Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
(Warner Bros Records 1973 K46024 Green Warners Labels)
Matrix No's: A2/B3 - UK Pressing
G&L Sleeve in Excellent+ condition
- some wear to edges/corners & the back has some light ringwear and a little discolouration
Vinyl in Excellent+ condition
(there are some surface marks visible on the vinyl when held up to the light but they don't affect the sound quality apart from some light pops/crackles)
Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns's death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.
Moondance (1970) established Morrison as a major artist, and he built on his reputation throughout the 1970s with a series of acclaimed albums and live performances. He continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains.
Much of Morrison's music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles "Brown Eyed Girl", "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)", "Domino" and "Wild Night". An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as the album Astral Weeks and the lesser known Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as "Celtic soul". He has received two Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, the 2017 Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was knighted for services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland. He is known by the nickname Van the Man to his fans.
Astral Weeks is the second solo album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in November 1968 on Warner Bros. Records. Widely acclaimed, it has had an enduring impact on both listeners and other musicians.
Recording took place at Century Sound Studios in New York City during three sessions in September and October 1968, although most participants and biographers agree that the eight songs were culled from the first and last early evening sessions. Except for John Payne, Morrison and the assembled jazz musicians had never played together before and the recordings commenced without rehearsals or lead sheets handed out.
The cover art, music and lyrics of the album portray the symbolism equating earthly love and heaven that would often feature in Morrison's work. With a blending of folk, blues, jazz, and classical music, it was a complete departure from his previous pop hit, Brown Eyed Girl (1967). Astral Weeks is often referred to as a song cycle or concept album with lyrics described as impressionistic, hypnotic, and stream-of-consciousness.
It received critical acclaim immediately upon its first release and subsequently has been placed on numerous widely circulated lists of best albums of all time. In 1987, as part of their 20th anniversary, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number seven on "The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years". The 1995 Mojo list of the 100 Best Albums ranked it as number two, and it ranked nineteenth on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. Astral Weeks became and remains a cult favourite, despite the fact that it failed to achieve significant mainstream sales success for decades; after 33 years, it finally achieved gold in 2001. Music historian Andrew Ford compared its musical sophistication and commercial success to classical music – "neither instant nor evanescent: Astral Weeks will sell as many copies this year as it did in 1968 and has every year in between".
Forty years after the release, Morrison performed the songs on the album live during two concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in November 2008. Other concerts followed with a CD and DVD from the Hollywood Bowl performances released in 2009. Warner Bros. Records had not promoted the album with touring when it was released in 1968.
All songs written by Van Morrison
- Side one
In The Beginning
- "Astral Weeks" – 7:06
- "Beside You" – 5:16
- "Sweet Thing" – 4:25
- "Cyprus Avenue" – 7:00
- Side two
- "The Way Young Lovers Do" – 3:18
- "Madame George" – 9:45
- "Ballerina" – 7:03
- "Slim Slow Slider" – 3:17
- Van Morrison – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Jay Berliner – classical and steel-string acoustic guitars
- Richard Davis – double bass
- Larry Fallon – harpsichord on "Cyprus Avenue"
- Connie Kay – drums
- Barry Kornfeld – acoustic guitar on "The Way Young Lovers Do"
- John Payne – flute, soprano saxophone on "Slim Slow Slider"
- Warren Smith, Jr. – percussion, vibraphone
- Producer: Lewis Merenstein
- Engineer: Brooks Arthur
- Arranger and Conductor: Larry Fallon
VAN MORRISON - ASTRAL WEEKS LP - EXC+ A2 UK
- Product Code: K46024
- Availability: In Stock
- Ex Tax: £20.99