Keep It Simple
Keep It Simple is the thirty-third solo studio album recorded by Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. It was released on 17 March 2008 (see 2008 in music) by Exile Productions Ltd./Polydor in the UK and on the Lost Highway Records label on 1 April 2008, in the U.S.. His previous studio album Pay the Devil was also released on the Lost Highway label, in March 2006. The album debuted at No. 10 on the US, UK and Canada charts and No. 7 on European Top 100 Albums. This album achieved Morrison's highest ranking in US charts.
|Keep It Simple|
|Studio album by|
|Released||UK 17 March 2008|
US 1 April 2008
|Genre||Jazz, folk, blues, Celtic, country, soul, gospel|
|Van Morrison chronology|
This is the first studio album of all new original material since his 1999 album Back on Top. Other albums released since then have contained some cover songs. The May 2005 album, Magic Time, was composed of ten originals and three cover songs.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4 on 10 March 2008, Morrison spoke of his inspiration for the songs on the album: "It's got elements of blues, folk, gospel - all my influences . . . Curtis Mayfield. It's got a lot of inspiration from various things I was inspired by out there, but it comes out like a new album."
In one of the songs, "That's Entrainment", Morrison says he has explained his approach to the music on the album. In his words:
- Entrainment is when you connect with the music. . . . Entrainment is really what I'm getting at in the music. . . . It's kind of when you're in the present moment - you're here - with no past or future.
"That's Entrainment" was played for the first time, at the beginning of the second hour, on Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show on Wednesday, 30 January 2008, with Evans commenting: "The new Van Morrison album came with a shoot-to-kill warning if played before a certain date, but that's now been lifted so we can play it."
Morrison announced a short United States tour to promote the album with appearances in Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee (at the Ryman Auditorium); Boston, Massachusetts; and in New York City, starting on 11 March 2008. During this tour, he also performed at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference and festival on 12 March 2008.
In the U.K. on 15 March, a concert performance of Morrison performing all of the songs from the album was broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
Morrison gave an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today show in the morning on 10 March 2008 and an hour long interview on the Paul Jones show at BBC Two Radio the same evening.
On its first week of release the album reached number ten on the U.S. charts, which is Morrison's highest placement ever in the U.S. His sixth solo album, Saint Dominic's Preview, charted at #15 in 1972.
"There's a certain grace to Van's stripped-back band and as always he evokes images of sorrow and anguish but with such beauty and warmth that you can't help but smile when you hear them." Mat Strowbridge/inthenews.co.uk
"Typically the band settles into a groove while Morrison lifts off into the trancelike realm he calls 'entrainment'." Anthony Decurtis, Rolling Stone
All songs by Van Morrison
- "How Can a Poor Boy?" - 5:43
- "School of Hard Knocks" - 3:44
- "That's Entrainment" - 4:32
- "Don't Go to Nightclubs Anymore" - 4:31
- "Lover Come Back" - 5:15
- "Keep It Simple" - 3:34
- "End of the Land" - 3:16
- "Song of Home" - 4:13
- "No Thing" - 4:31
- "Soul" - 3:37
- "Behind the Ritual" - 6:59
iTunes Bonus Track
(available UK week of 17 March 2008 and U.S. on 1 April 2008)
- "Little Village" - 6:11 (Live) (Album Only)
Vinyl Bonus Tracks
- "Blue & Green" - 5:52 (Live)
- "Little Village" - 6:11 (Live)
- "And The Healing Has Begun" - 7:11 (Live)
Recorded live in concert at the Blackpool Opera House (UK) 26 January 2008
- Van Morrison - vocals, piano, alto saxophone, acoustic guitar, ukulele ("That's Entertainment," "Keep It Simple," "Behind the Ritual")
- John Platania - guitar
- Mick Green - guitar
- Ned Edwards - guitar, harmonica, backing vocals
- Sarah Jory - steel guitar, banjo ("Song of Home", "Don't go to Nightcubs Anymore")
- Cindy Cashdollar - steel guitar ("No Thing", "Lover Come Back")
- Paul Moore - bass
- David Hayes - bass ("No Thing", "Lover Come Back", "End of the Land")
- Geraint Watkins - piano, accordion ("Soul", "Keep It Simple", "School of Hard Knocks")
- John Allair - organ
- Liam Bradley- percussion
- Tony Fitzgibbon - fiddle ("How Can a Poor Boy?")
- Neal Wilkinson - drums
- Crawford Bell - acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Katie Kissoon - backing vocals ("Lover Come Back", "End of the Land", "No Thing")
- Karen Hamill - backing vocals
- Margo Buchanan - backing vocals ("How Can a Poor Boy?", "Don't go to Nightcubs Anymore", "Song of Home")
- Stevie Lange - backing vocals ("How Can a Poor Boy?", "Don't go to Nightcubs Anymore", "Song of Home")
- Jerome Rimson - backing vocals ("School of Hard Knocks", "Soul", "Behind the Ritual")
- Mastered by Tim Young at Metropolis Mastering
- Design by Jon Gilbert@Angelfire
- Photograph of Van Morrison by Patrick Baird
|UK Albums Chart||10|
|U.S. Billboard 200||10|
|U.S. Billboard Top Internet Albums||2|
|Canada Top 100||10|
|European Top 100 Albums||8|
|Norway Albums Top 40||7|
|Swedish Albums Top 60||11|
|Irish Albums Chart||12|
|German Albums Top 50||12|
|Dutch Albums Top 100||12|
|New Zealand Top 40 Albums||15|
|Italy Top Album Chart||32|
- "Van Morrison speaks about new blues - inspired album". MOB. 10 March 2008. Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- Matwychuk, Paul (31 March 2008). "The Musicgoer: Van Morrison's Keep It Simple". mgoer.blogspot.com. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- Van Morrison's Keep It Simple to be released by Lost Highway
- "Chris Evans Drivetime". Retrieved 31 January 2008.
- [http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/M/Morrison_Van/ConcertReviews/2008/ 03/14/pf-5002231.html South by Southwest Music Festival] Review: Sun Media
- SXSW Review: Van Morrison austin360.com
- BBC Radio 2 Music -Van Morrison
- BBC Radio 4
- Paul Jones Monday 1900-2000
- Music Club presents Van Morrison live and exclusive
- Clark Collis (28 March 2008). "Keep It Simple Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Van Morrison: Keep It Simple". Inthenews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Shelley, Jim (14 March 2008). "Review: Van Morrison - Keep It Simple". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Heaton, Dave. "Van Morrison: Keep It Simple < PopMatters". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- DeCurtis, Anthony (3 April 2008). "Keep It Simple by Van Morrison". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Van Morrison: Keep It Simple". thestar.com. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Van's just a simple guy | The Sun |Showbiz|Something For The Weekend". The Sun. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Martin, Gavin. "Van Morrison: Keep It Simple - Review". Uncut. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "Strait speeds past R.E.M. to debut at No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Morrison Hits US Top Ten". Uncut. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- Review: inthenews.co.uk
- Review: Rolling Stone Magazine
- WorldWide Charts
- US Charts
- Top Internet Albums