Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Funny Things People Say - Part 21

Whilldtkwriter   -   Gloria by Van Morrison/Them (1963) is actually titled rationally; there is no doubt who or what the main thought is—"Glo-ree-a. G-L-O-R-I-A, …" and on and on and on. Laura Brannigan's version (1982) has Gloria throughout the song, also leaving no doubt as to the topic name. As for Angels We Have Heard on High, Gloria gets a lot more air time than the actual song title's words. I say rename the song to Gloria and really confuse people!

Lauren   -   Fairly early on I knew I had a pretty mom. But my mother wasn’t pretty in the way Van Morrison says, “girls dressed up for each other”.  She wasn’t stuck on having the "it" purse or following the latest trend.

W0   -   Where Van Morrison at almost 70 professed that he has no plan b, The Tragically Hip just presents its plan a: to rock and play!

Marios   -   Now known more for his fearsome reputation as a curmudgeonly r&b shouter in a hat, at one point in the dim and distant past, Van Morrison was, well… a happy curmudgeon. In the early '70s his magnificent voice and mystic vision were wedded to an idyllic private life and final acceptance within a music industry that had consistently dealt him a bad hand.

Bradley Loh   -   Van Morrison's classic Bright Side of the Road seems apt in describing what side of the board to play on. In principle, don't play on the side you are weaker. My opponent's 26. c4 unnecessarily weakens himself, allowing awkward pressure against his pinned King.

Nate Beier   -   But I'm thinking here of how a cowbell can be used off the beat to help generate great joy. Caravan, as performed by Van Morrison and The Band in The Last Waltz, is a great example of this. To help understand this, know each beat of the song breaks into four equal parts: "one-ee--and--uh".  What drummer Levon Helm does is he hits the cowbell on the "ee" section. He does so twice, at the 1:25 and 3:10 marks.  Hitting cymbals is also a great emotional release.

Stephen Walker   -   The Band decided to go out in a blaze of glory and it's all meticulously captured by Martin Scorsese, who gives us a front row seat to witness a succession of guests including Neil Diamond, Neil Young, who legend has it was carefully edited to exclude the cocaine rock hanging out of his nose, and Van Morrison who wanders on stage like Mr Potato Head in a jumpsuit and proceeds to tear the place apart.

Anonymous   -   When you listen to retarded love songs and Van Morrison songs like Into the Mystic and Tupelo Honey, who do you think of. is it the gurl you’re with, or someone else? this i think is another good test. Always pick the gurl that Van Morrison makes you think of.  If you are with the wrong girl, and think of Van Morrison, and then think NO this is totally WRONG, this is not the Van Morrison gurl, then GTFO. A lot of people appreciate Van Morrison's obvious talent in speaking the Universal Language Of Luv. He is very good at it. Now two people can both understand Van Morrison, and one person has Van Morrison Feelings for the other, but THAT person has Van Morrison Feelings for someone else altogether! That is kinda what I ran into here. Well, I am not sure she has Van Morrison feelings for anyone, perhaps the short term boifran who broke her heart. I think she is having trouble getting over him.  Just like I am having trouble getting over her!

R. Gilderdale   -   I saw Van perform at the Scarborough Futurist on October 20, 1990. Van was in sparkling form. For some reason the whole band including Van wore baseball caps, with the exception of Georgie Fame who had something closer to a 10 gallon hat. 

Georgie Fame   -   Van called me Wing Commander Georgie Fame at Fleadh 90 because I live not far from the Royal Navy Air Arm in Somerset and I have some friends who are navy pilots and I had been flying with them. For a while he used to call me Lieutenant Fame.  

Friday, 22 December 2017

Keep Me Singing (2016) - Listener Opinions

Suzie Silveradoon   -  It's just too mellow for me and many of the songs sound the same. One or two of these songs as an add on to an anthology or best hits album would be great, but it's not varied enough to stand on its own. Still the lyrics are okay, and it'll be nice to play when I'm having trouble sleeping.

