Vanthology: A Tribute to Van Morrison

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
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.
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: 8/5/2003
  • Label: Evidence
  • UPC: 730182612820
  • Catalog Number: 26128
  • Sales rank: 67,492

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tupelo Honey - Little Milton (4:39)
  2. 2 Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) - Syl Johnson (2:53)
  3. 3 Have I Told You Lately (4:08)
  4. 4 Brown Eyed Girl (3:40)
  5. 5 Into the Mystic (4:00)
  6. 6 Real Real Gone - Bettye LaVette (4:04)
  7. 7 Crazy Love - Eddie Floyd (2:52)
  8. 8 Gloria - Sir Mack Rice (4:20)
  9. 9 Warm Love - Otis Clay (3:00)
  10. 10 Queen of the Slipstream - Son Seals (3:54)
  11. 11 Bright Side of the Road - Dan Penn (3:44)
  12. 12 My Lonely Sad Eyes - Bobby Patterson (2:48)
  13. 13 I Like It Like That (4:34)
  14. 14 Bulbs - Ellis Hooks (4:16)
  15. 15 Moondance (4:52)
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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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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Van MorrisonTribute with Bettye LaVette a Total Standout

    Some people don’t like the practice of singers covering other performers songs. I do. Especially if they can give it a different slant and if they can improve on the original. If you are a Van Morrison fan, you might be among the first mentioned. I liked this CD from the opening song, “Tupelo Honey” mainly because I have always admired Little Milton and have had his records in my collection for years. I did listen to excerpts from Van’s original recordings and liked what I heard. He has an undeniable quality that makes you like, not only his voice, but also his compositions. Milton adds much to this song and his years of blues singing is clearly on display. Syl Johnson, another favorite does justice to “Jackie Wilson Said.” Another distinctive voice that isn’t heard enough these days. William Bell, I recently saw on PBS and he has lost none of his charm. His rendition of Morrisons’ “Have I Told You Lately” is perfect. What a fabulous singer he has remained throughout the years. It seems that a lot of my favorites are here, including the great Freddie Scott, doing “Brown Eyed Girl.” Marvelous singing. “Into The Mystic” by Frederick Knight was very special. He really got into the song and stretched for days! It's important to mention that the only female on the CD is the incomparable, Bettye LaVette. When Van heard this, he probably fell out of his seat! What can you say about Ms. LaVette except that she is a true genius. She does with “Real Real Gone” what great soul singers do: she takes an ordinary song and makes it a great one. Her soul is so deep, it’s frightening! She sings this in her ferocious ’70s voice. I can’t think of any female that could top this performance. I loved the ending when she shouts and testifies about what Wilson Pickett, Sam Cooke and James Brown “used to say…” The major highlight of the entire CD. The rest of the performances are first-rate. So nice to hear Chuck Jackson again. He sounds as good as ever singing “Moondance.” I would like to have heard Otis Clay sing another song. He’s so soulful and churchy; “Warm Love” didn’t seem like his type of song. Many dj’s have picked up Bettye’s “Real Real Gone” and have added it to their playlists. Can’t say that I blame them, it’s a joy to hear a genuine soul singer go go go! What a pleasure it is to hear singers that can SING! Ellis Hooks, Henry Butler, Bobby Patterson, Dan Penn and Son Seals are all wonderful. Looking at today's crop of young "singers," the field is pitiful. You won't find any off-key singing here, only PROFESSIONALS who realize that recordings are forever and understand that when you lay down a track, it will be there for future generations to hear. When they hand out Grammys next year, this CD should be nominated judging from the junk that DOES get recognized and WINS these awards.

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