Van Morrison

Brown Eyed Girl [DJ Specialist]

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Castle Pie's Brown Eyed Girl is comprised of the (much compiled) recordings Van Morrison made for Bang! after his split from Them. Teaming with Brill Building vet producer Bert Berns, Morrison's wild-eyed lyricism is often a tight fit with Berns' straight-ahead commercial sound (see the silly but fun "Chick-a-Boom" for an example). Still a number of great songs can be found here, including the all-time great "Brown Eyed Girl," "The Back Room," "He Ain't Give You None," and "Ro Ro Rosey." Early versions of tracks from Astral Weeks, "T.B. Sheets" and "Madame George," also appear. Despite Van's objections to being a pop artist, the conflict between the two styles makes for some very interesting and invigorating listening. These sessions aren't vital to the casual Morrison fan, but anyone whose love of the man goes beyond the hits needs to add these to their collection. The best place to go is Legacy's Bang Masters as it is a legitimate and well-mastered set that unlike Brown Eyed Girl includes an alternate take of "Brown Eyed Girl and a previously unreleased mono version of "The Smile You Smile."

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