Van Morrison / The Authorised Bang Collection / 3CD anthology

Sony’s Legacy Recordings will issue The Authorized Bang Collection, a comprehensive anthology chronicling Van Morrison‘s musical output in 1967 during his short association with US hit-making label Bang Records.

Bang was the New York label formed in 1965 by producer/composer Bert Berns (he wrote Under The Boardwalk and Twist And Shout, amongst others). Berns had been working in-house at Atlantic Records and named the new label after the first initials of himself and his Atlantic colleagues: Ahmet Ertegün, Nesuhi Ertegün and Gerald (Jerry) Wexler.

Bert Berns had persuaded Van Morrison to record for his new label, although Morrison was never happy with the terms and was apparently not consulted when Berns put out the one and only Bang album – 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind!

Much of this music has been out before in some form or another, but as the title of this new set suggests, this is an authorised collection which brings everything together.

The first disc in this three-CD package, ‘The Original Masters‘, presents 17 tracks produced by Berns, including original stereo mixes of recordings appearing on CD for the first time as well as a trio of mono mixes (Beside You, Madame George and Chick-A-Boom).

‘Bang Sessions & Rarities’ is CD number two and includes the original edited mono single mix of Brown Eyed Girl and the original mono single mix with backing vocals for Ro Ro Rosey. This disc includes 13 alternate takes of early Morrison compositions including more variants of Brown Eyed Girl.

The final CD is this archival reissue is the much-bootlegged Contractual Obligation Session. Included (almost apologetically) “for the sake of completeness”these thirty-one short songs became known as the ‘revenge’ songs – Morrison’s way out of his Bang obligations before he headed to Warner Bros. Records. Bert Berns had died (aged only 38) at this point and Morrison was in dispute with his widow.

Andrew Sandoval (who compiled this set) has penned in-depth notes and Morrison himself contributes some thoughts, noting, “Bert Berns was a genius. He was a brilliant songwriter and he had a lot of soul, which you don’t find nowadays.”

The Authorized Bang Collection is attractively priced and is released on 28 April 2017.

Disc One – The Original Masters:

  1. Brown Eyed Girl [original stereo mix]
  2. He Ain’t Give You None [original stereo mix]
  3. T.B. Sheets [original stereo mix]
  4. Spanish Rose [original stereo mix]
  5. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) [original stereo mix]
  6. Ro Ro Rosey [original stereo mix]
  7. Who Drove The Red Sports Car [original stereo mix]
  8. Midnight Special [original stereo mix]
  9. It’s All Right [original stereo mix]
  10. Send Your Mind [original stereo mix]
  11. The Smile You Smile [original stereo mix]
  12. The Back Room [original stereo mix] (5:26)
  13. Joe Harper Saturday Morning [original stereo mix] (2:55)
  14. Beside You [original mono mix]
  15. Madame George [original mono mix]
  16. Chick-A-Boom [original mono mix]
  17. The Smile You Smile [demo]

Disc Two – Bang Sessions & Rarities:

  1. Brown Eyed Girl [original edited mono single mix]
  2. Ro Ro Rosey [original mono single mix with backing vocals]
  3. T.B. Sheets [Take 2] *
  4. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) [Takes 10 & 11] *
  5. Send Your Mind [Take 3] *
  6. Midnight Special [Take 7]
  7. He Ain’t Give You None (Take 4)
  8. Ro Ro Rosey [Take 2] *
  9. Who Drove The Red Sports Car (Take 6)
  10. Beside You [Take 2] *
  11. Joe Harper Saturday Morning [Take 2] *
  12. Beside You [Take 5] *
  13. Spanish Rose [Take 14] (4:23) *
  14. Brown Eyed Girl [Takes 1-6] *
  15. Brown Eyed Girl [Takes 7-11] *

*Previously Unissued

Discs One & Two: All songs Produced & Directed by Bert Berns

Disc Three – Contractual Obligation Session:

