1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (1968)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Tattoo'd Lady, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Death on Credit

    Death on Credit Senior Member

    Posts:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Re: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

    I went out and got Astral Weeks on vinyl a couple of weeks ago, on the strength of Lester Bangs' review, and I've been listening to it nonstop. it's really one of the most amazing albums from beginning to end that I've ever heard.

    I loved it so much that I got Moondance almost immediately afterward, which is also really good, though not quite as powerful as Astral Weeks.
     
  2. guitar dude

    guitar dude Junior Member

    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Re: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

    Every time I listen to this album I am transported to another place.
     
  3. Sunny

    Sunny Settled down at last and very happy.

    Posts:
    15,769
    Likes Received:
    155
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Location:
    On a far away island .....
    Re: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

    I am a fan of Van Morrison's music and Astral Weeks is a wonderful album :grinthumb
     
  4. Death on Credit

    Death on Credit Senior Member

    Posts:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Re: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

    Like being born again...in another time...in another place.

    :D
     
  5. Tommy Walker

    Tommy Walker Senior Member

    Posts:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Re: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

    If you aren't into Van yet, I'd recommend Moondance before Astral Weeks. Moondance is lighter and more upbeat. As much as any album I can think of, it serves as a "de facto greatest hits," which is really a pretty amazing feat for a studio album by an artist with such a long career. In any case, you'll probably like it upon first listen.

    Despite being his most critically decorated album, Astral Weeks, by contrast, will not have any familiar tracks to the casual fan. One reason may be that the album as a whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. More likely, it just has too many layers for it to be radio-friendly. I actually thought it was kind of dreary the first time I heard it. Strangely enough, that has become one of the characteristics I like most about it. It kind of ambles back and forth across the line between the conscious and the subconscious. It's not political or socially-aware; rather, it seems to examine more basic levels of existence through vague character studies and ambiguous pleas. It's probably impossible to get to the bottom of. In any case, it definitely takes a few listens to get used to.
     
  6. CP/M User

    CP/M User Ace in the Hole

    Posts:
    2,713
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Nowhere Man
    I'm listing to Astral Weeks as I'm writing this (playing the last track Slim Slow Slider). Like Magic I know "Sweet Thing" for the same reasons as Magic mentioned. Astral Weeks is put simply Van Morrison puting his Heart and Soul into every one of them songs. The amazing thing about that album is you forgot it was cut in Two Days and unless you know the album was done in 1968, I struggle to hear the 1968 in it cause it's different.
     
  7. TheSound

    TheSound An Englishman in New York

    Posts:
    2,727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Manhattan, New York City, USA
    Great post. There is really nothing like "Astral Weeks." I can honestly say that no album has ever broadened my musical horizons as this album did. In my opinion it is simply one of the most profound and unique recordings ever made, it's complex and sublime and it reveals new things with each listen, everyone should have this record, it still gives me goosebumps when I hear it, and the effect of the production on the album is incredible, the standup bass and the classical-like guitar mixed with blues vocals from some heavenly realm, they all converge to create a kind of celestial, eerie sound. As happens on these occasions, now I probably won't be able to get very much done today until I have played it, so thanks!! :grinthumb
     
  8. coltrane2

    coltrane2 Musicologist

    Posts:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Fabulous LP, but definitely not the place to start. Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview or Tupelo Honey are more accessible. When the whole game is over though, it's Astral Weeks that will be regarded as his signature contribution to music.

    Apparently Van The Man doesn't rate it too highly. He's wrong!
     
  9. TheSound

    TheSound An Englishman in New York

    Posts:
    2,727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Manhattan, New York City, USA
    Yes indeed, though Van is a notorious grump. I saw an interview with him where he was asked what music he listened to, and which other artists he most enjoyed, and he more or less said that he doesn't listen to anything, and that he doesn't like anyone, and I'm pretty sure he meant it, though it would surprise me greatly if he didn't at least probably have a huge stack of old 33rpm's of recordings of Muddy Waters and Bessie Smith etc, and probably Robert Johnson and old Mississippi delta blues stuff.
     
  10. CP/M User

    CP/M User Ace in the Hole

    Posts:
    2,713
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Nowhere Man
    I just had another listen to Astral Weeks and I couldn't help but wonder if some of those tracks were longer than what was on the album? Tracks like "Sweet Thing" for instance give me the impression they would have run longer than what was on the actual album. I can only presume this isn't really the case as something would have surfaced or mentioned if that was the case.
     

Share This Page

defer="defer" charset="utf-8">