Thursday, April 12, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all time Part.6

VAN MORRISON: ASTRAL WEEKS & MOONDANCE
  Again two albums in this list, from 'Van the Man' this time.
'Astral Weeks' was released on November 1968, it was his second album, and had  nothing to do with the previous one, which was including the hit song 'Brown Eyed Girl'.
 This album was actually recorded in just 3 days, with Van Morrison having  surviving problems, and it's a difficult album to listen to and to enjoy. It needs well trained ears in order to appreciate it, and therefore is highly respected in the musical circles. It is considered to be as one of the most influential albums  for many musicians ever since.
Upon its release, it received very good critics, with Rolling Stone magazine naming it 'album of the year' among others.
 The musical style of the album is a mix of Jazz, Blues, Folk and Rock. The album didn't have any hit song, failed to have massive air play in the radios, and therefore didn't sell very much.
  Despite that, it is considered as a very important album, and in 1987 Rolling Stone magazine placed it at No.7 in the list with the 'best albums of the last 20 years' and at No.19 in the list with the '500 greatest albums of all time', whilst Mojo magazine placed it at No.2 in the list with the '100 best albums'.
The best moments of the album in my oppinion are 'Madame George' and the very beautiful 'Ballerina'.
I surely don't recommend this album, unless you concider yourselves 'trained listeners' and/or you like jazz music more than I do...
 
   But I strongly recommend his next album which was released on Februaly 1970 and it's no other that the famous 'Moondance'. This is probably one of the best albums Van Morrison ever recorded, if not the best.
  Upon its release it received praises from the critics, gained A+ in many occasions, and had a massive air time in the radio stations almost everywhere. It is also the first album on which Van Morrison did the production all by himself.
  The music style here is more Blues, Rn'B and Jazz and the mix of all those three styles, creates a wonderful listening experience.
  Moondance was the album that actually established Van Morrison as a great singer/songwriter, and its sales continued for the next 40 years, making this album a 'classic' in Rock music.
Some tracks you might know from this album are: 'And it Stoned me', 'Crazy Love', 'Brand New Day', and of course the widely known 'Caravan' and 'Moondance'.
Other Van Morrison's records I recommend: Tupelo Honey, Hard Nose the Highway, It's too Late to Stop now (Live)