Music Legends - Van Morrison: The Early Years

Van Morrison

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Music Legends - Van Morrison: The Early Years Review

by Tim Sendra

Brentwood's Music Legends - Van Morrison: The Early Years collection 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." An early versions of a track from Astral Weeks, "Madame George" also appears. 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 includes all the songs from the sessions. This collection for some reason only has 12 of the 18, making it woefully incomplete. On the plus side it does include a second disc that contains a DVD with a half-hour-long feature on Morrison and a longer film called Anatomy of Pop: The Music Explosion.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Van Morrison Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick