In the Beginning

A familiar sight to many of you who own, what I’ll argue to be, one of the top 10 recorded pop albums of all time. Van Morrison’s 1968 Astral Weeks is a timeless, immortal collection of eight tracks broken into two parts: In the Beginning (side A) and Afterwards (Side B). Though Astral Weeks is technically Mr. Morrison’s second studio record, it is, without question, his first, and best album.

Your Limo is Ready…

For just $2, back in 1977, you could have delivered, directly to your door, a special, 2 LP comp from some forward-thinkering heads of the Warners sample program. Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, and even The Doobie Brothers are all present and accounted for… and some Rod Stewart if that’s your thing… it’s certainly not mine. The sampler is simply called Limo, and currently fetches for… you guessed it, $2 over at Discogs. Head on over and check it out.

Saint Dominic’s Review

previewAn acoustic guitar on the solemn steps of some mysterious, ancient archway… nicely done, Mr. Morrison. My knowledge of this 1972 masterpiece, Van Morrison’s Saint Dominic’s Preview, is in desperate need of necessary, sponge-like absorbance. It’s been years since I’ve discovered this collection of hits, but I’m far from “knowing” it. All in due time.

RIP Amoeba

VanSo, as far as I’m concerned, Amoeba Hollywood, and the collective employees with which they frequent, can kiss my collecting arse! I got burned on a $30 Dark Side… picture disc a few years back, and I got burned today on a Van Morrison 8-track that does exactly one thing correctly… not fucking work. Their overpriced population has taken its toll, and I for one am over their rhetoric.

Looney Twos (AKA Happy 2nd Birthday, Prudent Groove!)

Merrie_MelodiesThis exceptionally deceiving, unusually vivacious three record comp by Warner Bros. Records titled, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies features not the usual cast of characters you’d typically expect based on the Fudd-y duddy cover. You won’t find Speedy Gonzales, Foghorn Leghorn, or even Daffy & Bugs, but instead, a hearty helping of Frank Zappa, Arlo Guthrie, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Van Morrison, Little Richard, Randy Newman, The Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, James Taylor, and The Kinks, among others.

Chosen as more of a symbol than a Saturday listen, this diverse compilation, in a way, represents the eclectic nature of the Prudent Groove which, today, turned two years old.

Happy 2nd birthday, Prudent Groove! You weren’t expected to survive, and there were several days when you narrowly escaped angry extinction. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a photo for their iTunes metadata, left a comment, or got a chuckle out of this nonsense. 730 days is a hell-of-a long time, and 730 posts is exactly 730 too many. Thanks for stopping by!

Skeew Lartsa

Skeew LartsaFamous covers are not unlike priceless pieces of contemporary art (be that yesterday’s contemporary, or today’s). Very seldom, however, does an album’s backside (album ass?) get its proper notoriety. Subtle yet compelling posterior album art often goes unnoticed, as is the case with the poem featured on the back of Van Morrison’s 1968 classic Astral Weeks. Displayed here is a composition by the man, with no title, and no indication of its inspiration. I dig its almost throwaway inclusion on Astral Weeks, taking up such invaluable real estate, and it has inspired me to look much more closely to the array of hidden treasures just an album flip away.

Jackie Wilson Said

Jackie Wilson SaidIt’s all too often that I find myself, in my latest years, listening to clumps of artists. From their vibrant beginnings, to their (almost) predictable conclusions, my listening preferences, as of late, have seen a steady crash of repeated listens by a single artist or group. A few months ago, it was Minutemen. As of last week, it was Tim Hardin (and I doubt that pool ever really dries up), before that was The Kinks, Hot Snakes, RFTC, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Jim Croce, and now, once again, it’s Van “The Man” Morrison. Jackie Wilson Said, everything was going to be a-okay.

Numbs My Brain

Van the ManI imagine 1967 to be slightly different from 2013. For one thing, there were no gummy worms in 1967. That fact alone is enough to relieve any current day woe. But (starting a sentence with “but” is bad for your skin), with both feet firmly planted in the unbreakable reality that is 2013, it’s fun to send the head out into the clouds of 1967 as if it were a balloon disappearing into infinity. 2013’s 1967 is exactly what this gloomy Los Angeles morning needs, so with all of this gibberish in mind, I humbly present 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind!

Van Morrison. Two words strong enough for a complete sentence. Like a phoenix, Van “The Man” Morrison rose to infinite stardom during the British Invasion with his band, Them. Remember Gloria? G. L. O. R. I. A. Gloria! That was Them, but to be specific, it was Van Morrison.  Releasing only two albums with Them, 1965’s Them and 1966’s Them Again respectfully, “The Man” was convinced to travel to America (well, New York city) for his solo debut.

Brown Eyed Girl

Blowin’ Your Mind! was not a success, which is strikingly difficult to imagine, considering it brought us Brown Eyed Girl. We all know and love that song so I won’t fill your eyeholes with my blather about it. What I will blather about, with unrelenting and shameless gusto is the 9+ minute masterpiece, T.B. Sheets. Arriving immediately before the bridge (the end of side 1), T.B. Sheets is a bass heavy blues jam that acts as a vehicle for “The Man” to stretch his unquestionable musical talents and knock over any and everything in its glorious wake (Gloria!). It’s difficult to comprehend “The Man” was only 22 when he recorded this song… 22!  There isn’t a word that befittingly describes the immensity of this song. Confoundedly-epic doesn’t even come close.

I implore you to seek out 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind! and its majestic beauty, T.B. Sheets. I’m not joking. You’re going to want to make love to this song.

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