|Song by Van Morrison|
|from the album Beautiful Vision|
|Label||Warner Bros. Records|
|Beautiful Vision track listing|
"Vanlose Stairway" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1982 album, Beautiful Vision. It has remained a popular concert performance throughout Morrison's career and has become one of his most played songs.
Recording and composition
Morrison wrote the song about his Danish girlfriend, Ulla Munch, from Vanløse district in Copenhagen who lived on the fourth floor of an apartment building with no lift. Clinton Heylin remarks..."he turned this mundane set of stairs in an uninspiring block of flats into a 'Stairway that reaches up to the moon/And it comes right back....to you'. Peter Mills, author of the Morrison biography Hymns to the Silence, refers to "Vanlose Stairway" as this "dark horse of a song".
The song has been performed by Morrison over seven hundred times, making it the fourth most played song at his concerts. He performed a baroque rendition of this song with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra at the 1989 Montreux Jazz Festival.
A live performance version of "Vanlose Stairway" is included on the Morrison's 1984 album, Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast. Another live version but as a medley appears on the 1994 album, A Night in San Francisco. It was remastered and released again on the 2007 compilation album, Still on Top - The Greatest Hits.
Personnel on original release
- Van Morrison - vocals
- John Allair - organ
- Tom Donlinger - drums
- Pee Wee Ellis - tenor saxophone
- Chris Hayes - guitar
- David Hayes - bass
- Mark Isham - trumpet
- Pauline Lozano - backing vocals
- Chris Michie - guitar
- Annie Stocking - backing vocals
- Bianca Thornton - backing vocals
- Barton, Laura (2011-03-31). "Hail, Hail, Rock'n'Roll". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, pp. 523-524
- Rogan, No Surrender, p.342
- Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p.371
- Janovitz, Bill. "allmusic review: Vanlose Stairway". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Top played songs". ivan.vanomatic.de. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence, p.465
- Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press ISBN 1-55652-542-7
- Rogan, Johnny (2006). Van Morrison:No Surrender, London:Vintage Books ISBN 978-0-09-943183-1