Van Morrison – The Authorized Bang Collection
Format: 3CD /Label: Legacy Recordings – Bang Records
Releasedatum: 28 april 2017

Tekst: Iain Patience

Van the Man’s latest is far from that; instead it’s a huge, engrossing, triple album release that features loads of material that reaches way back in time, a back-back-catalogue of sorts almost. That said, there’s a fair bit of material here that, I for one – thinking I knew my way around the Irish icon’s stuff – had never previously come across. The triple-set includes many original masters, a fair bit of previously unreleased material and the first official release of the much-bootlegged ‘Contractual Obligation Sessions’ which concluded Van Morrison’s time with top producer Bert Bern and Bang Records in 1967.

However, with a collection of this sheer scale there’s an inevitable creep of just maybe too many alternative studio takes of his recorded material. Everyone loves Morrison’s old classic standard, Brown Eyed Girl – a thumping, melodic number that would in itself merit inclusion and a tip of the hat to the guy’s writing and performing genius. But do we really need, by my count, four covers? The answer is maybe: the covers include original stereo and mono single mixes as recorded by Bang Records in the 1960s, and show a development of the aural search Morrison and producer Bert Bern, aimed for in the New York studio.

Morrison is one of those enormously talented guys, with a heart and beat that still, even after all these years and decades, owes is strength to R&B, soul and rock from the defining, liberated sixties. This release on Sony includes a vast treasury of material from those heady days when Morrison had just taken to winging it solo after finding fame and fortune as frontman with his boundary-pushing Irish cohorts, Them. The result is some absolutely tremendous music with that real, rippling, muscular roar of raw rock and rhythm and blues essence.

For the countless souls who already idolise the guy, this will – despite the repeat versions of some tracks – be a totally unmissable 63-track release, a must-have to add to the collection. And who’s to say that’s a bad thing? Not me, for sure.

Tracks:
CD 1 – The Original Masters:
01. Brown Eyed Girl [original stereo mix]
02. He Ain’t Give You None [original stereo mix]
03. T.B. Sheets [original stereo mix]
04. Spanish Rose [original stereo mix]
05. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) [original stereo mix]
06. Ro Ro Rosey [original stereo mix]
07. Who Drove The Red Sports Car [original stereo mix]
08. Midnight Special [original stereo mix]
09. It’s All Right [original stereo mix]
10. Send Your Mind [original stereo mix]
11. The Smile You Smile [original stereo mix]
12. The Back Room [original stereo mix] (5:26)
13. Joe Harper Saturday Morning [original stereo mix] (2:55)
14. Beside You [original mono mix]
15. Madame George [original mono mix]
16. Chick-A-Boom [original mono mix]
17. The Smile You Smile [demo]

CD 2 – Bang Sessions & Rarities:
01. Brown Eyed Girl [original edited mono single mix]
02. Ro Ro Rosey [original mono single mix with backing vocals]
03. T.B. Sheets [Take 2] *
04. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) [Takes 10 & 11] *
05. Send Your Mind [Take 3] *
06. Midnight Special [Take 7]
07. He Ain’t Give You None (Take 4)
08. Ro Ro Rosey [Take 2] *
09. Who Drove The Red Sports Car (Take 6)
10. Beside You [Take 2] *
11. Joe Harper Saturday Morning [Take 2] *
12. Beside You [Take 5] *
13. Spanish Rose [Take 14] (4:23) *
14. Brown Eyed Girl [Takes 1-6] *
15. Brown Eyed Girl [Takes 7-11] *

*Previously Unissued
Discs One & Two: All songs Produced & Directed by Bert Berns

CD 3 – Contractual Obligation Session:
01. Twist And Shake
02. Shake And Roll
03. Stomp And Scream
04. Scream And Holler
05. Jump And Thump
06. Drivin’ Wheel
07. Just Ball
08. Shake It Mable
09. Hold On George
10. The Big Royalty Check
11. Ring Worm
12. Savoy Hollywood
13. Freaky If You Got This Far
14. Up Your Mind
15. Thirty Two
16. All The Bits
17. You Say France And I Whistle
18. Blowin’ Your Nose
19. Nose In Your Blow
20. La Mambo
21. Go For Yourself
22. Want A Danish
23. Here Comes Dumb George
24. Chickee Coo
25. Do It
26. Hang On Groovy
27. Goodbye George
28. Dum Dum George
29. Walk And Talk
30. The Wobble
31. Wobble And Ball

Website: Van Morrison