I blame myself. For more than a decade, I ignored Van Morrison’s The Healing Game, always tuning in instead to other albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, Veedon Fleece, Beautiful Vision and Back On Top. Let’s face it, Morrison is prolific, and keeping up with his catalog can be challenging. But challenges bring rewards, and I’m happy to discover this unheralded record so many years on.
The Healing Game is really a duet album, as Morrison’s vocals are echoed throughout by singer Brian Kennedy. This may turn some listeners off, but I like the mix of the voices and the atmosphere it creates. Top tunes include “Rough God Goes Riding,” “Waiting Game” and “Piper At The Gates Of Dawn,” but my favorite moment is near the end of the title track when Morrison unleashes a primal scream over the lyric “Sing a healing game!” Nobody does it like Van.