Van Morrison first made a name for himself at the helm of The Angry Young Them, as an Irish Eric Burdon blowing harp and spitting out the blues with a gritty authority that said he'd kick your ass if he were any taller. The liner notes in that first album read, "When asked to produce a track that they considered 'a pretty song,' their answer was simply, 'NO! This is our music, you either like it or you don't.'" Of course, most people like it better when he's singing pretty songs like "Brown Eyed Girl" or anything on Astral Weeks, a 1968 release that just hit No. 19 on another list of greatest albums ever from the desk of Rolling Stone. It's been a while since Morrison's uncorked an Astral Weeks, preferring to dabble in skiffle and country and making an album with Jerry Lee Lewis' daughter since the new millennium kicked in. But he's singing great, which should be all that matters when he pours his Irish soul into the catalogue onstage. Here's hoping "T.B. Sheets" is on the list.
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