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The Viaducts Of Your Dreams

Stuart Bailie | 09:29 UK time, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

I've been a bit shy of reading the reviews of Van Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl last week, playing his 'Astral Weeks' album with some vintage players. It seems like it was a momentous night and that hurts, because I would have dearly loved to have seen it.

Van250.jpgI can waffle about the record at tremendous length, and yet my thoughts may have little to do with the original notions of the author. And I'm grateful to Van that he hasn't given away too many of the record's secrets. Because the record lives in our individual imaginations. The lyrics have that great combination of suggestion and mystery. The style and the arrangement of the music aims for a trance-like experience that by-passes the logical and the literal. And it's delivered with so much soul. It wins on every level.

There's a fascinating interview from the LA Times in which Van provides written answers to questions about the album. He talks about the circumstances that birthed the record, and the idea that many of his famous works are not written as a job lot, but stitched together from different chronologies. It's prime fodder for all the Vanoraks, and the debate is already getting intense out there.

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