Reader 100   -   I've been a Van Morrison fan for about 25 years and have seen him perform about 100 times. I love his music. But on first listen, this record didn't do much for me. The lyrics seemed trite in spots, and there were few of the dynamic / tempo variations that you find in Van's best songs (e.g., Wavelength). Then came the second listen, the third, fourth and, as always, the voice won me over. It is a voice that can do so much it can overcome any lyric, and eventually even the most ordinary lines take on new meanings. 

Micah Gidro   -   Easily his best of the new Millennium. At my first listen it wasn't too impressive and then it just grew on me. I've listened to it for an hour a day for two weeks as I drove to and from work. Now I have to stop and go back to Pink Floyd, Richie Havens, the Mighty Diamonds and Bob just for my sanity. In short, I love Keep Me Singing? Five stars? Maybe. 

Simon Sweetman   -   Keep Me Singing is at the very least pretty good. And sometimes it’s really quite wonderful. The mercurial is there, windswept, interesting on In Tiburon, and even if The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword is cliché-ridden lyrically it has the R’n’B swagger – great rhythm guitar playing – that Van does well. And here in calmer tones, knowing the full power of his voice has diminished and cleverly finding ways to Keep Him Singing he never sounds like he’s struggling or reaching too far, but this album’s songs don’t sound phoned in, never feel lazy or too obvious.

Davido   -   It's the only modern Van record I've listened to repeatedly since its release... keep a copy in my car in fact! Some other VM fans I know don't personally agree but I think they just have not let the vibe of the album wash over them.

Shpongle   -   I love all the places and people he references in In Tiburon. The beat poets, the musicians and the places they played. Great back story to that song is that back in the day, he was in San Francisco and was staying in a house where a woman lived who constantly played Van's music. At the time he thought 'wow, there's a song in this'. Beautiful track.

GoodVibrations47   -   Another shout out for this album ...I am completely in love with the entire thing. Very interesting to hear in an interview that the music for Look Beyond the Hill was written 40+ years ago and the lyrics written for this album. Going Down to Bangor sounds like a blues standard. Vans singing and blues harp are superb across the album. Memory Lane is such a stunning track I am amazed he has only played it live twice!

Tcbtcb   -   Revisiting this record recently and I do not revise my original impression--very strong record. Holy Guardian Angel is my favorite.

Belvoirman   -   Many of his contemporaries of similar vintage are on the cabaret circuit trotting out past old hits. So all credit for continuing to produce new material, that adds to his vast back catalogue, and does not disappoint. While it is not cutting edge or ground breaking, it does fit his mature phase like a pair of favourite comfortable old slippers, feeling warm and cosy, and you know what to expect and get it. The songs cover traditional Van themes, and is generally smooth, relaxed, and reflective, at times more obviously autobiographical, such as on the title track Keep Me Singing. My favourite track from the album is Memory Lane, a reflective and philosophical track, an autumnal theme appropriate for this time of year, looking back on his past, but being a bit befuddled.

The arrangements include Van trademarks of tasteful female backing singers, some of the tracks have sumptuous strings arranged by Fiarchra Trench, tasteful Hammond organ and trumpet embellish some tracks. Van has a reputation for being a grumpy curmudgeon at times with the press in particular, so the opening line to the track Out in the Cold Again,  I was Mr Nice Guy for too long" strikes as rather ironic. Nowadays he always surrounds himself with a classy band, the trumpet playing on In Tiburon as a tribute to Chet Baker is sublime, and a classic Van theme is giving a role call and name check to a number of influences from his past, this time based around the west coast of the USA back in the 60's. In conclusion, a relaxed offering, with a quality band, Van seems in a good mood and on fine form, nothing ground breaking, but still out their doing what he does best.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Astral Weeks Again

The following Astral Weeks mini-review is from Kenny Wilson’s blog creatively called Kenny Wilson’s blog which he claims is about his research into the “counterculture of the 1960s”.  Can you stand another mention of Van’s masterwork?

