Van Morrison

Millennium Collection

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AllMusic Review by

Digimode Entertainment's Van Morrison compilation Millenium Collection [sic] is, like New York Sessions '67 (1997), Brown Eyed Beginnings (1998), and the label's own Brown Eyed Girl [Digimode] (1998), a repackaging of the 1994 album Payin' Dues. Payin' Dues was the first album to combine the previously released recordings Morrison made for Bang Records at the start of his solo career (some of which were issued initially on the album Blowin' Your Mind! in 1967, including the Top Ten hit "Brown Eyed Girl") with a bizarre collection of off-the-cuff musical performances Morrison made, strumming an acoustic guitar and seemingly singing whatever came into his head, apparently in order to fulfill the terms of his Bang contract. Early on in this one-of-a-kind improvisation, credited as a 35-plus-minute "Jamming Session" on the album cover, but actually broken down into individual tracks on the second disc, Morrison seems to be trying at least half-heartedly to come up with songs, but by the 14th fragment he has started singing about how he's waiting for his royalty check. After that, things get really strange. Twenty-two tracks in, he is giving his own potted history of his career on Bang, derisively referring to his album, with its psychedelic cover, as "Blowin' Your Nose," then "Nosin' Your Blow." It has to be heard to be believed. The first disc contains some valuable early Morrison material, including versions of "Beside You" and "Madame George," later to turn up on the 1968 masterpiece Astral Weeks. But the "Jamming Session" is a hoot.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:03
2 5:47
3 9:34
4
3:51
5 2:57
6 3:02
7 5:33
8 2:39
9 6:05
10 4:57
11 5:14
12 2:48
13 2:54
14 5:29
15 4:14
16 3:10
17 2:20
18 3:35
19 1:15
20 0:55
21 1:11
22 1:11
23 1:05
24 1:09
25 0:56
26 1:09
27 1:26
28 1:33
29 1:28
30 0:57
31 1:01
32 1:09
33 0:56
34 0:51
35 0:51
36 1:21
37 0:58
38 0:48
39 1:17
40 1:01
41 0:52
42 1:07
43 0:57
44 0:53
45 1:14
46 1:24
47 1:04
48 0:59
49 1:08
blue highlight denotes track pick