Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Eternal Van Morrison

Van Morrison, one of my musical heroes, was born on this date in 1949. Here are some of my favorites.

"I wanna rock your gypsy soul / just like way back in the days of old." This version is rougher but freer (much) than the original recorded version.

This is one of those long and winding jams with Van "free-singing" on literary themes, repeating phrases like musical riffs. This kind of thing always seems to get my adrenalin flowing. Great Pee Wee Ellis sax solo near the end.

This was the first Van song that absolutely floored me. To me, listening to this is like watching the sun rise.

The usual soulful and enigmatic lyrics, but I love the sound. A worship song that sounded like this would get my attention (except for the yodeling . . . maybe).

Of course Van is essentially an Irish blues singer with jazz and gypsy and gospel influences. Here he does a powerful version of the classic St. James Infirmary.

Finally, there's all the music from Van amazing record, Irish Heartbeat. I could pick any song from this to close this tribute, but I really love Carrickfergus. Nobody sings and old man's longing better than Van.


Matthew B. Redmond said...

Carrickfergus is so great. When he sings, "I'm drunk to day and rarely sober..." I get heartsick every. single. time.

Erin Hope said...

I like van morrison. I can't listen to any of these b/c I am at the library, but it made me smile anyway. Oh, and guess what books I finally picked up. the dark is rising series. I just read over sea under stone in 2days (Helped by catching a cold and being sick)

Anonymous said...

i have read through your words and now i shall wait no longer to press play on your six selections...

DebD said...

I love me some Van Morrison. Thanks for this collection.