June 30, 2016 • Martyrs', Chicago, IL
Astral Weeks was Van Morrison’s first record for his new label, Warner Brothers, the company that bought him out of an onerous recording contract with his previous label and basically rescued his career. But given that Morrison had new corporate masters to please, why was Astral Weeks such an unorthodox, uncommercial album? Part of that can be chalked up to the Warner Brothers vision of building an artist’s career rather than chasing after hits.
But another part was that for freeing Morrison, his previous record company had been promised half the profits from any hit singles off his first Warner Brothers album. There wasn’t a lot of incentive to record any songs that could be Top 40 hits. And as you know, Van Morrison used the opportunity to explore his creativity a different way.
But then came time to make his second record for Warners. And all those catchy melodies and tightly crafted lyrics that were bubbling around in Morrison’s head? Well, with the album Moondance, he finally had the perfect place to set them free.