The Best of Van Morrison

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The Best of Van Morrison
Greatest hits album by Van Morrison
Released January 1990 (1990-01)
Length 75:54
Label Polydor
Producer Bert Berns, Lewis Merenstein, Van Morrison, Dick Rowe, Ted Templeman
Van Morrison chronology
Avalon Sunset
The Best of Van Morrison

The Best of Van Morrison is a compilation album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1990 by Polydor Records. It compiles songs spanning 25 years of his recording career. The album was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the best-selling records of the 1990s and helping revive Morrison's mainstream popularity. Its success encouraged him to release a second and third greatest hits volume in 1993 and 2007, respectively. The album remains Morrison's best-seller.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[2]
Q 5/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[4]
The Village Voice A[5]

The Best of Van Morrison was Morrison's first greatest hits album and featured songs that were compiled from 25 years of material.[6] including "Wonderful Remark", a song which first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1983 film The King of Comedy.[1] The album became one of the best-selling records of the 1990s, spending a year and a half on the UK charts,[6] helping Morrison regain his commercial popularity during the decade.[7] It also debuted at number one in Australia on the ARIA Albums Chart.[8] In the United States, the album never reached the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 but remained on the chart for more than four-and-a-half years.[9] In 2002, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having shipped four million copies in the US.[10] Morrison was reluctant at first to have a greatest hits album released, although its success encouraged him to personally select tracks for the second and third volumes in 1993 and 2007, respectively.[11] According to Andrew Gilstrap from PopMatters:

As the story goes, Van Morrison wanted nothing to do with his first greatest hits collection ... He probably warmed up to the idea, though, after the sales figures started pouring in—year after year after year.[11]

The Best of Van Morrison was acclaimed by critics from Goldmine and Q magazine, who called it essential.[3] In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said although the songs are not sequenced chronologically, the album flows as a unified and "spiritually enlightened" work that also reflects the compilers "upbeat market savvy". He took note of the seven songs from Morrison's music in the 1980s, particularly "Wonderful Remark", writing that they live up to the standards of his 1970s albums Moondance (1970) and Into the Music (1979).[5] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine viewed the record as an exceptional compilation and a perfect sampler of Morrison's music, which is made to "seem a little more immediate and accessible than it usually is" on his studio albums.[1] The Best of Van Morrison remains his best-selling release.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Van Morrison, except where noted.

  1. "Bright Side of the Road" – 3:45
  2. "Gloria" – 2:37
  3. "Moondance" – 4:31
  4. "Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams) – 3:03
  5. "Have I Told You Lately" – 4:18
  6. "Brown Eyed Girl" – 3:03 - The mono single edit
  7. "Sweet Thing" – 4:22
  8. "Warm Love" – 3:21
  9. "Wonderful Remark" – 3:58
  10. "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" – 2:57
  11. "Full Force Gale" – 3:12
  12. "And It Stoned Me" – 4:30
  13. "Here Comes the Night" (Bert Berns) – 2:46
  14. "Domino" – 3:08
  15. "Did Ye Get Healed?" – 4:06
  16. "Wild Night" – 3:31
  17. "Cleaning Windows" – 4:42
  18. "Whenever God Shines His Light" (duet with Cliff Richard) – 4:54
  19. "Queen of the Slipstream" – 4:53
  20. "Dweller on the Threshold" (Morrison, Hugh Murphy) – 4:47
  • The 1998 Australian/New Zealand re-release of the album also includes "Days Like This" (3:13) as the seventh track, for a total of 21 tracks.[citation needed]
  • In 1998, the album was remastered and re-released, this time with the original stereo album version of "Brown-Eyed Girl".[citation needed]


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[13]


Year Chart Position
1990 Australian ARIA Albums Chart[8] 1

Album - UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1990 UK Album Chart[14] 4

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1990 The Billboard 200[1] 41


  1. ^ a b c d Allmusic review
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0195313739. 
  3. ^ a b "Best Of Van Morrison CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Van Morrison". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 559. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (25 December) (New York). Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Heylin, Can You Feel The Silence, p. 437
  7. ^ DiMartino, Dave (1994). Singer-Songwriters: Pop Music's Performer-Composers from A to Zevon. Billboard Books. p. 163. ISBN 0823076296. 
  8. ^ a b "The Best of Van Morrison". Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  9. ^ "Van Morrison on the Billboard 200". Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "RIAA – Searchable Database: Van Morrison". Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Gilstrap, Andrew (26 June 2007). "Van Morrison: The Best of Van Morrison". PopMatters. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bio
  13. ^ Anon. (1990). The Best of Van Morrison (CD booklet). Van Morrison. Polydor Records. 841 970-2. 
  14. ^ Chart Stats: Van Morrison


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Cuts Both Ways by Gloria Estefan
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
19 August - 8 September 1990
Succeeded by
Two Fires by Jimmy Barnes