Tag: Van Morrison

Tuesday 5/24/22 10pm ET: Feature LP: Van Morrison – What’s It Gonna Take? (2022)

What’s It Gonna Take? Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AllMusic.com)
Arriving hot on the heels of Latest Record Project, Vol. 1, the 2021 double album where Van Morrison unleashed all of his frustrations at being locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, What’s It Gonna Take? finds the singer doubling down on all of his gripes. The shift in intensity is apparent from the artwork depicting a couple being controlled by the hand of an unseen puppet master, an image that crystallizes Morrison’s belief that the government and other shadowy forces are conspiring to take away free will from the common man. Van believes himself to be among these little folks: as he sings on one of the record’s less politically charged songs, “I Ain’t No Celebrity,” he’s merely a working musician. The fact that he was not able to work during the early months of the pandemic stoked Morrison’s anger, and it shines brightly throughout What’s It Gonna Take?, seeming even more vivid because his vitriolic lyrics are married to jaunty R&B rhythms or slow, soulful grooves delivered with precision and enshrined in a clean production. There’s no ignoring Morrison’s repeated references to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, fake news, and mind control or his huffy denials that he’s a conspiracy theorist as they’re pushed right to the forefront. Plus, where he seemed merely cranky on Latest Record Project, Vol. 1, Morrison is filled with bile here, letting it bubble to the surface even on slow-burners like “Can’t Go On This Way.” By the end of the album, he points some of this anger inward, resulting in the relatively nuanced “Fear and Self-Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Pretending,” but that doesn’t change the general tenor of What’s It Gonna Take? The blend of anodyne R&B and anger makes for one of the odder albums in Van Morrison’s body of work.

Release May 20, 2022

1 Dangerous 7:40
2 What’s It Gonna Take? 3:22
3 Fighting Back is the New Normal 3:35
4 Fodder for the Masses 4:44
5 Can’t Go on This Way 6:41
6 Sometimes It’s Just Blah Blah Blah 3:36
7 Money From America 7:35
8 Not Seeking Approval 6:30
9 Damage and Recovery 4:04
10 Nervous Breakdown 5:09
11 Absolutely Positively the Most 5:19
12 I Ain’t No Celebrity 4:41
13 Stage Name 4:28
14 Fear and Self-Loathing in Las Vegas 5:03
15 Pretending 6:47

Crawford Bell Vocals (Background)
Tony Cousins Mastering
Richard Dunn Organ (Hammond), Vocals (Background)
Colin Griffin Drums
Pete Hurley Bass
Oli Jacobs Assistant Engineer
Dave Keary Guitar (Acoustic)
Seth Lakeman Fiddle, Vocals (Background)
Teena Lyle Bongos, Congas
Dana Masters Vocals (Background)
Van Morrison Composer, Guitar (Electric), Primary Artist, Producer, Production Manager, Vocals

Thursday 2/17/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: Van Morrison – Back On Top (1999)

Back on Top is the twenty-seventh studio album by Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. It was released March 9, 1999 by Point Blank. This album marks a slight return to the forms of music he is most known for: blues and R&B. Upon the album’s release, Rolling Stone reviewed it as “one Monet and nine Norman Rockwells”, the “Monet” being “When the Leaves Come Falling Down” which it called a masterpiece.

The January 29, 2008 reissued and remastered version of the album contains two bonus tracks: an alternative take of “Philosopher’s Stone” and a new arrangement of Fats Domino’s song, “Valley of Tears”. “Golden Autumn Day” was also used as the credits song for the 2001 and 2004 World Series.

