veedon fleece

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warmed-over astral weeks or its unsung superior?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:03 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm only now getting into Van Morrison and I'd like more info on those early '70s records too. I own "St Dominic's Preview" and "Tupelo Honey," both excellent.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:26 (fifteen years ago) link

The former, although many people would disagree. I just never got into that album.

Alfred, Moondance and Astral Weeks -- both insanely great yet completely different -- are the ones to start with. His Band and Street Choir and Into the Music are next. The two you have are great as well. "Cannonball" is one of my very fav overlooked songs.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:29 (fifteen years ago) link

But I gotta say, Heylin's biography made me stop listening to the guy for months. What an a-hole.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I have and love "Into the Music," although I don't listen to it as often because I like my Van songs punchier. Still a fine album.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Although I "admire" Astral Weeks more, I hardly ever play it. Veedon Fleece, on the other hand, is among my first choices for post-midnight listens. It is gloriously beautiful and sustains heaping melancholy from the first track to the last.

Taylor, Monday, 4 April 2005 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

veedon fleece is conceptually a bit inferior but the songs are equally as good as on astral weeks. his two best albums.

rockaction (rockaction), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

after moondance, my reaction to van morrison = MEH.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 00:13 (fifteen years ago) link

veedon fleece is great, but can't shine the shoes of Astral Weeks. But that's ok, almost all music released since astral weeks is in the same predicament. but taken on its own, this is probably van's best 70s album, though St Dominic's is a contender as well.

jazzbo is on the mark about Heylin's bio painting a rather unflattering portrait of the man. but if being such an asshole is what it takes to write "madame george" he can be as much of an asshole as he wants to be.

speaking of which, Heylin has high praise for the common on album--which I've never heard. my van collection stops somewhere around into the music. is common one good? Or what?

tylerw, Tuesday, 5 April 2005 01:10 (fifteen years ago) link

I like Common One a lot! 'Haunts of Ancient Peace' is wonderful. Seriously, it's like a predecessor to Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden and is this amazing dawn-like innauguration of the rest of the album. Which is all pretty much top notch too.

Veedon Fleece I've never been nuts about. How does Hard Nose The Highway compare?

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 07:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Off the top of my head right now: St. Dominic's Preview > Moondance > Astral Weeks > (Them) > Veedon Fleece > His Band & The Street Choir > Tupelo Honey > (Them Again) > Blowin' Your Mind / The NY / Bang Sessions > Hard Nose The Highway >>>>> Into The Music.


Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 08:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I agree re: St Dominic's Preview most underated and Into the Music way way over-rated. Veedon Fleece is a bit mild and too cryptic.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 09:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Astral Weeks is maybe his "best" album, but it's not a casual sort of record that you would play often. I've found it sounds best early in the morning, if you get up before anyone else and have the place to yourself. Simply glorious.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 11:16 (fifteen years ago) link

i played a song on this album as the first dance music at my wedding. beautiful, beautiful album

i don't think astral weeks compares to this at all

The JaXoN 5 (JasonD), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 17:50 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Dawgs, I am feeling the Veedon Fleece!

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 17:24 (thirteen years ago) link

astral weeks : freewheelin ::
veedon fleece : blood on the tracks

davedestroybox, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:20 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm getting more of a pastoral, New Morning feeling from the Veedon Fleece. And speaking of the Veedon Fleece, how the heck does one push the river, anyway?

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:22 (thirteen years ago) link

it's really good esp. "you don't pull no punches..." which may be my favorite of all his songs but it's still a slight notch below astral weeks

ciderpress, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:24 (thirteen years ago) link

Van today is certainly capable of pushing the river now.

but ANYways, it's becoming my favorite Morrison album. It's pastoral in the Nick Drake rather than New Morning sense (I'm not fond of NM; it's Dylan's Young Americans, only it's country and not so good).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:24 (thirteen years ago) link

Whatever. I'm writing a 100,000 word blog entry comparing the Veedon Fleece to New Morning.. I'll get the entire Veedon Fleece community on your ass, dawg. Contradict me at your own peril.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:29 (thirteen years ago) link

This is the Van disc I come back to the most right now. It's chock full of idiosyncratic Van greatness. Lyrics that almost but not quite make sense, check. Weird song titles, check. Strange literary obsessions, check. Beautiful tunes, check.

For some reason though I always think he hits higher notes on this album than on any other (check Linden Arden). Works for me.

that's not my post, Thursday, 18 October 2007 03:34 (thirteen years ago) link

I think they should reissue it, but add "The" to the title. The Veedon Fleece sounds so much better, and I really think that could put the album over the top in terms of sales.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 18 October 2007 13:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Love Veedon Fleece, top 5 Van easy - haven' listened in years though. Wonder if Common One is as great as it seemed to me at the height of my VM obsession.