  1. Twist And Shake
  2. Shake And Roll
  3. Stomp And Scream
  4. Scream And Holler
  5. Jump And Thump
  6. Drivin’ Wheel
  7. Just Ball
  8. Shake It Mable
  9. Hold On George
  10. The Big Royalty Check
  11. Ring Worm
  12. Savoy Hollywood
  13. Freaky If You Got This Far
  14. Up Your Mind
  15. Thirty Two
  16. All The Bits
  17. You Say France And I Whistle
  18. Blowin’ Your Nose
  19. Nose In Your Blow
  20. La Mambo
  21. Go For Yourself
  22. Want A Danish
  23. Here Comes Dumb George
  24. Chickee Coo
  25. Do It
  26. Hang On Groovy
  27. Goodbye George
  28. Dum Dum George
  29. Walk And Talk
  30. The Wobble
  31. Wobble And Ball

Previously Unissued

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discovered the existence of this yesterday whilst looking for information on the musicians and production of “Brown Eyed Girl”.. always wanted to know how this perfect piece of pop counterpoint came together.. and no surprises to learn that producer and all session musicians involved are of top pedigree. Not having heard any bootlegs before i’m going to savour it all.


Paul, the HMV link takes you nowhere. I also can’t find the album on the HMV site.

John Moore

Excellent news and a real no brainer for any Van fan- more to come as the artist is involved!

David M

I have a 2 disc version that includes pretty much all of this. Not including alternate takes, but including the nonsense on disc 3. I can’t believe Van has approved this, bit I guess if he’s finally getting money from this then he could be on board. Some of these tracks are probably in the list of most reissued ever. A very uninspiring release when you look at the rest of his magical back catalogue.


I’ve never bought any of the dubious releases of these so have never heard the ‘Contractual Obligation’ tunes. I’m happy to get this for the first two discs and have the third as a bonus that I will most likely listen to once.

As far as Van having no say in this goes. I’d have thought that, as he’s currently signed to Sony/Legacy he most likely does. And if he hasn’t, it doesn’t bode well for any future back catalogue releases on that label.


Yes. I keep seeing that quote but I was never certain if it was a quote specifically for this release or a random Van quote from years ago.


Its on the official Van website. And not a ‘don’t buy this’ to be seen. I guess it really does have his blessing.


I love that the Contractual Obligation Session is being released officially. Those who want it can finally have it in an un-dodgy form, and those who don’t can leave it on the shelf with the other countless discs they don’t play.


Was hoping for St Dominics Preview so this is a surprise. Anyone know if this collection is remastered? I have the gold CD of Blowin Your Mind which sounds great to my ears and has sort of ticked the box for this era for me. Still tempted though…


A little bit of overreaction here? First, you get this for the price of a 2-CD edition, second, it would be rather odd to release the Bang session without the famous session, and third think of Metal Machine Music. You don’t have to like it, but why dispute it’s release? And forth, ahem, not a single completist here? I bought a lot of more questionable records…

Charles K.

Well said.


“almost apologetically” Paul? They should apologise profusely because those tracks are woeful. A 2 CD version at 95% of the price would be better value.

We are not in the area of completists. We are barrel-scraping here. Van should hang his head in shame to put his name to this cynical exercise of his from nearly 50 years ago.

Love Van, by the way!


Van has no legal control over that stage of his career.

Edward Bates

As far as I remember, he didn’t want Moondance to be re-isseued (you can correct me if I’m wrong). It looks like he has no say in these Bang recordings either especially as they seem to be re-released every year in some way or another.

Charles K.

This will be a nice addition after the Them compilation a while back. Hopefully the albums post Choir will continue to be re-released now!

Steady State

Just a warning for the few who don’t know.. the Contract Breaking Sessions tracks are terrible in a primarily boring way — a few vocal digs aside. So if you want to get this, don’t get too excited about the third disc. That said, I’m quite shocked this is being released at all officially.


I’m wondering if Brown Eyed Girl was ever recorded with it’s original title.