From the Vault...


Van Morrison
"Tupelo Honey"

© Warner Bros. Records

Year of Release: 1971

track listing
  • Wild Night
  • (Straight To Your Heart)
    Like A Cannonball
  • Old Old Woodstock
  • Starting A New Life
  • You're My Woman
  • Tupelo Honey
  • I Wanna Roo You
    Scottish Derivative)
  • When That Evening
    Sun Goes Down
  • Moonshine Whiskey

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    Van Morrison
    "Tupelo Honey"

    Van Morrison returns as our Album Pick of the Week, with his 1971 release, Tupelo Honey.

    The album leads off with its biggest hit, "Wild Night." Ronnie Montrose played guitar on the track/album, as when he and Morrison were working together, Ronnie had been messing around with a guitar riff, and Morrison insisted it to be the intro to the song. The rest, they say, is History. "(Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannonball" is one of those many happy-go-lucky tracks Van Morrison had written/sung in his career. "Old Old Woodstock" is his tribute to his previous life in upstate New York. Laid back sound. Strong sensitivity towards children and family life. His then wife, Janet, was the inspiration to this song, as she provided background vocals. (And yes, that is Janet on the original album cover of Tupelo Honey.)

    "Starting A New Life" has a somewhat New Orleans jazz style, as the lyrics state to Morrison taking stock of himself, see how far he'd become, and support from those who helped get him get to where he was, and together with them, to start a new life. "You're My Woman" is another laid back track, also influenced by Morrison's wife, Janet. The title track is just about the same style as his a song from his previous album, His Band And The Street Choir -- the song entitled "Crazy Love." It's another great tune; the "other" great song from Tupleo Honey, is "Wild Night."

    Like the "Cannonball" tune, "I Wanna Roo You (Scottish Derivative)" has the Morrison happy-go-lucky style, and it could easily fit today's country playlists, likewise the next track, the country-flavored, honky-tonk'er "When The Evening Sun Goes Down." The last track, "Moonshine Whiskey" is compared to The Band, with its off-Country sound and a bit of R&B.

    Interesting reading about this album from its Wikipedia page: Morrison wasn't really fond of this album, nor the one previous, His Band And The Street Choir. The latter album is one of my favorite albums, and a fave from Morrison's career. Morrison said the songs from this album were "left over from before"; songs that didn't fit for other albums released, or just put back on the shelf. Morrison was really trying to record a Country and Western album. "Wild Night" is a Country song? Hardly! Tupelo Honey starts out as a laid back album, and gets way better towards the end. Not to say this album is as exceptional as Street Choir, yet it is another good album from Morrison, just as many others. (Although Astral Weeks was considered one of his finests, I tended to disagree. I guess I'll have to go back and listen to it again.)

    "Wild Night" and the title track are the standouts -- Yet the entire album is another well-done production from Van "The Man" Morrison. It's one of those albums that can be very relaxing to listen to. It's worth checking out.

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    Previous Review: #1343
    Smash Mouth--Astro Lounge
    Next Review: #1345
    King Crimson--Three Of A Perfect Pair