The Philosophers Alternate Stones
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1. Goodnight Irene (3:56)
2. All Saints Day (3:08)
3. Original Face (4:12)
4. Dead Girls of London (5:11)
5. Caledonia Soul Music (17:28)
6. Chick-A-Boom (3:09)
7. Spare Me A Little (with Jackie DeShannon) (2:33)
8. You’ve Got The Power (3:35)
9. Grits Ain’t Groceries (3:49) Don’t Change On Me (listed, but does not appear)
10. Down To Earth (4:34)
11. Mechanical Bliss (3:46)
12. I Shall Sing (3:09)
13. It Hurts To Want It So Bad (3:43)
14. Feedback On Highway 101 (3:45)
15. Much Binding In The Marsh (3:36) Total time: (69:34)
1. Caledonia (2:53)
2. What’s Up Crazy Pup (3:13)
3. Sweet Sixteen (3:29)
4. Ain’t Workin For You (8:16)
5. You Move Me (6:40)
6. When I Deliver (6:28)
7. Wonderful Remark (4:02) (not listed on the album cover)
8. The Schooner (12:32) Bonus Tracks – Musicladen Extra TV Bremen 7/10/74
9. Heathrow Shuffle (2:20)
10. Warm Love (5:53)
11. I Like It Like That (5:32)
12. Bulbs (4:18)
13. Buffy Flow (3:42) Total time: (69:18)
Like Dylan, Springsteen, and Young, Van Morrison has gone trough periods of amazingly prolific song-writing. Like them, he has also started album projects that he has abandoned. Elite collectors have had over fifty finished outtakes to savour, many of them more interesting that what showed up on official releases. A majority of those songs have finally seen the light of day with the release of The Philosophers Stone. Unfortunately, a number of strong songs were left off that fine issue. We have redressed that injustice with the release you are holding.
Enclosed is a collection of true outtakes, not just different versions of released songs. Most date from 1970-1975, when Van started two projects: Ain’t Workin For You, and Mechanical Bliss, only to abandon them after finishing most of the songs for each. Covers include a rousing “Caledonia” and a countrified “Good Night Irene”. “Crazy Pup” and “Chick-A-Boom” are irresistable toe tapping tuens that remind one of the glory days of AM radio. “All Saints Day” and “Binding” are instrumentals featuring Van’s sax playing. “I Shall Sing” was a hit single for Art Garfunkel as “Spare Me A Little” was a hit for Jackie DeShannon, who duets with Van. “Dead Girls of London” is a trip: a satire of slavish followers of what’s cool with an appropriately, if weird, chorus. “Caledonia Sould Music” is the legendary seventeen minute studio Jam with the Caledonia Soul Express.l “The Schooner” is possibly the rarest item here. It’s the soundtrack for an Irish TV production broadcast in February 1983. With Van playing guitar, piano, and saxophone, as well as singing, it’s a beautiful, evocative score of the Irish coast.
The bonus tracks are from a 1974 German broadcast. Three of the five songs were never released or possibly not even recorded. Only “Warm Love” is a familiar song. Van’s sax is featured in the energetic “Heathrow Shuffle”, and the pensive “Buffy Flow”. This is the only known version of “I Like It Like That” while “Bulbs” was only performed briefly in 1974.
For appreciators of Van Morrison, this is truely an indespensable collection.
Notes: Art Siegel notes that only the instrumental “Buffy Flow” was not released. [A version of] “Heathrow Shuffle” finally was released on How Long Has This Been Going On, “I Like It Like That” was a song Van had released earlier with Them.