"I only have a selection of Van Morrison albums, and I wont buy any of his albums simply because it is 'Van Morrison'. Much of the music on albums such as 'Astral Weeks', 'Saint Dominic's Preview' and 'Common One' has a certain 'hypnotic-meditative-spiritual' quality which I like a lot - 'Veedon Fleece' is an album which tends to be overlooked, but it shares much of this same quality also. For this reason, it is sometimes thought of as a 'companion' album to 'Astral Weeks', although thematically, it is less cohesive (not a criticism, incidentally); also, I think it is a little more accessible than 'Astral Weeks' - nonetheless, it is still an album which benefits from repeated listens.
VM is in strong voice on 'Veedon Fleece', but there are times when his vocals are too strident for my ears. The playing and arrangements are first class, and the range of instruments played includes piano, acoustic guitar, lap steel, strings and soprano sax which, in addition to bass and percussion, give some songs a semi-acoustic sound with a little edginess; furthermore, on a number of songs, this sound is supplemented by flute and recorder which lend a sort of 'Gaelic folk-blues' flavour to the music. With the exception of one song ('Bulbs'), the tempos are slow to medium. All songs are written by VM.
Some brief comments about my favourite tracks :
'Linden Arden Stole the Highlights' - a dramatic song with abrasive lyrics countervailed by a beautiful, haunting melody; 'Streets of Arklow' - eerie and reflective; 'You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push the River' - a slightly more up-tempo song having lyrics loaded with imagery and mysticism; 'Bulbs' - a modern day roots-rocker which has VM grooving (and occasionally grunting), a real toe-tapper; 'Comfort You' - a simple love song, a 'slow burner'.
Only one song, 'Come Here My Love', doesn't appeal to me - but it's a relaxing song with a pastoral theme which others might enjoy.
If you like 'Astral Weeks', I think there's a good chance that you will also like 'Veedon Fleece' - and whilst I think it is an exceptionally good album, it doesn't, in my opinion, quite match up to 'Astral Weeks'. Although discontinued, the album is easily available as a re-mastered version with 2 bonus tracks.
Older but Sensational
Angeline | Vancouver, Canada | 05/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came of age through Van Morrison, and, in particular 'Veedon Fleece' when it first came out. At that time I found it intoxicating, deep, and inspiring. This album and 'Astral Weeks' were on the top of my list of favourites. Time went by and I forgot about both these albums. When I recently rediscovered them, it was like unlocking the key to some of my dreams that had got forgotten along the way. I love most of Van Morrison's music, especially his 'Celtic Blues' style which is what he did a lot of after he completed these two albums. While I have grown to appreciate many genres of music, 'Veedon Fleece' rediscovered filled a deep hole in my soul that needed filling. It was after I heard it many times that I realized a few things: it is an important part of me that went missing, it made me feel complete, and it is superb music in every way. The vocals are amazing and the softer songs like 'Country Fair' are incomparably poetic and soothing. 'Cul de Sac' is one of my favourites, not to mention 'You don't pull punches...', and 'Linden Arden Stole the Highlights'. I feel Van Morrison is quite an introspective type of performer and in this collection he performs some of his best. Really, there isn't one track I don't love. I was surprised by the addition of 'Twilight Zone' and, typically took a while to warm up to it, but it really grows on you. Try listening to it lying in bed on a rainy night - it is magic and deep. All in all, I do not see how anyone who appreciates Van Morrison could be disappointed by this jewel of an album. It is a first-rate credit to the blush and genius of youthful enthusiasm, that so many true poets reveal. If you have never heard this and you have a penchant for poetry, you will not regret it. It's a keeper!"
Best Van the Man cd
Jennifer Sola | Jaffrey ,NH | 03/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this used from moviemars and it was in perfect condition .Best Van Morrison cd I own.Thanks to Patty for introducing me all those years ago:)"
My Favorite Van album
briarpatch | 06/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy all VM music. This one is rich though. My personal favorite. I've been returning to it season after season for fifteen years now. It's part of me."