“Goin’ Down Geneva” – 4:24
“Philosopher’s Stone” – 6:05

“In the Midnight” – 5:07
“Back on Top” – 4:23
“When the Leaves Come Falling Down” – 5:39
“High Summer” – 5:12
“Reminds Me of You” – 5:39
“New Biography” – 5:23
“Precious Time” – 3:45
“Golden Autumn Day” – 6:31
“Philosopher’s Stone” – 4:52 (alternative take)
“Valley of Tears” – 5:02

Van Morrison – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, producer
Mick Green – acoustic and electric guitars
Pee Wee Ellis – soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, background vocals
Matt Holland – trumpet
Geraint Watkins – piano, Hammond organ
Fiachra Trench – piano
Ian Jennings – double bass
Liam Bradley – drums, percussion, background vocals
Bobby Irwin – drums
Brian Kennedy – background vocals
Irish Film Orchestra – strings
Leo Green – tenor saxophone (2008 reissue)
Jools Holland – piano (2008 reissue)
Mike Sanchez – piano, guitar (2008 reissue)

Tuesday 8/31/21 1pm ET: Feature Artist: Van Morrison

Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE (born August 31, 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer whose recording career spans seven decades. Van Morrison made his first recording playing saxophone on “Boozoo Hully Gully” with the International Monarchs in 1962. His first recording session as lead singer/songwriter with Them was produced by Dick Rowe at Decca’s studio. “Don’t Start Crying Now” was the first single released and the garage rock classic, “Gloria” was also recorded at this session. “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (recorded October 1964) was released November 1964 with “Gloria” as the B-side and was a Top Ten hit in the UK Singles Chart. “Here Comes the Night” was Them’s second hit in 1965, charting at No. 2 in the UK and No. 24 in the US.

Morrison had his first recording session as a solo artist for Bang Records in New York City for Bert Berns on March 28, 1967. One of the songs was “Brown Eyed Girl”, which charted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then he has been on the Billboard album chart a total of 787 weeks by April 2008 (including the Them albums); a period of almost 43 years when his 33rd solo studio album Keep It Simple debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.

Friday 3/26/21 2pm ET: New Music Show

New music this week from: Van Morrison, Amy Helm, Toigo, Angela Bond, Bachelor, Stone Temple Pilots, Beabadoobee, Brock & Sgro, Spoon, Detention, Gruff Rhys, Sofia Carson, Hold Steady, Phem, and more . . .

Friday 2/26/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Van Morrison – Wavelength (1978)

Wavelength is the tenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and was released in September 1978. The album has a different musical sound from his previous albums, leaning towards a pop rock sound with prominent electric guitars and synthesizers. Wavelength was Morrison’s best selling album at the time of the original release. Mick Glossop, Bobby Tench and Peter Bardens were given credit for special assistance in production.

A remastered version of the album was released on January 29, 2008. It contains two bonus tracks, “Wavelength” and “Kingdom Hall”, taken from the promotional album Van Morrison Live at the Roxy (1979), recorded on November 29, 1978.

“Kingdom Hall” – 5:59
“Checkin’ It Out” – 3:29
“Natalia” – 4:04
“Venice U.S.A.” – 6:32
“Lifetimes” – 4:15
“Wavelength” – 5:44
“Santa Fe/Beautiful Obsession” – 7:04
“Hungry for Your Love” – 3:45
“Take It Where You Find It” – 8:40
“Kingdom Hall” Live – 6:05
“Wavelength” Live – 6:07

Van Morrison – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes, alto saxophone, backing vocals
Peter Bardens – keyboards, synthesizer
Bobby Tench – electric guitar, backing vocals
Herbie Armstrong – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Mickey Feat – bass guitar
Peter Van Hooke – drums
Garth Hudson – Hammond organ, synthesizer, accordion
Ginger Blake – backing vocals
Laura Creamer – backing vocals
Linda Dillard – backing vocals
Mitch Dalton – Spanish guitar (“Take It Where You Find It”)
Kuma – bass (“Santa Fe/Beautiful Obsession” and “Take It Where You Find It”)
Katie Kissoon – backing vocals
Anna Peacock – backing vocals

Monday 8/31/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist – Van Morrison

Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s, playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B and rock band, Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”. His solo career began in 1967, under the pop-hit orientated guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl”. After Berns’s death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.

