Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece
This album is a bit like a trade secret. Van Morrison aficionados will know it well and now regard it very highly. Almost everyone else will know little about it and wonder what a veedon is.
The album didn't produce any singles or big hits. Nor was it well received when it was released in October 1974. This was his eighth studio album with much better-known releases Astral Weeks and Moondance well behind him at this point.
To set the scene further, Morrison had just got divorced and was spending some time in Ireland taking a break after intensive touring. Inspired by his time there he wrote most of the album in around three weeks.
Morrison has many musical styles throughout his extensive career. His early days with Them and their hit “Gloria” is often described as garage rock. He's had RnB spells, plus folk, gospel, soul, rock and roll, jazz, big band and blues, amongst others, all followed on. Morrison spent most of 2023 touring his Moving On Skiffle album.
Veedon Fleece drew from his spell in Ireland. The album has an Irish tone to it, mystical and Celtic in style, lighter and acoustic-based. Many fans reckon that lyrically it follows on well from Astral Weeks. The songs themselves may not be well known by most, so I won't cover many of their details here. You can get a great feel of the album from “Comfort You” below.
Enough to say that over time the album has gathered increasing respect, perhaps those early critics were too harsh. This means if you like his music then here's a whole ‘new to you’ album of Van the Man at one of his many peaks. Oh, and by the way, about the title Veedon Fleece. Morrison himself has said he has no idea what it means, it's just something he made up,