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  • The Best of Van Morrison Volume 2
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The Best of Van Morrison Volume 2

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Audio CD, March 9, 1993
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$21.03 $4.66

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Editorial Reviews

Compiled by Morrison himself, this 1993 collection focuses mainly on his work from 1984-1991. Representing a period during which Morrison scored very few popular hits, the majority of the record's 15 tracks are probably fairly obscure to people other than diehard fans. Nevertheless, this is a vital introduction to Morrison's later, more idiosyncratic material. Many of the songs are marked by an intense, spiritual longing and deal on a very mature level with Morrison's quest for religious fulfillment. For instance, "Real Real Gone" (from 1990's Enlightenment) and "In the Garden" (from 1986's No Guru, No Method, No Teacher) play like an inspired hybrid of gospel and Irish folk music. Somewhat inexplicably, Morrison also includes two songs from his mid-'60s group Them, a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Don't Look Back" and a cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now Baby Blue." --Ian Landau

1. Real Real Gone
2. When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God
3. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
4. In The Garden
5. Sense Of Wonder
6. I'll Tell Me Ma
7. Coney Island
8. Enlightenment
9. Rave On, John Donne/Rave On Pt. 2 - (Live)
10. Don't Look Back
11. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
12. One Irish Rover
13. The Mystery
14. Hymns To The Silence
15. Evening Meditation

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: March 9, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000001E0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,988 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Townsend on July 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Wonderful music from Van "the Man" - and I agree with other reviews that it does provide an excellent introduction to Van's music from the 1ate 1970's - 1980's period. I loved his volume one greatest hits, but of the two, I actually prefer to listen to Voume 2. "Real Real Gone" is a great track, much like some of the more famous hits from Volume 1 and I do like the two songs from "Them" but it is Van's mystical, spiritual music on this album that I rate as Van's very best stuff. "Coney Island's" calming music provides a background for Van's prose and this is a delight no matter how many times it is played. This song is followed by the wonderful "Enlightment" - from the opening chords that remind me of the dawning of a new day to the end of this song, we hear beautiful music and the yearnings of a poet in search of the meanings of life. "Rave on John Donne/Rave on Part Two" captures Van live at the gran Opera House in Belfast - great song. I like all of the tracks on this album, and the fact that I haven't heard them so much through the years is actually a plus (Brown-Eyed Girl was one of my favorite songs as a teenager, but I have heard it SOOOO many times, you know?) Highly recommended.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on January 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The first Van Morrison "Best of" album was truly worthy of the name, containing a smapling of songs from all across his long and varied career. "Volume 2," however, is a bit more problematic. With the exception of two songs, it is entirely made up of Morrison's material from the 1980s and early 90s. The other two songs are cover tracks from his mid-1960s stint with the band Them, and his cover of Bob Dylan's "Its All Over Now, Baby Blue" is quite stirring. Lost in the translation, however, are additional cuts from Morrison's best period, starting with the album "Astral Weeks" in 1968 and ending with "Into the Music" a decade later. His classic albums from theat period were represented by only one or two songs on the first "Best of" volume, which left out a wealth of material. Alas, none of the leftovers appear on this disc.
What is on this CD are the best songs from Morrison's gospel period, and some of the lyrics tend to get a tad on the preachy side. That doesn't mean that the music isn't good, however. In fact, if you own most of the albums from Van Morrison's classic period and few of his later efforts (as I suspect many fans do) this album will serve you nicely.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with the music that is included here, it's just that the title might lead you to expect something different.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By pig whisperer on March 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
WARNING: the music that Morrison played in the 1980's is different from his 70's music. Fans of that period may not like this period as much. Personally, I prefer his 80's albums (and hate the 90's stuff)

This compilation is an overview of Morrison's music with his new record company from 1984 to 1991. His previous 1980's Warner Brothers albums - Common One, Beautiful Vision and Inarticulate Speech of the Heart - aren't represented here (the best tracks from these underrated albums would make a cool compilation).

This isn't really a 'best of' album as it misses radio friendly songs like 'Tore Down A La Rimbaud', 'Ivory Tower', Youth of 1,000 Summers' and 'Someone Like You'. Also, four songs from this period are on Best Of Vol. 1. (which is a very poorly sequenced compilation of brilliant songs - for every great song another deserving song is missing).

This wonderful collection, with songs selected by Morrison himself (a maximum of 2 songs from each album), has only a few minor mistakes that are easily fixed with the CD player programme mode.

The first 5 songs are great and the sequencing is perfect. The sixth song, 'I'll Tell Me Ma' from Irish Heartbeat - his Irish album -seems out of place. After the 2 previous slower songs an uptempo song is needed, but a jaunty Irish jig isn't it. The next song, track seven, the poetic 'Cony Island', also doesn't fit. Here, the song is sequenced close to two other 'poetry pieces' - track five 'A Sense of Wonder' and track nine 'Rave on John Donne'. Perhaps it's too much poetry in too short a time frame. Because of this the track doesn't shine like it did on the Avalon Sunset album where it seems *much* prettier. On the original tape of Best Of 2 this song was at the end of side 1.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on October 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What this album lacks in cohesion is compensated for by its charming stylistic variety. The two cover versions Don't Look Back and It's All Over Now Baby Blue stand out because they do not overtly reflect Morrison's contemplative side and they date from an earlier era, but they are beautiful and moving too.
The other songs are music of deep spiritual yearning in various styles. These include the catchy pop of Real Real Gone, the spoken poetry and social commentary of Rave On John Donne, the poignant childhood reminiscing of Coney Island, the gentle, evocative strains of Sense Of Wonder and the engaging gospel sounds of Hymns To The Silence.
I would have also expected to find the track Be Thou My Vision from the Hymns album here, as it is a passionately numinous listening experience but the artist was the compiler and this selection is his personal choice.
The fact that these tracks are relatively obscure only enhances the listening experience, proving that some of Van's least commercially successful work has grown in stature down the years and that his output has been consistently excellent.
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