For his forthcoming 35th studio album, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue, Van Morrison is offering new takes on some of his lesser-known tracks going back to 1970’s “Lord, If I Ever Needed Someone.” “Irish Heartbeat,” the new recording of which can be heard below, originally appeared on Morrison’s 1983 Inarticulate Speech of the Heart and was previously reworked – stripped down slightly – for the 1988 Irish Heartbeat LP, a collaboration with the Chieftans. A decade later, the song received new life when it was included in Janeane Garofalo romantic comedy The Matchmaker.
The Duets version features Mark Knopfler and is perhaps the most straightforward yet, pushing the singers’ voices to the front and making the lyrics clearer than ever. In an accompanying interview, Morrison is asked if he expected Knopfler to play on such a traditional song. “I did and I didn’t,” the singer responds. “It didn’t surprise me that much because he’s done stuff in that style.”
Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue will be released on March 23rd and can be pre-ordered here. Its first single, “Real Real Gone,” featured vocals from Michael Bublé, and other tracks include artists like Steve Winwood, Bobby Womack, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Natalie Cole and George Benson.