Down the Road (Remastered) Van Morrison

Album info

Album-Release:
2002

HRA-Release:
14.02.2020

Label: Legacy Recordings

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Singer

Artist: Van Morrison

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Down the Road04:19
  • 2Meet Me In the Indian Summer04:00
  • 3Steal My Heart Away04:23
  • 4Hey Mr. DJ03:49
  • 5Talk Is Cheap04:23
  • 6Choppin' Wood03:31
  • 7What Makes the Irish Heart Beat03:50
  • 8All Work and No Play04:54
  • 9Whatever Happened to PJ Proby?03:16
  • 10The Beauty of the Days Gone By05:50
  • 11Georgia On My Mind05:39
  • 12Only a Dream05:01
  • 13Man Has to Struggle05:10
  • 14Evening Shadows04:04
  • 15Fast Train05:07
  • Total Runtime01:07:16

Info for Down the Road (Remastered)



"Down the Road" continues the magnificent journey that George Ivan Morrison began when he first heard the call of the blues as a child growing up in post-war Belfast. In keeping with the open-hearted nature of his best work, "Whatever Happened to PJ Proby?" and "What Makes the Irish Heart Beat" hinge on candid revelations and tender insights. Journalists may tiresomely characterise him as obdurate, but with songs like "Choppin' Wood", simultaneously a hymn to working-class perseverance and a deeply felt ode to his late father, Morrison is the most autobiographical songwriter of his generation.

"After spending much of the 1990s expressing his bitterness with the modern world in albums like Hymns to the Silence and Days Like This, Van Morrison sought to overcome his bile toward the end of the decade, declaring himself Back on Top by 1999. (His fans concurred; the album was his highest-charting effort in more than 20 years and earned a gold record.) He then took an uncharacteristically long three years to make a new original album, though he produced two side projects, the live Skiffle Sessions: Live in Belfast 1998 and You Win Again, a duet record with Linda Gail Lewis, in between. Down the Road is not bitter, but it does look to the past continually and with longing. Musically, it mixes R&B and jazz with bits of country (especially on "What Makes the Irish Heart Beat") and folk, all conjured from the singer's 1950s youth. Lyrically, it deliberately makes use of blues clichés and catch phrases to tell its tales of struggle, recollection, and regret. The album cover depicts the front of a record store, Music and Memorabilia, with a window full of LP covers by blues, R&B, jazz, and old rock & roll artists, and the music inside corresponds to that picture, in spirit if not always in style. A key song, and a curious one, is "Whatever Happened to PJ Proby?," in which Morrison identifies himself with trendy British pop singers of the early '60s, including Scott Walker and Screaming Lord Sutch. It's hard to imagine that he really thinks he belongs in their company, but he seems both sincere and pained as he concludes, "And whatever happened to me?" If such humility is sincere, it may help explain why Morrison has rejected the trappings of fame all these years, and it makes him all the more endearing." (William Ruhlmann, AMG)

Van Morrison

Digitally remastered


Van Morrison
One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast.

Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life.

Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.

Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.

Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career.

After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.

Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing.

Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.

Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track Listen To The Lion.

Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.

Indeed, borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.

Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One an album centring on Summertime In England an extraordinary invocation of literary, sensual and spiritual pleasure the song would often become a thrilling improvised centrepiece to his live shows.

Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.

Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.

Awards and accolades - a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 Grammys, honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres - attested to the international reach of Van’s musical art.

Yet there was never any suggestion that Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, would ever rest on his laurels.

Collaborations with, among others, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Lonnie Donegan, Mose Allison and Tom Jones confirmed the breadth of his musical reach.

Morrison’s visionary songwriting and mastery of many genres continued to shine on albums celebrating and re-exploring his blues, jazz, skiffle and country roots.

The influence of the musical journey that began back in Post War Belfast stretches across the generations, and Morrison’s questing hunger insures that the journey itself continues.

Constantly reshaping his musical history in live performance, Morrison reclaimed Astral Weeks on 2009’s album Live At The Hollywood Bowl.

The subtitle of Van Morrison's latest album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, indicates the power that music still holds for this living legend. "No Plan B means this is not a rehearsal," says Morrison. "That’s the main thing—it’s not a hobby, it’s real, happening now, in real time."

With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.

This album contains no booklet.

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