Van Morrison – Just Like Ways Back In The Days Of Old (Godfather Records GR760)

Just Like Ways Back In The Days Of Old (Godfather Records GR760)

Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA – October 9th, 1970

(74:42):  Intro / Gloria / Mystic Eyes, Glad Tidings, These Dreams of You, And It Stoned Me, Crazy Love, I’ve Been Working, Ballerina, Astral Weeks, Moondance, Domino, Into The Mystic, Brown Eyed Girl.  Bonus tracks, 1970 demo sessions:  You Got The Power, Bit By Bit, Coming Down To Joy

Van Morrison became a major star with the February 1970 release of Moondance.  Not only did it display mastery with various forms of music such as blues, jazz and soul, it was very accessible.  The title track, which wasn’t even released as a single until 1977, is an instant classic and remains the most performed song in the Van Morrison catalogue.  It has become his signature tune.  

Just Like Ways Back In The Days Of Old on Godfather contains the October 9th, 1970 Fillmore West recording that first surfaced in November 2010.  Morrison’s April appearance at the venue has been posted on Wolfgang’s Vault, but this recording took collectors by surprise.

It is an excellent, three dimensional stereo recording.  It is cut between many of the songs, but they’re all intact and complete. 

Morrison begins the show with a brilliant medley including “Gloria” and “Mystic Eyes.”  The hour long set is remarkable for being the first known recording of “I’ve Been Working” and to be the earliest live recordings of “Ballerina,” “Astral Weeks” and “Domino.”  And “Astral Weeks” clocks in over twelve minutes long making this the longest ever. 

Godfather include a three track demo as a bonus with “You Got The Power,” “Bit By Bit” and “Coming Down To Joy” dating from 1970.  Just Like Ways Back In The Days Of Old is an excellent title worth having.

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