Archive for The Band

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Van Morrison- A Sense of Wonder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

Here’s another example of how I was so focused on heavy metal in early 1985 that I didn’t fully appreciate a good non-metal album. I have to admit, back then I didn’t have much experience of the legend that is Van Morrison. My most memorable experience of him was his performance in the film, “The Last Waltz” where he sang with The Band. Other than that, what I knew of him was virtually zero.

While by 1985, I had become totally fed up with commercial radio, I have to thank it for this one. The single from the 1985 album, “A Sense of Wonder,” “Tore Down a la Rimbaud” got a considerable amount of airplay in the early part of the year. It was only after a few listens that I got past my “it’s not metal” mentality and realized that “Hey, this song is pretty good.” However, for some reason, I never bought the album, which was a bit of a shame because I missed out on a good one.

Wikapedia puts Van’s “A Sense of Wonder” album in the category of Celtic Soul. Well the man is from Northern Ireland and he does put his soul into the album so it’s hard to disagree with that label. Back then, I would have put it into either or both of the categories of soft rock or mellow out rock. It covers both. While the deafening power chords I was so into in 1985 and still am today are absent, one can’t fault the quality of the musicianship on it. Here’s another myth I believed about Van which this album has obliterated. I thought that he only sang because that’s what he did in “The Last Waltz.” But he plays guitar and piano and rather well judging from the instrumentals “Evening Meditation” and “Boffyflow and Spike,” the latter sounding like true Irish folk music.

While the single remains my favourite song on the album, the rest of the album keeps up as well. In my opinion, “Ancient of Days” could have been released as a single too because it’s almost as good. After the first mentioned instrumental, he goes very almost gospel soul softer though I think the title track goes on a bit too long for me. The second instrumental does pick things up a pace after and “If You Only Knew” keeps that pace going with “A New Kind of Man” closing the album out with a good feeling.

Track Listing:

  1. Tore Down a la Rimbaud
  2. Ancient of Days
  3. Evening Meditation
  4. The Master’s Eyes
  5. What Would I Do
  6. A Sense of Wonder
  7. Boffyflow and Spike
  8. If You Only Knew
  9. Let the Slave (Incorporating the Price of Experience)
  10. A New Kind of Man

Van Morrison

Van Morrison- vocals, guitar and piano

John Allair- organ

Bob Doll- trumpet

Tom Donlinger- drums

Pee Wee Ellis- tenor saxophone

David Hayes- bass

Chris Michie- guitar

Pauline Lazano- backing vocals

Bianca Thornton- backing vocals

The group Moving Hearts performs on tracks 6 and 7

I’m now a believer. Again, it could be me mellowing a tiny bit with age but I now appreciate how good the “A Sense of Wonder” album from Van Morrison really is. Perhaps I should delve into his discography a little more.

Next post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Southern Accents

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Rest In Peace Levon Helm

Posted in 1978, films, Music with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by 80smetalman

Blog entry- star date 21-04012, Supplemental

Not very long ago, I visited the soundtrack to the film, “The Last Waltz,” which depicted the final concert by The Band. Regrettably, I am saddened to learn of the passing of The Band’s drummer Levon Helm this past Friday. According to official reports, Levon died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 71.

Natrually, I am now reflecting back to the film, which I saw in 1978 and remember him very well. Not only was he a great drummer, he also sang lead on such famous songs as “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Shape I’m In,” both hits for The Band. Tributes have already been pouring in from all over the music world, including Bob Dylan and I am expressing my deepest condolences for Levon’s family.

Rest in Peace Levon Helm


Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Band- The Last Waltz

Posted in films, Music, soundtracks with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by 80smetalman

There were many movie soundtracks before 1978, I know, I had to endure my sister listening to such soundtracks as “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and “Lady and the Tramp.” Even in this pivotal year of 1978, there was “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease,” but for me, it was the soundtrack from the film, “The Last Waltz” that made me ever want to listen to a soundtrack.

I went to see this film when it came out, only one cinema in the area even showed it and I must concur with the friend who I went to see it with. The movie sucked, the music was great. Seeing such great legends as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, the guitar talents of Eric Clapton and the finale with Bob Dylan rocking away on “Baby Let Me Follow You Down” totally blew my then seventeen year old mind.








The Last Waltz was the final concert by The Band after sixteen years on the road. Eight years in bars, the other eight years playing arenas. The concert actually took place on Thanksgiving Day in 1976 and there were numerous guest stars in addition to the ones pictured here, to help them take it home. From what I saw from the film, it was a great night of music and the soundtrack bears witness to it.

Track Listing:

1. Theme From the Last Waltz

2. Up On Cripple Creek

3. with Ronnie Hawkins Who Do You Love

4. with Neil Young Helpless

5. Stagefright

6.  wtih Joni Mitchell Coyote

7. with Neil Diamond  Dry Your Eyes

8. It Makes No Difference

9. with Dr John Such a Night

10. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

11. with Paul Butterfield  Mystery Train

12. with Muddy Waters  Mannish Boy

13. with Eric Clapton  Further On Up the Road

14. The Shape I’m In

15. with Bobby Charles Down South In New Orleans

16. Ophelia

17. with Van Morrison   Tura Lura Lura (It’s an Irish Lullabye)

18. with Van Morrison Caravan

19. Life is a Carnival

20. with Bob Dylan  Baby Let Me Follow You Down

21  with Bob Dylan  I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)

22. with Bob Dylan  Forever Young

23. with Bob Dylan  Baby Let Me Follow You Down (reprise)

24. with all the guests plus Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood   I Shall Be Released

The Last Waltz Suite

25. The Well

26. with Emmylou Harris  Evangeline

27. Out of the Blue

28. with The Staples  The Weight

29. The Last Waltz Refrain

30. The Last Waltz with Orchestra

The Band:

Robbie Robertson- guitar

Rick Danko- bass

Garth Hudson- keyboards

Richard Manuel- organ, piano, dobro guitar

Levon Helms- drums

This album definitely changed my view of movie soundtracks and since then, I have purchased and listened to a good number since. The Last Waltz is definitely a piece of music history which I would encourage everyone to listen to at least once in their life time.

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