Sweet Thing (Van Morrison song)

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"Sweet Thing"
B-side to "Blue Money" by Van Morrison from the album Astral Weeks
Released November 1968
Recorded October 15, 1968, Century Sound Studios, New York City
Genre Folk rock
Length 4:10
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Van Morrison
Composer Van Morrison
Producer Lewis Merenstein
Astral Weeks track listing
  1. "Astral Weeks"
  2. "Beside You"
  3. "Sweet Thing"
  4. "Cyprus Avenue"
  5. "The Way Young Lovers Do"
  6. "Madame George"
  7. "Ballerina"
  8. "Slim Slow Slider"

"Sweet Thing" is one of the songs included on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison's 1968 acclaimed second album Astral Weeks. It was on the first side of the album, that was under the heading: In the Beginning. The song was later used in 1971 as the American B-side to Morrison's single "Blue Money".

Recording and composition[edit]

"Sweet Thing" was recorded during the last Astral Weeks session on October 15, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.[1]

It was written after Morrison had met his future wife Janet while on tour in the US in 1966 and during the year of separation after he returned to Belfast. It is the only song on the album that looks forward instead of backward:[2]

You shall take me strongly in your arms again
And I will not remember that I ever felt the pain

Van Morrison described the song to Ritchie Yorke: "'Sweet Thing' is another romantic song. It contemplates gardens and things like that...wet with rain. It's a romantic love ballad not about anybody in particular but about a feeling."[3]

Acclaim[edit]

It was listed as No. 415 on the All Time 885 Greatest Songs compiled in 2004 by WXPN from listener's votes.[4] The song is heard twice in, and forms an integral part of, the motion picture The Five-Year Engagement. It's playing when the two main characters first meet.

Other releases[edit]

Sweet Thing" is the only song from Astral Weeks included on the 1990 compilation album The Best of Van Morrison. It was also featured on Morrison's album Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl, released in 2009 to celebrate forty years since Astral Weeks was first released

Appearance in the media[edit]

The song is featured two times in the movie The Five-Year Engagement.

Personnel[edit]

Covers[edit]

A live extended version of Van Morrison's "Sweet Thing" is featured on Jeff Buckley's 2004 posthumously released live album Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition).[5] The Waterboys covered it on Fisherman's Blues.[6] Shana Morrison included a cover of "Sweet Thing" on her debut album Caledonia (1999).[7] Ezio covered it on the album, Live at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Joe Louis Walker included a version on his album Pasa Tiempo (2002).[8] The 4 of Us covered it at the Astral Weeks Revisited concert in Belfast, 5 January 2008 to mark the 40th anniversary of Astral Weeks.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 518
  2. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel The Silence?, p. 157
  3. ^ Yorke, Into the Music, p. 57
  4. ^ All-Time 885 Greatest Songs
  5. ^ "Live at Sin-é (Bonus DVD)". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  6. ^ "The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues". magazine.jamsbio.com. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Caledonia : Shana Morrison". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  8. ^ "Joe Louis Walker: Latest release". evidencemusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  9. ^ Bailie, Stuart. "Astral Weeks, Wondrous Days". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]