Van Morrison's early November performances of his 1968 masterwork Astral Weeks were supposed to be ready on CD for Christmas, at least in theory, but nobody rushes an expert. It took a few months longer, but the result, Astral
Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, will arrive Feb. 10. Morrison performed Astral Weeks, one of the most beautiful rock and soul records ever released, over two nights at the Bowl, and they were everything an admirer of the original release had hoped for: deep, thick with orchestration and rhythm, all woven together by that voice. (At least the first night was; the second night was much looser, and much less thrilling -- but maybe that was just me.)
In addition to the CD, Morrison will also release a double-LP of Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl on the same day. It will feature three bonus tracks, including his version of "Gloria." Both the disc and the vinyl will be put out on Morrison's new record label, Listen to the Lion Records, distributed by EMI.
CD track listing:
"Astral Weeks/I Believe
"Slim Slow Slider/ I Start Breaking Down"
"The Way Young Lovers Do"
"Cyprus Avenue / You Came Walking
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CD bonus tracks
"Listen to the Lion /
The Lion Speaks"
Oh, and if you haven't done it already, read Scott Foundas' great interview with Van Morrison in anticipation of the shows.