Morrison has a reputation for being at once stubborn, idiosyncratic, and sublime. His live performances at their best are seen as transcendental and inspired, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are highly acclaimed.

Moondance (1970) established Morrison as a major artist, and he built on his reputation throughout the 1970s with a series of acclaimed albums and live performances. He continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains.

Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as the album Astral Weeks and the lesser known Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic soul”. He has received two Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, the 2017 Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was knighted for services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland. He is known by the nickname Van the Man to his fans.

Wednesday 4pm ET: Sounds of The 70s

This week on the Sounds of The 70s we feature music from: Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, KC & The Sunshine Band, Bad Company, Aerosmith, Henry Gross, Doobie Brothers, Thelma Houston, Grass Roots and more. . . 

Wednesday 2pm: Sounds of The 70s

This week on Sounds of The 70s.  Edward Bear, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Supertramp, America, Abba, Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin, Marshall Tucker Band, Bachman Turner Overdrive and more. . . 

Friday 12am: Feature LP: Van Morrison – The Prophet Speaks (2018)

Van Morrison has announced his new album, The Prophet Speaks. His 40th studio album is set for release on December 7th via Caroline International.

On his new effort, Morrison offers six new originals alongside his reinterpretations of classics. Sam Cooke’s “Laughin’ and Clownin’,” John Lee Hooker’s “Dimples,” Solomon Burke’s “Gotta Get You Off My Mind” and Willie Dixon’s “I Love the Life I Live” are among the eight songs he covers.

“It was important for me to get back to recording new music as well as doing some of the blues material that has inspired me from the beginning,” Morrison said in a statement. “Writing songs and making music is what I do, and working with great musicians makes it all the more enjoyable.”

For the rest of this article and a complete track listing, follow this link.


Monday 11pm: Feature LP: Van Morrison – Moondance (1970) @vanmorrison

Moondance is the 1970 third studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. After the commercial failure of his 1968 Astral Weeks album, Morrison moved with his wife to an artistic hamlet in upstate New York and began writing songs for Moondance. There, he met the musicians he would record the album with at New York City’s A & R Studios in 1969.

Morrison abandoned the abstract folk jazz compositions of Astral Weeks in favor of more formally composed songs on Moondance, which he wrote and produced entirely himself. Its lively rhythm and blues/rock music was the style he would become most known for in his career. The music incorporated soul, jazz, pop, and Irish folk sounds into songs about finding spiritual renewal and redemption in worldly matters such as nature, music, romantic love, and self-affirmation.

Moondance was first released by Warner Bros. Records on 27 January 1970 to critical and commercial success. It helped establish Morrison as a major artist in popular music, while several of its songs became staples on FM radio in the early 1970s. Moondance has since been cited by critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2013, the album’s remastered deluxe edition was released to similar acclaim. – Wikipedia

Click Here for Album Contents on Wikipedia

Sunday with Ron Kovacs (8a – 12p) ET

SundayJoin Ron Kovacs for another edition of Sunday.  This week music from Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span, The Band, The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Mamas & the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Ryan Adams, Joan Armatrading, Beck, Jackson Browne, Harry Chapin, Tracy Chapman, Jim Croce, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Dan Fogleberg, Steve Forbert, Ben Howard, Carole King, Mark Knopfler, Gordon Lightfoot, Van Morrison, Patrick Park, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Cat Stevens, Teddy Thompson, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Warren Zevon and more . .. .   Live starting 8am on RadioMaxMusic.

Sunday with Ron Kovacs 8am ET

nyeve-ronThis week on Sunday music from Leon Bridges, Grace Potter, Jackson Brown, Van Morrison, Houdmouth, El Vy, X Ambassadors, Vance Joy, Cold War Kids, My Morning Jacket, Dawes, Beck, Arcs and more!  Join Ron Kovacs Live 8am ET on RadioMaxMusic.