Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Healing Game - Some Fan Opinions

I haven’t plugged Steve Hoffman Music Forums for awhile.  So many great Van fan opinions there.  Here’s a forum about The Healing Game

 Van Morrison - The Healing Game

Therebelsell   -   After searching for a little while, finally stumbled across The Healing Game in a record store yesterday. What a great record. Anyone else love this 90s rarity?

Sneaky Pete   -   It was his last really great record in my book. Vastly underrated he was at another creative peak. What band too, they had played together a lot and it shows. I love Pee Wee Ellis' work on that record.

bubba-ho-tep   -   I have it, but haven't listened to it in a while. It's definitely more enjoyable than Days Like This but I find the followup to this, Back on Top, to be a stronger album overall. The Healing Game still suffers from a bit too much Brian Kennedy.

Sneaky Pete   -   Yes, Brian is the weakest link! I don't know why Van was so enamoured with him.

Pdenny   -   Hardly a rarity (seen all the time in used bins here in L.A.) but imo it's Van's last truly great album. The title track is up there with his greatest performances. I'm not particularly bothered by Kennedy here--it's far far worse on other albums.

Goombay   -   Awesome record. The Healing Game, Sometimes We Cry. and the great live version of Burning Ground.

bubba-ho-tep   -   I consider The Healing Game to be Van's Flaming Pie (I did indeed just throw a McCartney reference into a Van Morrison thread, thank you very much) in that it marked the beginning of a new "golden period" after a few years of fair to middling releases (in Van's case ,Too Long in Exile and Days Like This). I think that Van has really kept the quality of his releases pretty high since The Healing Game. Just my opinion, of course.

Tom H   -   The Healing Game is definitely a return to form. I think it stands up beside No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, Poetic Champions Compose, A Sense of Wonder. Not his greatest works, but still excellent. Rough God Goes Riding is one of my favourite Van songs ever.  I absolutely hated that Mose Allison album. IMO, that's Van's worst album by a loooooonnng shot.  Brian Kennedy doesn't really bother me.

Peter M    -    The first song on each side of the LP - Rough God Goes Riding and Burning Ground -- are both top drawer songs that are best played loud. The band is great and Pee Wee Ellis really shines on this album. I particularly like side one of the LP.   In my opinion, The Healing Game is a great album and much stronger than Days Like This, but I think Back on Top is a better album overall. Unlike others, I like the Brian Kennedy effect on the songs on The Healing Game

Craig   -   I love this album. The CD single of Rough God Goes Riding had two nice B-sides - At The End Of The Day and an alternate version of the title track.

bubba-ho-tep   -   At the End of the Day" was eventually released as a bonus track on the 2008 remaster.

dee   -   I thought those Healing Game songs I heard in concert were Spectacular.  I like Days Like This and Brian Kennedy. 

curbach   -   The original cd sounds great. As a 1997 release I would assume the mastering was the same worldwide. I think this album was part of the last round of remasters, but I'd say there is approximately a 0% chance that the sound was improved. Never heard the lp.

Peter M   -   Asking the important questions: Brian Kennedy: For or Against?
curbach   -   Against. Mr. Kennedy is a major reason I don't rate this album as highly as a lot of other people do.
twowwheels   -   Great album. I've got it on vinyl but haven't listened to it in a while. My recollection is that the SQ is pretty solid. Brian doesn't bother me as a harmony singer on the album.

Crispy Rob   -   It's the last Van Morrison album that I really got into, and there seemed to be consensus at the time that it was a very strong one. I saw him in '97 on a triple bill with Dylan and Joni Mitchell, and then in '98 on a double bill with Dylan and the live versions of this material were also really strong. I only have the original CD, but would also be curious how the remaster compares (and did not know it had bonus tracks). I haven't kept up with Van much since Back on Top and the Mose Allison one, other than picking up the live Astral Weeks (and seeing the terrific Astral Weeks show in Berkeley a few years ago). 

Carserguev   -   AWESOME album, Rough God Goes Riding is FANTASTIC! He just roars on that one!  He was, IMHO, in the midst of a string of good albums, which served to make me a fan for life... Back On Top is also fantastic, more bluesy, less jazzy perhaps...   Many's the time I've wanted to strangle poor Brian Kennedy... His excruciating habit of repeating Van's lines like a castrated parrot ALL THE TIME got on my nerves big time. Was very glad when Van finally got rid of him. 

Peter M   -   The Back in Top vinyl sounds good. My copy has low surface noise and I play it rather than the CD. There must not have been many pressed as it is rarely listed on EBay and expensive. I had much better luck finding the The Healing Game on vinyl for a reasonable price.

dbeamer407   -   I've loved this album since it's came out. I loved some of the songs on Days Like This (the title track, Perfect Fit and I'll Never Be Free) but I wasn't prepared for how good this album would be. Rough God Goes Riding is a ways behind Listen To The Lion on my favourite Van list but it's still up there. I've always liked Piper At The Gates Of Dawn too.

Headfone   -   Brian Kennedy. What was Van thinking? I never play Healing Game and Days Like This. I'm a Van Morrison completist. That's the only reason I haven't thrown them away. Thankfully, he got over it.

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