Archives For Van Morrison


“Van Morrison Has a Lot of
The Holy Ghost in Him”

A Review of
When That Rough God Goes Riding:
Listening To Van Morrison

By Greil Marcus.

Reviewed by Ken Carter.

When That Rough God Goes Riding:
Listening To Van Morrison

Greil Marcus.

Hardback: Public Affairs, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

WHEN THAT ROUGH GOD... Greil MarcusThis is someone who can abandon himself,” Elvis Costello once observed;  “for a Protestant from East Belfast, Van Morrison has a lot of the Holy Ghost in him.”   Greil Marcus, one of our more astute and unconventional cultural critics, has written a reflection on Morrison’s abandonment to this art,   a journey that  has at times been astonishingly successful, and at others, Marcus insists,  utterly forgettable.  The title When That Rough God Goes Riding is taken from the first selection on Morrison’s The Healing Game (1997, and also based on a line from W. B. Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming.” Less a biography than a deeply personal guide to listening, or an extensive set of liner notes, a medium that matched the album but not the mp3,  Marcus  first succeeds by simply moving the reader to discover again the tapes, albums and compact discs that span thirty plus recorded works over forty years.

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