Cyprus Avenue

Cyprus Avenue (Van Morrison)

  • 18 Aug 14:39
  • 3 lists

"Cyprus Avenue" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1968 album Astral Weeks. In performance it was a concert highlight and closer for years to come and would end with Morrison's command, "It's too late to stop now!" as he stalked from the stage. A dynamic 10 minute version with the usual stop-start ending was included on his 1974 live album, It's Too Late To Stop Now.

Built on a basic blues structure with an unusual arrangement, the song was recorded at the Astral Weeks sessions on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studio with Lewis Merenstein as producer. The strings and harpsichord were overdubbed a month later.

Calling it the central song of the album, Allmusic described it as "a chamber-music hybrid of folk-blues, jazz, and classical music, and over it Morrison sings a meditative memory lyric about his adolescence in Belfast, Northern Ireland." On the Astral Weeks recording, Morrison's vocals are backed by his acoustic guitar, Richard Davis on acoustic bass with flute, harpsichord and strings as the other instruments.

In Van Morrison's words, "Cyprus Avenue" is about: "a street in Belfast, a place where there's a lot of...

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