Astral

Astral Weeks 50th Anniversary & Guest Desert Island Jukebox

Jim and Greg conduct an Album Dissection of Van Morrison's 1968 classic Astral Weeks. The landmark release celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Then, we hear from recent Sound Opinions guests about their Desert Island Jukebox picks… Tracks they can't live without.

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classic album dissection

Van Morrison Astral Weeks

Van Morrison's 1968 album Astral Weeks didn't produce huge hits, but as Jim and Greg explain, this record is unique from any other in Van Morrison's collection, and in fact, in rock history. Astral Weeks melds rock, blues, folk and jazz in such a way that makes it hard to define. For the recording sessions, Morrison was backed by a jazz trio made up of guitarist Jay Berliner, drummer Connie Kay and bassist Richard Davis. And while the music sets the mood, Jim and Greg both marvel at the emotions conveyed by the song writing on Astral Weeks. You hear Van Morrison struggle with the search for home and the impermanence of life. It's as much a poem as it is an album, making it a classic in the Sound Opinions' book. So, as the album turns 50, Jim and Greg conduct a Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissection.

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Guest Desert Island Jukebox

Most weeks, either Jim or Greg take a trip to the desert island and play a song they can‘t live without. This week, we’re sharing picks from recent Sound Opinions guests like Ted Leo and Jason Isbell! Find out what these artists selected as the albums and songs they would bring with them if stranded on a desert island.

  • PJ Morton: Prince And The Revolution, "Take Me with U"
  • Brian Koppelman: Lou Reed, New York
  • Lydia Night of The Regrettes: Big Star, #1 Record
  • Jason Isbell: Ben Howard, "I Forget Where We Were"
  • Don Was: Wayne Shorter, Speak No Evil
  • Carlotta Cosials of Hinds: Bob Dylan, "Mama, You Been on My Mind"
  • Ana Perrote of Hinds: Dead Ghosts, "When It Comes To You"
  • Ted Leo: Michel Pagliaro, "Lovin‘ Ain’t Easy"

Featured Songs

  1. Van Morrison, Sweet Thing, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  2. Prince and the Revolution, Take Me With U, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  3. Van Morrison, The Way Young Lovers Do, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  4. Them, Gloria, Baby Please Don't Go (single), Decca, 1964
  5. Van Morrison, Brown Eyed Girl, Blowin Your Mind!, Bang, 1967
  6. Modern Jazz Quartet, Willow Weep For Me, Fontessa, Atlantic, 1956
  7. Modern Jazz Quartet, Track C - Group Dancers, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Impulse!, 1963
  8. Van Morrison, Astral Weeks, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  9. Van Morrison, Ballerina, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  10. Van Morrison, Beside You, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  11. Van Morrison, Cypress Avenue, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  12. Van Morrison, Madame George, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  13. Van Morrison, Slim Slow Slider, Astral Weeks, Warner Bros., 1968
  14. PJ Morton, First Began, Gumbo, Morton, 2017
  15. Lou Reed, Halloween Parade, New York, Sire, 1989
  16. Lou Reed, Busload of Faith, New York, Sire, 1989
  17. The Regrettes, Seashore, Feel Your Feelings Fool!, Warner Bros., 2017
  18. Big Star, Thirteen, #1 Record, Ardent, 1972
  19. Big Star, In the Street, #1 Record, Ardent, 1972
  20. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, If We Were Vampires, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  21. Ben Howard, I Forget Where We Were, I Forget Where We Were, Republic, 2014
  22. Was (Not Was), Knocked Down, Made Small, Born to Laugh at Tornadoes, Geffen, 1983
  23. Wayne Shorter, Speak No Evil, Speak No Evil, Blue Note, 1966
  24. Hinds, The Club, I Don't Run, Mom + Pop Music, 2018
  25. Bob Dylan, Mama, You Been on My Mind, The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991, Columbia, 1991
  26. Dead Ghosts, When It Comes To You, S/T, Floridas Dying, 2010
  27. Ted Leo, Can't Go Back, The Hanged Man, Super Ego, 2017
  28. Michel Pagliaro, Lovin‘ You Ain’t Easy, Pagliaro, Much, 1971
  29. Amanda Shires, Eve's Daughter, To The Sunset, Silver Knife, 2018
  30. Van Morrison, Twilight Zone, The Philosopher's Stone, Polydor, 1998
  31. Gang Starr, Code of the Streets, Hard to Earn, Chrysalis, 1994
  32. Little Feat, Rock & Roll Doctor, Feats Don't Fail Me Now, Warner Bros., 1974
  33. Public Enemy, By The Time I Get To Arizona, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black, Def Jam, 1991
  34. Dead Kennedys, Short Songs, Feats Don't Fail Me Now, Alternative Tentacles, 1987
  35. Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee, Pearl, Columbia, 1971
  36. Game Genie Sokolov, Agrume, Argume (single), Lisbon Lux, 2018