Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again"
And so it began.
Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album remains to this day one of my consistently played and enjoyed works of musical art (yeah, that's right..I'm calling it art). I wore out three vinyl copies, and am on my third copy of the CD. From the upbeat opening number 'Astral Weeks' to the epic 'Madame George' to the hypnotic closer 'Slim Slow Slider', the album is a R&B jazzy folk-rock head to tail bonafide classic.
“Astral Weeks” songs...were from another sort of place — not what is at all obvious. They are poetry and mythical musings channeled from my imagination...[They] are little poetic stories I made up and set to music. The album is about song craft for me—making things up and making them fit to a tune I have arranged. The songs were somewhat channeled works—that is why I called it “Astral Weeks.” Van Morrison 2008
There's an excellent recent interview HERE in the UK Telegraph where Morrison discusses at length the making of the album in 1968, and his decision to rerecord it live last November. The resulting effort (with the addition of songs 'Listen To The Lion' and 'Common One') was released on CD this week. And I can't stop playing it.
The same but different...faithful to the originals yet contemporary in its sound and vibrancy...Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl somehow manages to take you back and take you forward at the same time, while always triumphing in the here and now...being 'the moment'.
The tracks on the live CD are performed or presented at least in a different order than how they were listed on the original lp, but the end result is still magic.
Friday Fun is Astral Weeks revisited.
"Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
The love's to love, the love's to love, the loves to love
Say goodbye, goodbye
Get on the train, the train, the train
This is the train, this is the train
Say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Get on the train."