Morrison‘s true solo album, released on this day in 1968, as 1967’s “Brown Eyed Girl“-opening pop rocket Blowin’ Your Mind was released without his consent, packaged with art and track arrangements he didn’t clear, Astral Weeks was his middle-finger of a baptismal change.
A vast new canvas that the Belfast troubadour reveled in, the record combined his chase for artistic freedom with a jazz-like tapestry of impressionistic string and stand-up bass strokes, flutes dancing along xylophone flutters, topped off with sprawling stream-of-consciousness sentiments that fit the psychedelic charade of the times, but were immediately accessed as something much more spiritually legit.
There are few records that can transport without a dose of nostalgia. Morrison broke free with Astral Weeks‘ first two verses:
If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again