Astral Weeks is the second studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was recorded at Century Sound Studios in New York during September and October 1968, and released in November of the same year by Warner Bros. Records.
The album's music blends folk, blues, jazz, and classical styles, signalling a radical departure from the sound of Morrison's previous pop hits, such as "Brown Eyed Girl" (1967). The lyrics and cover art portray the symbolism equating earthly love and heaven that would often feature in the singer's subsequent records. His lyrics have been described as impressionistic, hypnotic, and modernist, while the record has been referred to as a song cycle or concept album.
Astral Weeks did not originally receive promotion from Morrison's record label and was not an immediate success with consumers or critics. Its standing eventually improved greatly, with praise given to Morrison's arrangements and songwriting, and the album has been viewed as one of rock music's greatest and most important records (a reputation the singer himself has dismissed). It was placed on numerous widely circulated lists of the best albums of all time and had an enduring effect on both listeners and musicians.
Forty years after the album's release, Morrison performed all eight of its songs live for the first time at two Hollywood Bowl concerts in November 2008; this performance was later released as Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
Label: Warner Bros. - Seven Arts Records 081227937850
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue
Genre: Jazz, Rock, Funk / Soul, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Blues Rock, Acoustic, Soul, Folk Rock
Part One: In The Beginning
A1 Astral Weeks
A2 Beside You
A3 Sweet Thing
A4 Cyprus Avenue
Part Two: Afterwards
B1 Young Lovers Do
B2 Madame George
B4 Slim Slow Slider