This collection has a somewhat deceptive title, since Van Morrison had certainly tasted fame by the time these songs were recorded, both as a member of the Irish R&B outfit Them, which had a huge hit with the Morrison-penned "Gloria" in 1965, and with his own solo smash, the still-delightful "Brown-Eyed Girl," which was released in the summer of 1967. The songs here all appeared on Morrison's Blowin' Your Mind! album on Bang Records, which was released in 1967 to capitalize on the success of "Brown-Eyed Girl." Depending on your opinion of the love it or hate it "T.B. Sheets," Morrison didn't really bounce to the next level until the following year, after signing with Warner Bros. and releasing the Astral Weeks album in 1968.
Before the Fame Review
by Steve Leggett