Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Van Morrison - The Best Of Van Morrison Volume Two

  

This is an odd compilation. It is certainly no “greatest hits” mix. It covers mainly work from the mid eighties/early nineties and some of the songs included are relatively low-key in comparison to those that could have been chosen - “Motherless Child” and “When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God” are two examples - both meditative and calm, heavy with spiritual meaning. Similarly, the sleepy instrumental “Evening Meditation” and the title track from “Hymns To The Silence” are hardly tracks that would be recognised by many. Indeed, there are so many better ones from “Hymns” that could have been chosen.

Two sixties songs from Them are here, though, “Don’t Look Back” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, which are good to hear. Also the Irish knees-up of “I’ll Tell Me Ma”. The short recitation of “Coney Island” is an appealing oddity.

I owe this album a fair amount, however, because it helped me get into Morrison’s work from this period when I bought it back in the early nineties. It prompted me to buy all those great albums.
So, if you know a bit about Van Morrison and want to get into his peaceful, spiritual side, you can pick this up for next to nothing these days. Oh, and “In The Garden” is on it, making it worth it for that magnificent track alone. “Enlightenment”, “A Sense Of Wonder” and the horn-driven Celtic soul of “Real, Real Gone” are great too.

B-

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