Astral Weeks – Side effects may include Astral Projection

“Astral Weeks” was an album that was created out of Morrison’s desperation to get out of a terrible recording contract he had made with Bang Records in the mid 60′s. The album portrays themes of love, both earthly and towards a woman. Towards the end of the album however, particularly at the end of the last song “Slim Slow Slider”, takes an unexpectedly sour turn. Many have said that the album is just a stream of consciousness as the length of time to create the album was very short. Several hours recording and then several more for editing. There are aspects of jazz, blues and classical found throughout the album that create an ethereal atmosphere. Upon deeper listening to the album I can see that the upbeat tempo and cheery vibe hide a more melancholy ideology. Since Morrison wrote this album in a very short amount of time he was under a lot of pressure, more from himself than from the record company who told him he could take his time and write what he thought would work. “What is unique about “Astral Weeks” is how unique it is. It comes from no tradition and left no legacy. Stylistically, it stands absolutely alone.” having listened to the album multiple times I can completely agree with this statement, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an album quite like this one, its wide use of instruments and yet restraint is something to be admired. While nothing other than his desperation influenced this album, this album has influenced quite a lot of other artists, two being Bono and Bruce Springsteen. One thing that all artists, current and future, could learn from astral weeks is to have the same level of integrity that Morrison had when dealing with his record company. Also that making the difficult choice and not selling out may seem detrimental in the short term but in the long term will be worth more than any record company can offer.

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