The Bang Sessions, as most fans of Van the Man know, present Morrison when he is very good and when he is absolutely wretched. The good, of course, is his first solo album, Blowin' Your Mind, an engaging set of ambitious folk-rock which borrows equally from R&B and jazz, winding up with songs as ebullient as "Brown Eyed Girl" and as haunting as "T.B. Sheets," with a lot of ground covered in between. The bad is the songs that he wrote and recorded in a bid to get out of his contract with Bang -- obstinate, stream-of-conscious ditties and nonsense that he wrote on the spot; it's interesting in theory, but nearly unlistenable in practise. By bringing together both in one collection, appropriately entitled The Complete Bang Sessions, Purple Pyramid has given collectors an easy way to get it all at once. And this is for collectors -- it might not be deluxe packaging, but it's a well-packaged digipack with good sound, and only collectors will want all of this in their collection. Other fans of Van will be better-served by either his debut or the Epic/Legacy Bang Sessions CD, since it contains the cream of the crop, leaving the 30 "demos" behind, since they are the ephemera Morrison intended them to be.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1