Van Morrison: The Authorized Bang Collection (Legacy)
Van Morrison’s solo career began with a mid-size American label called Bang. Relations were contentious; he left as soon as he could but left behind one of the great singles in rock history, “Brown Eyed Girl” (1967). Bits and chunks of Morrison’s recordings for the label have been issued in the half century since, but The Authorized Bang Collection gathers every scrap: disc three is entitled “Contractual Obligation Session” and consists of covers and much goofing around in the studio. The set includes all of the original period releases plus everything else—like 11 earlier takes of “Brown Eyed Girl.” Indispensable for Morrison fans, but casual listeners will stick with disc one, which showcases Morrison as a young, vibrant performer who already had sorted out his influences and found his voice.