Van Morrison Dave Schulps - Essay

Dave Schulps

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Roy Wood and Van Morrison can be called two of rock's true eccentric geniuses, the success of whose careers have never quite matched the brilliance they displayed when properly motivated….

The titles of their respective new albums, however, suggest a renewed enthusiasm on the part of both Wood and Morrison, who have both experienced qualitative, if not quantitative, flops during the past few years…. In both cases, there are flashes of greatness exhibited, but neither of these albums sustains them long enough to qualify as an all-around success.

Of the two, Morrison's [Into the Music], surprisingly, is the stronger, probably his best studio LP of the last five years in terms of coherence and enthusiasm. Morrison seems to have entered a period of intense love, and this LP seems a paean to that love—which on the strength of the lyrics would seem to point to not only emotional and physical fulfillment, but spiritual as well…. [If] Morrison's songs were a bit stronger, if the tendency toward plodding repetition were curbed, if the emotion that goes into a six-minute song were to be compressed into three minutes, Into the Music would indeed have been a stunner. Instead, it's about half a great album, which, I suppose, is better than none.

Dave Schulps, "Records: 'Into the Music'," in Trouser Press (copyright © 1979 by Trans-Oceanic Trouser Press, Inc.), Vol. 6, No. 10, November, 1979, p. 36.