50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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Van Morrison, 'Blowin' Your Mind!'
Van Morrison, 'Blowin' Your Mind!'36/50

Van Morrison, 'Blowin' Your Mind!'

Van Morrison's well-known distaste for the record business starts here. Fresh from leaving the Belfast band Them, he spent three days in a New York studio with producer Bert Berns in search of a hit single. When the cantina-heat lust of "Brown Eyed Girl" went Top 10 that summer (after he and Berns put it through 22 takes), Berns rushed out this eight-song quickie from the sessions, infuriating Morrison. But it catches him in heated, searching form, halfway between his demon bark on Them's "Gloria" and the Celtic-dream soul of 1968's Astral Weeks. (Later issues of the Bang tracks revealed early stabs at that album's "Beside You" and "Madame George.") The real mind-blower here is "T.B. Sheets," which crystallizes Morrison's roots and future in nine minutes of slow-burn blues and brutal honesty.

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