Hymns to the Silence

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For the book, see Hymns to the Silence (book).
Hymns to the Silence
Hymns to the Silence.jpg
Studio album by Van Morrison
Released 1991


Wool Hall Studios Beckington, Townhouse, London, Westside Studios, London, Pavilion Studios, London
Genre Christian rock, Celtic, Folk rock
Length 94:53
Label Polydor
Producer Van Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Hymns to the Silence
The Best of Van Morrison Volume Two
Singles from Hymns to the Silence
  1. "I Can't Stop Loving You" b/w "All Saints Day"
    Released: May 1991
  2. "Why Must I Always Explain?" b/w "So Complicated"
    Released: September 1991

Hymns to the Silence is the twenty-first studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1991. It peaked at No. 5 in the UK. It was his first ever studio double album.

Recording and composition[edit]

The album of songs was recorded during sessions at Wool Hall Studios, Beckington, Townhouse, London and Westside Studios, London with Mick Glossop as engineer, except for the song "Take Me Back". It was recorded in 1990 at Pavilion Studios in London with Martin Hayles and Mick Glossop as engineers.[1]

The songs on the album were primarily concerning two themes, the singer's uneasy relationship with the music business and a nostalgic yearning for his youth in Belfast. "Why Must I Always Explain?" was set to the same melody as 1970s "Tupelo Honey".[2] There were two hymns. "Be Thou My Vision" and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee". "Take Me Back", "On Hyndford Street" and "See Me Through Part II" were remembrances of his seemingly carefree childhood but "Hyndford Street" also referred more specifically to spiritual feelings in the words, "Feeling wondrous and lit up inside/With a sense of everlasting life". The song, "Carrying a Torch" was also included on Tom Jones's album by the same name, along with three other Morrison compositions from "Hymns to the Silence".[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
Entertainment Weekly A[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]

In a review for Time, Jay Cocks says that: "Hymns focuses and redefines Morrison's themes over his long career, rather like a museum retrospective already in progress. It dips deep into autobiography, spiritual speculation and blues mythology for its themes."[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Van Morrison unless noted.

Disc one[edit]

  1. "Professional Jealousy" – 3:42
  2. "I'm Not Feeling It Anymore" – 6:34
  3. "Ordinary Life" – 3:29
  4. "Some Peace of Mind" – 6:24
  5. "So Complicated" – 3:18
  6. "I Can't Stop Loving You" - (Gibson) – 3:54 (With The Chieftains)
  7. "Why Must I Always Explain?" – 3:50
  8. "Village Idiot" – 3:13
  9. "See Me Through, Pt. 2 (Just a Closer Walk with Thee)" - (Traditional) – 3:10
  10. "Take Me Back" – 9:11

Disc two[edit]

  1. "By His Grace" – 2:34
  2. "All Saints Day" – 2:28
  3. "Hymns to the Silence" – 9:42
  4. "On Hyndford Street" – 5:17
  5. "Be Thou My Vision" - (Traditional) – 3:49 (With The Chieftains)
  6. "Carrying a Torch" – 4:26
  7. "Green Mansions" – 3:38
  8. "Pagan Streams" – 3:38
  9. "Quality Street" - (Morrison, Rebennack) – 3:57
  10. "It Must Be You" – 4:08
  11. "I Need Your Kind of Loving" – 4:31



Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1991 The Billboard 200 99

Album - UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1991 UK Album Chart 5


  1. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 526
  2. ^ Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p 302
  3. ^ Turner, It's Too Late to Stop Now, p.170
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Robert Christgau review
  6. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  7. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (October 1991). "New LPs: Van Morrison Hymns to the Silence". Q. p. 98. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ Jay Cocks (1991-10-28). "Listen to the Lion". time.com. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 


External links[edit]