Astral Weeks

Astral Weeks is unique like many of the albums on my list. I’m not that much of a Van Morrison fan. I find most of his records fairly bland and stylised. I’ve heard most of them and am not that impressed apart from his early work with the seminal rock band Them. Here Comes The Night  is a genius three minutes of pop and Baby Please Don’t Go is the essence of R&B. Astral Weeks was recorded and released soon after Them split up. As already said, it is unique and genre busting. Yes, it’s kind of jazz, kind of folk and kind of poetry but more of an amalgam of all three with a dose of unintentional classical music thrown in. How it ever came to be recorded by a major label is one of the wonders of the late sixties when good music came to be commercial. Or was it? It was quite a long time before anyone heard it or was aware of it. However, it ranks as one of the most creative records released by a commercial record company ever.

Without knowing the full details behind the creation of this album I feel that it contains the essence of a real sadness and sense of loss. I don’t know this, I feel it! It is like a folk/jazz equivalent of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land with it’s evocative phrases and overwhelming sense of sorrow and psychic pain. This really IS the blues. Not the black American blues of the southern plantations and urban ghettos but the white blues of a psychologically dislocated Brit in the heart of Belfast, Northern Ireland. To add to the sense of alienation it was recorded in New York in 1968.

You know you’re in a different creative universe right from the word go. The first song Astral Weeks tells the listener that he is nothing but a stranger in this world and would like to be born again. The final song Slim Slow Slider describes a woman who has a brand new boy and a Cadillac but who is dying and every time I see you, I just don’t know what to do. The song ends in a blast of free jazz. Pretty bleak stuff!

In the meantime we have various shades of misery apart from The Way Young Lovers Do which is surprisingly upbeat and even optimistic. The real standout track is Madam George which in his Belfast/American drawl seems to sound like Madam JOY. He seems to plaintively be singing say goodbye to Madam JOY, wonder why for Madam JOY, while the violins weep and intertwine around the three chord riff. Amazing stuff!!.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Van Vs The King of Pop

Can you believe that Van Morrison has sold a career aggregate of around 40 million albums?  40 million.  What astounds me about this is that Michael Jackson's Thriller sold more than 65 million copies by some estimates. Those 9  songs attracted 65 million in sales while Van's Into the Mystic, Summertime in England, Madame George, Moondance and even Brown Eyed Girl could only attract sales of 40 million from Van's supply of 50 or so albums (that includes compilations and live albums).  50 or so of Van's beautiful albums, at least 10 of them masterworks, can't compete with 9 Jackson songs?  Is the world completely crazy?  How is this even possible?

Billy Jean is not my lover. You mean this lyric line basically trumps all of Van's lyric gems put together?  The whole of Van's oeuvre is less significant than MJ's trite lyrics on one album? Sure MJ is talented, but compared to Van?  I mean, c'mon!

In the US the album garnered award after award. It was awarded 33 multi-platinum sales awards. It won a record 8 Grammy awards in 1984. It produced 7 singles, all of which went Top 10 in the US. Globally, in country after country the album went to number 1 or at least Top 10.     

I'm beginning to understand why reality TV outsells Shakespeare. 

Think about this when there isn't enough to be angry about: Simon Cowell has a fortune easily worth 5 times Van's and he's basically made it from music. No wonder Van's grumpy.  Please take a minute and compare Simon Cowell's and Van's relative contribution to music.  Are you thinking or just plotting revenge?  

Is there justice in this world when Justin Bieber can amass a bigger fortune in one year than Van has accumulated in a lifetime?  Say it ain't so.  All those beautiful Van albums mean so little in this 21st century. It's sad. 

What have the Van fans got to say about this?  Can we start a revolution?  

