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Astral Weeks

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Editors’ Notes

One of the finest recordings of the rock era, Astral Weeks remains a singular achievement, blending elements of jazz, folk and blues into a literate eight-song cycle that traces the arc of life from spiritual rebirth to death. Nothing else sounds quite like it. From the opening pulsing notes of the title track, Morrison is in the zone, twisting notes, repeating phrases, finding his inner rhythm amongst the mostly improvised backing of jazz veterans: stand-up bassist Richard Davis, guitarist Jay Berliner and drummer Connie Kay. Romance lingers in the air with the twenty-something Morrison at the peak of his interpretive powers, his voice never sharper. “Beside You” and “Sweet Thing” capture the euphoria of youth and the discovery of physical and spiritual love, while “Cyprus Avenue” confronts the prospect of aging. The Sinatra jazz of “The Way Young Lovers Do” offers a brief ebullient respite from the emerging fates, however, the nine-plus minutes of “Madame George” find a world turning colder. The vague narrative adds a twist of intrigue, but it’s the little spots — Morrison singing “Rainbow ribbons in her hair” or “On that train from Dublin up to Sandy Row” — that make this 1968 release a timeless classic.

Customer Reviews

A Masterpiece

I learned about Astral Weeks from Rolling Stone magazine. In the 1980s, they had a list of the best 100 albums. Sgt Pepper was at one or two, Joni Mitchell's Blue was up there, but what was Astral Weeks? It was at the 7 spot. Never heard of it. Rather than sing its praises, I suggest you look it up at Rolling Stone or Google. Ever since I signed up with iTunes, this has been the album which frustrated me by its absence. Good to have it in the lineup.

no hits just a classic LP

Now your talking! This is the greatest Morrison LP of ALLTIME!! or maybe even the greatest LP of all time!! Every tune is a classic. A 6 star lp.

The beautiful secret

I strive to educate the masses on this album, yet find myself explaining why the man is so much more than "brown-eyed girl". I would love to keep this album to myself and those few who appreciate it, but can't stand it when people don't know about it. It is such a textured and ecclectic album. The album sounds different to me everytime I sit down and listen. His voice, coupled with the music sound like nothing else. He has a rare voice that stands out against anything else you will hear. One of the best albums of my collection and I typically like much more modern bands like Radiohead and Mutemath. Buy it and share the wealth.


Born: August 31, 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...
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