Five decades ago, an agitated 21-year-old Van Morrison recorded 31 original songs about missing royalty checks and ringworm, intended to fulfill the terms of what he judged to be an onerous record deal. Those 1967 recordings, known colloquially as the Contractual Obligation Session, were un-releasable by design: One track late in the running order is titled "Freaky If You Got This Far. " The Contractual Obligation Session was the first of many real and imagined revenges that Morrison would exact on the music industry over his storied career.
Van Morrison's newest studio album, Latest Record Project, has a witty titling convention similar to that of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. But the likeness ends there, as Morrison's "project" has none of the charm of the movie and boasts a bloated two-hour running time to boot. Morrison apparently has a few things to get off his chest in spite of already releasing a string of "anti-lockdown" songs during the COVID-19 pandemic.