So it’s my kick at the can as we continue delving into classic albums that have a special place in our music libraries.
Like everyone else I have been racking my brain to bring an album to the table that isn’t already in your record collections but also deserves to sit next to two great albums from the Talking Heads and Bob Marley respectively.
I have chosen Van Morrison’s first solo album: Astral Works.
My history with this album to be honest with you is fairly young. You will often find it in top 50 ‘Greatest Albums of All Time’. That said, I have traditionally avoided it as it always was put across as Van Morrison’s less successful album. I find other albums painted with the same brush are placed in lists to be ‘controversial’ or show off a writer’s music knowladge. When I fell across this album a few years ago I was proven wrong.
Van Morrison is known largely for the music he made whilst fronting the band “Them’ who were responsible for classic tracks ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’. After ‘Them’ separated, Van Morrison moved to New York to work on a solo career. Sadly the music he wanted to do wasn’t what his label wanted him to do (the oh so familiar story). Subsequently Van Morrison was blacklisted from doing gigs and releasing music for a few years. This album was written in that time. The result is a very raw honesty from Van Morrison that set a standard for many artists of his generation.
I’m going to avoid pointing out my favourite tracks as I think the whole album is amazing. I say that knowing that it look me a few listens to get into it at first. Personally I think you should start the album on ‘Sweet Thing’ (which is the third track) and listen to the first two tracks last.
I hope you enjoy this album as much as I do.