Van Morrison Common One on Vinyl LP from Rhino Records
Van Morrison's Common One Sounds Great on Vinyl LP: Jazz-Inflected 1980 Album Features Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and Trumpeter Mark Isham
Van Morrison kicked off the 1980s with the meditative, jazz-inflected Common One. Beautifully melodic and often hypnotic, the trance-like album finds the revered singer's distinctive vocals buoyed by an exploratory horn section featuring saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown) and trumpeter Mark Isham. The reflective six-track set includes two tracks that clock in at over 15 minutes ("Summertime in England," "When Heart Is Open") and none under the five-minute mark. One of Morrison's most idiosyncratic collections, Common One is as soulful as it is soul-searching. Given a five-star rating by English music magazine Q, the 1980 set sounds fantastic on this vinyl LP pressing.
Inspired at an early age by Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Lead Belly and Solomon Burke, the Belfast-born Morrison was just 18 when he joined the R&B combo Them in 1964. Known for spontaneous, energetic performances, Them represented the Northern Irish element of the 1960s British Invasion, breaking into the pantheon with the indelible "Gloria." Morrison began his solo career with the Top 10 pop smash and radio perennial "Brown Eyed Girl," but soon moved in compelling new directions. He's boldly crossed numerous musical genres in the decades that followed, investigating country music, jazz, New Orleans R&B, traditional Celtic folk and straight-ahead rock n' roll.