(* Van's total global sales are hard to calculate.  On the one hand he's had two 5 million sellers in Moondance and Best of (Volume I), but generally his albums sell between 150, 000 to 300, 000 each. 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Koncert Komments - Part 1

Wayne M. Cohen   -   Ahhh…Van is simply the best. I had the pleasure of seeing him at the Masonic in San Francisco and he and his group just burned the place down. His ability to gather together a group of talented musicians is–IMO–unmatched. 

Kaid Banfield   -   I was on a high school debate team in North Carolina that went to Wake Forest University for a tournament.  I was probably about 16, and a folk music nerd.  Joan Baez was playing and I nabbed a single seat.  I’ve been to hundreds of concerts since, perhaps my all time favourite being Van Morrison in the late 1980s at Wolf Trap outside of DC.

Roger Cohn   -   There is no better concert experience in the world than seeing Van the Man when he’s on.

William   -   He is just the Top. Saw him at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam in November and at N.O. Jazzfest a year ago. He remains, IMHO, without peer, so eclectic, so powerful, so talented, such perfect pitch. My generation has lived by his songs. But it is a special pleasure now to see my kids delight in his oeuvre as well. What a special treat he has given us all over all these years.

John S   -   I saw a show at the Austin Music Hall and he was definitely ‘on’. The chatter about Van’s idiosyncrasies had lowered my expectations but I can say the show turned out to be the kind you dream of – each new song that came one after another arranged and performed with such skill that it grabbed you like one of your old faves. The only downer was the grumbling in the exiting queues – only two of Van’s standards were played. I guess most crowds who pony up big bucks to see their heroes want a ‘Best of’ show. They framed it as commercialism – just trying to push the new CD. What a shame they didn’t see it as I did – a master at work.

Jimmy C.   -   Can’t believe what I have just read. Really, listen to his albums…every song is sung exactly the same…same notes, same order, ever since Moondance. Plus you have to pay $235.00 for a good seat. Sorry, but I can’t go with the herd on this one.  (SCVF - I couldn't let this one go by without commenting that Van is known as one of the most innovative performers around when it comes to the different arrangements he does with his songs.)

Jane   -   With a tip of the hat to St. Paul concert promoter Ron Maddox, my favourite concert ever was Van Morrison at St. Paul Riverfest in 1986. The chemistry between artist and audience was amazing, and Van played for over three hours, leaving his playlist behind.

Kevin O’Hare   -   One of my top 25 concerts was Bob Dylan and Van Morrison on January 23, 1998, at the Fleet Center, Boston. Seeing Bob Dylan anytime during the past 20 years has been a bit of a gamble but the bard was truly inspired on this occasion, undoubtedly because he was sharing the double bill with his Irish friend, Van Morrison. Unfortunately they did not sing together (They had played Blue Suede Shoes together earlier that week in New York), but it was still a stellar evening, marked by Dylan gems like Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues AgainAbsolutely Sweet Marie and Simple Twist of Fate. Morrison too, was at his best, doing songs such as a slow-building show-stopper The Healing Game, and a house-shaking, horn-thundering Domino.

Bruce   -   I was at Van’s Shrine Theater show in LA on January 16, 2016 and it was excellent. I was also sitting front row lodge but stage left, great view. Van and band were in a great mood and played a fantastic set. Tom Jones coming on stage for 2 songs was a blast and a crowd pleaser. Some of the best highlights were In The Afternoon which was one of the best versions I’ve heard Van sing. From my view point I could see Van rocking back and forth as he got deeper into the song and felt the groove. The “Workshop” is always great with Van repeating the line “no plan B” over and over then shouting “THIS IS IT” and “no safety net”. Closing with Into the Mystic was a big bonus.

John Walker   -   I saw Them one night at the Tiger´s Head pub in Catford, south-east London. This was in 1965, I guess, because I recall the band having had two big hits with Baby, Please Don´t Go and Here Comes The Night. I would have been aged 17, coming on 18, busy learning the guitar and besotted by those wonderful beat groups that filled the charts. When the band came on, they had to leave their dressing room and plough through the audience to reach the stage. As Morrison walked by, I looked straight down onto the crown of his head – he was a tiny bloke – which was covered with long blonde hair down to his shoulders. 

