Michael Brooks (Classic Vinyl column, January 31) asked Gazette readers for their views on Van Morrison's album Astral Weeks. Emperor’s clothes? Humbug?

I, too, listened again, the first time for years. It is magical. Poetry and unique folk roots jazz. Pentangle had a go but stayed earth bound in comparison.

1968 was an anarchic revolutionary year, full of magical possibilities, Motown, the Beatles and the Stones. Astral Weeks was the spiritual soundtrack. Here is a track by track appreciation, influenced by a couple of mind-altering Cumbrian local ales.

1. In the slipstream, we are from the heavens, will you kissa my eyes... to be born again, in another time, another place. Pure optimistic acoustic delicacy.

2. A minor tentative but affirmative key; breathe in/breathe out, turn around/ beside you, to never wonder why, oh child, beside you.

3. I will drink the clean water, never grow so old again, sweet thing - guitar, flute, strings and fresh air.

4. Cyprus Avenue, an enigma, but the interplay of double bass and jazzy violin is sublime.

5. The way we wanted to be, The Way Young Lovers Do - with brass. And trumpet!

6. Three bar bliss, drinking wine, sweet perfume, cigarettes and matches, that’s when you fall through a trance... Madame George, again. Dry your eyes. Love to love.

7. The show must go on, step right up, Justalikea Ballerina! Keep on pushin', steppin' lightly...James Brown gliding past Rydal up to Loughrigg. (That's the ale talking...)

8. You've gone, I know now you're dying and I know you know it too. Lyrics for our own space and soul music of its time, but timeless.

Pretentious twaddle or artistic and spiritual landmark? I think it really is classic vinyl.

Incidentally, I enjoyed Michael's review of Richard Hawley’s Coles Corner the week before.

Chris Scott (aged 19 in 1968)