Monday, 30 July 2018

Van Morrison - The Best Of Van Morrison Volume One


Firstly, it is somewhat surprising that there is a "Best Of" for an artist like Van Morrison, as he doesn't really have hit singles, so the "greatest hits" market is not really catered for here.

Furthermore, while this is an excellent compilation, and serves as an excellent introduction to Van Morrison’s often uplifting, inspirational for the layman, there is problem in that it includes none of his truly outstanding extended, lengthy compositions. Can a “Best of Van Morrison” really not include “Madame George”, “Tupelo Honey”, “St. Dominic’s Preview”, “Take It Where You Find It”, “And The Healing Has Begun” or “Daring Night” to name just a few? Oh, and I forgot “Listen To The Lion”, “Rave On John Donne” and “Summertime In England”!

What it does include, however, is three superb Them R’n’B tracks from the sixties - “Gloria”, “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Here Comes The Night”. There is also the marvellous solo sixties hit “Brown Eyed Girl”. Other popular tracks from slightly more recent albums are “Bright Side Of The Road” from the late seventies and “Have I Told You Lately” from the late eighties.

The catchy and appealing duet with Cliff Richard, “Wherever God Shines His Light” is here, and there is a vision of the evocative “Wonderful Remark” (although the extended, superior version is to be found on ”The Philosopher’s Stone” compilation of rarities). Personal favourites are the soulful “Queen Of The Slipstream”, the jazzy “Dweller On The Threshold” and “Did Ye Get Healed”. The autobiographical tale of his younger days “Cleaning Windows” is lively, funky and fun. Then there is the tranquil, rustic soul of “Warm Love”, the Celtic Soul of “Wild Night” and “Domino”. I could go on and name them all. They are all good, and if you want to dip into the music of this great, seminal artist, this makes a fine start.


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