Pay the Devil

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Pay the Devil
Studio album by Van Morrison
Released 6 March 2006
Genre Country
Length 45:44
Label Lost Highway
Producer Van Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Magic Time
(2005)
Pay the Devil
(2006)
Live at Austin City Limits Festival
(2006)
Singles from Pay the Devil
  1. "Playhouse"
    Released:
  2. ""
    Released:
  3. ""
    Released:
  4. ""
    Released:
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
earvolution.com (unrated)[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
The Independent (unrated)[4]
livedaily.com (unrated)[5]
The Music Box 3.5/5 stars[6]
No Depression (unrated)[7]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[8]

Pay the Devil is the thirty-second studio album by Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. It was released in 2006 by Lost Highway. The album features twelve cover versions of American country and western tunes and three original compositions. It debuted at #26 on The Billboard 200 and peaked at #7 on Top Country Albums;[9][10] it was listed at #10 on Amazon Best of 2006 Editor's Picks in Country in December 2006.[11]

A deluxe edition of Pay the Devil featuring a video of five of the tracks taped during the performance at the Ryman was released on 27 June 2006.[12][13]

Songs[edit]

The songs on the album consist of twelve cover songs and three originals. The cover songs are chosen from old-time country songs recorded during the 1950s and 1960s by well-known country artists such as Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Merle Haggard and George Jones. Morrison's three originals are written and sung to blend with the classic country cover versions.

Erik Hage described Morrison's version of "Till I Gain Control Again" written by Rodney Crowell: "There's a sense of fragility and defeat, and it is moving in a way that a Van Morrison song rarely moves the listener. The singer sounds utterly broken down and shaken: 'hold me now, hold me now' he unsteadily repeats 'until I gain control again'. Even Morrison's most emotional material in the past never projected such pretty frailty."[14]

Promotion[edit]

Morrison previewed some of the Pay the Devil material at his live shows in the previous year. He promoted the new album with a seven city tour of the US in March 2006.[15] On 7 March 2006, the day of its release in the United States, Van Morrison Day was declared in Nashville by the mayor, and Morrison appeared at the historic Ryman Auditorium that evening for the first time.[16] He continued to promote the album throughout 2006 and appeared at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on 15 September 2006 where his performance was listed as one of the top ten of the festival by Rolling Stone.[17]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "There Stands the Glass" (Alize Gresham, Russ Hull, Mary Jane Shurtz) – 2:16
  2. "Half as Much" (Curly Williams) – 2:36
  3. "Things Have Gone to Pieces" (Leon Payne) – 3:11
  4. "Big Blue Diamonds" (Earl J. Carson) – 2:56
  5. "Playhouse" (Morrison) – 4:14
  6. "Your Cheatin' Heart" (Hank Williams) – 2:32
  7. "Don't You Make Me High" (Daniel Barker, Ken Harris) – 2:47
  8. "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" (Clarence Williams) – 2:22
  9. "Back Street Affair" (Billy Wallace) – 2:49
  10. "Pay the Devil" (Morrison) – 3:03
  11. "What Am I Living For?" (Art Harris, Fred Jay) – 3:57
  12. "This Has Got to Stop" (Morrison) – 4:44
  13. "Once a Day" (Bill Anderson) – 2:52
  14. "More and More" (Merle Kilgore, Webb Pierce) – 2:46
  15. "'Til I Gain Control Again" (Rodney Crowell) – 5:59

DVD track listing (Deluxe Edition)[edit]

Filmed at the Ryman Auditorium on 7 March 2006

  1. "Playhouse" (Morrison)
  2. "'Till I Gain Control Again" (Rodney Crowell)
  3. "Big Blue Diamonds" (Earl J. Carson)
  4. "This Has Got to Stop" (Morrison)
  5. "There Stands the Glass" (Alize Gresham, Russ Hull, Mary Jane Shurtz)

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Van Morrison - Producer
  • Declan Gaffney - Mixing assistant
  • Jerome King - Assistant engineer
  • Alastair McMillan - Mixing
  • Walter Samuel - Engineer, mixing

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
Position
U.S. Billboard 200 26
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 7

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ earvolution.com review
  3. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  4. ^ The Independent review
  5. ^ livedaily.com review
  6. ^ The Music Box review
  7. ^ No Depression review
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ "Chart Beat:Pay per Van". billboard.com. 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  10. ^ "On the charts-Billboard country singles and albums". countrymusic.com. 2006-03-25. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  11. ^ "Best of 2006: Editors' Pick in Country". amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  12. ^ "Van Morrison-Pay the Devil". losthighwayrecords.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  13. ^ "Beautiful Day: Van Morrison". corkuniversitypress.typepad.com. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  14. ^ Hage, (2009), p. 142
  15. ^ Mazor, Barry (2006-03-07). "Van Morrison, Ryman Auditorium". Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  16. ^ Calvin Gilbert (2006-03-08). "Van Morrison offers country songs". cmt.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  17. ^ "10 Best Shows at Austin City Limits". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]