Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

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Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Image of the album cover
Studio album by Van Morrison
Released March 1983
Genre Celtic, jazz
Length 47:10
Label Mercury (All countries except US & Canada [Original release])
Warner Bros. (USA & Canada)
Polydor (All European & Asian reissues since 1989)
Producer Van Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Beautiful Vision
(1982)Beautiful Vision1982
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast
(1984)Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast1984
Singles from Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
  1. "Cry for Home" b/w "Summertime in England"
    Released: February 1983
  2. "Celtic Swing" b/w "Mr. Thomas"
    Released: May 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]

Inarticulate Speech of the Heart is the fourteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1983. Morrison said he arrived at the title from a Shavian saying: "that idea of communicating with as little articulation as possible, at the same time being emotionally articulate". As his last album for Warner Bros. Records, he decided to do an album of mostly instrumentals. As he explained in 1984, "Sometimes when I'm playing something, I'm just sort of humming along with it, and that's got a different vibration than an actual song. So the instrumentals just come from trying to get that form of expression, which is not the same as writing a song."[4] Although not expanded upon, of note is that a special thanks is given to L. Ron Hubbard in the liner notes. The reissued and remastered version of the album contains alternative takes of "Cry for Home" and "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2".[5]


The recording sessions took place in California, Dublin, and a series of marathon sessions at the Town House in London. Morrison played piano, guitar and saxophone on these sessions.[6] Two Irish musicians played on the album (Arty McGlynn and Davy Spillane) and overall the music had a strong Celtic colouring. Four of the songs were instrumentals.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Van Morrison.

No. Title Length
1. "Higher than the World" 3:42
2. "Connswater" 4:09
3. "River of Time" 3:02
4. "Celtic Swing" 5:03
5. "Rave On, John Donne" 5:12
6. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 1" 4:53
7. "Irish Heartbeat" 4:40
8. "The Street Only Knew Your Name" 3:36
9. "Cry for Home" 3:44
10. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2" 3:53
11. "September Night" 5:16
12. "Cry for Home" (CD bonus song, alternate take) 3:49
13. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2" (CD bonus song, alternate take) 4:48


  • Van Morrison – guitar, electric piano, alto saxophone, vocals
  • David Hayes – bass
  • Mark Isham – synthesizer, trumpet
  • John Allair – organ, electric piano
  • Pee Wee Ellis – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
  • Tom Donlinger – percussion, drums
  • Mihr Un Nisa Douglass – backing vocals
  • Stephanie Douglass – backing vocals
  • Pauline Lozana – backing vocals
  • Arty McGlynn – acoustic guitar
  • Davy SpillaneUilleann pipes, alto flute
  • Chris Michie – guitar
  • Annie Stocking – backing vocals
  • Bianca Thornton – backing vocals
  • Peter Van Hooke – drums, tambourine


Album - Billboard

Year Chart Position
1983 Pop Albums 116

Album - UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1983 UK Album Chart 24[8]



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 376-377
  5. ^ Van Morrison Official Website
  6. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence. p.377
  7. ^ Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p. 239
  8. ^ Chart Stats: Van Morrison


  • Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-542-1. 
  • Hinton, Brian (1997). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison. Sanctuary Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86074-505-8. 

External links[edit]