Odes to Sickness and Delight
ionadh | Texas, USA | 04/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Van the Man, the Lion of Belfast, the young man who once wailed in rhapsodic tribute to the wicked charms of a girl named G-l-o-r-i-a, here sings love songs to the dying and ditties about red sports cars. I'm not impressed by the supposedly popular sentiment that this is a lesser work of Van Morrison's solo career, after he left Them in 1970; this is, in fact, one of my favorite Morrison recordings. "Madame George" and "T.B. Sheets" alternate between those typical Irish preoccupations, sin and salvation, sex and spirit, with the fire of an Otis Redding and the lyrical gifts of a William Butler Yeats. Van is capable of being sour and unpleasant on stage and in interviews, but you'd never know it from the boyish charm and effortless wit he flaunts on "Ro Ro Rosey" and "Who Drove the Red Sports Car?" The problem with saying Van Morrison has put out a less than completely satisfying work, as I see it, is this: any album put out by Van Morrison is superior to the complete recording careers of a hundred other musicians, so even his "lesser" accomplishments are records of stature and power, grace and pleasure - and this is no second-rate album, believe me. "T.B. Sheets" was recommended to me by a damn good friend of mine, who is himself a musician of impressive and abundant talents, and it made a believer out of me."
Much better alternatives on other Bang CD's
M. McM | Los Angeles, CA | 02/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When this Lp first appeared around 1973 or so, it was a pretty good compilation.
Every decent track from his 1967 "Blowin' Your Mind" Lp is here as well as a few worthy cuts that were issued for the first time on this collection (back in 1973): the original Bang versions of "Beside You" (every bit as good as the "Astral Weeks" version if different) and "Madame George" (vastly inferior to the "Astral Weeks" version but still worth hearing once).
Good for what it is, it has since been trumped by two other CD releases, both of which retail for $9.98, just like this CD, but with nearly twice as much material.
If you want the original Lp in its original mixes, "Blowin' In Your Mind" was re-issued and remastered with bonus tracks in great sound from the original master tapes.
If you want a compilation of the best Bang tracks in good sound, "Bang Masters" from 1991 is VERY comprehensive. The only catch is it's remixed by Mark Wilder. It's a good remix, but if you're a purist, you may be bothered by that. Otherwise, the only other 'flaw' on "Bang Masters" is that it uses an alternate version of "He Ain't Give You None" rather than the original.
Economically, it just makes more sense to go with "Bang Masters" or the current edition of "Blowin' Your Mind.""