Vanthology: A Tribute to Van Morrison

Vanthology: A Tribute to Van Morrison

by Van Morrison
     
 

From his days with the Brit-hit band Them to his present-day status as champion singer-songwriter, Van Morrison has always been steeped in the blues. On Vanthology, blues and R&B artists, in turn, make the influence explicit by interpreting Morrison tunes. It takes courage to attempt signature Morrison songs like “Tupelo Honey,” “Jackie Wilson Said,” “CrazySee more details below

Overview

From his days with the Brit-hit band Them to his present-day status as champion singer-songwriter, Van Morrison has always been steeped in the blues. On Vanthology, blues and R&B artists, in turn, make the influence explicit by interpreting Morrison tunes. It takes courage to attempt signature Morrison songs like “Tupelo Honey,” “Jackie Wilson Said,” “Crazy Love,” and “Real Real Gone,” but Little Milton, Syl Johnson, Eddie Floyd, and Bettye Lavette (respectively) pull them off in high style. R&B legends including William Bell, Chuck Jackson, Freddie Scott, Dan Penn, and Frederick Knight also acquit themselves with honor, covering songs that have, by now, become staples of mainstream pop. The clever inclusion of some choice obscurities -- "Them’s My Lonely Sad Eyes” and “I Like It like That,” as well as “Bulbs” from Morrison’s too often-overlooked masterpiece Veedon Fleece -- reflect the thought and superior execution that contributed to this outstanding tribute. "Van the Man" will probably be tickled pink.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The first tribute to Van Morrison performed entirely by blues, R&B, and soul veterans provides a logical slant on the Irishman's catalog. Sticking mostly with Morrison's early, most soulful work, this classy Jon Tiven-produced project isn't as revelatory as it is pleasant and only occasionally stimulating. The songs stick close to the original arrangements, with the vocalists adding their interpretations, which honestly don't stray that far from Morrison's. But no matter how enthusiastic Freddie Scott ("Brown Eyed Girl") or Sir Mack Rice ("Gloria") are, it's impossible to improve on these classics. Additionally, even though the bandmembers -- pros Tiven on guitar and wife Sally on bass along with New Orleans keyboardist Henry Butler and Bad Company/Free drummer Simon Kirke -- are solid, they seem too reserved and reverential. This results in perfectly adequate versions of Morrison songs that generally lack spark. Many of the choices are obvious ("Moondance," "Into the Mystic," "Tupelo Honey"), but some are inspired. Newcomer Ellis Hooks' "Bulbs," Son Seals' "Queen of the Slipstream," and a few relative obscurities from the Them years (Butler's raucous "I Like It Like That" and Bobby Patterson's sweet "My Lonely Sad Eyes") show that someone was digging deeper than re-creating Morrison's greatest-hits packages when choosing these selections. Recently reactivated soul singer Bettye Lavette charges through "Real Real Gone" with a searing intensity uncommon to this respectful but ultimately average tribute to one of rock's true visionaries. With luminaries like Little Milton, Otis Clay, and Syl Johnson on board, the potential existed for a thrilling outing. But that is too seldom realized on an album filled with good intentions yet safe performances that just don't take enough chances.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2003
Label:
Evidence
UPC:
0730182612820
catalogNumber:
26128

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Van Morrison   Primary Artist
Son Seals   Guitar
Eddie Floyd   Background Vocals
Henry Butler   Organ,Piano
Alan Merrill   Background Vocals
Dan Penn   Vocal Harmony
Little Milton   Guitar
Chris Haskett   Background Vocals
Simon Kirke   Percussion,Drums
George "Shadow" Morton   Background Vocals
Paul Ossola   Standup Bass
Jon Tiven   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Sally Tiven   Bass,Background Vocals
Laurence Singer   Background Vocals
Mason Casey   Harmonica,Background Vocals
Ellis Hooks   Background Vocals
Paul Randolph   Bass
Paul Carey   Guitar
Marvin Floyd   Organ
Michael Gibes   Drums

Technical Credits

Paul Anka   Composer
Joan Armatrading   Composer
Laura Branigan   Composer
Chris Kenner   Composer
Steve Jensen   Art Direction
Van Morrison   Composer
Jon Tiven   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
Allen Toussaint   Composer
Sally Tiven   Arranger
Joni Bishop   Cover Illustration
A. Hawkins   Engineer
Bill Towery   Engineer
Joe Johnson   Engineer
Brian Brinkerhoff   Executive Producer
Dylan Ely   Engineer
Robert "Butch" Johnson   Producer

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