Blowin' Your Mind! is the debut studio album by Northern Irish musician Van Morrison, released in 1967. It was recorded 28–29 March 1967 and contained his first solo pop hit "Brown Eyed Girl". It was included by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 Essential Albums of 1967.[3]

Blowin' Your Mind!
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1967
Recorded28–29 March 1967
GenreRock, R&B, blue-eyed soul, blues
ProducerBert Berns
Van Morrison chronology
Blowin' Your Mind!
Astral Weeks
Singles from Blowin' Your Mind!
  1. "Brown Eyed Girl" b/w "Goodbye Baby"
  2. "Ro Ro Rosey" b/w "Chick-A-Boom"
  3. "Spanish Rose" b/w "Midnight Special"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Tom HullA[2]

Recording and release history edit

Morrison does not regard this record as a true album, as Bert Berns compiled and released it without his consent. A few months previously, Morrison had carelessly signed a contract that he had not fully studied and it stipulated that he would surrender virtually all control of the material he would record with Bang Records. The songs were recorded in March 1967 and had been intended to be released on four separate singles. The album jacket became notorious as a model of bad taste, a perception shared widely by Morrison himself. It featured a strange swirl of circling brown vines (and drug connotation) surrounding a sweaty looking Morrison. Greil Marcus described it as a "monstrously offensive, super psychedelic far out out-of-sight exploding" design.[4] Morrison's then-wife, Janet Planet, said "He never has been, never will be anything approaching a psychedelic user – wants nothing to do with it, wants nothing to do with any drug of any kind".[5] As the singer recalls, "I got a call saying it was an album coming out and this is the cover. And I saw the cover and I almost threw up, you know."[6] Later, after Berns' death, Morrison would express his displeasure on a couple of "nonsense songs" he included on the contractual obligation recording session. One was titled "Blow in Your Nose," and another was titled "Nose in Your Blow."[7]

Songs and reviews edit

Of the eight songs on the album, all were composed by Morrison except "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" and the last song, "Midnight Special". Clinton Heylin contends that the first side of the album "makes for one of the great single-sided albums in rock",[5] whereas Greil Marcus, the album's most hostile critic, found it "painfully boring, made up of three sweet minutes of 'Brown Eyed Girl' and... the sprawling, sensation-dulling 'T.B. Sheets'".[8] "He Ain't Give You None" is an urban tale of "lust, jealousy and sexual disgust." It references Notting Hill Gate and Curzon Street in London, England, places Morrison would have been familiar with when he lived there during his earlier touring days. It contains the words, "You can leave now if you don't like what is happening." Brian Hinton compares "the delighted contempt of the singer, the song's graveyard pace, the stately organ and stinging guitar" to the Highway 61 period of Bob Dylan.[9]

Reception edit

Allmusic gave the album a 3-star rating and wrote that "Although Van Morrison's first solo album is remembered for containing the immortal pop hit "Brown Eyed Girl," Blowin' Your Mind! is actually a dry run for his masterpiece, Astral Weeks."[1]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Van Morrison, except where noted

Side One
1."Brown Eyed Girl"3:03
2."He Ain't Give You None"5:13
3."T.B. Sheets"9:44
Side Two
1."Spanish Rose" 3:06
2."Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)"Wes Farrell, Bert Russell2:57
3."Ro Ro Rosey" 3:03
4."Who Drove the Red Sports Car?" 5:35
5."Midnight Special"Traditional; arranged by Bert Berns2:51
1994 CD reissue bonus tracks (alternate takes)
9."Spanish Rose"3:38
10."Ro Ro Rosey"3:09
11."Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)"2:39
12."Who Drove the Red Sports Car?"3:49
13."Midnight Special"2:46

Personnel edit

  • Vic Anesini – mastering
  • Brooks Arthur – engineer
  • Bert Berns – arranger, director, producer, liner notes
  • Adam Block – project director
  • Bob Irwin – liner notes, reissue producer
  • John Jackson – project director
  • Garry Sherman – actual arranger, conductor, musical supervisor
  • Rodriguez of Los Angeles - cover photography

Charts edit

Album edit


Year Chart Position
1967 Pop Albums 182

Singles edit


Year Single Chart Position
1967 "Brown Eyed Girl" Pop Singles 10

References edit

  1. ^ a b Allmusic review
  2. ^ Hull, Tom (June 2016). "Rhapsody Streamnotes (June 2016)". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "40 Essential Albums of 1967". Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  4. ^ Hinton. 1997. p78
  5. ^ a b Heylin. 2003. p158
  6. ^ Rogan. 2006. p204
  7. ^ "Van Morrison Millennium Collection". Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  8. ^ Hinton. 1997. p79
  9. ^ Hinton. 1997. p80

Sources edit

External edit