Wednesday, August 6, 2014

into the music

Van Morrison got back to his roots for the reflective renewal of this mature metaphysical musical medicine.  Morrison had reconnected with guitarist Herbie Armstrong (who had given him his start in Belfast in 1962) for the pop experments of his previous album, 'Wavelength' and stayed with him  in the Cotswold village of Epwell, England while composing the songs that would comprise 'Into the Music'.  

Morrison produced the sessions at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California with Mick Glossop as engineer and assistant producer.  'Into the Music' features Van Morrison on vocals, guitar, and harmonica;   Herbie Armstrong on guitar and backing vocals;  Pee Wee Ellis on tenor saxophone and horn arrangements;  David Hayes on bass;  Mark Isham on trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, and the horn arrangement for "Troubadours";  Mark Jordan on piano;  Katie Kissoon on backing vocals;  Toni Marcus on mandolin, violin, viola, and stroviola;  and Peter Van Hooke on drums;    with John Allair playing organ on "And the Healing Has Begun"; Ry Cooder adding slide guitar on "Full Force Gale"; Zakir Hussain contributing tabla on "Bright Side of the Road" and "Steppin' Out Queen"; Robin Williamson playing penny whistle on "Troubadours" and "Rolling Hills"; and Kurt Wortman sitting in on drums for "Troubadours". 

Morrison would reflect:   "I think seriously about being of some help to somebody. In order to get to that point, you have to go through quite a bit. I'm doing it in my music, right?   Music is like a healing thing, and we're all being healed. I'm being healed. That's what I know, what I feel. It's what I'm going through and we all go through. Any kind of art or music is involved in healing, whether it's rock 'n' roll or classical music, it's all healing. People go to a rock and roll show and they come away feeling better. All this is just the foreground, but the background is something else.   Like the image thing is all foreground. You get images relating to images. When you're up there on the stage and the audience is miles away, then there's no way that can become a meaningful experience, unless the music and p.a. are so together, and you're so together you can transcend all that and reach the people at the back of the hall, who can't even see you ... The message is not in actual lyrics, because lyrics are different every time. And the message is not really in songs. The message is behind the whole thing, which is getting very, very quiet. And when you get very, very quiet you can actually hear yourself. That's what I was trying to say. I was trying to show the dynamics in the music. There's not enough education about what music is today. Kids aren't taught what it is, and I was trying to do a little teaching about it: these elements are in music because they exist in ourselves and society. Anger is in rock and roll, love is in there. There's a lot of different energy. But if you go out and you don't know what you're doing with it--you're just *blasting* this energy--then it becomes destructive. I was trying to show people, "this is energy and *this* is energy, but ultimately the real energy that we're dealing with is the energy that's inside you that you can only hear when you get quiet. And the whole purpose of that was to make people listen to themselves."

'Into the Music' went to forty-three in the US and twenty-one in the UK.

"Bright Side of the Road"

From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road
We'll be lovers once again on the
Bright side of the road

Little darlin', come with me
Won't you help me share my load
From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road

Into this life we're born
Baby sometimes we don't know why
And time seems to go by so fast
In the twinkling of an eye

Let's enjoy it while we can
Won't you help me sing my song
From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road

From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road
We'll be lovers once again
On the bright side of the road

We'll be lovers once again on the bright side of the road

'Into the Music'
full album:

Side one
"Bright Side of the Road" – 3:47
"Full Force Gale" – 3:14
"Steppin' Out Queen" – 5:28
"Troubadours" – 4:41
"Rolling Hills" – 2:53
"You Make Me Feel So Free" – 4:09
Side two
"Angeliou" – 6:48
"And the Healing Has Begun" – 7:59
"It's All in the Game" (Charles Dawes, Carl Sigman) – 4:39
"You Know What They're Writing About" – 6:10

live at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ 1979

1 Kingdom Hall 03:30 
2 Bright Side Of The Road 03:51 
3 Here Comes The Night 04:12 
4 Into The Mystic 03:12 
5 You Make Me Feel So Free 04:27 
6 Warm Love 02:57 
7 Call Me Up In Dreamland 04:18 
8 It's All In The Game 06:41 
9 Ain't Nothing You Can Do 04:10 
10 Angeliou 09:03 
11 Full Force Gale 02:54 
12 Moondance 04:24 
13 Moonshine Whiskey (Incomplete) 04:05 
14 Wavelength / Tupelo Honey 13:36 
15 I've Been Working 03:44 
16 Troubadours 05:12 
17 Brown Eyed Girl 04:19 
18 Gloria 04:01 

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