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The Best of Van Morrison Import, Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, July 14, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Import pressing of this ace collection now deleted in the US! Van Morrison has boldly followed his own musical path since the '60s and this compilation proves that he has the talent to match his own vision. From the early days with Them ('Gloria') through his critically successful solo career ('Moondance', 'Brown Eyed Girl', 'Have I Told You Lately'), he remains one of the most beloved and influential artists in modern music, 20 tracks total, also including 'Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)', 'Domino', 'Here Comes The Night' and more. Universal. * Please note this version is not remastered.

Van Morrison reputedly wasn't crazy about the idea of a greatest-hits package, and this set's haphazard programming--which leaps from period to period, style to style, tossing in two key singles by his mid-'60s band Them--speaks to his lack of involvement. Still, it rivals Moondance as Morrison's most popular album, and for a reason: like that classic, it offers one deeply soulful, spiritually and musically thoughtful track after another. Much of his more "difficult" work is ignored here; in fact, Best of... gives us an intriguing picture of a Van who's almost eager to please. --Rickey Wright

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bright Side Of The Road
  2. Gloria
  3. Moondance
  4. Baby Please Don't Go
  5. Have I Told You Lately
  6. Brown Eyed Girl
  7. Sweet Thing
  8. Sweet Thing
  9. Warm Love
  10. Wonderful Remark
  11. Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)
  12. Full Force Gale
  13. And It Stoned Me
  14. Here Comes The Night
  15. Domino
  16. Did Ye Get Healed
  17. Wild Night
  18. Cleaning Windows
  19. Whenever God Shines His Light
  20. Queen Of The Slipstream
  21. Dweller On The Threshold

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 14, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000009DDJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,539 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fabio Silva on February 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This was my first Van Morrison CD, and it turned me into a fan. As an introduction to his work, it's unbeatable, and one of the best "best of" out there. Now that I have other Van CDs, it's obvious that Into The Mystic and Tupelo Honey (two of the best songs ever from any artist) should have been included here. However, if you want to get to know the music of Van The Man, Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance, Gloria, Have I Told You Lately, Sweet Thing, Whenever God Shines His Light and Wild Night, to name a few, will give you a good idea. One last note: regarding the "censored" Brown Eyed Girl debate... I have the American version of this CD, and though the lyrics in the liner notes do not include the "making love on the green grass" line, the song on the CD does.
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Format: Audio CD
Van Morrison is an absolutely amazing individual who has performed in a huge array of styles in his decades as a musician and singer. That array of mixed styles is probably the largest flaw in this collection. A much better Van Morrison collection would need to be a boxed set dividing his music into styles: soul, R&B, pop, funk, and rock, though even those styles are perhaps less than inclusive and in some cases it may be difficult to determine where a particular song fits, rather than aiming for a retrospective on a single disk.

Another problem with this CD is the flow of the music. There seems to be no pattern to how the music is laid out, either in terms of era or style. Essentially the CD seems disorganized, as though someone had put the songs they wanted to include on the CD into a hat and started choosing them one at a time. I have read that Van Morrison wanted nothing to do with this CD, and I think the end result explains why.

Possibly the remaining concern is that the music selected is the most popular of Van Morrison's work. I understand the need to have some measure of commercial value in the release of a greatest hits or best of collection, but such a collection tends to pass over some of the better music of many artists. Once again, a boxed set could present some of Van Morrison's artistically excellent music that was less commercially successful. Of course, the fans most interested in that kind of music likely already have it on the albums, but why not represent the true scope of an artist?

Getting past my issues with the organization of the music, this CD is perhaps the best single CD collection of Van Morrison available, explaining the four star rating. Some of the songs I had forgotten, or perhaps never knew, were Van Morrison's.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very nice compilation of songs from a musical genius who really can not have his career summed up in one compact disc. But, if you must have only one in your collection, this should be it. It cantains some of Morrison's popular songs from his very early days with "Them" and many fo his later hits when he went solo. This was one of the first compact discs I purchased many years ago (in a collection of 350+ now) and it is still one of my favorites. It should be in any music fan's collection.
Note: The early edition I have DOES have the edited version of Brown Eyed Girl (my favorite song) and this caused me to purchase another collection which has the original version (Van Morrison - Band Masters on Sony's Epic label). The people that say that there is an edited earlier version of this cd are in fact correct, and it is true in the case of the music and printed lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
This release, which provides an overview of Van's career from 1964-1990, was probably compiled with a minimal amount of effort. There are no rare tracks or compelling liner notes included with this selection as there are on many greatest hits CD's. The selection of songs is a bit erratic and misses a couple of obvious choices, among them "Tupelo Honey". There are probably reasons for this. When this disc was released the rights to several of the songs were controlled by different record companies. Becuase of this Van fans could not obtain any sort of comprehensive offering of his songs. So while this CD solved that problem, it created others. First issue, which isn't huge, is that the collection does not flow well. We get 4 key tracks from the 1960's ("Baby Please Don't Go"; "Gloria"; "Here Comes The Night"; and "Brown Eyed Girl") but they are randomly mixed in with his material from the 1970's and 1980's. Also, it would have been a nice touch to include a couple more songs from the early Warner Brothers period (1968-74), including some of the B-sides or out-takes that have yet to make it on CD (some examples of the songs were contained on the "Philospoher's Stone" double-CD, but others continue to be unavailable). Van has had such a productive and multi-faceted career that it is hard to gather the highlights in some kind of logical order, but it can be done with care (as it was on the double-CD anthology "The Story Of Them Featuring Van Morrison"). Some record labels have released several greatest hits packages for one artist, but for Van this is only compilation to be had, and for all of its flaws it will have to do until something better comes along.
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