I recall thinking: “So, all that guff old people spout about pop stars´ hair being dirty is just so much shit.” I loved the band, but my compatriots sat on their hands. Them couldn´t get arrested that night in Catford. They were a good band, with two smashing hits under their belts and a fabulous frontman in the dynamic and multi-talented Morrison who, in addition to his ferocious vocals, played guitar and saxophone. The problem was – Morrison. Even then he was finding a way to make people hate him. Poor Van didn´t have the social skills of a day-old rat. After each song, I found myself one of only three or four people clapping. I couldn´t have given a damn about Morrison´s prickly personality.I´d gone there for quality musicianship and got it in spades, so I was happy. But I was deeply unhappy that Them had got such a lukewarm reception.

Lisa Knight   -   Van Morrison was well worth the price of admission (2 seats $500), but our seats sucked. He played at the WaMu Theater, part of the Seahawks Qwest Events Center (Seattle;2006). It looked like a big warehouse, with exposed pipes and beams in the ceiling.  Although we had Row 5, the section was E.  So the whole night, although Van was about 30 feet from us, was spent looking at the backsides of the vocalists and a side view of Van. The sound was great, though, and Van was in top form. He brought along a ten-piece band which included three vocalists, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, fiddle, steel guitar, organ, drums, and he played sax and harmonica. He came out swaggering to the stage pumping on that harmonica. He’s so good. Very cool in a black suit and felt fedora. I really liked the music, though, and he really kept it upbeat most of the time. Lots of boogie-woogie, some country and classic Van. He ended with Moondance, Brown Eyed Girl and Gloria, which got everyone on their feet. 

Summerhouse   -   It set me off thinking about those concerts we have been to. My first was Van Morrison, impressed? Well don’t be, he was then front man for Them. Not huge at that time. They, Them, that is, had a ‘hit’ with Here Comes the Night but it was still very definitely pre-fame days for Van. This ‘gig’ was at The Golden Egg nightclub, I think that was the name, in Ilkeston, in Derbyshire and would have been around 1964. It would be true to say that Van’s heart was not really in it, he definitely was not digging it as we used to say in those days. I remember two things about the gig – the band rattled through their 40 minute set, in about 10 minutes and then departed without a cheery word, well without any words at all other than those in the songs of course, I don’t mean it was an evening of instrumentals, we hadn’t gone to see The Shadows. From what I hear, nothing has changed with Van, he can still be a little taciturn. The other thing I remember, and which also has presumably not changed, was that Van was not at all tall, short in fact, small all over in fact. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Funny Things People Say - Part 20

Earnest Prole   -   I was just thinking you should blog about Van Morrison more often.

Euwee   -   There are three great tragedies in my life and when they happened to me each time I was listening to some Van song or album. I no longer listen Van, particularly in the car. 

Mike Sylwester   -   I love Van Morrison's music, but when I attended one of his concerts he barely acknowledged his audience. He was aloof to the point of rudeness. I felt very dissatisfied at the end of the concert.

Young Hegelian   -   What you get with Van is audience "smother-love" compared to what I saw at a concert with the French harpsichordist Pierre Hantai. He said that unless the lights were darkened to the point where he couldn't see the audience & he was given a light by the harpsichord to see his music, he wouldn't play the concert.

Comanche Voter   -   Van Morrison and his recording of Carrickfergus always got my motor going, as did his Raglan Road. Now I think Carrickfergus may be as traditional tune; and the lyrics to Raglan Road came from a poem written by an Irish "working man's poet" in the late 1930s. But both are powerful performances and powerful songs.

Dave DiMartino   -   In many ways like Van Morrison, Cher is a mammal, has two legs and two arms and has been making music since the ‘60s, Cher is simply too great to ever cast aspersions on, which I wouldn’t do even if I had any!

