173. Avalon Sunset – Van Morrison
AVALON SUNSET (1989)
In late 1989 I was moving back from Maryland to Southern California, working for the Benson Company. I visited my old stomping grounds at Maranatha Village and noticed they were carrying a new album from Van Morrison and was told that KYMS was playing one song from it to death and they were bombarded with requests for the album, so they began carrying it.
I bought it immediately!
Over 20 years later it remains a favorite that never has left my listening rotation and sits alongside the best of Bruce Cockburn and Bob Dylan of mainstream artists writing profoundly spiritually themed songs with a passion and sheer honesty that seemed to be lacking from their CCM counterparts.
The album starts with the classic duet with Cliff Richard of “When God Shines His Light On You,” and if that was the only good song on the album it would still make the list. But fortunately the album is filled with one great song after another. Some somber and contemplative (Contacting My Angel) and fun and playful (I’d Love to Write Another Song). His beautiful original rendition of “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” would later be covered by Rod Stewart and made into a huge hit. Morrison’s version is smother, more reflective and soothing.
The highlight is “When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God.” Reminiscent of Cockburn’s late 70’s work it would have fit on Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. This beautiful reflection on how God works and weaves throughout all that we see it a stunning reminder.
A great album that needs to be in everyone’s collection.