Arts and Culture
Beat of the Day
I love this tune - its about the only upbeat song on the very fine and underrated "Veedon Fleece" album. I will have to check this version out later.
 I've always thought he should have opened the album with it. That's kind of his m.o. Open with an upbeat tune, and then drift into the mystic.
I reconnected with Veedon Fleece only a few months ago. Got tired of waiting for it on itunes, and downloaded from Amazon.
It was one of those tapes that I kept losing, giving away, etc. Probably replaced it 5 times since college. One of Van's finest.
I've been on a Van kick lately - especially enjoying his later 70s stuff - Wavelength, Into The Music, Common One, Beautiful Vision. 78-82 - an underrated period in his catalog compared to the triumphs of the early 70s. Anyway, Veedon Fleece is about as good as it gets. Fantastic record, top to bottom.
This, by the way, is a rippin take. Thanks, Alex!
 I always thought that opening the album with "Fair Play" was a conscious echo of "Astral Weeks."
 Never looked at it that way. Fair Play definitely makes sense as an opener given the tone and life-after-the breakup theme of the rest of the album.
I never connected it to Astral Weeks which was a stunning opener, and while not an upbeat tune, had far more rhythm, and drive to it than Fair Play.
Anyway, nobody tells Van The Man what to do, so my opinion is worthless!
 thinking about it a little more - Fair Play, as meditative opener ,reminds me of Haunts of Ancient Peace (Common One). Van knows how to set the table, that's for sure.
 How do you feel about the driving R&B of "A Period of Transition" from '77?
 that album has slipped through the cracks for me. A good friend of mine from high school and college had an older brother who introduced us to Van in the early 80s. I definitley remember It Fills You Up, and Heavy Connection from his Van mixes at the time. Those are great tunes, and probably came as a shock to his fans following the run he gave them in the early 70s. Do you recommend the album?
The next one I've been meaning to revisit is Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart which I haven't heard forever. itunes is woefully understocked on Van, and I don't get to the used bins anymore like I used to.
 Half.com works well as a virtual used-cd store.
I do like the album - it's not one of his masterpieces, but it does let him flex his soul/funk muscle. Those two songs you mentioned are probably my favorites.
From that '78-'82 period I do think Into The Music stands out as partcularly inspired. I love Beautiful Vision as well.
St. Dom's is probably my fave, along with Astral Weeks.
 thank's for the half.com tip.
Astral Weeks, Moondance, and St. Dominic's are flawless. Into The Music is right up there too with me.
I think Common One is underrated. Summertime In England floors me everytime, and Satisfied is one of my favorite tunes of his.
Aw damn, too late for the Van the Man chat? I dig almost all his pre-90s stuff, then he started getting a bit samey. Astral Weeks, St. Dominic's preview and the live "It's Too Late To Stop Now!" are all flawless. I remember hearing "Listen to the Lion" for the first time when I was about 17 or 18..never heard anything like it (still haven't!).
Oh yeah, there's another live Van clip doing "Into the Mystic" from this German music show on YouTube. A buddy of mine from the UK said German tv was legendary in the 70s for having the best live shows.
 Too late for Van the man chat? "It's Too Late To Stop Now!"
Which, by the way, is one of THE great live albums.
 Nice! I saw Van twice in concert, true to form one time he kept his sunglasses on and went through the motions for less than 90mins. The other time was one of the great concerts I've ever been too. When he's on, no one can touch him.
Which was the album Dr.John was on and co-produced? Wavelength? Time to head to amg.com..
 The Dr. John album was the aforementioned "A Period of Transition."
 Of course. I actually don't think I have that one on the shelf..have all the early 70s + Common One, Into the Music. Still need to check out the live Astral Weeks DVD that came out few years ago as well.
Just remembered having "T.B. Sheets" on in the background once and a friend saying, "yo, what the hell is this song about??!"
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