Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take 2: Van Morrison - a greater talent than Dylan?

Thanks to Martin Cowan:

“Need to take issue with Andrew from Adelaide on a couple of points:

1) Dylan v Van

I'm not sure you can compare Van's "Astral Weeks", "Moondance", "St Dominic's Review" and "Veedon Fleece" (released over a 6 year period) with Dylan's "rolled gold" classics as selected by Andrew, "Freewheelin’", "Bringing It All Back Home", "Highway 61 Revisited", "Blonde on Blonde" which were not only released over just 4 years, but the last three were recorded and released over a ridiculously tight time frame:

* Bringing It All Back Home (14 and 15 Jan 1965); (2 days)
* Highway 61 (15 June, 29/30 July, 2/4 August 1965 (5 days)
* Blonde on Blonde (14 -17 Feb, 8/9 March 1966 (6 days)

So, three undeniable classic LPs recorded in 13 days over a 14 month period! Can anyone else match that? And wasn't he touring during that time too...?

2) Dylan's second golden era

Planet Waves 1973
Blood on the Tracks 1974
Desire 1975
Hard Rain 1976
StreetLegal 1978

3) Classic songs

I would suggest that Dylan has more classic songs in his songbook than Van that are more well known to the public at large eg Blowin in the wind, lay lady lay, knockin on heaven's door etc

4) Sustained sequence of clunkers

Can anyone top Van's output of clunkers from 1995 to the present?

· Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison (1996)
· The Healing Game (1997)
· Back on Top (1999)
· The Skiffle Sessions - Live in Belfast 1998 (2000)
· You Win Again (2000)
· Down the Road (2002)
· What's Wrong with This Picture? (2003)
· Magic Time (2005)
· Pay the Devil (2006)
· Live at Austin City Limits Festival (Live) (2006)
· Keep It Simple (2008)
· Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl (Live) (2009)

That's not to deny the brilliance of "Astral Weeks" which is unique in the Van canon, and possibly one of the greatest albums of all time.