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Astral Weeks

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Album Review

Astral Weeks is generally considered one of the best albums in pop music history. For all that renown, Astral Weeks is anything but an archetypal rock & roll album: in fact, it isn't a rock & roll album at all. Employing a mixture of folk, blues, jazz, and classical music, Van Morrison spins out a series of extended ruminations on his Belfast upbringing, including the remarkable character "Madame George" and the climactic epiphany experienced on "Cyprus Avenue." Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, Morrison sings in his elastic, bluesy voice, accompanied by a jazz rhythm section (Jay Berliner, guitar, Richard Davis, bass, Connie Kay, drums), plus reeds (John Payne) and vibes (Warren Smith, Jr.), with a string quartet overdubbed. An emotional outpouring cast in delicate musical structures, Astral Weeks has a unique musical power. Unlike any record before or since, it nevertheless encompasses the passion and tenderness that have always mixed in the best postwar popular music, easily justifying the critics' raves.

Customer Reviews

everlasting bliss

like most peiple I'v listened to thousand upon thousand of songs and artists.being in my 50's I'v forgoten and chosen not to listen to 95% of whatI thought I would never tire of when I was a teanager.astral weeks could never fall into the forgoten tray it is as fresh and dynamic today as it was at it's conseption.the story goes that van whent into the recording studio to make this album with session musos.As you may expect session musos are just that, they play what you want how you like it and dont get to involved with the proccesss.It was said at this session however that the said mussos where braought to tears when playing this music.I could very easily believe this. As a boy I would walke home from work(about 90 minuets to do this) just so Icould sing these songs without interuption.The songs are so beautifully orchistrated with the most unusual instrument used,this would of been a very unusual album of its day(late 60's)how approprietly tittled"astral weeks"this I believe is refering to that very fleeting time in a younge persons life when they are on an astral plane and truely in touch with all artistic and bohemian power that lays in wait for the right circumstances to be brought forth and released,in this case the cicumstances where such that a most unusual body of work was realeased and was recieved by the public with an understanding of everything that has been said in this review

Of optimistic youth in an optimistic time

On and off I listen to this over the years

Best Album of all time

This album is as fresh today as when released 43 years ago.If you allow Van to " enter the slipstream of your mind " he will take you on the ulimate journey of a sweet musical rollercoaster ride. But you have to let go and know he is talking to you alone.
Every song links with the next to provide the ultimate concept album. However each song stands on its own in perfection

Biography

Born: 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Equal parts blue-eyed soul shouter and wild-eyed poet-sorcerer, Van Morrison is among popular music's true innovators, a restless seeker whose incantatory vocals and alchemical fusion of R&B, jazz, blues, and Celtic folk produced perhaps the most spiritually transcendent body of work in the rock & roll canon. Subject only to the whims of his own muse, his recordings cover extraordinary stylistic ground yet retain a consistency and purity virtually unmatched among his contemporaries, connected...
Full Bio