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TWO JEWS CHEW ON
THE GRAMMYS
Pass me a knish. (5/24a)
SONY STARS SET
HITS LIST ABLAZE
They're fire. (5/24a)
THE IVORS 2019: ALL THE WINNERS
Theresa May wasn't even on the shortlist. (5/24a)
CROSSCURRENTS: HITSVILLE USA
A Berry important chapter of the story (5/24a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: PLAYOFF FEVER
We're in a generational moment. (5/24a)
THE DIVA PLAN
How pop stars from the pre-streaming era are finding a new groove.
RAINMAKERS RETURN
More of the folks who are making biz history now.
THE FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL IS...
Hang on, we just need to throw this TV out the window.
AFTER COUNTRY TRAP
Is reggaeton death metal far behind?
Critics' Choice
VAN LAND
10/22/15

Rhino is bringing out handsome, remastered reissues of two of the greatest albums ever made, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and His Band and Street Choir. Each features extra tracks and a handsome booklet with elegant liner notes, as is de rigueur from the catalogue monsters. But we celebrate this occasion not for how the new versions, due on 10/30, differ from the originals but how they are the same. Every time these luminous recordings re-enter the marketplace, scores of music fans first discover the spiritual realm of Van-land, with its inimitable mix of R&B grit and Celtic rhapsody.

Astral Weeks in particular is an utter miracle; recorded in 1968 by the then-23-year-old Irishman, who was coming off the spectacular pop success of “Brown-Eyed Girl,” it eschews singalong choruses for a hushed, jazzy folk with a strongly improvisational feel. But it’s pure magic, from the divinely inspired title track to the gauzy “Sweet Thing,” the gender-bending saga “Madame George” and the mighty “The Way Young Lovers Do.” The new set includes alternate takes (two of them quite long) of four songs.

His Band is more conventionally poppy, and boasts such brilliant singles as “Domino” and “Blue Money.” The 1970 set's overall vibe is at once reverential and hedonistic, with the musical mixture of groove and sweetness as fine as old whiskey. Five alternate versions appear as bonus cuts.