Domino

Album: His Band And The Street Choir (1970)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is a musical tribute to one of Van Morrison's inspirations, Fats Domino, and really an ode to American R&B music in general. Morrison was born in Belfast and influenced by singers like Domino, Ray Charles, and Jackie Wilson (the subject of his 1972 song "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)"). He moved to America in his early 20s to launch his solo career after leaving his band Them.
  • "Domino" is a wonderful word to sing, rolling off the tongue with well-placed vowels. Morrison uses it for sound more than meaning:

    Oh Domino
    Roll me over Romeo
  • Van Morrison could get petulant when asked about the meanings of his songs. "Domino" is a pretty straightforward shout-out to R&B with a title referencing Fats Domino, but he includes a few lines making it clear it's not up for debate:

    Don't want to discuss it...
    There's no argument at all


    The song is neatly summarized at the end when he sings:

    Hey Mr. DJ
    I just want to hear some rhythm and blues music
    On the radio
  • This was the lead single from Van Morrison's fourth album, His Band And The Street Choir. Like his first single, "Brown Eyed Girl," it has tremendous pop appeal and made the Top 10 in America. These are songs known to casual fans, but to the musical cognescenti, Morrison is revered for his 1968 album Astral Weeks, a hitless but highly influential album. Morrison purposefully shied away from pop music, but his hit songs were far from sell-outs - they were just a lot more scrutable and compact than most of his catalog.
  • Morrison's band for this album included two horn players: trumpet player Keith Johnson and sax player Jack Schroer, who both get a workout on "Domino." Their first horn break comes just a little over a minute into the song.
  • On this track, Morrison used lyrics from an earlier song he wrote but never recorded titled "Down the Maverick."

    "Down the Maverick" referred to a radical artists' colony started by Hervey White in Woodstock, New York, where Morrison lived for a time. The Maverick still exists today as part of the Woodstock Art Colony.
  • In his 1989 book The Heart of Rock and Soul, The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever, Dave Marsh ranks this song at #197. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA

Comments: 5

  • Akachukwu from Ago Palace Way Okota Lago StateI love the song so much
  • Carol from WoodburyTo me the song is about the protest dynamics of the 60's. An example is the domino affect of the race wars following the slaying of Martin Luther King (or the current rioting after the police slay a black man).
  • Andrewi95 from Lafayette, LaHere’s a zydeco version by Geno Delafose:
    https://youtu.be/UeiGeD1vTT0
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 27th 1970, "Domino" by Van Morrison peaked at #9 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 8th and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was track one of side one from his album "His Band and the Street Choir"; the album reached #32 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Two other songs from the album made the Top 100; "Blue Money" (#23) and "Call Me Up In Dreamland" (#95)...
    Mr. Morrison celebrated his 68th birthday four months ago on August 31st.
  • Bill from Pensacola, FlI think this song is about a man that needs to break up with someone and that doesn't want to explain it, discuss it, debate it, just forget about it and listen to the music that takes him away, Turn UP the Rythym and Blues, sing it Fats.
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