A lot of GREAT music was released in 1970, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
“Into the Mystic” is one of Morrison’s warmest ballads, an Otis Redding-style reverie with acoustic guitar and horns. The lyrics are truly mysterious: “People say, ‘What does this mean?’ ” said Morrison. “A lot of times I have no idea what I mean. That’s what I like about rock & roll — the concept. Like Little Richard — what does he mean? You can’t take him apart; that’s rock & roll to me.”
Written by Van Morrison and featured on his 1970 album Moondance. It was also included on Morrison’s 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now. It was recorded during the Moondance sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in September to November 1969. Elliott Scheiner was the engineer.
– We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
In November , Van appeared with Jerry Lee Lewis at the Hammersmith Odeon, performing two songs, “Goodnight Irene” and “What´d I Say”. On the first of these, Lewis looks half stuffed, stiff back and trading phrases with Van, who badly needs a haircut, but drives the old rock´n´roller on. Lewis´s stubby fingers can still coax magic out of his grand piano.
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Wonderful to see these two giants perform together.
Jerry Lee Lewis & Van Morrison
Hammersmith Odeon, London
Honestly, this may be the best Van recording I’ve heard, not withstanding its slightly wonky mix of vocals, its beauty is in the fun that Morrison and his band are having. A fantastic recording, a great night.
-Stuart @ collectorsmusicreviews.com
My New World Crystal Ball
Lion’s Share, San Anselmo, CA; August 8, 1971.
Backing Vocals – Ellen Schroer, Janet Planet, Martha Velez
From my perspective, there are better sound-quality boots out there (Live In Montreux, for example), but no Van boot I have — and I have more than a few — so integrates solid sound with a stunning performance: Live In Montreux comes close, but at 150+ minutes, Pagan is the winer. This boot is so good, so valued, that much like the ancestral heir loom one only wears on special occasions, I listen to Pagan Streams infrequently. If I listened to it too often, I would quit my job, leave my wife and dog, and sell my soul to attend every one of the Man’s concerts. I know it took me a while to track this boot down, and all I can say is: if you can find it, buy it.
–Niall Connors (oocities.org)
The sound quality of this double CD is a very good audience recording. In fact it sounds a lot like a soundboard recording. There is some distortion in a few tracks but it isn’t a huge problem and is very listenable. Van actually “booted” some tracks from this boot for his Gloria CD single.
-Russell Parkinson (oocities.org)