D   -   I have no comment on Van Morrison. Nor a comparison of Street Legal to Into the Music.

Limited blogger   -   Thanks for the gentle push to listen to some Van Morrison.

Mid-Life Lawyer   -   If you are under 55, you might have actually considered Into The Mystic as a funeral song, if you ever contemplated such things. (I went through a period where I picked my three funeral songs every once and awhile for fun) Into the Mystic is a good song for your funeral when you aren't real worried about dying yet. When it gets a little more real, I don't think it works so well anymore.

IgnatzEsq   -   I agree with the need for more Van Morrison blogging. A good potential post, Van's inability to pronounce the word 'Electric' in The Last Waltz.  I've not heard or thought of Into the Mystic for funerals, but have seen it used in weddings. It's used as the first dance in the sappy wedding scene of the mediocre comedy American Wedding. The song is the best part of the movie actually.

Quaestor   -   The guitar hook is quite profound. But I remember regretting spending my money on this, because I didn't like the sound of Van Morrison's voice. I never learnt to like it later. I don't doubt that he's an excellent singer. There's just a tone to it that I find unappealing. That's natural. The Northern Irish have the most impenetrable accent in the whole of the British Isles. It's atrocious. Ulstermen don't understand anybody, including themselves. They all talk that way. 

When the Derry wife asks the Derry husband what he wants for breakfast, she's likely to spend the next hour wondering how to pan fry an anvil. Their mumbled gibberish is probably why the DeLorean was such an abortion, kinda like the Tower of Babel. Ulstermen do okay with ships, however. The din of a working shipyard is so overwhelming that talking is pointless, which works the Ulsterman's advantage. An Ulsterman is what you get if a Dubliner and a Glaswegian are passed through a Cuisinart. The Dublin speech is lilting and rhythmic, but Glaswegian is hardly melodious. Some Scots dialects are pleasant enough, but Glaswegian... Put it this way: Scots is to Glaswegian as a Cremona violin is to a musical saw.

chickelit   -   My favourite Van Morrison song is a Dylan cover. Beck sampled it in the '90's. Had the the makers of Breaking Bad just used this song in the finale, 50 years would have threaded so nicely.

Eddie Willers   -   Moondance is a Desert Island Disc!

Woot Kleever   -   Everytime I hear a new song on the radio I'm thinking how would Van Morrison have done this? This is just so unfair to Bey, Katy, Taylor, Justin, Rihanna, etc.  

Monday, 20 November 2017

"Hi, Jon"

Van Morrison: A Brush with Greatness

Here's a funny story from the Guardian in 2017 called The day Van Morrison remembered me – and impressed my girlfriend. 

A chance encounter in a restaurant in Bath with Van the Man leads to a bizarre series of events for one fan, recalls Jon Bewley.

In 1994 I was travelling around the UK visiting various arts festivals with an eye to setting up a new arts organisation, the future Locus+. At the Bath Festival, I was travelling alone. Not knowing the city, I chanced upon a small, out-of-the-way restaurant and during the meal I noticed to my great surprise that Van Morrison was eating there, too, with a companion.

I was, and still am, an enormous fan of Van Morrison and had a momentary crisis of what I should do about this opportunity to meet him. I decided to approach his table.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you during your meal,” I said.

They both looked up at me.

“But… Van Morrison?”

He nodded.

“I just wanted to say how much your music has been an important part of my life, say thank you, and wondered if I could shake your hand.”

“What’s your name?”, Van Morrison asked.

“Jon,” I replied.

He offered his hand and I shook it.

“Thank you, Jon,” he said.

I then left them to it.

The next day I was walking down one of the many pedestrian precincts in Bath in the sunshine when I noticed Van Morrison coming towards me talking on his mobile phone. As he approached our eyes met and as he passed he raised his hand and mouthed, “Hi Jon,” to me as he continued on his way. I was rooted to the spot. I couldn’t believe it – twice in two days.

