So without any warning, Van the Man releases then deletes the “Catacombs Tapes”. This is a recording from August 1968 in Boston, when Van was working out the songs prior to the recording of Astral Weeks.
I wasn’t quick enough to acquire it from iTunes but have since obtained them by, errrr, unofficial means. It’s astonishing how much of the sound of Astral Weeks was worked out by the trio before the jazz sessioners went into the studio to record it with Van.
Presumably it was released to extend the copyright on the recording, so hopefully there will be a proper release in due course (maybe as part of that reissue campaign that was supposed to be happening).
Is there a more frustrating artist to follow than Van?