Van Morrison ‎– Astral Weeks

Label:
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Album, Pitman Pressing
Country:
Released:
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Tracklist

Part 1: In The Beginning
A1 Astral Weeks 7:00
A2 Beside You 5:10
A3 Sweet Thing 4:10
A4 Cyprus Avenue 6:50
Part 2: Afterwards
B1 Young Lovers Do 3:10
B2 Madame George 9:25
B3 Ballerina 7:00
B4 Slim Slow Slider 3:20

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

This is the original US release on Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.

The labels are green and have the "W7" boxed logo.

Side A is labeled "Part 1"; Side B is labeled "Part 2" (see images)

First cat. # on labels, and back sleeve, spine.
Second cat. # on front sleeve.

A small inverted "P" stamped in the runout areas
denotes a Columbia, Pitman pressing.

Note: Pitman seems to be the only plant that
pressed this LP with a "W7" logo label stock
All other early US versions derive from this one
but use a green label stock with "WB" shield logo instead.
The sleeves are identical on all early versions

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (A Label Matrix): (S39435)
  • Matrix / Runout (B Label Matrix): (S39436)
  • Matrix / Runout (A Runout Etching): 39435 WS 1768 A 1-1C [P o (stamped]
  • Matrix / Runout (B Runout Etching): 39436 WS 1768 C 1C B 3 [P o (stamped]

Other Versions (5 of 144) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
WS 1768 Van Morrison Astral Weeks(LP, Album) Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. - Seven Arts Records WS 1768 UK 1968 Sell This Version
WS 1768 Van Morrison Astral Weeks(LP, Album, RE, Cre) Warner Bros. Records WS 1768 US Unknown Sell This Version
1768-2 Van Morrison Astral Weeks(CD, Album, RE, RP) Warner Bros. Records 1768-2 US Unknown Sell This Version
MID 26 004 Van Morrison Astral Weeks(LP, Album, RE) Midi MID 26 004 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
WS 1768, 1768 Van Morrison Astral Weeks(LP, Album, Ter) Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. Records WS 1768, 1768 US 1969 Sell This Version

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streetmouse

streetmouse

October 10, 2016

Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, hit the streets in November of 1968, a year that would see more than its fair share of incredible albums, albums that would not only define the times, but define the direction of rock n’ roll for years to come.

Bob Dylan released John Wesley Harding in December of 1967 ...
The Velvet Underground released White Light, White Heat in January of 1968 ...
Pink Floyd released A Saucerful Of Secrets in June of 1968 ...
Cream released Wheels Of Fire in July of 1968 ...
The Jefferson Airplane released Crown Of Creation in September of 1968 ...
Jimi Hendrix released Electric Ladyland in October of 1968 ...
The Beatles released The White Album in November of 1968 ...
The Kinks released Village Green Preservation Society in November of 1968 ...
The Rolling Stones released Beggars Banquet in December of 1968 ... and
Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin I in January of 1969 ...

I’m not sure whether Van Morrison realized the effects Astral Weeks would have, proving that following one’s muse is not always a bad thing. The album produced no radio hits to rival Morrison’s best known songs, such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Domino,” “Wild Night” and “Moondance.” And it has been outsold by several Morrison albums. But it has never gone out of print, and it continues to hold an almost sanctified place in the history of popular music. Astral Weeks consistently appears on lists extolling the top albums of all time and it has been dissected and praised by discerning music listeners for decades. More significantly, it is an album that Morrison himself has never top, or recreated.

Morrison was only twenty three years old when the album was completed, but the songs on Astral Weeks showed the perspective of a much older man. The extraordinary sound of the upright bass functions as a second voice, a foil for Morrison’s mercurial musings. The songs unfold and then gently recede, with strings trembling like leaves in a sun-kissed breeze, and Morrison’s voice often drifts away to a whisper. He is a stranger in this world, and his true home is in another time, in another place.

The album tells the story of searching for home [Morrison seems to be searching for a home, or a time, that he has already lived in, and a time he has lived through, but was never able to see it when it was right in front of his eyes], though only by looking back, and by focusing on commonplace details, is Van able to bring all that was into view. Morrison repeats phrases and words until they become incantations. Freed from the confines of pop structure and chord changes, he bends and twists lyrics in search of every possible nuance until he liberates them from literal meaning. “You breathe in, you breathe out, you breathe in, you breathe out,” he chants on “Beside You.” “Then you’re high, on your high-flying cloud.”

Morrison doesn’t belong to the world he describes because he feels too much; implied is the notion that life is only worth living in these emotional extremes, from the reverie of “The Way That Young Lovers Do” to the torment of “Cypress Avenue.” The images conjured in these whirls of madness and ecstasy are all the more powerful because they’re uncensored. His hometown street of elusive dreams becomes the setting for a tale of illicit obsession, where Morrison pines for a fourteen year old girl on “Cypress Avenue,” and over stately harpsichord, his self-denial turns into physical pain. Yet there is still a reward in feeling so deeply, and what is most unbearable ... is the impermanence of it all.

Review by Jenell Kesler
green933

green933

September 9, 2014

An all time favorite