Picking up exactly where Beautiful Vision’s “Scandinavia” left off, “Higher than the World” unfolds amid a cascade of synthesizer, choppy R&B guitar, and the saccharine acknowledgment of higher consciousness that defined Van Morrison’s sonic pilgrimage of the 1980s. The third installment of what can be termed the Celtic Guru period, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart incorporates a softer edge to the sound that Van was building over the course of the decade.
The string of releases to follow Common One would serve as companions in staking out a New-Age Celtic spirituality built on channeling legacies as far flung as Jimmy Rogers, Ray Charles, Christmas Humphrey, and L Ron Hubbard. Critical as any of these to Van’s Celtic Guru years was an interpretation of Alice Bailey’s theosophy. The ideas were laid out on Van’s 1980 masterwork, but the seven rays never radiated as brightly as they did on Beautiful Vision.
Common One was the album Van Morrison had been trying to make for ten years. It would mark the furthest he had moved away from the sounds of Astral Weeks, while still maintaining the sonic and literary craftsmanship of the legendary session. The blues and soul records that shaped Morrison’s musical upbringing were still present. It was definitely a rock and roll record. And the astral folk leanings for which the critics had held on to the singer for so long, ran through the entirety of the nearly hour-long affair.
The mystical notions of theosophy have inspired long artists like Sun Ra, Van Morrison, and Elvis Presley. With the publication of the 1905 text Thought Forms, Sacred Bones Records continues a long tradition of music and the occult intertwining in the pursuit of making the unknown knowable.
There are no links here to tracks from what I suppose is now deemed, Van Morrison: Live In Boston 1968. The title is intentionally bland, purely informational. As outlined by […]
Welcome to the March installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast, a series of interviews and audio esoterica. This month, we’re centering in on a sense of place. First, we sit […]
¡î“rale! Los Blue Angels step up with the horn-happy cover of Seî±or Morrison. Via the U.S. imprint of Mexico’s oldest record company, Peerless, the ever-evolving grupo tackled the Irishman’s greatest-hit […]
Rather than introduce a bevy of unearthed material or special-features, The Authorized Bang Collection retells a chapter of Van Morrison’s career in a reframed light using existing material. Famously, Morrison did not approve of […]
A year before his passing in 1975, famed Bay Area radio DJ Tom Donahue sat down with Van Morrison. At the time Morrison was coming off an all-time string of records, coming […]
As with any artist whose career spans more than several LPs (let alone 30-plus) it’s often difficult to pick a peak. That said, there is little doubt that 1973 featured […]
There are those songs that come into the studio to be revamped, polished, and preened, and then there are those songs that enter, rough and tumble, and utilize the momentum. […]
(The summer of 1974 found Van Morrison in flux. Between the largesse of The Caledonia Soul Orchestra and what would become a three year hiatus (with a quick stop in San Francisco for The […]
What happens to the bands we love when they don’t call it quits. Ups, downs, break-downs, break-ups, reunions. And then, the backing-band: three back-up singers, too many guitarists, a percussionist. […]
Clocking in at a healthy nine minutes and thirty five seconds, Van Morrison’s “T.B. Sheets,” culled from his first album Blowin’ Your Mind! , remains one of his most spirited exercises in […]