J0hn D., Thursday, 18 October 2007 14:06 (thirteen years ago) link

The Veedon Fleece: I like your thinking. I reckon "Heroes"-style quotes would be good too. Also, for a few hundred thousand extra units they need to fix the cover - horrible, horrible colours.

Ismael Klata, Thursday, 18 October 2007 14:10 (thirteen years ago) link

For some reason though I always think he hits higher notes on this album than on any other (check Linden Arden). Works for me.

Yeah, and the falsetto on "Who Was That Masked Man?" is fantastic!

dell, Thursday, 18 October 2007 18:44 (thirteen years ago) link

First, Common One holds up really well. Whatever made it seem weird on first listen makes it even weirder and better all these years later.

As for Van's vocal range, I've been trying to pinpoint where his voice left a step. I don't think he'd ever attempt the falsetto of "Masked Man" these days. Even on Wavelength he still has the ability to reach the higher notes and his voice still has that crisp snap in it. Common One has interesting textures, but it seems like with Beautiful Vision his voice is starting to get that "Head Cold" sound. (Listen to a later album like Days Like This and the whole thing sounds like he was sining with the flu...not bad, but not the guy you remember). Anyone else notice the tonal shifts in his voice?

And as for re-titling the album for better sales: YES! How's about "Van Morrison and His Honorary Quest for The Veedon Fleece"? It could be sold at Renaissance Faires and as an adjunct to Harry Potter or something....maybe draw a wizard cap on him and give the dogs some helmets...with magicians and warlords in the background...

smurfherder, Thursday, 18 October 2007 18:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Alfred OTFM about Nick Drake pastoral instead of New Morning. But yeah, it's the best Van album for me easy. Also, "LINDEN ARDEN STOLE THE HIGHLIGHTS!!!"

talrose, Thursday, 18 October 2007 21:09 (thirteen years ago) link

That song ("Linden Arden...") is so good it's insane. They should replace all the shitty Van comps that they usually have in bar jukeboxes with Veedon Fleece.

dell, Thursday, 18 October 2007 22:29 (thirteen years ago) link

I found Robyn Hitchcock's version of Linden Arden Stole the Highlights from the Oceanside single. (Still haven't heard his version of "Fair Play"). It's nowhere near as good as Van's. He doesn't have the range. But it's still interesting to hear, considering how unusual the song is in the first place.

smurfherder, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:20 (thirteen years ago) link

And as for re-titling the album for better sales: YES!

Does anybody here work for Old Navy? Cause if you do, I've got an idea for a promotional Van Morrison tie-in that's going to knock your socks off. Dig this, baby: The Old Navy/Van Morrison Veedon Fleece.

This is going to take off, I can feel it. I can see the print ad: Come Here My Love. Let the Veedon Fleece Comfort You.

Does anybody here have Van's agent's number?

kornrulez6969, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:26 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm all for the Old Navy connection. Just PLEASE don't let Van model the Veedon Fleece himself.

smurfherder, Friday, 19 October 2007 04:46 (thirteen years ago) link

What is a Veedon Fleece (or The Veedon Fleece, I like it, get that person a marketing job) anyway?? And why are William Blake, the Eternals and the Sisters of Mercy looking for the Veedon Fleece??

Google doesn't know but ILM must.

that's not my post, Friday, 19 October 2007 05:03 (thirteen years ago) link

I remember reading that Van admitted to not knowing what it was, so if he doesn't know...I guess he liked the way it sounded. He also got annoyed that an interviewer asked him if he still had the dogs that are on the cover. He said they weren't his dogs. So the man is a complete FAKE. I love the album but just knowing that those dogs were props, exploited for Van's personal gain, well, there goes another blow against Integrity Rock!

smurfherder, Friday, 19 October 2007 05:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Really need to listen to this one again. Good memories of playing it on vinyl back in high school. "Linden Arden" and "Cul De Sac" were my favorite. "Cul De Sac" seems like the only instance on the album of Van in his frontman role - stops and starts and crescendos and so on.

