|Studio album by|
January 2008 (reissue) (remastered+2 tracks)
|Genre||Pop rock, R&B|
|Label|| Warner Bros. (original release)|
Polydor (1988 reissue + all subsequent reissues)
|Van Morrison chronology|
|Singles from Wavelength|
Wavelength is the tenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and was released in the autumn of 1978. The album has a different musical sound from his previous albums, leaning towards a pop rock sound with prominent electric guitars and synthesizers. Wavelength was Morrison's best selling album at the time of the original release.Mick Glossop, Bobby Tench and Peter Bardens were given credit for special assistance in production.
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies.
Sir George Ivan "Van" MorrisonOBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns's death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.
Pop rock is rock music with a greater emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude. Originating in the late 1950s as an alternative to normal rock and roll, early pop rock was influenced by the beat, arrangements, and original style of rock and roll. It may be viewed as a distinct genre field, rather than music that overlaps with pop and rock. The detractors of pop rock often deride it as a slick, commercial product, less authentic than rock music.
A remastered version of the album was released on 29 January 2008. It contains two bonus tracks, "Wavelength" and "Kingdom Hall", taken from the promotional album Van Morrison Live at the Roxy (1979), recorded on 26 November 1978.
"Wavelength" is the title song from the 1978 album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. Released as a single in 1978, it climbed to number forty two in the US charts, and stayed in the Hot 100 for eleven weeks. According to Howard A. Dewitt, this "was the song which re-established Morrison's hit making abilities".
The Roxy Theatre is a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, owned by Lou Adler and his son, Nic, who operates it.
Wavelength was recorded over several months at the Manor in Oxfordshire, England, and completed later at Shangri-la studios in the United States. Morrison had brought together musicians that represented almost all phases of his musical history to date: Herbie Armstrong from his showband days in Belfast, Peter Bardens from Them, Garth Hudson from the Band and Peter Van Hooke who had worked with Morrison a few years earlier.He also added guitarist Bobby Tench from Streetwalkers.
Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Northern Ireland. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom. It had a population of 333,871 as of 2015. Belfast suffered greatly in the Troubles: in the 1970s and 1980s it was reported to be one of the world's most dangerous cities, with a homicide rate around 31 per 100,000.
The songs on this album recall various stages of Morrison's life. "Kingdom Hall" harked back to his childhood in Belfast when he attended services with his mother, who at one time was a practicing Jehovah's Witness."Checking It Out" is about a relationship going wrong and being rescued by "guides and spirits along the way". "Natalia", "Venice USA" and "Lifetimes" are love songs. "Wavelength" recalled fond memories of his adolescence listening to the Voice of America. The next track incorporates two songs Morrison had written in the early 1970s: "Santa Fe" written with Jackie DeShannon in 1973, Morrison's first ever collaboration to appear on an album, and "Beautiful Obsession", which was first played during one of his concerts in 1971. However, a studio version of the song is not known to have been recorded during that period. "Hungry For Your Love" appeared in the hit movie An Officer and a Gentleman (1982); on it, Morrison plays electric piano accompanied by Herbie Armstrong's acoustic guitar. It has become, along with "Wavelength", one of the more enduringly popular songs on the album. Morrison included "Hungry For Your Love" on his compilation album Van Morrison at the Movies – Soundtrack Hits (2007).
Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded state owned multimedia agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting. It is the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders.
Jackie DeShannon is an American singer-songwriter with a string of hit song credits from the 1960s onwards, as both singer and composer. She was one of the first female singer-songwriters of the rock 'n' roll period. She is best known as the singer of "What the World Needs Now Is Love" and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and, as the composer of "When You Walk in the Room" and "Bette Davis Eyes," which were hits for The Searchers and Kim Carnes, respectively. Since 2009, DeShannon has been an entertainment broadcast correspondent reporting Beatles band members' news for the radio program Breakfast with the Beatles.
An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American romantic drama film starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger, and Louis Gossett Jr., who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film, making him the first African American male to do so. It tells the story of Zack Mayo (Gere), a United States Navy Aviation Officer Candidate who is beginning his training at Aviation Officer Candidate School. While Zack meets his first true girlfriend during his training, a young "townie" named Paula (Winger), he also comes into conflict with the hard-driving Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley training his class.
"Take it Where You Find It" ends the album and, according to Scott Floman, is a "quietly epic love letter to America that gets better and better as it goes along (the song is nearly 9 minutes long). Simply put this song, which I'd rank among Van's all-time best, makes me want to lock arms with someone, anyone, and commence in a slowly swaying sing along..."
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
|The Village Voice||B+|
In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone , Lester Bangs gave a lukewarm assessment and called Wavelength "a very nice record. I'm sure all the people at Warner Bros. are pleased with it. Ditto the DJs... Still, though, it do confound how such a monumental talent can mire himself in such twaddle, fine as some of it may be."Melody Maker reviewed the album as evidence of Morrison's "drift into the American Dream." In The Village Voice , Robert Christgau referred to it as a good but not great album and called attention to side two, which he felt was "an evocative reinterpretation of Van's America fixation, but side one is nothing more (and nothing less) than class programming." Time magazine was more enthusiastic: "Morrison has made two, maybe three albums that rank high among the finest of all rock 'n' roll. Wavelength is good enough to stand close by Morrison's best work, a record of sinuous, sensuous magic. The man just can't be beat."
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.
Leslie Conway "Lester" Bangs was an American music journalist, critic, author, and musician. He wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines, and was known for his leading influence in rock music criticism. The music critic Jim DeRogatis called him "America's greatest rock critic".
Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright; the first editor was Edgar Jackson. In 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.
In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said "Wavelength essentially picks up where A Period of Transition left off, offering a focused, full-bodied alternative to that record's warmly fuzzy lack of direction."Rob Sheffield wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that the record was a "failed pop move" redeemed by its "worthy hit" title track, "which like many of his best songs expresses the profound spiritual yearning to listen to the radio".
Morrison denied that the songs were anything but about personal experience, and were not about the United States.It quickly became the fastest-selling album that Morrison had recorded at that time, and went gold within three months. He relocated to Europe within a few years; his work during the 1980s would not be so "radio friendly" and easily accessible to the casual listener. With the success of Wavelength, Morrison assembled a band to promote it, similar in many ways to the abandoned Caledonia Soul Orchestra of It's Too Late to Stop Now fame. During the Wavelength tour, Morrison performed in his native Belfast for the first time since leaving for the US to record "Brown Eyed Girl" for Bang Records. Morrison's first video, Van Morrison in Ireland , released in 1981, resulted from these performances, and featured two songs from the album: "Wavelength" and "Checkin' It Out".
The cover on the album was by photographer Norman Seeff (associated with Joni Mitchell's album sleeves), and shows Morrison almost smiling and dressed in tight white trousers smoking a cigarette down to the butt.
All songs written by Van Morrison except where noted.
Includes the same tracks as on the original, with two additional bonus tracks:
UK Album Chart
|1979||UK Album Chart||27|
Peter Bardens was an English keyboardist and a founder member of the British progressive rock group Camel. He played keyboards, sang, and wrote songs with Andrew Latimer. During his career Bardens worked alongside Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood, and Van Morrison. He also recorded solo albums.
It's Too Late to Stop Now is a 1974 live double album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It features performances that were recorded in concerts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California; the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Rainbow in London, during Morrison's three-month tour with his eleven-piece band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, from May to July 1973. Frequently named as one of the best live albums ever, It's Too Late to Stop Now was recorded during what has often been said to be the singer's greatest phase as a live performer.
A Period of Transition is the ninth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1977. It was his first album in two-and-a-half years, largely forgotten or overlooked by most casual fans. At the time of its release it was received with some disappointment by critics and fans: "Most were hoping for a work of primeval vocal aggression that would challenge the emerging élite of Morrison pretenders, whose ranks included Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Phil Lynott, Graham Parker and Elvis Costello." However, the album is still notable for several major compositions, including "Heavy Connection", "Flamingos Fly", "The Eternal Kansas City" and "Cold Wind in August".
Into the Music is the 11th studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and was released in August 1979. The record received widespread acclaim that year, and was named by critics as one of the year's best albums.
Common One is the twelfth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1980. The album was recorded over a nine-day period at Super Bear Studios, near Nice, on the French Riviera. Its title comes from the 3
4 section of the song "Summertime in England", where Morrison sings the lyrics "Oh, my common one with the coat so old and the light in her head".
Beautiful Vision is the thirteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in February 1982. It continued Morrison's departure from R&B at the time, instead favoring Celtic folk and American jazz in its music. As with many of Morrison's recordings, spirituality is a major theme and some of the songs are based on the teachings of Alice Bailey. Other songs show Morrison's Celtic heritage and reminiscence of his Belfast background.
Poetic Champions Compose is the seventeenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1987 on Mercury Records. It received generally positive reviews from critics, most of whom viewed it as adequate mood music.
Days Like This is the twenty-third studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1995. It is a diverse group of songs offering a variety of moods and styles. It ranked No. 5 on the UK album charts and was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
The Philosopher's Stone is a compilation album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison released in 1998.
"Bright Side of the Road" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1979 album Into the Music. It was also one of the outtakes that made up the 1998 compilation album, The Philosopher's Stone. As a single "Bright Side of the Road" was released in September 1979 and charted at #48 in the Netherlands, #63 in the UK and just outside the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA at #110.
"Listen to the Lion" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and featured on his sixth album, Saint Dominic's Preview (1972). Its poetic musings and "bass-led shuffle" lead back to Astral Weeks territory.
"Real Real Gone" is a hit single written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1990 album Enlightenment. It has remained a popular live performance tune and Morrison has included it on the set lists at many of his concerts since releasing it.
"Vanlose Stairway" is a song written by the Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and included on his 1982 album Beautiful Vision. It has remained a popular concert performance throughout Morrison's career and has become one of his most played songs.
"Dweller on the Threshold" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and first released on his 1982 album, Beautiful Vision. It was released as a single on the B-Side in 1982 with the instrumental "Scandinavia" as the "A" tune. Another release in 1984 had "Dweller on the Threshold" as the A-Side.
"Perfect Fit" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1995 album, Days Like This.
Van Morrison in Ireland is the first official video by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1981 of a concert Morrison recorded in Northern Ireland in 1979. It was directed by Michael Radford who would go on to become a noted filmmaker. The video includes footage of the band whilst touring in Ireland and images of Belfast, including Hyndford Street and Cyprus Avenue. Tony Stewart of the NME states, "The band display a range of textures reminiscent of The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, first with the dark resonance of Toni Marcus' violin, then Pat Kyle's bright sharp tenor sax and finally Bobby Tench's prickly electric guitar".
"Did Ye Get Healed?" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and recorded on his 1987 album, Poetic Champions Compose. It was also released as a single in 1987.
"You Make Me Feel So Free" is a song written by Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and recorded on his 1979 album, Into the Music.
Robert Tench also known as Bobby Tench, is a British vocalist, guitarist, sideman, songwriter and arranger. He is also credited on recordings as Bob Tench and Bobby Gass.