Friday, July 27, 2012

Song #9

Title: "Slim Slow Slider"
Artist: Van Morrison
Album: Astral Weeks, 1969
Written By: Van Morrison

This stark beauty closes Van's masterpiece, Astral Weeks. One of the more obscure tunes on this list, but that is part of the fun of a more subjective, personal list. Not the same old songs that appear on every Rolling Stone magazine list. Van sometimes goes through the motions, and he can get away with it because his cruise control is top notch when compared to many other popular artists, his talent is so immense. But when Van really throws himself into his music, he is untouchable. I don't think I've ever heard a song so beautiful from a popular artist. And that note on the bass at 1:30 ("you're out of reach") and again at 2:32 ("I know you're dyin', baby")...that is perfection.

BELOW: Bonus clip. You've got to check this clip out if you appreciate Van Morrison at all. This is a live version of "Slim Slow Slider" from his 2009 tour where he played Astral Weeks through in its entirety (It is available on disc too, I would recommend it). There is no way to recapture that stark magic from the original cut, so Van doesn't try to. Instead, he expands this stark three minute tune to a exciting eight minute jazz improvisation. I love at about 6:55, where he points to his piano player to solo. It is not a very friendly gesture, like "play, motherf*cker." I can't imagine Van is the easiest going dude to play for.


Subliminal Gary said...

I like Van Morrison as much as the next guy that has heard of him, but this track feels a bit weak in the company of the others.

Dezmond said...

Ah, Gary. I wish you had been in Vegas with us for our spirited, and drunken for some of us, argument over Van Morrison's music and 'Astral Weeks' in particular. It was an epic discussion.

ANCIANT said...

Of course I support this one, but I'm not even convinced it's the best song on Astral Weeks.

Here's an idea for your next list: best bass lines. I'd nominate, immediately, "Bulbs" from Van Morrison's Veedon Fleece.

I'm listening to a lot of Van these days, in order to prepare myself for the Brooklyn Hipsters when they start to deride my love for Astral Weeks.