September 7, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 75: Van Morrison ~ Hard Nose the Highway

Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape box cover
album cover art: Rob Springett
photo by Styrous®


In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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Hard Nose the Highway is the seventh studio album by Northern Irish, singer-songwriter, Van Morrison, released in 1973 on the Warner Bros. label.  It is his first solo album to contain songs not written by Morrison. A cover version of the song Bein' Green, usually associated with Kermit the Frog is included, and a take of the traditional song "Purple Heather".



Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape box back
album art: Rob Springett
photo by Styrous®

The title song, Hard Nose the Highway, is explained by Morrison as: "the theme running through the whole song is 'Seen some hard times' which I have 'Drawn some fine lines' which I definitely have, and 'No time for shoe shines' when you're trying to make a living

Snow in San Anselmo is the opening song and features the backing vocals of the Oakland Symphony Chamber Chorus. Morrison says the song is, "just a sketch on when it snowed in San Anselmo." 

Warm Love was released as a successful single and was also a favorite concert performance in the 70s. It featured the catchy line, "and it's ever present everywhere, Warm Love."



Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
album art: Rob Springett
detail photo by Styrous®


Wild Children is actually about the post-war children growing up in other countries and getting their images—from American anti-heroes such as those portrayed by James Dean, Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger and playwright Tennessee Williams. 

The Great Deception is, according to biographer, Richie Yorke: "One of the most stinging indictments from any observer, let alone a rock artist, of the tragic hypocrisy of so many participants in the sub-culture, in particular the big-time rock stars of this era.



Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
album art: Rob Springett
detail photo by Styrous®



Being Green is the first non-original composition Morrison had included on any album for Warner Bros. so far and was taken from the popular American children's TV show, Sesame Street, which he must have watched with his young daughter, Shana. He says about his interpretation of the song, "That was just a statement that you don't have to be flamboyant. If somebody doesn't like you just because you're a certain thing, then maybe they're seeing the wrong thing."




Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

A reviewer said about the ten and a half minute Autumn Song: "I can't deny that it's the funkiest song about the splendors and moods of fall that has ever glided through my ears.




Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®


The ending song, Purple Heather is the traditional Wild Mountain Thyme written by Francis McPeake as a variant of Robert Tannahill's The Braes of Balquhidder, and re-arranged by Morrison.




Van Morrison, ~ Hard Nose the Highway
reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®


Track listing:

All songs written by Van Morrison, unless otherwise noted.

Side one:

1 - Snow in San Anselmo - 4:33
2 - Warm Love - 3:22
3 - Hard Nose the Highway - 5:12
4 - Wild Children - 4:19
5 - The Great Deception - 4:50

Side two:

1 - Bein' Green (Joe Raposo) - 4:20
2 - Autumn Song - 10:34
3 - Purple Heather (Traditional) - 5:42

Personnel:

    Van Morrison – acoustic guitar, vocals
    Jack Schroertenor, alto, baritone and soprano saxophones
    Jules Broussard – tenor saxophone, flute
    Joseph Ellis – trumpet on "Hard Nose the Highway" and "Bein' Green"
    Bill Atwoodtrumpet
    Nathan Rubin – violin
    Zaven Melikian – violin
    Nancy Ellis – viola
    Theresa "Terry" Adams – cello
    John Tenney – violin
    Michael Gerling – violin
    Jef Labespiano
    John Plataniaguitar
    David Hayesbass
    Gary Mallabervibraphone, drums
    Rick Shlosserdrums
    Marty David – bass on "Warm Love", "Hard Nose the Highway" and "Autumn Song"
    Jackie De Shannon – backing vocals on "Warm Love" and "Hard Nose the Highway"
    Oakland Symphony Chamber Chorus on "Snow in San Anselmo"
    SPIRIT, MORALE AND LAUGHTER – Ed Fletcher (alias Iversen)

Production
:

    Producer: Van Morrison
    Engineers: Neil Schwartz, Jim Stern
    Arrangers: Van Morrison, Jef Labes (strings), Jack Schroer, (horns)
    Album Cover Art: Rob Springett

Warner Bros. Records  - WST 2712-C

1973


Van Morrison Music on YouTube:
 



Van Morrison ~ Hard Nose the Highway, reel-to-reel tape is for sale on eBay 

reel-to-reel tapes on eBay





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