Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Departed

I went to see "The Departed" a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. More than I thought I would, as a matter of fact, since, after seeing "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator," I had begun to believe that Martin Scorsese had lost his ability to tell a story.
However, that's not the reason I'm posting about it. About half way through the movie, I heard a Van Morrison song I didn't recognize. That surprised me, because I thought I knew Van Morrison's oeuvre inside and out. When I got home I checked out the soundtrack and discovered it was a version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," which Morrison had sung as part of an all star ensemble when Roger Waters played "The Wall" live in Berlin in 1990.
I'm not a big Pink Floyd fan, especially from "Dark Side of the Moon" onward. I don't think I'd ever heard "Comfortably Numb" before and I only listened to their version to compare it to Morrison's. However, listening to Van Morrison sing it, I am reminded of: a) how good a singer he is, and b), how much of a difference a great singer can mean to a song. There is so much natural drama in Morrison's voice he invests this fairly lugubrious song with passion and tension and actually makes it dynamic.
Roger Waters Band Featuring Van Morrison - Comfortably Numb