Van Morrison: 5 Wonderful Versions of “Vanlose Stairway”

Send me your picture
Send me your pillow
Send it through Krishna
On the Vanlose Stairway

..A larger point to be made with “Vanlose Stairway” is that no matter what words Morrison is singing, it is the music and singing itself that offers a glimpse at the soul — the true inspiration of the term soul music. And Morrison is nothing if not a soul singer. The lyrics just happen to add to the soul-stirring music. It does not matter that most people have no idea what Vanlose refers to, especially given that Morrison does not pronounce it correctly. But the descending three chords of the verse — played by a horn section and turnaround uplifting chorus — hit the listener on a gut level, especially on the powerful live recording of the song on A Night in San Francisco (1994), which truly transcends anything mere words could communicate.
-Bill Janovitz (allmusic.com)

Vanlose Stairway is track 7 on his 1982 album, Beautiful Vision. It has been performed 729 times live (289 times as part of a medley) according to ivan.vanomatic.de (great website btw).

Continue reading “Van Morrison: 5 Wonderful Versions of “Vanlose Stairway””

Van Morrison: 4 Great Live Versions of His Brilliant “Orangefield”

On a gold autumn day
You came my way in Orangefield
Saw you standing by the riverside in Orangefield
How I love you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield

This great song from the album Avalon Sunset (1989) was first performed live May 18, 1989 (Swansea, Wales), and last time VM played it in concert was August 24, 2014 (Orangefield High School,
Belfast). It has been performed 92 times live, mostly in 1989 & 1990.

Here are 4 great versions…

Stadtpark Freilichtbühne, Hamburg, Germany
June 4, 1989

Continue reading “Van Morrison: 4 Great Live Versions of His Brilliant “Orangefield””

Classic Van Morrison Songs: Summertime in England

Can you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
Will you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?

TOC

  • Facts
    • Album version – 1980
    • Montreux version – 1980
    • Grand Opera House version – 1983
    • Beacon Theater version – 1989
  • Lyrics
  • Live versions


Facts

  • Morrison started rehearsing “Summertime in England” in November and December 1979 along with “Haunts of Ancient Peace” at club gigs in the San Francisco area.
  • The album (Common One) version was recorded at Super Bear Studios in the French Alps in February 1980 and according to Mick Cox the second take was the one used on the album. The spoken section is in 3/4 time that begins with John Allair’s church organ fugue.
  • Common One” was released in August 1980.

  • A live performance of “Summertime in England” as performed by Morrison with most of the Common One band members is featured on the 2006 released DVD, Live At Montreux 1980/1974.
  • A live version was recorded during concerts at the Grand Opera House in Belfast and released as the B-side of a 12 inch single released in February 1983 on the Mercury label.
  • It is also one of the songs performed in 1989, on Morrison’s second video Van Morrison The Concert, released in 1990.

Continue reading “Classic Van Morrison Songs: Summertime in England”

Classic Van Morrison Songs: Wonderful Remark

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies, to myself, to myself

TOC


Facts

 

Continue reading “Classic Van Morrison Songs: Wonderful Remark”

Van Morrison – 6 Great live versions of “Ballerina”

 

Spread your wings
Come on fly awhile
Straight to my arms
Little angel child
You know you only
Lonely twenty-two story block

I was in San Francisco one time in 1966 and I was attracted to the city. It was the first time I had been there, and I was sitting in this hotel and all these things were going through my head, and I had a flash about an actress in an opera house appearing in a ballet, and I think that’s where the song came from.
-Van Morrison (to Ritchie Yorke)

If anyone ever argues that Morrison cannot sing – an unlikely scenario anyway – then simply play them this. All human emotion is crystallised here, and subtly vocalised: desire, joy, hope, world weariness, consolidation, awe & anticipation. The “angel child” here is also a fully mature woman. What sounds like a penny whistle comes in just at the end, almost subliminally. Van´s Celtic phase starts here.
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)

Ballerina was recorded during the last Astral Weeks session on October 15, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City. Lewis Merenstein was the producer.

He has performed it live 180 times according to the brilliant website ivan.vanomatic.de.

Here are 6 thrilling versions:

2/2/1974 – Winterland, San Francisco, CA:

Continue reading “Van Morrison – 6 Great live versions of “Ballerina””

Video of the day: Van Morrison – Cyprus Avenue

From Wikipedia:

Cyprus Avenue” is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1968 album Astral Weeks. In performance it was a concert highlight and closer for years to come and would end with Morrison’s command, “It’s too late to stop now!” as he stalked from the stage. A dynamic 10 minute version with the usual stop-start ending was included on his 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now.

Continue reading “Video of the day: Van Morrison – Cyprus Avenue”