The Healing Game
|The Healing Game|
|Studio album by Van Morrison|
|Released||4 March 1997
Reissued June 2008
|Recorded||1996 at Westland Studios and Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin|
|Van Morrison chronology|
|Singles from The Healing Game|
The 30 June 2008 reissued and remastered version of the album contains a take of the "Rough God Goes Riding" B-side "At the End of the Day". "Rough God Goes Riding" from this album was listed as one of the standout tracks from the six album reissue.
The title song "The Healing Game" is about the tradition of Belfast street singing. Van Morrison in Q magazine said, "People find it incredible when I tell them that people used to sing and play music in the street. I think there's a whole oral tradition that's disappeared." The song, "Rough God Goes Riding" is taken from a W. B. Yeats poem "The Second Coming" with its figure from the Apocalypse "rough beast". Leo Green's saxophone follows Morrison's voice like a twin brother. In "Waiting Game" he is "the brother of the snake" which Brian Hinton says refers to both his lost friend Jim Morrison (known for writing about "The Lizard King"), and the Garden of Eden. "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" follows the children's book, The Wind in the Willows closely and Paddy Moloney plays uillean pipes with Phil Coulter on piano. On "Burning Ground" the singer relives a common scene from his childhood when jute was shipped to Belfast from India.
|Rolling Stone||(Not Rated) link|
Music critic Greil Marcus was favourably impressed with the album and wrote: "Morrison dominates each song on The Healing Game - but the word song seems much too small here. Like the rough god he sings about, Morrison is astride each incident in the music, each pause in a greater story, but often the most revealing moments—the moments that reveal the shape of a world, a point of view, an argument about life—are at the margins."
All songs by Van Morrison
- "Rough God Goes Riding" – 6:19
- "Fire in the Belly" – 6:34
- "This Weight" – 4:37
- "Waiting Game" – 5:56
- "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" – 3:53
- "Burning Ground" – 5:38
- "It Once Was My Life" – 5:10
- "Sometimes We Cry" – 5:14
- "If You Love Me" – 5:01
- "The Healing Game" – 5:16
Bonus track (2008 CD reissue)
- "At the End of the Day" – 4:32
- Van Morrison - vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
- Haji Ahkba - flugelhorn
- Robin Aspland - piano
- Phil Coulter - piano on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "At the End of the Day"
- Alec Dankworth - double bass
- Geoff Dunn - drums, percussion
- Pee Wee Ellis - soprano and baritone saxophones, background vocals
- Georgie Fame - Hammond organ, background vocals
- Leo Green - tenor saxophone, background vocals
- Matt Holland - trumpet, background vocals
- Ronnie Johnson - electric guitar
- Brian Kennedy - background vocals
- Katie Kissoon - background vocals
- Paddy Moloney - uilleann pipes, whistle on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"
- Peter O'Hanlon - dobro on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "At the End of the Day"
- Ralph Salmins - percussion
- Nicky Scott - bass guitar
- Production: Van Morrison
- Recording: Walter Samuel, Enda Walsh ("Piper at the Gates of Dawn", "At the End of the Day")
- Assistant engineering: David Slevin, Ciaran Cahill, Matthew Lawrence anad Neil Douglas
- Mixing: Walter Samuel
- Technical support: David Conroy
- Mastering: Tim Young
- Art direction and design: Matt Curtis @ Abrahams Pants
- Photography: Paul Cox
Album - UK Album Chart
|1997||UK Album Chart||10|
Album - Billboard (North America)
|1997||The Billboard 200||32|
- "Catalog Reissues by Van Morrison on Blurt Online". blurt-online.com. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
- Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p.333-336
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Van Morrison". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Marcus,When That Rough God Goes Riding, p.115
- Hinton, Brian (1997). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison, Sanctuary, ISBN 1-86074-169-X
- Marcus, Greil (2010). When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison, Public Affairs, ISBN 978-1-58648-821-5