His Band and the Street Choir (lost a capella version of Van Morrison album; 1970)

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"His Band and The Street Choir" album art.

Status: Lost

Van Morrison is a famed Irish folk singer-songwriter. Known for his classic albums Moondance and Astral Weeks, Morrison is a songwriter who has undergone numerous shifts in his sound. In 1970, he began experimenting with choral arrangements. Assembling a gospel choir that he called his "street choir", Morrison recorded an album that would eventually be titled His Band and The Street Choir.

Morrison had actually intended this album to be released as an a cappella recording (meaning strictly-vocal-based music), featuring only him and his choir. After several weeks of recording, he realized that he was not able to successfully create a cappella orchestrations.[1] Morrison opted to throw out his material, and re-record the songs with a full band, hence the album title. Morrison ended up hating the extra vocal work involved with the recording process and wished he had employed his usual instrumental formula.[2]Critics strongly disagreed, loving the vocals.

Because of Morrison's dislike of the material, the original a cappella version has never surfaced. Choral enthusiasts have been left disappointed because of this, often sifting through the mountains of bootlegs available from him. To this day, the only person who has apparently heard these tapes is Morrison himself. It is not known if he still holds copies of the original a cappella recordings.


  1. Rogan, Johnny (2006), Van Morrison: No Surrender, London: Vintage Books, p. 257. ISBN 978-0-09-943183-1
  2. Heylin, Clinton (2003), Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, London: Viking, pp. 239, 520. ISBN 978-0-670-89321-8

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