Van Morrison

Still on Top: The Greatest Hits

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There are 21 cuts on this Hip-O collection of Van Morrison's Greatest Hits. The interesting thing is that of these 21 cuts, only about half of them will be recognizable to the casual Van Morrison fan, as they come from his Bang sides and the far more popular Warner Brothers singles of the early '70s. As it should be, although there is one glaring omission: "Tupelo Honey" is absent from the song list. The rest may not have been greatest hits in America, but they do represent a fine -- if arguable -- selection of the material from the late '70s, '80s, and '90s. "Dweller on the Threshold" is here (though it sounds like an alternate take!) There is a bona fide alternate take of "The Healing Game" that sounds more like a well-executed demo and has plenty of Celtic soul. "Someone Like You" is here, as is "Wavelength," and some tunes that deserved far better than they got: "Tore Down à la Rimbaud," "Real Real Gone," "Bright Side of the Road," "Days Like This," and "Stranded." The early tunes are immediately recognizable, from "Brown Eyed Girl," "Gloria," "Here Comes the Night," "Domino," "Moondance," "Wild Night," and "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven)." In sum, as far as the many repackaged greatest hits, this is one of the better ones as it is cross-licensed and contains a true evolutionary portrait of the artist on a journey that certainly winds and turns back on itself even as it moves forward. This is a good one with fine sound.

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