Friday 1st December, 2017
Following the massive success of his 37th studio album Roll With the Punches (which charted at No 4 in the UK this September), Van Morrison releases his 38th today.
Versatile is positive proof that Van Morrison is built differently to other artists. One of very few British recording artists to warrant the description ‘living legend’, Van is currently working at a rate to put musicians a third of his age to shame; an ethic that harks back to his early days as a recording artist who’d easily release multiple brilliant long players within the space of a year.
While Roll With The Punches saw Van revisit many of the definitive rhythm and blues records that have stayed with him all his life, Van’s latest album sees him delve further back into recorded music’s archives to interpret some of the 20th century’s greatest vocal jazz standards.
Across Versatile’s sixteen tracks, Van Morrison interprets some of the very building blocks of modern music in his own utterly unique style. As well as songs originally made famous by the likes of Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, the Righteous Brothers, Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole, Versatile features the stunning new Van composition Broken Record – a timeless piece of late-night swing – and new interpretations of classics from his back catalogue (I Forgot That Love Existed from the 1987 album Poetic Champions Compose, Start All Over Again from 1990’s Enlightenment and Only A Dream from 2002’s Down the Road).
Van says of Versatile: “Recording songs like these - especially the standards - gave me the chance to stretch out vocally and get back to the music that originally inspired me to sing - jazz!"
A joy from start to finish, Versatile is a completely different record to Roll With the Punches yet it’s incontrovertibly Van and proof, if ever it were needed, that at 72 years of age, he’s not going to slow down any time soon.
1. ‘Broken Record’ (Van Morrison)
2. ‘A Foggy Day’ (George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)
3. ‘Let’s Get Lost’ (Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh)
4. ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ (Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon)
5. ‘Skye Boat Song’ (Traditional. Arranged by Van Morrison)
6. ‘Take It Easy Baby’ (Van Morrison)
7. ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ (Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn)
8. ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’ (Cole Porter)
9. ‘I Forgot That Love Existed’ (Van Morrison)
10. ‘Unchained Melody’ (Alex North and Hy Zaret)
11. ‘Start All Over Again’ (Van Morrison)
12. ‘Only A Dream’ (Van Morrison)
13. ‘Affirmation’ featuring Sir James Galway (Van Morrison)
14. ‘The Party’s Over’ (Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne)
15. ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ (George Cory and Douglass Cross)
16. ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’ (George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)