Beautiful Vision (Remastered) Van Morrison
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- 1Celtic Ray04:12
- 2Northern Muse (Solid Ground)04:05
- 3Dweller On the Threshold04:49
- 4Beautiful Vision04:10
- 5She Gives Me Religion04:35
- 6Cleaning Windows04:46
- 7Vanlose Stairway04:12
- 8Aryan Mist03:59
- 9Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell04:30
Info for Beautiful Vision (Remastered)
Morrison's 13th studio album was released in 1982. The album continued his departure from R&B favoring Celtic folk and jazz influences instead. Many songs on the album are based on the teachings of theosophical writer Alice Bailey, while others show Morrison's Celtic heritage.
When Morrison returned with his next album, there was still a jazzy element to the tunes, but this time he was embracing a Celtic sound as often as not (and we're not just saying that because the first song on the album was entitled “Celtic Ray”). It may not be the most commercial album in his catalog, which caused some consternation among those on the business side of Morrison's career, but as its title implies, it's a beautiful one, and “Cleaning Windows” is arguably one of the best singles he released in the '80s.
"Beautiful Vision shares much sonically with its predecessor, Common One, being heavy on long, winding song-poems, moderate tempos, dense lyricism, and dated production. Still, this winds up being a stronger articulation of what Morrison was attempting to do on Common One -- much like how Wavelength got A Period of Transition right. That doesn't mean that this is a particularly easy album to warm to, since Morrison seems to be consciously creating an insular world here, only of interest to those willing to delve deeply into his own world, letting his elliptical melodies charm instead of frustrate, to let the leisurely pace seduce rather than lull. Once you do that, the record reveals such charming moments as "She Gives Me Religion," "Beautiful Vision," and "Cleaning Windows," a skipping light R&B tune that became one of his latter-day standards. Too much of Beautiful Vision is the product of a willfully idiosyncratic yet oddly measured vision to make it essential for anyone other than diehards, but moments such as that make it worth a listen." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)
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.
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