A favourite album is a beguiling thing. Maybe it soundtracked the best or got you through the worst time in your life. Maybe you've been listening since it was first released or heard it decades after. Maybe it was handed down the generations or you discovered it all by yourself. Maybe you can explain why you like it or can't put it into words. Whatever the reason, your relationship with the record can change over time - months or years of not listening followed by passionate rediscovery, different circumstances giving it a different meaning, hearing it in a different way than you used to. It's your journey, and you carry the songs with you in the way that's best for you.

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The best live albums should work in two ways: they should be another dimension of the source material while being strong enough to have a life of their own, and they should make you bring something new back to the original the next time you listen. It's rare you get both; you do here. And if 'Astral Weeks' is your favourite, your smile will be as wide as the man's on the cover.

Recorded at shows last November - the 40th anniversary of the release of the classic and the first time it was played in its entirety - '... Live at the Hollywood Bowl' has the magic in all the places it should be, whether you're a devotee or new arrival. 'Madame George', 'Sweet Thing', 'Beside You' - everything sparkles, the crowd's joy is infectious and the desire to get out your copy of what was created in 1968 or buy it for the first time grows by the minute. Age - yours, his, theirs - has added even more to these tracks and as companions for times past, now and further down the road, you couldn't find better.

These were special nights for songs that have given millions their share of special nights - here's hoping there are a lot more to come.

Harry Guerin