Almost Independence Day
|"Almost Independence Day"|
|Song by Van Morrison from the album Saint Dominic's Preview|
|Genre||Folk rock, R&B|
|Label||Warner Bros. Records|
|Producer(s)||Ted Templeman, Van Morrison|
|Saint Dominic's Preview track listing|
"Almost Independence Day" is the closing song on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison's 1972 album Saint Dominic's Preview. The song is ten minutes long and features Morrison trading guitar licks with Ron Elliott.
Recording and composition
"Almost Independence Day" was recorded during the late winter and spring sessions at the Wally Heider Studios and/or the Pacific High Studios, San Francisco, California for Saint Dominic's Preview in 1972.
The song is written in a stream of consciousness style of writing and was recorded live except for one high part on a moog synthesizer (played by Bernie Krause of "Space Odyssey" with the Byrds fame). Morrison said he had "asked Krause to do this thing of Chinatown and then come in with the high part because I was thinking of dragons and fireworks." It has been said to be a sequel to "Madame George", although Morrison has said that was not his concept.
In a 1984 interview, Morrison recalls that he took a cue for the first line from the following incident:
I picked up the phone and the operator said, "You have a phone call from Oregon. It's Mister So-and-So." It was a guy from the group Them. And then there was nobody on the other end. So out of that I started writing, "I can hear Them calling, 'way from Oregon." That's where that came from.
Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden wrote in 1972: "Structurally akin to "Listen to the Lion", it duets Van and Ron Elliott on 12-string and 6-string guitar and effectively uses the Moog as a sort of foghorn bass. Grandly opening with references to the Stones' "Moonlight Mile", the body of the song is an incantatory montage of simple portentous phrases repeated over and over with varying emotional emphasis...As in "Listen to the Lion", the structure of the song is metamorphic, taking the form of a rising and subsiding wave."
- Van Morrison: twelve string guitar, vocal
- Lee Charlton: drums
- Ron Elliott: acoustic guitar
- Bernie Krause: moog synthesizer
- Mark Naftalin: piano, moog synthesizer
- Leroy Vinnegar: bass
- Hinton. Celtic Crossroads, p. 143
- Heylin. Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 520
- Yorke. Into the Music, p. 97
- Flanagan.Written in My Soul, p. 373-84.
- Holden, Stephen (1972-08-31). "Van Morrison: Saint Dominic's Preview". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Flanagan, Bill (1986). Written In My Soul. Contemporary Books, Inc. ISBN 0-8092-5153-1.
- Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence?, Chicago Review Press ISBN 1-55652-542-7
- Hinton, Brian (2000). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison, Sanctuary, ISBN 1-86074-169-X
- Yorke, Ritchie (1975). Into The Music, London:Charisma Books, ISBN 0-85947-013-X