Van Morrison Announces Expanded ‘Astral Weeks’ and ‘His Band’ Reissues


Earlier this week, Legacy announced it had purchased and was reissuing nearly all of Van Morrison’s catalog dating back to 1964. Not listed among the scheduled releases were five albums Morrison issued between 1967 and 1972.

Now comes word that two of those albums, 1968’s Astral Weeks and 1970’s His Band and the Street Choir, will be reissued by Warner Brothers. The label has announced it will put out expanded editions of both albums on October 30. Each will be offered digitally and on CD and will feature previously unreleased alternate versions of various album tracks.

Astral Weeks, Morrison’s second solo album after leaving the band Them, was recorded over three sessions in September and October 1968. For the album, Morrison worked with a group of jazz musicians who had never played together before and who were performing without rehearsals or lead sheets. The album’s tracks formed an impressionistic song cycle that was far removed from the pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl,” which Morrison had released the previous year. Astral Weeks would go on to be recognized as one of Morrison’s, and rock’s, most important albums.

The expanded edition of Astral Weeks will include take one of “Beside You,” a vibraphone-heavy version of “Madame George,” and long versions of “Ballerina” and “Slim Slow Slider.”

His Band and the Street Choir, Morrison’s fourth solo album, included the smash hit “Domino.” The reissue will include alternate takes of “Give Me a Kiss,” “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” “Gypsy Queen” and a funked-up version of “I’ve Been Working.”

Full track listings for both albums are below.

Astral Weeks Expanded Edition Track List
1. "Astral Weeks"
2. "Beside You"
3. "Sweet Thing"
4. "Cyprus Avenue"
5. "The Way Young Lovers Do"
6. "Madame George"
7. "Ballerina"
8. "Slim Slow Slider"
9. "Beside You" (Take 1)
10. "Madame George" (Take 4)
11. "Ballerina" (Long Version)
12. "Slim Slow Slider" (Long Version)

His Band and The Street Choir Expanded Edition Track List
1. "Domino"
2. "Crazy Face"
3. "Give Me A Kiss"
4. "I've Been Working"
5. "Call Me Up In Dreamland"
6. "I'll Be Your Lover, Too"
7. "Blue Money"
8. "Virgo Clowns"
9. "Gypsy Queen"
10. "Sweet Jannie"
11. "If I Ever Needed Someone"
12. "Street Choir"
13. "Call Me Up In Dreamland" (Take 10)
14. "Give Me A Kiss" (Take 3)
15. "Gypsy Queen" (Take 3)
16. "I've Been Working" (Alternate Version)
17. "I'll Be Your Lover, Too" (Alternate Version)

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook