Sunday, October 12, 2014

veedon fleece

Van Morrison stole the highlights and got down to the real soul with this rapturous golden epiphany.  The lukewarm response to his previous studio album 'Hard Nose the Highway' had given way to universal praise for the double live extravaganza 'It's Too Late to Stop Now'.  In the wake of his divorce from Janet (Planet) Rigsbee, Morrison found himself at a crossroads.  He returned to Ireland for a three week holiday with his (then) fiancee Carol Guida.  It had been six years since he had left his native land and the effect was inspirational.  

Morrison revealed:  "'Veedon Fleece' was a bunch of songs that I wrote and then I just recorded it about four weeks after I wrote it. When you make an album you write some songs; you might have four songs and maybe you write two more, suddenly you've got enough songs for an album."

 'Veedon Fleece'  was recorded at Caledonia Studios in California and Mercury Studios in New York.  Morrison did the arrangements and produced the sessions with engineers  Jim Stern, Dahaud Shaar (David Shaw), Jean Shaar, and Elvin Campbell.  The album credits  Van Morrison on vocal and guitar;  Ralph Walsh on guitar;  John Tropea on guitar on "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac";  David Hayes on bass;  Joe Macho on bass on "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac";  Dahaud Shaar (David Shaw) on drums;  Allan Schwartzberg on drums on "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac";  Nathan Rubin on violin;  Terry Adams on viola;  James Rothermel on flute and recorder;  Jack Schroer on soprano saxophone;  James Trumbo on piano;  and Jef Labes on string and woodwind arrangements, and piano on "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac".  

 'Veedon Fleece' marks the end of his most fruitful and creative period, as he would take a break from the music business for three years.  Morrison would look back:    "Most of Astral Weeks and Veedon Fleece was written in Ireland and recorded [in the United States]. The songs on the other records were done mostly in this country. But nowadays I go between two places: the United States for recording, working and organizing, and Ireland – Belfast and the South – for inspiration and composing...You find that you're pulled by different things at different times. You find that something is pulling you that you have to get to because it's telling you different things about yourself. And I just kind of go where the pull is strongest at the time...I've got a few [friends], both in Belfast and Dublin. I see people I used to grow up with, people I played with in bands, and it brings back into perspective what you're doing. It brings you back to reality. In my new band, Peter Bardens was formerly with Them, and I've known him a long time. Peter Van Hooke is a Dutch drummer I worked with on an American tour. Herbie Armstrong, who's on rhythm guitar, and I used to play together with a guy named Brian Rossi a long time ago at Plaza Mecca ballroom in Belfast – and in other show bands during that period. I'm going back to my roots, really – I mean, if I turn around in the middle of a set and look at Herbie . . . I mean, how can I take this whole thing seriously?... I've gone through quite a few big changes in the last couple of years as far as how I'm relating to what I'm doing. Because in 1974 I was completely at the end of my rope. I was doing gigs, I was uptight, I wasn't getting anything out of it. I felt like I was a robot, and I had a lot of tension – there was tension in my shoulders, my neck, my feet. All this sort of stuff...And I remember I was in Belgium, sitting in my hotel room looking out the window, and I was thinking, "This isn't worth it, man." I'd done two American and two European tours in the 1973-74 period. These record-company people were always ear-bending with their line: "He never works," and I blew that one out the window. So I was just kind of sitting, thinking that I had all those people, doing these gigs, and something wasn't right. I wasn't getting off, it wasn't what I had planned my life to be like. I wasn't going to let show business control my life. So I decided to take a break, get my shit together for me, and think about what I was doing being in this music business – it was becoming oppressive. I wanted to shift out of it for a while...I didn't flip out. I've never flipped out, I'm too crazy to flip out. People who change their minds a lot don't flip out. It's those who have one kind of fixation that do that. My mind changes too much. No, it was a conscious decision. Like I was William Buckley or somebody sitting there looking at the movie, and I wanted to change the movie...The thing is, if you're not together, you can't do it. I wasn't happy in any way – I wasn't writing – so I didn't have anything to give anybody...The usual thing happened, you know: the William Morris Agency called me up every three days and said, "What are you doing?" "Doing a break, what do you think I'm doing?" I was traveling in England, Ireland, Scotland, Los Angeles, Switzerland – all over the place. I was just kind of living life as opposed to being somebody, being like Van Morrison or somebody. I was just looking at things, getting my energy together, doing things I like to do, and just living as if I were nobody instead of somebody. I have to be nobody so I can live my life."

 'Veedon Fleece' reached number fifty-three in the US, forty-three in the Netherlands, and forty-one in the UK.  The album cover was photographed by Tom Collins and features Morrison and two Irish Wolfhounds in front of the Sutton House Hotel overlooking Dublin Bay, the first place he stayed on his vacation.

"Fair Play" – 6:14

"Linden Arden Stole the Highlights" – 2:37

"Who Was That Masked Man" – 2:55

"Streets of Arklow" – 4:22

"You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push the River" – 8:51

"Bulbs" – 4:18

"Comfort You" – 4:25

"Come Here My Love" – 2:21

interview 1974


07/29/74 - Orphanage

0:00:00 - Heathrow Shuffle
0:03:58 - Ain't Nothing You Can Do
0:07:13 - Warm Love
0:11:03 - Snow In San Anselmo
0:15:58 - Help Me
0:19:35 - Into The Mystic
0:24:26 - I Believe To My Soul
0:29:01 - Moondance
0:35:05 - Foggy Mountain Top
0:41:19 - Street Choir
0:46:35 - Listen To The Lion
0:55:59 - I've Been Working
1:02:02 - I Just Want To Make Love To You
1:08:47 - Interview
1:21:16 - Listen To The Lion
1:31:04 - Gloria

1:35:15 - I've Been Working

'Veedon Fleece'  
full album:

All songs written by Van Morrison.

No comments:

Post a Comment