I like the dogs on the cover.

clotpoll, Friday, 19 October 2007 05:22 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

So the run of Streets Of Arklow > You Don't Pull > Bulbs is one of the greatest trios of musical history

reallysmoothmusic (Jamie_ATP), Sunday, 19 December 2010 00:08 (nine years ago) link

three years pass...
goddamn that dog is so big and van morrison is so small.

tylerw, Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:04 (six years ago) link

This is my favourite Van album by a long way. It starts off a bit middling with Fair Play, but what comes next more than makes up for that. Linden Arden is a heartbreaking tale of an Irish gangster in the US, and it segues beautifully into another song about a gunman in hiding, and some of his finest lyrics: "You're such a rare collector's item, once they've thrown away what's trash."
I can't describe the power of You Don't Pull No Punches. Lyrically its a lot of mythic mumbo jumbo interspersed with calls to various poets - nothing he hasn't done a thousand times since - but what his voice does with it is sublime. It's the last time on record that Van's tenor reaches those heights. The economy of the instrumental arrangement is also a thing of beauty, with I think a violin and a flute in the mix. Get down to the real soul.
The second side is also full of sweet, melancholy songs, marred only by an indifferent final track.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:41 (six years ago) link

Great post. But I will stick up for Fair Play. Great vocal, classic Van lyrics, perfect piano fills.... Maybe it should have been sequenced after You Don't Pull No Punches rather than first up. Seems like he buried the lede by putting Linden Arden as the second tune. Just an amazing set of tunes.

that's not my post, Friday, 18 April 2014 05:38 (six years ago) link

YouYou YouYou YouYou YouYou YouYouYouYouYouYouYouYouYouYouYou will goA back

Sufjan Cougar Mellencamp (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 April 2014 05:41 (six years ago) link

Buhnbuhn buhn Buhnbuhn buhn Buhnbuhn buhn Buhnbuhnbuhn

Sufjan Cougar Mellencamp (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 April 2014 05:42 (six years ago) link

this album is perfect. I had a strange deal with henoch schonlein purpura in undergrad, and I had to take steroids to keep it under control. The steroids made it difficult to sleep, so I'd often listen to this on repeat at night to try and ease things down. Probably got through 3 or 4 listens per day. It is my favorite late night nostalgic drinking album these days.

Sufjan Cougar Mellencamp (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 April 2014 05:56 (six years ago) link

any time I turn onto a street with only one inlet/outlet my mind goes YOU CAN DOUBLE BACK

Now I Am Become Dracula (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 18 April 2014 11:23 (six years ago) link


Sufjan Cougar Mellencamp (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 April 2014 13:50 (six years ago) link


Sufjan Cougar Mellencamp (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 April 2014 13:51 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

van's simulating going down on some veedon fleece at the end of "cul de sac", no?

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 20:12 (five years ago) link

whole lotta OOP 70s Van *finally* made it to iTunes in the past few months, including this album, St. Dominic's Preview, & Tupelo Honey

Songs from a One Room House in an Uninteresting Location (bernard snowy), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 21:57 (five years ago) link

... o wait, looks like I spoke too soon re: Tupelo Honey ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Songs from a One Room House in an Uninteresting Location (bernard snowy), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 22:02 (five years ago) link

tupelo honey is barely ever in print, idk why

balls, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 22:41 (five years ago) link

Not too much of Veedon Fleece seems to have made it into Van's live shows in the 70s. Except "Bulbs." Great groove going on this version.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 04:42 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

In response to the original post, bit of both perhaps...

I took it to record club:

yugi ex, Sunday, 20 November 2016 20:11 (four years ago) link

^nicely done. I'll still rep for Fair Play as I did a few years ago.

that's not my post, Monday, 21 November 2016 02:16 (four years ago) link

this is my fav van morrison by far as well

ciderpress, Monday, 21 November 2016 02:29 (four years ago) link

hard nose the highway is not terrible yugi ex!!

just sayin, Monday, 21 November 2016 02:45 (four years ago) link

For real, veedon def the better album but I dunno if there's anything on it I'd take over snow in San anselmo

JoeStork, Monday, 21 November 2016 06:14 (four years ago) link

There's a million songs about California but van's are the only ones that make me wish I was there.

JoeStork, Monday, 21 November 2016 06:21 (four years ago) link

I've been to Arklow, it doesnt deserve a song that good. Yeah, this is my fave Van album. love it

Neptune Bingo (Michael B), Monday, 21 November 2016 11:26 (four years ago) link

I may have been a bit harsh on HNTH...I didn't give it that many spins before I got rid of it to be honest, but it didn't draw me in in the way Veedon Fleece did.

yugi ex, Monday, 21 November 2016 21:17 (four years ago) link

snow in san anselmo is so great

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 21 November 2016 21:37 (four years ago) link

yeah, that one and purple heather are faves from Hard Nose. There's some filler on there, but I always enjoy that album.

tylerw, Monday, 21 November 2016 21:41 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Album is excellent. But "You Don't Pull No Punches..." is certainly my favorite Morrison track:

Soundslike, Saturday, 20 April 2019 23:18 (one year ago) link

Just heard that - and the track before it- I’m a record store last weekend after not having paid attention to this album in years and was totally knocked out.

