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  • Period of Transition
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Period of Transition Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, June 3, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Import pressing of his 1977 album, long out-of-print in the US. Situated between the classic albums Irish rocker Van Morrison produced in the late 60s/early 70s (like Moondance, Astral Weeks and St. Dominic's Preview) A Period of Transistion is exactly what its title implies. Fairly brief at only 7 songs, the album actually starts out well with the burning openers 'You Gotta Make it Through This World' and 'It Fills You Up', followed by the soulful 'Kansas City'. Universal.

1. You Gotta Make It Through The World
2. It Fills You Up
3. The Eternal Kansas City
4. Joyous Sound
5. Flamingos Fly
6. Heavy Connection
7. Cold Wind In August

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1977
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Polygram Int'l
  • ASIN: B000002GNP
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on April 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Situated between the classic albums Irish rocker Van Morrison produced in the late 60s/early 70s (like "Moondance," "Astral Weeks" and St. Dominic's Preview") and the more spiritual stuff he would begin recording in the late 70's (starting with the masterpiece "Into the Music"), "A Period of Transistion" is exactly what its title implies. Fairly brief at only 7 songs, the album actually starts out well with the burning openers "You Gotta Make it Through This World" and "It Fills You Up," followed by the soulful "Kansas City."
After that, however, the album runs out of steam with the remainder mostly sounding like filler material. Van Morrison is simply too large a talent to record a true dud, and there is still enough here for ardent fans to give it a qualified recommendation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kevnm VINE VOICE on January 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I know Van fans give four and five stars to everything he's done, even the ponderous 90s stuff, and I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Van fans and fans of anything R&B should love this - trippy, soulful, cool. It's completely different and really great sounding - I think the best after the obvious classics and more original and soulful than anything in the last couple of decades. Dig it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. B. Ruth on December 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Van Morrison's most underrated album. I have no idea why so many people dislike it...I think it's wonderful. "The Eternal Kansas City" is loads of fun...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. McM on March 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
PERIOD OF TRANSITION (originally released in 1977) was Van Morrison's first album in three years, and the title is an apt description: Van Morrison's sound was in a state of change, as were his songs and subject matter.

Both Van Morrison and collaborator Dr. John have expressed their disappointment with the album - the sessions were difficult, and you can hear it in the lukewarm chemistry between Van Morrison and the band. But, while it is one of Van Morrison's weaker efforts, it has some saving graces.

There are a few strong songs here: "It Fills You Up" and "Heavy Connection" have their fans, but the two finest tracks are the two A-side singles, "The Eternal Kansas City" and "Cold Wind In August," the former working itself up to a pulsating, catchy chant, the latter a slow-burning, soulful number with some strong gospel overtones. Both are underrated gems, and the two songs were stand-outs in Van's legendary Dutch shows promoting the album.

Two other songs will seem familiar to those who own PHILOSOPHER'S STONE (a 1998 collection of outtakes): they are "Joyous Sound" and "Flamingoes Fly." The versions here are more polished and produced, but "Joyous Sound" doesn't reach the same euphoric heights as the version found on PHILOSOPHER'S STONE. "Flamingoes Fly," on the other hand, is heard here as a pleasant r&b number given a light touch of funk - very different from the slow, sparse interpretation found on PHILOSOPHER'S STONE.

Not surprisingly, PERIOD OF TRANSITION is rarely talked about or played on the radio, having faded with time. Most listeners are probably better off purchasing a few tracks from iTunes/Napster or skipping this altogether. However, for dedicated Van Morrison fans, it's worth getting a cheap, used copy. It's not a forgotten classic or a neglected masterwork, but it does have its moments.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tyler C. Gillespie on September 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I rediscovered this album the other day after having listened to it multiple times as a boy and I absolutely love it...for very subtle reasons.

This album has some very interesting, even catchy aspects to it:1) "It fill you up, it fill you up, it fill you up, yeah; 2)Choir at the beginning of The Eternal Kansas City; 3) the pop-esque Flamingos Fly. Although none of these elements detract from the nature of the album, they overshadow some of Morrison's remarkable subtleties.

A Couple of Great Examples: In TEKC, Morrison uses the choral introduction as a fantastic contrast to his soulful, hitting voice and musical timing. Secondly, it was the last track, CWIA, where I realized how brilliant Morrison utilized horns as integral but not outshining in his music. Whereas this is evident definitely in Moondance, it is perfected here.

This is a great, short album and Dr. John and Van work well. Check it out!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Emanuel on September 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The only other Van Morrison albums I've seen as roundly panned as A PERIOD OF TRANSITION (1977) are TOO LONG IN EXILE and INARTICULATE SPEECH OF THE HEART. I haven't heard either of the latter, so I can't comment on their merits (or lack thereof, as the case may be). But I have heard the former, and once again the critics (and a number of fans as well) seem to have missed the mark.

I've seldom run across a more descriptive album title - A PERIOD OF TRANSITION is just that, an intermediary record bridging the gap between Van Morrison's post-VEEDON FLEECE hiatus and 1979 masterpiece INTO THE MUSIC. Three years between albums may not seem like a long time nowadays, but from one of rock's most prolific songwriters, in the album-a-year-or-else 70s, it was almost unheard of. So when Van returned to the music scene, he did so by returning to the music that inspired him in the first place. There's little alchemical genre-bending to be found here - in fact, A PERIOD OF TRANSITION may well be the purest R&B record the Man has ever cut, a canvas not for spiritual journeys or mystical epiphanies but simmering funk and straight-up soul shoutin'. Van is in fine voice - all his late-70s albums feature amazing vocal performances - and while the backing band is no Caledonia Soul Orchestra, it's more than competent, with a fine horn section as ever and Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John at the keys and control panel. Highlights? "The Eternal Kansas City" is the key track here, a mighty song featuring a great choral introduction and excitingly uneven phrase lengths. Meanwhile "Cold Wind in August" is an arresting torch ballad, and the energetic "Flamingos Fly" and "Joyous Sound" recall the exuberance of HIS BAND & STREET CHOIR.

If you're not already a Morrison fan, A PERIOD OF TRANSITION shouldn't convert you; but if you like the more straightforward, up-tempo side of Van's personality, this disc would be well worth your consideration.
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