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September 28, 2005


Patrick O'Hare

These are the lyrics from it's too late to stop now:

An you say France
You say France
An you say France
An you say France
An' me whistlin'


From the Bang Masters' insert:

"Some of the tracks - even the goofy 'Chick-a-Boom' - begin as pure pop only to have Van jump ship, improvising lyrics and scat singing. The spoken asides between takes suggest that some of the session pros were having a tough time understnding what Van was after. Listen to the rap Van launches into on 'Who Drove the Red Sports Car' and remember that tense 'A piece of my life, if it means anything!' Van spins the story of the girl beckoning him to come in from the rain (it's raining all through these songs) and gets lost in his reverie. Then, as if he suddenly opened his eyes and remembered where he was, he snaps, 'That's a bag. Now you gotta turn it upside down, put it in a rack, fold it, press it, call it a record.' "


"Thankfully there's a lot of fun in these sessions, too. Is Van really saying, 'Talk to trees' on the band version of 'The Smile You Smile'? Even if he is, that's not half as bizarre as his romantic request, 'If you can't come home, please send your mind.' And you've got to smile at the guitarist (probably Eric Gale or Hugh McCracken) valiantly trying to go reggae on the chorus of 'Goodbye Baby.' "

Notes by Bill Flanagan, Editor of Musician Magazine (1991)

Howard DeWitt

a great site, good job on the Van songs and it is a beautifully constructed and well thought out site.


Nice nice. A lot of useful here. Such disscussions make our surfing not so useless
Thanks for all.



These songs got airplay on 102.5 WDVE-FM in Pittsburgh today, and the morning show's intro sounded very similar to the text you wrote above. Really funny stuff!

Reverend Bud Green

What a pleasure to hear these lost gems. Van Morrison even though did this one session with no overdubs or anything else. This is a classic album that should of been released like Beach Boys "Smile" release. Van Morrison is pure, raw, and real. Awesome find.


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Respect you. Good luck you!

Lloyd Davis

Shades of Choppin' Broccoli!


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Yuval Taylor

These songs were actually recorded in late 1968 or early 1969, AFTER the recording of Astral Weeks. For the whole fascinating story, see Clinton Heylin's Can You Feel the Silence: Van Morrison, A New Biography, p 178.

Hordur Bjarnason

Dear Mr. Van Morrison.

I live in Iceland and i was attending your concert here in Iceland, and i loved it. I was hoping for more of a soul concert here in Iceland, but, you were right, Fantastic concert, but still i was missing "brown eyed girl" "and it Stoned it me" and many classic ´s.
Dear Mr. Van Morrison.

You are my FAVORITE artist in the world,and you are IRISH, and i love Irish People, therefoere, i would very much like you to be me number one artist in my birthday. Hope you can mak it


B. W. Brown

On his first live album (It's Too Late To Stop Now) Van does You Say France and I Whistle, thereby legitimatizing these "songs". It can be found a little less than 5 minutes into the Cyprus Avenue track.


Wasn't Neil Young's "Everybody's Rockin' " - if not his CO album, at least an album his label REQUESTED? He'd turned in 'Old Ways,' Geffen said 'we want a rock record,' he recorded a 27-minute rockabilly album, and said 'here's your rock record.'

of course, I'm paraphrasing. I wasn't there. But I think 'This Note's for You' was on Reprise, when he returned to that label.


Whether Reed's Metal Machine Music was intended as a contract-breaker (different from a contractual obligation) or not, the criticisms levelled at it seem to miss the point, to be charitable. It's like if someone heard Charlie Parker with no prior exposure to that area of music, not even the remotest reference points, and came up with, "Why, it's just a bunch of fast noodly saxophone playing! Obviously just for shock value!" Not that MMM is on the level of Parker, but there is a deep and long tradition and history behind works like MMM, that is all but completely uninvestigated by the apparently incurious critics who slammed it (see composers like Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, Luigi Nono, Iannis Xenakis, etc. etc.).

Oh yeah, and the Van Morrison stuff is hilarious. And didn't Graham Parker once make a super-quickie album, churned out in haste so he wouldn't miss out on touring the US opening for Thin Lizzy?


as far as i 1967, Van Morrison recorded his one song...Brown Eyed Girl ...which became a U.S. Top 5 hit .however he is gerat one...........& tahnks for your very informative blog...........


I love "Freaky"!


This is splitting hairs, I know, but I'm pretty sure that "Drivin' Wheel" should in fact be "Jive an' Wail." This fits the theme that he sets up of performing an action and making a noise, as in "Stomp and Scream," "Walk and Talk," etc. Equally, I'm pretty sure "Wobble and Ball" should be "Wobble and Bawl" (bawl, as in to scream or cry). In themselves, the songs aren't all that great, but put all together, it's a pretty funny concept.


Regarding Metal Machine Music, don't forget the closer progenitors, such as early Velvet Underground improvs (recall "Loop" on the Aspen Flexi), and the connection to LaMonte Young and his drone experiments. One legend has it that Lou was trying to get the album put on RCA's Red Seal (classical) division. Maybe Lou was embarrassing his manager by sending him on that errand? Who knows.

The point about the Van Morrison songs being recorded after Astral Weeks is interesting, though you have to take anything Heylin says with a grain of salt (e.g. his assertion that the alternate take bonus tracks on the Rhino reissue of Television's Marquee Moon are the regular versions with new alternate guitar solos added by Tom Verlaine in 1996, which Heylin put in the discography section of the reprint of From the Velvets to the Voidoids)

BTW, i found a copy of these songs as disc 2 of the Van Morrison Milennium Collection (Disc 1 was more or less Bang Masters)

RBM studios

I am a great fan of Van Morrison. I like this album very much. He is second to none. Van Morrison Rocks.


nice post i like thiws post.
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Paul B

Oh no, what happened? The songs are gone!!

Reverend Flash

Removed by request? How about putting 'em back by request? They're totally unavailable anywhere else.

Chris/Power Salad

George is most likely George Goldner, one of the old-time record men and owner of many labels (Gone, End, Gee, etc.) he was also involved with Morris Levy at one point, he is the G in BANG Records (Bert Berns, Ahmet Ertegun, Nesuhi Ertegun, George Goldner). Also the title of Drivin' Wheel should be Jive and Wail, as that's what he is saying.

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