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Van Morrison - Still On Top: The Greatest Hits

Van Morrison, Still on Top

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

MORE than 40 years since bursting out of Belfast with Them, Van Morrison continues to be one of the most prolific recording artists working today.

Whether putting out albums that reflect his favourite influences, or touring extensively (he had another full schedule this summer), Van Morrison is a tireless artist who continues to inspire and engage new generations of fans and artists alike.

Given the wealth of tracks he has written and recorded, it’s little wonder there have been plenty of best of… compilations but the latest Still On Top – The Greatest Hits is arguably one of the most definitive so far.

Boasting 37 classic tracks across three CDs, the release effectively chronicles Van’s incredible journey so far, while demonstrating how they all remain true to his mantra: “It’s always been about soul.”

The playlist includes musical milestones from five decades of recording, including – for the first time on a Greatest Hits collection – his most recent songs from the 90s and new millennium.

Among these gems are 1995’s Days Like This, an alternative version of 1997’s Healing Game and two memorable releases from 2005: Celtic New Year and Stranded.

There are, of course, plenty of old favourites that continue to appeal to listeners of every age – from the utterly timeless and continually enchanting Brown Eyed Girl (a Saturday night fave), and the effervescent Jackie Wilson Said.

Sir Cliff Richard features on Whenever God Shines His Light and contrasts nicely with Morrison’s grittier style, while highlights from the 70s include Domino and Warm Love.

Among those selected from the 80s, meanwhile, are the romantic ballad Someone Like You (one of many Van songs borrowed by the big screen, in this case for Bridget Jones’ Diary) and the sing-along favourite Have I Told You Lately?.

According to the All Music Guide Van Morrison is “one of popular music’s true innovators, a restless seeker whose incantatory vocals and alchemical fusion of R&B, jazz, blues and Celtic folk produce perhaps the most spiritually transcendent body of work in the rock ‘n’ roll canon”.

But why read up when listening and finding out for yourself is so much more fun? Still On Top is a must-own collection of classic songs from one of music’s ever present greats.

Track listing:
Disc 1

  1. Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)
  2. Dweller On The Threshold
  3. Whenever God Shines His Light
  4. Moondance
  5. Bright Side Of The Road
  6. Brown Eyed Girl
  7. Wavelength
  8. Crazy Love
  9. Someone Like You
  10. When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God
  11. Tore Down A La Rimbaud
  12. Wild Night
  13. Gloria
  14. Real Real Gone
  15. Into The Mystic
  16. In The Garden
  17. Saint Dominic’s Preview
  18. Stranded

Disc 2

  1. Precious Time
  2. Domino
  3. Here Comes The Night
  4. Little Village
  5. And It Stoned Me
  6. Days Like This
  7. Have I Told You Lately?
  8. Cleaning Windows
  9. Baby Please Don’t Go
  10. Back On Top
  11. Vanlose Stairway
  12. Celtic New Year
  13. Irish Heartbeat
  14. The Healing Game (alternative version)
  15. Full Force Gale
  16. Warm Love
  17. Did Ye Get Healed
  18. Tupelo Honey
  19. Wonderful Remark

Limited edition CD3

  1. Hey Mr DJ
  2. In The Forest
  3. Queen Of The Slipstream
  4. Rave On John Donne
  5. Hymns To The Silence
  6. Crazy Jane On God
  7. Rough God Goes Riding
  8. Steal My Heart Away
  9. One Irish Rover
  10. Listen To The Lion
  11. Street Of Arklow
  12. The Beauty Of The Days Gone By
  13. Take It Where You Find It
  14. Coney Island

  1. 51 tracks….. not 37.

    euan    Nov 7    #
  2. All very well but how can a collection that claims to be the greatest hits be that if there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, from his masterpiece Astral Weeks!

    Richard    Nov 13    #