Sunday, 10 August 2014

Favourite Van Songs II

Here's a great post from the Missed Music blog.  Some great comments about a few songs.  interesting to note that only Precious Time from the last 30 years or so makes the cut as one of his favourites.

More of my Favourites from Van Morrison

It is rare for me to have a favourite anything. Favourite movie? Favourite book? Favourite meal? I can give you a top five, but a single favourite is rare. Van Morrison is my favourite musician. Since I really started getting into his music some 18 years ago, he has endured as my very favourite. He is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, an inspiring singer, a brilliant bandleader, and an unparallelled songwriter. I have been fortunate enough to see him play live a couple of times and am richer for the experience.
That is not to say that I have enjoyed every song the man has written and performed. I haven’t. But can you claim to enjoy every work by any artist? In any medium? Some of Van Morrison’s work doesn’t reach me. Of course, the man has released 38 albums. I can tell you that from 1968 to 1974 the man could do no wrong. Any album you pick up from that era is wall-to-wall platinum. After that there are great moments on nearly every album.

I published a mix of my very favourite songs by Van Morrison last year, but there were enough gems left over that I wanted to put together another. Give these a listen and please, do yourself a favour and pick up some vintage Van Morrison if you don’t already own a bunch.
Come Running – I like to kick off a mix with an energetic up-tempo song. Here you go.

Glad Tidings – Everyone involved in this song sounds like they were having fun: the horn players, the backup singers, and Van himself.
Crazy Love – No one wrote love songs like this one. I have to say it’s a great song for sex.

Streets of Arklow – A deliberate intro and haunting flute work set the mood for Van’s longing wail.
Purple Heather – This is from Hard Nose on the Highway

Wild Children – This is nostalgia in music form and nobody does it better.
I’ve Been Working – This song sneaks up on you a bit but by the end it’s a real horns-laden rocker.

Send Your Mind – Some seriously vintage work from Van from 1967, before Brown Eyed Girl was a hit.
(Straight to Your Heart) Like a Cannonball – So many of the songs on Tupelo Honey were just irresistible. Here is another that just has such a sunny feel. I love it.

Joyous Sound – This is an energetic, fun song that somehow hit the cutting room floor, but was released years later on his career-spanning collection of B-sides, The Philosopher’s Stone.
Precious Time – This is a later song from Van (1999) but it feels like a throwback to his Tupelo Honey days.

Madame Joy – An earlier recording of Madame George off of Astral Weeks that was released on The Philosopher’s Stone. I love any version of this great song.
Fair Play – It’s possible that Veedon Fleece is my favourite album by Van Morrison and this is a big reason why. It’s full of emotional songs like this one.

You Don’t Pull No Punches, But You Don’t Push the River – Here is another gem from Veedon Fleece. This one is sadder, more moving, and nearly 9 minutes long.
Almost Independence Day – Another brilliant, 10-minute epic, this one from Saint Dominic’s Preview.

Listen to the Lion – Van wrote a lot of these epic pieces. This one is over 10 minutes and is a gorgeous love song.

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