Theory of Every Zing (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 20 April 2019 23:24 (one year ago) link

Let's say Van's music is like Brazilian pop music.

Astral weeks is Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. It's actually really good and unique! But man, kinda tired of it by now. Pretty overplayed.

Veedon Fleece, on the other hand, is like the first time I heard 'Taj Mahal', but evey single time.

I love you, Veedon Fleece!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Sunday, 21 April 2019 15:06 (one year ago) link

In a totally non musical context I’ve used the phrase “don’t push the river”. Never any recognition for one of Van’s best.

that's not my post, Monday, 22 April 2019 12:31 (one year ago) link

Astral weeks is Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. It's actually really good and unique! But man, kinda tired of it by now. Pretty overplayed


Put me in the ground the day I tire of Astral Weeks. I may only play it once every year or two, but the first five seconds goes through me every time.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:37 (one year ago) link

But Vernon Fleece might be as good.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:45 (one year ago) link

astral and veedon are p distinct vibes to me, astral v much psychedelically overwhelmed at all the lightness and darkness of creation, veedon a few years older and content to watch the grass move and occasionally trip into the cosmic mystery behind it (plus a heartbreaking two-song fugue about paranoia). a side-by-side comparison would prob prove me wrong but veedon *feels* like the quieter album

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:49 (one year ago) link

anyway, couldn't live without either

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:50 (one year ago) link

or common one, or into the music, or saint dominic's preview, or it's too late to stop now, or

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:50 (one year ago) link

sometimes i'm like "maybe into the music is the best one"

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 22 April 2019 19:58 (one year ago) link

You and others stanning for Veedon Fleece and Common One during the VM poll turned me on to the greatness of those albums and now I just love them, too. So thanks!

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Monday, 22 April 2019 21:55 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Grooving to Cul De Sac. It's kinda buried in the middle of side 2 but it's a jam.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 21 August 2019 05:37 (one year ago) link

massive jam confirmed

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Wednesday, 21 August 2019 10:21 (one year ago) link

nine months pass...

This album is just completely totally utterly amazingly the best thing he ever did. Fuck it's SO GOOD.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Wednesday, 10 June 2020 18:16 (five months ago) link

^hello and welcome to the small but amazing group of VF stans

that's not my post, Thursday, 11 June 2020 02:06 (five months ago) link

And we say Geronimwhoa

call mr zbow that's my name that name again is mr zbow (Craig D.), Thursday, 11 June 2020 05:12 (five months ago) link

if i'd seen any of this 74/75 shows, the fact that he played a maximum of 2 tracks from this at any of them would have killed me

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Thursday, 11 June 2020 13:55 (five months ago) link

side a of this record is one of the best sides of any record. side b (for bulbs) ain't no slouch, either.

ACABincalifornia (voodoo chili), Thursday, 11 June 2020 14:43 (five months ago) link

fair play to this album imo

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 June 2020 14:49 (five months ago) link

This album makes me feel emotions.

jmm, Thursday, 11 June 2020 14:59 (five months ago) link

Bulbs is one of those songs I put on playlists a lot because people who have never heard it before instantly love it.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 11 June 2020 15:25 (five months ago) link

My wife created an account on Discogs and bought a NM first pressing for me last Christmas. <3

Not to be too dramatic (ok, yes, too), but the part in Cul De Sac when Van says "you, you, you" and the band all comes down at the same time on three successive beats I feel like time is going to stop between each of them.

Night of the Living Crustheads (PBKR), Thursday, 11 June 2020 15:52 (five months ago) link

a loved one is going through an extremely difficult time, i am merely going through it with them in spirit, and this seems like the only music that can keep me company. i'm coming out of it a bit now, which is probably why i'm posting again, but for several hard days veedon fleece was the only thing worth listening to.

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 22 June 2020 17:11 (five months ago) link

veedon fleece was the only thing worth listening to.

this is kinda sorta the case under normal circumstances for me.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 22 June 2020 18:08 (five months ago) link

worth mentioning — if you haven't checked out Van's mid-90s rarities comp The Philosopher's Stone, there are a bunch of outtakes from the same era / similar vibe.

tylerw, Monday, 22 June 2020 18:15 (five months ago) link

^a couple of tunes from Philosopher's Stone to check out (praying to the formatting gods that this works):

Not Supposed To Break Down
Contemplation Rose
Try For Sleep

that's not my post, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 01:03 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

You just sit there like a butterfly
You're well protected by the glass
You're such a rare collector's item
When they throw away what's the trash
You can hang suspended from a star
Or wish on a toilet roll
You can just soak up the atmosphere
Like a fish inside a bowl

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 20 November 2020 16:29 (one week ago) link

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