Thursday, February 28, 2008

Van Morrison rocks with Jesus...

From Arsenio Orteza in World...

Ever since Van Morrison emerged in 1965 as the R&B-shouting lead singer of Them, record stores have stocked his music under "rock," but they could've just as easily stocked it under "soul," "blues," "jazz," and—occasionally—"gospel."

Perhaps the only completely accurate Van Morrison category would be the one that Morrison himself has repeatedly embraced: "mystic." In dozens of songs documenting his Celtic soul's restless quest, he's made a career in popular music seem like a higher calling.

In January Polydor/Universal Music launched its Morrison reissue campaign by releasing the first of what will eventually comprise 29 remastered, bonus-track-enhanced editions. Of the initial seven, Tupelo Honey (1971), Wavelength (1978), and Back on Top (1999) have long been bestsellers, but it's Into the Music (1979) and Avalon Sunset (1989) that will continue to fascinate Christians.

On Into the Music, Morrison sang of reading his Bible ("Rolling Hills") and finding "sanctuary in the Lord" ("Full Force Gale"), on Avalon Sunset of God's all-sustaining omnipresence ("When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God?") and the healing power of "Jesus' name" ("Whenever God Shines His Light"). The reissue adds a version of "When the Saints Go Marching In," in which Morrison name-checks St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John of the Cross. Coming from someone famous for "Brown-Eyed Girl," such sentiments are attention-getting. What makes them compelling is Morrison's dramatization of them as statements of deep conviction.


At September 14, 2008 at 10:44 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for this
I found Whenever God Shines his Light through this post (and a radio dj this morning)
Thank you again

At October 19, 2013 at 4:23 AM , Blogger Kazooboy said...

But Van did say on the Don Imus show that he didn't believe in God. Wouldn't elaborate. I wonder if he's joined that crowd who believe "nothing exploded and created everything". That the Big Bang - a chaotic, accidental, random explosion - laid out a universe governed by thousands of consistent natural and scientific laws and principles. Best fairy story I've ever heard.


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