Musings on the byways of popular culture
26/10/2020 by Colin H 12 Comments
Colin H says
26/10/2020 at 13:11
Strange, the text didn’t post. Here it is:
My crony Stuart Bailie has a new book out, ’75 Van Songs’ – a meditation on, well, 75 Van (Morrison) songs 😃 I had the pleasure of proofreading the book and the end result is a splendid artefact – quality paper, superb writing – impressionistic and informative – and evocative photographs, including plenty of Belfast streets, deep-fried potato emporia and leafy avenues (many taken by Stuart). If someone you know likes The Man, Christmas is coming…
Available via Amazon Marketplace, or contact Stuart directly via Facebook. Here he is delivering the book to a bourgeois back garden proximate to my house last week 😃 – rare in being one of the very few East Belfast locations not celebrated in a Van cosmic litany.
Here’s the PR blurb:
75 Van Songs celebrates the work of Van Morrison in a milestone year. Belfast writer Stuart Bailie has picked 75 songs from that rich source. His book is about the stories that emerge.
There are many Van Morrison biographies out there and this is not another one. Rather, this book is about relating to the 75 songs and what they tell us about the landscapes of Belfast, about social change, musical wellsprings, visions of America, spiritual hunger and great excursions into nature. Van songs have an immense power to release emotion, sentiment and a sense of place. Stuart Bailie is hugely respectful of that work and this book is a personal, unauthorised response – his own venture into the music.
“75 Van Songs situates Van Morrison’s work amidst layers of landscape, culture and experience. Like the music, it makes us nostalgic for places and times we’ve never been. Yet equally it’s inspiring, proving that sources of creativity are all around us. 75 Van Songs is both a map and a treasure trove.” – Darran Anderson, author of Inventory
“Stuart Bailie is a titan of the Northern Ireland music scene.” – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music.
Stuart Bailie is a Belfast-based writer. His book, Trouble Songs: Music and Conflict in Northern Ireland was published in 2018. He has been a music industry professional for 35 years, writing for NME, Mojo, Uncut, Q, Vox, The Times, The Irish Times, Classic Rock and Hot Press. He was Assistant Editor at NME, 1992-96.
26/10/2020 at 17:13
Re: “Strange, the text didn’t post.”
Tell me about it love.🙄
Blue Boy says
26/10/2020 at 14:15
Spotted this online yesterday and my order is in. Looking forward to it.
26/10/2020 at 15:16
Does it include Van’s 3 new ones?
26/10/2020 at 15:34
Thankfully not! Not even the Blue Boy could make any kind of a case for those.
26/10/2020 at 15:51
Shame! They’re apparently the most infectiously catchy things he’d done in years
27/10/2020 at 00:18
26/10/2020 at 16:02
Even I, Colin, even I! The first one was OK in a sending me to sleep sort of way. I had the misfortune to hear the most recent one over the weekend and genuinely think it might be just about the worse thing he has ever released. I haven’t had the heart to try to catch up with the second one yet.
But what impresses me is a self confessed Van sceptic diligently proof reading a whole book about his songs. Truly a generous gesture to a colleague!
Moose the Mooche says
26/10/2020 at 16:04
It’s probably easier than proofreading something you’ve got strong opinions about.
26/10/2020 at 16:14
OK, I have stiffened my resolve and now listened to ‘As I Walked Out’. I take back my previous comment. It is this track which might just be the worst thing he has ever released. And I’m including those nonsensical contractual obligation Bang Masters tracks.
26/10/2020 at 16:54
😀 Yes, I think Stuart might have said he felt ‘Ringworm’ had the edge on that lot…
28/10/2020 at 09:23
It is indeed a lovely thing.
Well written, and – as Colin says – high quality all round.
As I have SBs previous book, I was lucky enough to get a signed version, with my favourite Sir Ivan song mentioned in the credits…
…”Into The Mystic”, since you asked.
You must be logged in to post a comment.