B0011367-02 Enlightenment
Produced by Van Morrison
Released on October 1990
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #62
Find it at GEMM
B0011367-02 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K ronomyth 23.0: REAL REAL GOOD. The continuing musical pilgrimage of Van Morrison has provided a surprisingly smooth ride for such a mercurial character. You expect the caraVan to grow weary, falter, linger too long by pools of rest, yet the energy and conviction are faithfully renewed on every album. Enlightenment is one of his stronger efforts in the middle-period canon, led by the wonderful “Real Real Gone,” a song written 10 years earlier that connects back to the original wellspring of joy from whence “Domino” and all the other black-and-white beauties came. The remainder of the record is thoughtful, careful, spiritual. The Morrison of Enlightenment has found Jesus (“Youth of 1,000 Summers,” “See Me Through”) and even inner peace (“So Quiet In Here”) but is still searching for complete enlightenment. It’s a journey, of course, and Van seems to be moving forward. The songs are intertwined with the usual Celtic mythmaking, whether it’s the references to Avalon or the loyalty to youthful idols (James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis), and in Morrison it might be said that man’s dual nature of earth-bound and Heavenbound resound most clearly. But that’s such a heavy thought for an early morning, isn’t it? (and the baby is fussing and the dawn is fleeting and the old man in the chair must mind his mousewheel and make money not words). Enlightenment has its prickly moments, none pricklier than a duet with Irish poet Paul Durcan, whose reading on “In The Days Before Rock ‘N’ Roll” offers a window into what Laurie Anderson would sound like if reincarnated as an old Irishman. It could have been much pricklier, though; a point underscored by the alternative takes of “Enlightenment” and “So Quiet In Here.” Enlightenment will renew the faithful and remind us that some things, like our relationship with God and certain expensive and unpronounceable cheeses, grow better with age.

TRACK LISTING

  1. REAL REAL GONE
  2. ENLIGHTENMENT
  3. SO QUIET IN HERE
  4. AVALON OF THE HEART
  5. SEE ME THROUGH
  6. YOUTH OF 1,000 SUMMERS
  7. IN THE DAYS BEFORE ROCK 'N' ROLL    (Van Morrison/Paul Durcan)
  8. START ALL OVER AGAIN
  9. SHE'S MY BABY
  10. MEMORIES

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. ENLIGHTENMENT (ALTERNATIVE TAKE)
  12. SO QUIET IN HERE (ALTERNATIVE TAKE)

    All songs written by Van Morrison unless noted

CREDITS

VAN MORRISON -- vocals, guitar, harmonica
DAVE EARLY -- drums
GEORGIE FAME -- organ, electric piano, backup vocals
ALEX GIFFORD -- other keyboards
STEVE PEARCE -- bass
The Ambrosian Singers -- choir (4)
Dave Bishop -- saxes
Neil Drinkwater -- keyboard and synth arrangements
Paul Durcan -- spoken word (7)
Steve Gregory -- saxes
Malcolm Griffiths -- trombone
Bernie Holland -- lead guitar (2,6,9)
Henry Lowther -- trumpet (6,8,9)
John McCarthy -- choirmaster (4)
Brian Odgers -- bass (2,9)
Michael O'Suilleabhain -- piano (3)
Frank Ricotti -- vibraphone (8)
Steve Sanger -- drums (4,10)
Fiachra Trench -- strng, brass and choir arrangements
Steve Waterman -- flugelhorn (6,8,9)
Gavyn Wright -- string section leader
Mick Glossop -- engineer
Steve Williams -- engineer
Alastair McMillan -- additional engineering
Bill Smith Studio - design
The Douglas Brothers -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/CAN/GER/NET October 1990 Polydor LP/CD/CS 847100-1/2/4 lyric sleeve
JPN 1990 Polydor CD POCP-2358  
UK June 2008 Exile CDX B0011367-02 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN 2008 Universal CDX UICY-93593 SHMCD remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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