Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Saddest People in the World


Here is some collected wisdom from various sites on the net. These opinions are in stark contrast to those of Ryan Foley who is the Astral Weeks obsessive responsible for the must-read Throwing Pennies blog devoted solely to the one album - Astral Weeks.      

Astorian   -   Oh... and while Van Morrison HAS done some great stuff in his day, I find his most critically acclaimed album, Astral Weeks, a self-indulgent mess, a real bore of an album.

Dead Air   -   Boring, pretentious, self-righteous, and silly.

Mark Bentley   -   Astral Weeks is a consistently overrated, rambling, poorly conceived sham of a record. For the flip side - a great album in a similar vein - try David Crosby's If I Only Could Remember My Name, which is a gem.


Juicy Leaves   -   I don't want to piss on anyone’s chips here but Van the Man is one of those highly touted singer songwriters like Springsteen or Dylan where I have to admit the appeal is absolutely lost on me.  And it annoys me because I really just don't get what people see in this record.  To call it dull, tepid and completely overrated is probably inviting all manner of donuts to take a verbal swipe at me but I can't help it.  I couldn't even listen to it all the way through it bored me 'that' much. 

Crotalus   -   I'm right there with you on Astral Weeks, Astorian. I love Van, and the critics all say that this is the pinnacle, but it just doesn't work for me. I keep going back to it, but I just don't see the genius of it.


Scott B. Doug   -   I still can't get around the repetitiveness. The "to be born again, to be born again, to be born again...", "no no no no no..." and "never never never never..." and "baby baby baby..." just rub me the wrong way.  His way of taking the beginning of song lines and not singing the words but making a blabber of it instead is also irritating

Tim Lieder   -   Astral Weeks is the kind of music that your friends in college might have made you listen to. They would say "you got to be on drugs to really appreciate it, man" and then try to convince you that it is IMPORTANT music, that it is LYRICAL or SOULFUL. But the only drug you really need for this kind of music is Ritalin.


Zombie Paper  -  Forty five minutes of the HARDEST vowels around. Enough said. 

Ron   -   The CD version of Astral Weeks is one of, if not, the worst mastering job I've heard. I listened to the CD on two very high end systems and both sounded the same....terrible. The mixer mixed all the music out and amplified Van Morrison's vocal to a screeching lever that makes it impossible to hear any back ground music.

Foolhardy from Cave Creek, Arizona   -   I know this is considered a "classic" and one of the "best albums of all time" but I find it ultimately annoying. I bought into the hype when I first purchased it but I gradually came to realise that I couldn't stand it. The overly lengthy songs and vocal "improvisations" drove me batty. Morrison's vocal mannerisms are highly repetitive. He seems to have a few signature vocal "licks" that he uses again and again and again... This album killed any budding interest I had in Van Morrison. Best left for the retirement set. 


Gustavo Rodriguez   -   I love Van Morrison deeply, but I too just can't get into Astral Weeks. Believe me, I've tried. Underrated Van Morrison?--I'll say the Tupelo Honey album or maybe T.B. Sheets . Several of the songs from T.B. Sheets were "reworked" and de-funked for Astral Weeks.

Tyrone Hill   -   This album is difficult to listen to. I find it interesting that so many reviewers gave it five stars. Van Morrison has very much a whining "quality" to his singing that jars the nerves. Astral Weeks is from start to finish a nerve-racking demonstration of annoying singing. It is no wonder that this album did not produce any hit songs (the album liner notes witness to this). Astral Weeks is unhappy, miserable music and so it has to go. I mean no offence to people who actually like this album, but in a few minutes I am going to shred it in an industrial strength shredder. Good bye, Astral Weeks.


Tom Thatcher   -   I know that this is a classic, I know that it has sold a zillion copies and that it established Van as a "great and as an innovator. In spite of all that, I cannot stand it. I am not concerned that it is very much of its time. I am not concerned that it was the start of endless records of two/three chord bashes. I am not concerned that it encouraged Van to play sax, which is not good. No, my dislike is very black and white - I can't BEAR his voice. I am sure that it is deliberate but he cannot seem to hold a note for more than half a beat, and his tone is so harsh. Listen to the middle section of Moondance - it would give an elephant migraine. From Veedon Fleece until the present day he seems to have a mouthful of marbles and a swollen tongue - and the end-notes are about one tenth of a crotchet.


Salmon Dave   -   This album is drivel beyond belief.  With a background of jazzy elevator muzak and Old Grumpy sounding like he is in a wheelchair being fed by a tube and drooling as he spews out his garbage lyrics and pretentious philosophy. This album was made around the same time as Hendrix, the Doors and Captain Beefheart were doing amazing creative and original things meanwhile Morrison decides to make an album to cure insomnia...great move Van. This album is painful to listen to.  It makes you feel you are in a coffin 6 foot deep.  Do not buy it, even his bootlegged Contractual Obligation album is better than this.  This makes me want to kick in my hi fi system !!!!

L. B. Ivarsson  -   Astral Weeks is a record that many praise and call a masterpiece. In my opinion it's just a boring experience from the beginning to the end. The songs are way too long and they seem to never end. I'm thinking about selling my copy.


A Customer   -   I don't really like any of the songs on this album......I think they're slow and boring. Moondance is a MUCH better album. I appreciate many different types of music, but this album is just plain weak.

Warpig01   -   Someone recommended this album to me, so as it is considered to be a classic and there are plenty of good reviews of the album, I bought it. Never will I take anyone's advice again. Astral Weeks is a dull, repetitive, monotonous, half hearted pile of slop that no-one deserves to listen to. Plus it is split into ridiculous "Beginning" and "After" sections. This is what happens to the listener in those sections. Beginning-the listener anticipates what is meant to be a great album. After-the listener loses the will to live. Absolutely dire. 

A Customer   -   I can't believe all the five star reviews on this page, this album is terrible!! All the songs are just complete trash!! Do yourself a favour and pass this one by......it's far from being a legal hallucinogen. Actually it's more like a legal depressant because you'll be really disappointed when you hear it.

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