The following day I had finished in Bath, so travelled back to Newcastle. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and I had a plan to surprise her with a weekend break in Dublin. We flew to the city and after checking into our hotel, decided to walk up O’Connell Street to St Stephen’s Green for early evening cocktails in the famous Shelbourne Hotel.

The bar was horseshoe-shaped and we had seats at the end of one side. After a few minutes my girlfriend turned to me and said: “Oh my God! You are not going to believe who has just walked in – Van Morrison!”

I almost choked on my margarita.

I turned around and Van Morrison had taken a seat at the bar opposite us. Our eyes met and after what seemed to be an eternity, he slowly raised his hand and mouthed: “Hi Jon.”

I was speechless with shock. Looking me in the eye, my companion said: “I didn’t know you knew Van Morrison.”

Monday, 13 November 2017

2017 Van Buyer's Guide

I thought late last year was a great time to buy Van product.  But he's gone even better this year with two new releases in under three months.  Doesn't Van know the meaning of the word 'retirement'? I urge all fans, both casual and the obsessed, to get out there and support the Van product release with your cards or wallet.  There is so much great music on offer.  

What about some special purchases for Christmas? You owe it to the next generation to pass on the Van legacy. Buy those CDs or vinyl versions for the kids or grandkids. Forget about their initial contemptuous looks. They'll come around in time.  What about that ungrateful son-in-law?  Get him hooked on Van and his negatives won't irritate you so much! Got any ex-wives?  Buy them the gift of Van and your divorce settlements won't crush you as much.  

Anytime is a good time to buy Van merchandise.  Here are some recent albums: 

1. Versatile (2017)  -  On December 1st, Van releases Versatile which similarly to Roll With the Punches sees Van releasing some originals among an album of covers.  Basically, the formula is one third Van and two thirds covers.  Roll With the Punches was bluesy whereas Versatile is more Jazz oriented.  Like Roll, Van also re-releases some songs.  It's a winning formula and it is sure to please fans.  Check out Van's official site for information.  

2. Roll With the Punches (2017)  -  it was only two months ago that Van released this deceptive little gem.  It's one of those records that grows on you with each listening.  It's Van's homage to blues and possibly Bob's Theme Time Radio Show

3. Keep Me Singing (2016) -  Keep Me Singing is a wonderful album, and, in my humble opinion, is easily in his Top 10.  Keep Me Singing is Van's 36th studio album and consists of 13 tracks - 12 original songs written and performed by Morrison, as well as a cover of the blues standard Share Your Love With Me - written by Alfred Baggs and Don Robey and previously recorded by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Kenny Rogers.

4. It's Too Late To Stop Now - Vol. II, III, IV + DVD (Released 10/6/16)

It's Too Late To Stop Now (Volumes II, III, IV & DVD) is a three CD and one DVD collection of previously unreleased live concert recordings from Van Morrison's mythic 1973 tour with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra.  Total run time is 313 minutes.

CD1: Recorded live at The Troubadour, Los Angeles, May 23, 1973
CD2: Recorded live at the Santa Monica Civic, California, June 29, 1973
CD3: Recorded live at The Rainbow, London, July 23 & 24, 1973
DVD: Recorded live at The Rainbow, London, July 24, 1973

5. The Essential Van Morrison (Released August 28, 2015)

A great 37 song overview of the man’s career.  I’m assuming some of your other best of Van CDs are worn out.  Very similar to the various Still on Top compilation albums but still great.

6. Moondance (2 CD version) (October 22, 2013)

The two CD version of the expanded Moondance album is a good choice. It contains a remastered version of Moondance and another CD of highlights from the multi-disc expanded version.

Other Product

Go to the official Van site and check out the merchandise.  There are vinyl versions of the albums, souvenir T -Shirts, hoodies, posters, caps, prosthetic limbs, etc.