Astral Weeks Live at The Hollywood Bowl –
Van Morrison

More of a re-imagining than a reproduction, Van the Man revisits what many consider to be his finest work. Happening over forty years after its initial release back in 1968 and featuring only one band member from the original line-up, guitarist Jay Berliner, Van takes a number of liberties with both song order and arrangement, even adding a few new tracks at the end, Listen To The Lion/The Lion Speaks and Common One.

For those of you that now see Morrison as a bit of a grouchy old man, both on and off stage, this package is a revelation. From the cheeky grin on the cover art to the joy and expansive sound found in the live tracks, you can tell how uplifting and inspirational these songs are to Morrison. He almost sounds happy, and why not, as he’s surrounded by great musicians who sound like they both love and respect the material.

The revisionist approach also includes changing a few key lyrical passages that should keep the dedicated on their toes. It’s the kind of album that leaves a good impression on those that have never heard the original and lays out enough changes to ensnare the attention of those overly familiar with the late sixties original.

Despite all the faux mysticism that surrounded the original work and subsequent appraisals throughout the years, this is the best history lesson to find the heart of the music. With a band firing on all cylinders and Van fully energized and engaged all you need to know is here.
Rob Hudson

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Van Morrison – Sweet Thing – Live at the Hollywood Bowl Music Video

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