Posted by: Bill Jones | April 4, 2008

You Say France and I Whistle – 31 Unreleased Van Morrison Tracks

van2-01.jpg31 improvised songs from Van Morrison’s Bang Records Contractual Obligation Session. In the great pantheon of contractual obligation records, there is the noisy (Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music), the brassy (Neil Young’s This Note’s For You) and the phony (Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Record).

And then there is Van Morrison’s Bang Records Sessions.

In order to fulfill his obligation to his early solo label Bang Records,Van Morrison sat down in probably 1967 or so and cranked out 31 songs off the top of his head, on topics ranging from ringworm to wanting a danish, to hating his record label and a guy named George. Make sure you get past the first few tunes – after a while he starts to kick it up a little.

As far as I know, none of this stuff was ever issued in the ’60’s. I can only surmise at some point in the early ’90’s, whoever controlled Van’s Bang masters ran across the tapes and – either having questionable ethics and/or a twisted sense of humor – licensed the tapes to European labels that were releasing compilations of Van’s Bang-era material. I know of at least two double-CD sets that include demo stuff as the second disc – one is Payin’ Dues on Charly in 1994, and the other is New York Sessions ’67. I guess there’s irony in the fact that Morrison recorded these tunes as a big fuck-you to his label – before he signed to Warner and recorded Astral Weeks – yet ultimately the joke’s on him, now that they’re being packaged as legitimate tracks (on “best-of” collections, no less).

Twist and Shake
Shake and Roll
Stomp and Scream
Scream and Holler
Jump and Thump
Drivin’ Wheel
Just Ball
Shake it Mable
Hold On George
The Big Royalty Check
Ring Worm
Savoy Hollywood
Freaky If You Got This Far
Up Your Mind
Thirty Two
All The Bits
You Say France and I Whistle
Blow In Your Nose
Nose In Your Blow
La Mambo
Go For Yourself
Want A Danish
Here Comes Dumb George
Chicken Coo
Do It
Hang On Groovy
Goodbye George
Dum Dum George
Walk And Talk
The Wobble
Wobble And Ball

Buy Van Morrison Music here

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