BSK 3212 Wavelength
Produced by Van Morrison
Released on October 1978
UK CHART POSITION #27 . . . UK CHART POSITION #28
Find it at GEMM
BSK 3212 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A period of transmission. I didn’t connect with this one the first few times because it was so doobity wah wah dippy in spots (“Natalia,” “Venice U.S.A.”). But most of this compares favorably to Bob Dylan’s Street Legal, so there won’t be any new heinie-hole tearing today. For prog fans (oh, right, this used to be a prog site, didn’t it?), the participation of Camel’s Peter Bardens probably caught your eye. (He’s played with Them before, diddy diddy duh.) The title track actually sounds like Van on camelback. The rest of the time he rides on horseback. Let the cowboy ride; it’s where he belongs: “Hungry For Your Love,” “Checkin’ It Out,” “Kingdom Hall.” Like I said, right in line with Street Legal. Maybe a little bouncier than you remember, but still craggy and cranky. Of course I wouldn’t start here. The early albums were mystical, moving Morrison. Wavelength is the very model of a modern mediocre Morrison album. It lacks ambition, and even on the best tracks you get the sense that Van may be dialing it in. I paid fifty cents for a used copy of this album, so I’m not complaining. However, since you’re unlikely to encounter the same good fortune, move on John Doenne. There are probably a dozen Van Morrison albums more tasty, more timeless, less obvious placeholder product. Morrison himself probably wouldn’t make a case for Wavelength, so why should you? Sure his voice sounds good, but it sounded marvelous on Moondance. Nothing magicked, little ventured. End transmission.

TRACK LISTING

  1. KINGDOM HALL    5:59
  2. CHECKIN' IT OUT    3:29
  3. NATALIA    4:04
  4. VENICE U.S.A.    6:32
  5. LIFETIMES    4:15
  6. WAVELENGTH    5:44
  7. SANTA FE    (Van Morrison/Jackie De Shannon) / BEAUTIFUL OBSESSION    7:04
  8. HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE    3:45
  9. TAKE IT WHERE YOU FIND IT    8:40

    All songs written by Van Morrison unless noted

CREDITS

VAN MORRISON -- vocals, back-up vocals, saxes, electric piano, acoustic guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar
PETER BARDENS -- synthesizer, keyboards, Roland horns, production assistance
GINGER BLAKE -- back-up vocals
LAURA CREAMER -- back-up vocals
LINDA DILLARD -- back-up vocals
MICKEY FEAT -- bass
BOBBY TENCH -- electric guitar, back-up vocals, production assistance
PETER VAN HOOKE -- drums
Herbie Armstrong -- acoustic and electric rhythm guitars
Mitch Dalton -- Spanish guitar (9)
Garth Hudson -- accordion, Yamaha syntheiszer solo, organ
Kuma -- bass
Brooks Arthur -- remix
Richard Ash -- sound engineer
Alan Douglas -- sound engineer
Mick Glossop -- engineer, mixing, production assistance
Peter Granet -- additional remix engineer
Paul Wexler -- production assistant
Danny Lipsius -- album cover coordination
John Cabalka -- art direction
Brad Kanawyer -- design
Norman Seeff -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1978 Warner Bros. LP K56526 lyric sleeve
US/CAN October 1978 Warner Bros. LP BSK 3212 lyric sleeve
GER 1978 Warner Bros. LP WB56526 lyric sleeve
UK/GER 1989 Polydor CD/CS 839 169  
US June 30, 1997 Polydor CD 7458 digital remaster
JPN   Polydor CD POCP-2133  

 

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