Magic Time (Remastered) Van Morrison
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- 2Celtic New Year06:12
- 3Keep Mediocrity at Bay03:45
- 4Evening Train02:51
- 5This Love of Mine02:44
- 6I'm Confessin'04:29
- 7Just Like Greta06:28
- 8Gypsy In My Soul04:05
- 9Lonely and Blue03:45
- 10The Lion This Time04:59
- 11Magic Time05:08
- 12They Sold Me Out03:13
- 13Carry On Regardless05:55
Info for Magic Time (Remastered)
Ireland's greatest pop singer/songwriter is back in action with his latest self-produced album, Magic Time,' featuring ten new Van Morrison songs as well as interpretations of three jazz classics 'This Love Of Mine', 'I'm Confessin', and 'Lonely And Blue'. Magic Time' is Van's first new album of originals since 2003's Grammy nominated What's Wrong With This Picture' and is the 38th solo release of his illustrious career.
"Magic Time is one of those rare, intermittent Van Morrison records that consciously offers a bird's eye view of everywhere he's been musically and weaves it all together into a heady brew. The last one was The Healing Game in 1997. He's made fine records since (Down the Road, Back on Top), but they've been focused on whatever Muse was pulling his coattails at the time. Magic Time is restless and freewheeling. Lyrically, it's alternately bittersweet, celebratory, and ornery. Like all of his records, notions of the past haunt these songs like familiar specters making sure they are not forgotten. Here, Celtic soul, gritty blues, fingerpopping swing, R&B, and classic pop all jockey for dominance over ten originals and three covers. Morrison's sequencing keeps them balanced and the proceedings sharp. "Stranded" has a gorgeous faux doo wop lilt, and an elegant, timeless piano that cascades from the ether as a nocturnal alto saxophone (Morrison) announces a stolid yet world-weary vocal that unhurriedly moves along to a backing chorus. One can hear traces of the Platters' "Twilight Time" and the Penguins' "Earth Angel" in its grain. "Celtic New Year" is trademark Morrison; the long, loping, repetitive line that is his trademark fuels this one. It's carried by the interplay between Morrison's acoustic and the late Foggy Lyttle's electric guitar fills, and aided by Chieftain Paddy Moloney's whistle. A moving yet unobtrusive string arrangement by Fiachra Trench lifts this tale of separation and longing into the large space inhabited by Morrison's voice. Through his lyrical frame, he reaches that place in the heart that whispers of longings so deep they lie beyond the reach of language. The scene changes on track three as the blues make their entrance on "Keep Mediocrity at Bay" (with some fine harp work by Morrison), and the wondrously gritty "Evening Train." On the latter, it's Lyttle's guitar (the album is dedicated to him) and David Hayes' whomping bass that drive the engine, with Morrison and horns punching up into the maelstrom. Lyttle's knotty razored fills push Morrison's roaring vocal on to the ledge. The covers all come from the American jazz canon: Fats Waller's "Lonely and Blue," and two tunes associated with Frank Sinatra -- "I'm Confessin'" and "This Love of Mine" (with lyrics by him!). These tunes are beautifully placed in the album's mix and Morrison's readings are serious, very credible. While "Just Like Greta" is yet another Morrison litany to be left alone, its seductive melody draws the listener deep in with its shimmering organ, pronounced hypnotic line, mournful strings, and a chorus of female voices that add a softer dimension to its edgy intent. "Gypsy in My Soul" is pure, nocturnal velvet funk with great piano work by Brian Connor. The acoustic "The Lion This Time" is one of the finest ballads Morrison has cut in decades. Period. "Carry On Regardless," is a stinging, jagged reggae-touched blues that sends the proceeding out in near riotous joy. Magic Time may look back over decades, but it's far from nostalgic. It connects the musical past to Morrison's present and points to a future in the timelessness of great musical tradition. And it displays in spades that its creator never stops looking for new ways to go deeper into the heart of song." (Thom Jurek, AMG)
Van Morrison, vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, alto saxophone
Mick Green, guitar
Foggy Lyttle, guitar
Michael Fields, spanish guitar, lute
Martin Winning, tenor and baritone saxophones
Matt Holland, trumpet
Paddy Moloney, whistle
Myles Drennan, piano, Hammond organ
Brian Connor, piano, keyboards
Dave Lewis, piano
John Allair, Hammond organ
Jerome Rimson, bass, backing vocals
David Hayes, bass
Liam Bradley, drums, backing vocals
Noel Bridgeman, drums
Johnathan Mele, drums
Bobby Irwin, drums
Johnny Scott, backing vocals
Siobhan Pettit, backing vocals
Olwin Bell, backing vocals
Crawford Bell, backing vocals
Aine Whelan, backing vocals
Karen Hamill, backing vocals
Irish Film Orchestra
One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast.
Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life.
Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.
Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.
Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career.
After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.
Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing.
Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.
Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track Listen To The Lion.
Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.
Indeed, borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.
Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One an album centring on Summertime In England an extraordinary invocation of literary, sensual and spiritual pleasure the song would often become a thrilling improvised centrepiece to his live shows.
Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.
Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.
Awards and accolades - a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 Grammys, honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres - attested to the international reach of Van’s musical art.
Yet there was never any suggestion that Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, would ever rest on his laurels.
Collaborations with, among others, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Lonnie Donegan, Mose Allison and Tom Jones confirmed the breadth of his musical reach.
Morrison’s visionary songwriting and mastery of many genres continued to shine on albums celebrating and re-exploring his blues, jazz, skiffle and country roots.
The influence of the musical journey that began back in Post War Belfast stretches across the generations, and Morrison’s questing hunger insures that the journey itself continues.
Constantly reshaping his musical history in live performance, Morrison reclaimed Astral Weeks on 2009’s album Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
The subtitle of Van Morrison's latest album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, indicates the power that music still holds for this living legend. "No Plan B means this is not a rehearsal," says Morrison. "That’s the main thing—it’s not a hobby, it’s real, happening now, in real time."
With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.
This album contains no booklet.