Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WEDNESDAY CLUB - Van Morrison - 'Ballerina'

MIDWEEK CRISIS? You need some fun, come to WEDNESDAY CLUB and join Van Morrison for a ballet lesson.

Van Morrison - 'Ballerina'(1968)

If it is pain you're after, if it is emotion, if it is one of the best 'rock' vocal performances of all time, then search no have found it. Not only this track but the whole of the 'Astral Weeks.' It is a stunning album and it is difficult to define how to categorise it, there are jazz elements, rock, folk. It is a sound that will never date, never die.

A young Van enjoying a full Ballet work out

I had just broken up with a girl when I first heard the album and this helped with the loss and despair, or maybe rubbed my nose firmly 'in it!'...I am sure I listened to it almost every day for a year and is probably my most played album.

There is a part midway through the song where Van's voice just breaks with shear pain and it has been compared to the nearest thing in music to the 'primal scream'. I have never heard better. Have you ?

There are just some brilliant tracks, 'Madam George',  'Sweet Thing', the title track and if you survive 'Cyprus Avenue' without a tear or don't become an emotional wreck....then you got no 'soul' man. It is worth persevering with this, because if it 'hits' then you will have a friend for life. Van's follow up album 'Moondance' is equally good, in the same way as 'Blonde on Blonde' is to 'Highway 61 revisited' mean praise.

If you like this try 'Vicar in a TuTu' by the Smiths

Some more 'Pas de Deux'? Thought here!

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WEDNESDAY CLUB - Van Morrison - 'Ballerina'
4/ 5


7 September 2011 at 08:09

'Astral Weeks'...simply one of the greatest creations in popular music. I'll be slapping it back on the stereo later due to this reminder.

7 September 2011 at 09:16

Haven't heard this 'old friend' for a while...I agree with Singing Bear - at least two people will be listening to Astral Weeks today! Gotta admit being a bit of a Studio nerd it's amazing to think that this was recorded in just three sessions - and a bit like Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future, Van ('da man) supposedly told the band to "..improvise, but not get in the way".

7 September 2011 at 13:32

Make that 3, I'll listen to this on the way to work. It should put me in the correct frame of mind.

8 September 2011 at 11:24

Jesus, listening to this just now was like an emotional slap in the face! What the hell is wrong with me? Why haven't I actually listened to Astral Weeks? Perhaps it was the force feeding putting me off. I promise you I will get it this very minute and give it the ear it deserves. Blonde on blonde will have to wait.