What's Wrong with This Picture? (Remastered) Van Morrison
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- 1What's Wrong with This Picture?05:58
- 2Whinin Boy Moan04:17
- 3Evening in June03:59
- 4Too Many Myths04:31
- 6Meaning of Loneliness06:37
- 7Stop Drinking03:22
- 8Goldfish Bowl06:00
- 9Once in a Blue Moon03:28
- 10Saint James Infirmary05:30
- 11Little Village04:29
- 13Get On with the Show05:38
Info for What's Wrong with This Picture? (Remastered)
"What's Wrong with This Picture?" is the thirtieth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released on 21 October 2003 by Blue Note Records.
"While 2002's Down the Road was the best Van Morrison release in ages -- with its autobiographical allusions, cultural critiques, and new band -- it could not have prepared listeners for the jolt of this, his Blue Note Records debut What's Wrong With This Picture? While the album is hardly a straight jazz record, it does take the territory he explored on Down the Road another step further into the classic pop music of the 20th century filtered through his own Celtic swing, R&B, vocal jazz, and blue-eyed soul. The title track that opens the album is as close to an anthem as Morrison's ever written; he states with an easy, swinging, jazzy soul groove that he is not the same person he once was and wonders why that was so difficult for others to accept. There is no bitterness or bite in his assertions. If anything, the question is asked with warm humor and amusement as if it is indeed the listener's hangup if he/she can't accept Morrison "living in the present time." He asks, "Why don't we take it down and forget about it/'Cause that ain't me at all," as the song whispers to a close. Morrison's employment of a large horn section -- actually a pair of them as the disc was recorded in different sessions -- is full of teeth and big, bad soul. "Whinin Boy Moan" is a direct cue from Mose Allison as read by Big Joe Turner. Hard-swinging R&B horn lines (including his own alto saxophone) combine with killer solos by tenorman Martin Winning and trumpet boss Matt Holland as Morrison does his most inspired blues shouting since Wavelength. Celtic soul is never far behind, either, as it displays itself on the stunningly beautiful "Evening in June." The way Morrison employs brass, woodwind, and reed textures is unique for him as clarinets, alto and bass, flügelhorns, and loads of saxophones gradually build as the emotion in a tune imparts itself. Acker Bilk makes a return appearance here co-writing and performing on the elegant, bluesy swing of "Somerset." Other than this collaboration and stellar covers of "St James Infirmary" and Lightnin' Hopkins' "Stop Drinking" -- the most unique and timely interpretation of the nugget since Louis Armstrong's, and it contains the greatest horn solo interplay on any Morrison record ever -- Morrison's songwriting is more expansive, more intricate, and more luxuriant in its use of grooves, vamps, and riffs as they intertwine with beautiful horn charts, sophisticated melodies ,and the always-present blues feel. There are 13 tracks here, and virtually all of them would be standouts on any of his other records. But the aforementioned tracks, along with "Meaning of Loneliness" and "Once in a Blue Moon," are among the finest tunes he's ever written, let alone recorded. This is the sound of an artist who is comfortable making a break with his past because it is not a break; he understands it as the next part of a continuum that goes deeper and wider than anyone else ever expected. This is the sound of self-assurance as it articulates itself with grace and aplomb." (Thom Jurek, AMG)
Van Morrison, vocals, acoustic guitar, alto saxophone
Keith Donald, bass clarinet
Foggy Lyttle, electric bass, electric guitar, vocals
David Hayes, bass, vocals
Liam Bradley, drums, vocals
Matt Holland, trumpet, flugelhorn
Martin Winning, tenor saxophone
Richard Dunn, organ
Ned Edwards, electric & acoustic guitar, vocals
Bobby Irwin, drums
Alan "Sticky" Wicket, congas
Gavin Povey, piano
Acker Bilk, clarinet
Lee Goodall, alto saxophone
Pete Hurley, bass
Mick Green, electric guitar
Fiachra Trench, piano
Johnny Scott, electric guitar
Nicky Scott, bass
One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast.
Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life.
Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.
Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.
Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career.
After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.
Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing.
Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.
Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track Listen To The Lion.
Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.
Indeed, borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.
Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One an album centring on Summertime In England an extraordinary invocation of literary, sensual and spiritual pleasure the song would often become a thrilling improvised centrepiece to his live shows.
Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.
Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.
Awards and accolades - a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 Grammys, honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres - attested to the international reach of Van’s musical art.
Yet there was never any suggestion that Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, would ever rest on his laurels.
Collaborations with, among others, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Lonnie Donegan, Mose Allison and Tom Jones confirmed the breadth of his musical reach.
Morrison’s visionary songwriting and mastery of many genres continued to shine on albums celebrating and re-exploring his blues, jazz, skiffle and country roots.
The influence of the musical journey that began back in Post War Belfast stretches across the generations, and Morrison’s questing hunger insures that the journey itself continues.
Constantly reshaping his musical history in live performance, Morrison reclaimed Astral Weeks on 2009’s album Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
The subtitle of Van Morrison's latest album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, indicates the power that music still holds for this living legend. "No Plan B means this is not a rehearsal," says Morrison. "That’s the main thing—it’s not a hobby, it’s real, happening now, in real time."
With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.
This album contains no booklet.