Saturday, June 21, 2008

Veedon Fleece, Into The Music

After the early creative heights of Astral Weeks and Moondance, Van Morrison produced His Band And The Street Choir and Tupelo Honey and followed them with the earthy and passionate St Dominic's Preview with its two classic long tracks.

Hard Nose The Highway was more miss than hit, but Veedon Fleece was dreamy and ethereal and beautiful. Van relaxed his vocal style and sang happily and soulfully on Country Fair, Come Here My Love, Fair Play and Comfort You. Van must have been so relaxed at this point, travelling around Ireland after being away for a while and being a tourist:

'A paperback book
As we walk down the street
Fill my mind with tales of mystery, mystery...
And imagination
Forever fair
And I'm touching your hair
I wish we could be dreamers
In this dream,
Oh let it dream....'

Van had a long break then and came up with an album called 'A Period of Transition' which for some reason I have just never played much. It did have 'Flamingoes Fly', but the version of this song on 'The Philospher's Stone Vol 1' is far, far superior.

'Into The Music' closed the decade, and it is another stunner. 'It's All In The Game' is the highlight and the record cover with Van with his eyes closed says it all- pure inspiration:

'And he'll kiss your lips
And caress your fingertips
And your heart will fly away.'

'Stepping Out Queen' is good, but the version on 'The Philosopher's Stone' is better, with its bouncy, joyous tone and personal, yearning lyrics. This is closer to a confessional style of writing than is normal for Van:

'This is a song
It's got a whole lot of soul
When I seen you by the way before
In new york cityI think it was \
On eighth street, right?
Or was it in san francisco?
Always put the first one first
And the second one, second
Come in the garden and look at the flowers
That's what you were saying, right?
Come in my garden and look at the flowers
We can just sit and talk for hours and hours
Come in my garden, come in my garden
Come in my garden Come in my, come in my, come in my garden
Come in my, come in my, come in my garden
Come in my garden, come in my garden
Look at the flowers, we can just sit and talk
And feel
As the sun come over the valley
As the sun come over the valley...'

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