. It's what provides solace, wonder, and purpose. And at times it's as if he's trying to convert the rest of us.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Van - A Smooth Criminal?

Judith Coyle has written an unintentionally hilarious post comparing Van and Michael Jackson. 
 Van - Is He a 'Smooth Criminal' too?!

I was just about to write a post about how I like to compare Van Morrison, Irish minstrel, and Michael Jackson, global superstar, when I discovered a funny cartoon on the web. It depicts Van as Michael and underneath the picture, instead of Who's Bad? it reads Who's Grumpy? I would have loved to seen MJ cover one of Van's later songs. So, onto my very random thoughts about Van and MJ. Stick with me on this....
Both stars have had careers throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Both burst onto the scene in the 1960s in groups, Van with Them, Michael with The Jackson 5, before going onto more glittering and critically-acclaimed solo careers.
Both are/were known to be reclusive and seem(ed) to have trouble dealing with the general public.

Both have an aura of mystery around them, albeit in very different ways.
Both have a penchant for black hats and sunglasses!

Both are usually referenced in terms of one defining album - for Van it is Astral Weeks, for MJ, Thriller. Thriller tops the best-selling album of all time list; Astral Weeks has topped the best album, as voted for by critics, of all time.

Both reference, in music, lyrics or dance, those from an earlier era who have inspired them - e.g. Jackie Wilson.

Both have a love of spiritual songs and frequently address God in their lyrics. Both could be said to be 'spiritual seekers'.
Both artists harp on about childhood and youth in their songs. Van has got to be one of the most nostalgia-focused songwriters of all time!

Both have written songs about the industry and professionals who have 'done them over'.

Of course there are vast differences:

One (MJ) chose to fight the ageing process through diet and surgery; the other embraced his portliness and the ravages of time. You could say that MJ fought against his corporeal existence while Van accepted it.

Van has released album after album, some very much the same; MJ released a small number of albums containing original material - no album really like the others.
And of course, Van will probably live to a ripe old age; Michael has gone.


Al Burton   -   ...and how could you forget, both artists have written songs which have been covered by Alan Burton!! I used to have a hat a little like the one in your picture, but it got nicked at one of my gigs. For some reason people seem to think it's OK to steal people's hats and somehow it's not thought of as a crime. They wouldn't take my jacket, put it on, think it's fun and walk off home with it. But when it's a hat.. well that's different it seems. I was gutted.