Blowin' Your Mind!

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Blowin' Your Mind!
Studio album by Van Morrison
Released September 1967
Recorded 28–29 March 1967
Genre Rock, R&B, blue-eyed soul
Length 35:32
Label Bang Records
Producer Bert Berns
Van Morrison chronology
Blowin' Your Mind
(1967)
Astral Weeks
(1968)
Singles from Blowin' Your Mind!
  1. "Brown Eyed Girl" b/w "Goodbye Baby"
    Released:
  2. "Ro Ro Rosey" b/w "Chick-A-Boom"
    Released:
  3. "Spanish Rose" b/w "Midnight Special"
    Released:
  4. ""
    Released:
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B[2]

Blowin' Your Mind! is the debut album by Northern Irish musician Van Morrison, released in 1967. It was recorded 28–29 March 1967 and contained his first solo pop hit "Brown Eyed Girl". It was included by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 Essential Albums of 1967.[3]

Recording and release history[edit]

Morrison does not regard this record as a true album, as Bert Berns compiled and released it without his consent. A few months previously, Morrison signed a contract that surrendered virtually all control of the material he would record with Bang Records. The songs were recorded in March 1967 and had been intended to be released on four separate singles. The album jacket became notorious as a model of bad taste. It featured a strange swirl of circling brown vines (and drug connotation) surrounding a sweaty looking Morrison. Greil Marcus described it as a "monstrously offensive, super psychedelic far out out-of-sight exploding" design.[4] Morrison's then-wife, Janet Planet, said "He never has been, never will be anything approaching a psychedelic user - wants nothing to do with it, wants nothing to do with any drug of any kind".[5] As the singer recalls, "I got a call saying it was an album coming out and this is the cover. And I saw the cover and I almost threw up, you know."[6] Later, after Berns' death, Morrison would express his displeasure on a couple of "nonsense songs" he included on the contractual obligation recording session. One was entitled "Blow In Your Nose," and another was titled "Nose in Your Blow."[7]

Songs and reviews[edit]

Of the eight songs on the album, all were composed by Morrison except "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" and the last song, "Midnight Special". Clinton Heylin contends that the first side of the album "makes for one of the great single-sided albums in rock",[5] whereas Greil Marcus, the album's most hostile critic, found it "painfully boring, made up of three sweet minutes of 'Brown Eyed Girl' and... the sprawling, sensation-dulling 'T.B. Sheets'".[8] "He Ain't Give You None" is an urban tale of "lust, jealousy and sexual disgust." It references Notting Hill Gate and Curzon Street in London, England, places Morrison would have been familiar with when he lived there during his earlier touring days. It contains the words, "You can leave now if you don't like what is happening." Brian Hinton compares "the delighted contempt of the singer, the song's graveyard pace, the stately organ and stinging guitar" to the Highway 61 period of Bob Dylan.[9]

Curzon Street is also a street in Van Morrison's home town of Belfast which has back streets and alleys as mentioned in the rest of the song "He ain't give you none". He also does a video of a song (not sure which one) in which he goes down steps just around the corner from Curzon Street. These are the steps featured in the video: http://goo.gl/maps/wwXy2

Reception[edit]

Allmusic gave the album a 3-star rating and wrote that "Although Van Morrison's first solo album is remembered for containing the immortal pop hit "Brown Eyed Girl," Blowin' Your Mind! is actually a dry run for his masterpiece, Astral Weeks."[1] Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-rating, noting that it "displays the pitfalls of late-'60s blues rock: meandering solos, hippie sentiments, and the occasional fuzz-tone guitar. But in the hand of Van the Man, those vices are virtues, and what could have been tedious is often hypnotic."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Van Morrison, except where noted. 

Side One
No. Title Length
1. "Brown Eyed Girl"   3:03
2. "He Ain't Give You None"   5:13
3. "T.B. Sheets"   9:44
Side Two
No. Title Length
1. "Spanish Rose"   3:06
2. "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" (Wes Farrell, Bert Russell) 2:57
3. "Ro Ro Rosey"   3:03
4. "Who Drove the Red Sports Car?"   5:35
5. "Midnight Special" (traditional) 2:51
1994 CD reissue bonus tracks (alternate takes)
No. Title Length
1. "Spanish Rose"   3:38
2. "Ro Ro Rosey"   3:09
3. "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" (Farrell, Russell) 2:39
4. "Who Drove the Red Sports Car?"   3:49
5. "Midnight Special" (traditional) 2:46

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

(List incomplete)

Production[edit]

  • Vic Anesini – Mastering
  • Brooks Arthur – Engineer
  • Bert Berns – Arranger, Director, Producer, Liner Notes
  • Adam Block – Project Director
  • Bob Irwin – Liner Notes, Reissue Producer
  • John Jackson – Project Director
  • Garry Sherman – Music Supervisor

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Billboard

Year Chart Position
1967 Pop Albums 182

Singles[edit]

Billboard

Year Single Chart Position
1967 "Brown Eyed Girl" Pop Singles 10

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b Cannon, Bob (10 February 1995). Entertainment Weekly review "Music Review: Blowin' Your Mind". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "40 Essential Albums of 1967". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  4. ^ Hinton. 1997. p78
  5. ^ a b Heylin. 2003. p158
  6. ^ Rogan. 2006. p204
  7. ^ "Van Morrison Millenium Collection". starpulse.com. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  8. ^ Hinton. 1997. p79
  9. ^ Hinton. 1997. p80

References[edit]

External links[edit]