Known as "Van the Man" to his fans, his professional career started when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He 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' death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968. Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially a poor seller; however, the next one, today's mystery album , established him as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Our man continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and the Chieftains. Into his sixties he produced 2 children with a former miss Ireland and experienced gold digger who at the time was already a grandmother herself....talk of inspiration....
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Today's mystery album the third studio album by the Northern Irish mystery singer-songwriter. After recording his commercially unsuccessful 1968 album Astral Weeks, our man moved with his wife to an artistic hamlet in upstate New York and began writing songs for today's mystery album. There, he met the musicians he would record the album with at New York City's A & R Studios in 1969. Our man abandoned the abstract folk compositions of his previous album in favor of more formally composed songs on today's mystery album, which he wrote and produced himself. Its lively rhythm and blues music was the style he would become most known for in his career. The music incorporated soul, jazz, pop, and Irish folk sounds into ballads and songs about finding spiritual renewal and redemption in worldly matters such as nature, music, and romantic love. It became both a critical and commercial success, helping establish our man as a major artist in popular music. It has since been cited by critics as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Today's mystery album was released by Warner Bros. on 27 January 1970 in the United Kingdom and on 28 February 1970 in the United States. Its original vinyl release was packaged with an album cover that folded out revealing A Fable, the short tale written by our man's then-wife Janet Planet, about a young man and his gifts. The cover photo was taken by Elliot Landy, the official 1969 Woodstock Festival photographer. In 1999, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2003, it was placed at number 65 on Rolling Stone 's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Here today the 2008 Japanese remastered version of the album, a copy of which is up for grabs here.. N'Joy
Goldy Rhox 225 (flac 284mb)
Goldy Rhox 225 (ogg 108mb)
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