Van Morrison – Still On Top: The Greatest Hits

Van Morrison – Still On Top: The Greatest Hits / 2007 Hip-O / 21 Tracks / http://www.vanmorrison.co.uk / http://www.hip-o.com /

There have been a number of greatest hits albums put out covering some stages of Van Morrison’s career, but there never has been one that has had a complete grasp on eir career. I first was introduced to the “Greatest Hits” aspect of Van Morrison through the release of the third volume of Van Morrison’s Greatest Hits (which dealt with all of Van Morrison’s soundtrack-related releases, which seemed to have a large number of songs that even a steady fan of Van Morrison’s would have trouble remembering. While this disc sacrifices a little bit of specificity that period-based greatest hits albums have, individuals that are casual fans of Van Morrison are much more apt to know all (or a majority) of the tracks on this CD. This means that tracks such as “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Gloria”, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” and “Days Like This” are all present, without having to resort to live or remixed versions of the recordings.

This album is needed because the 1990 Greatest Hits album – “The Best of Van Morrison” – has been out of print for a few years. While there are some exclusions – “Tupelo Honey”, “Blue Money” and “Into The Mystic” are three noticeable exceptions – individuals will have well over an hour of the hits that Van Morrison originally rose into prominence with. Hopefully this Greatest Hits album will be the end of these compilation albums for Van Morrison and mark a closing of one chapter of eir career, which can then lead to the creation of new music by this master of pop. It’s nearing on three years since the release of “Stranded”, so hopefully things are joining together and a new album will be on the horizon. If a friend or a member of your family mentions about how they liked “Brown Eyed Girl” and wishes out loud that they had a Van Morrison album – pick this disc up. A single album is simply unable to show the variation of styles and approaches that Van Morrison has taken over the years. If they are a completist, this album may be something that can be skipped – there just is not enough in the way of new material that individuals can sink their teeth into. It’s nice that the unity of a number of record labels has allowed this release to be made, but it’s about time that new Van Morrison releases are doled out to the music listening public.

Top Tracks: Moondance, Crazy Love

Rating: 6.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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