Van Morrison, 'Astral Weeks', 1973Lost Blue Heaven
Van Morrison - 'Astral Weeks' Warner Bros. Records (K 46024, 1973)
‘Astral Weeks’ is a firm reminder of the fumbling relationship between great art and isolation. At just 22 years of age and having just launched his post-Them career as a solo artist with ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, Morrison was in a kind of creative limbo in 1968. Stuck in an onerous contract dispute with Bang Records and worrying over a tenuous-at-best immigration status as a Northern Irishman in New York, ‘Astral Weeks’ was recorded with a reckless abandon that is seldom heard.
Marrying folk with blues with rock with jazz and gospel, ‘Astral Weeks’ presents its listeners with dislocated arrangements of loose rhythm structures and stream of consciousness lyrics. Describing idyllic and mythological scenes, the album wrestles with an ambiguous nostalgia that doesn’t seem to be related to any specific place or time.
As with many cult releases, it is this album's timeless transmission of the human condition that allows generation after generation to relate to it in some small way. Beyond its unique power as an album, 'Astral Weeks' also explores many of the conceptual themes that would come to define music of the 70s. This truly is a rare and raw album that everyone should dip into from time to time.
Graded using the Goldmine Standard. Graded conservatively, cover VG : slight wear to corners. Media VG+