Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child - Van Morrison, Traditional
In the Garden
A Sense of Wonder
I'll Tell Me Ma - Van Morrison, Traditional
Rave on John Donne/Rave On, Part 2 [Live]
Don't Look Back - Van Morrison, Hooker, John Lee
It's All over Now, Baby Blue - Van Morrison, Dylan, Bob
One Irish Rover
Hymns to the Silence
Evening Meditation [Instrumental]
Compiled by Morrison himself, this 1993 collection focuses mainly on his work from 1984-1991. Representing a period during which Morrison scored very few popular hits, the majority of the record's 15 tracks are probably fa... more »irly obscure to people other than diehard fans. Nevertheless, this is a vital introduction to Morrison's later, more idiosyncratic material. Many of the songs are marked by an intense, spiritual longing and deal on a very mature level with Morrison's quest for religious fulfillment. For instance, "Real Real Gone" (from 1990's Enlightenment) and "In the Garden" (from 1986's No Guru, No Method, No Teacher) play like an inspired hybrid of gospel and Irish folk music. Somewhat inexplicably, Morrison also includes two songs from his mid-'60s group Them, a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Don't Look Back" and a cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now Baby Blue." --Ian Landau« less
Compiled by Morrison himself, this 1993 collection focuses mainly on his work from 1984-1991. Representing a period during which Morrison scored very few popular hits, the majority of the record's 15 tracks are probably fairly obscure to people other than diehard fans. Nevertheless, this is a vital introduction to Morrison's later, more idiosyncratic material. Many of the songs are marked by an intense, spiritual longing and deal on a very mature level with Morrison's quest for religious fulfillment. For instance, "Real Real Gone" (from 1990's Enlightenment) and "In the Garden" (from 1986's No Guru, No Method, No Teacher) play like an inspired hybrid of gospel and Irish folk music. Somewhat inexplicably, Morrison also includes two songs from his mid-'60s group Them, a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Don't Look Back" and a cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now Baby Blue." --Ian Landau
"The first Van Morrison "Best of" album was truly worthy of the name, containing a smapling of songs from all across his long and varied career. "Volume 2," however, is a bit more problematic. With the exception of two songs, it is entirely made up of Morrison's material from the 1980s and early 90s. The other two songs are cover tracks from his mid-1960s stint with the band Them, and his cover of Bob Dylan's "Its All Over Now, Baby Blue" is quite stirring. Lost in the translation, however, are additional cuts from Morrison's best period, starting with the album "Astral Weeks" in 1968 and ending with "Into the Music" a decade later. His classic albums from theat period were represented by only one or two songs on the first "Best of" volume, which left out a wealth of material. Alas, none of the leftovers appear on this disc.What is on this CD are the best songs from Morrison's gospel period, and some of the lyrics tend to get a tad on the preachy side. That doesn't mean that the music isn't good, however. In fact, if you own most of the albums from Van Morrison's classic period and few of his later efforts (as I suspect many fans do) this album will serve you nicely. Overall, there is nothing wrong with the music that is included here, it's just that the title might lead you to expect something different."
Volume 2 is mostly a "magical mystical tour"
Joseph Townsend | Hattiesburg, Ms. USA | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful music from Van "the Man" - and I agree with other reviews that it does provide an excellent introduction to Van's music from the 1ate 1970's - 1980's period. I loved his volume one greatest hits, but of the two, I actually prefer to listen to Voume 2. "Real Real Gone" is a great track, much like some of the more famous hits from Volume 1 and I do like the two songs from "Them" but it is Van's mystical, spiritual music on this album that I rate as Van's very best stuff. "Coney Island's" calming music provides a background for Van's prose and this is a delight no matter how many times it is played. This song is followed by the wonderful "Enlightment" - from the opening chords that remind me of the dawning of a new day to the end of this song, we hear beautiful music and the yearnings of a poet in search of the meanings of life. "Rave on John Donne/Rave on Part Two" captures Van live at the gran Opera House in Belfast - great song. I like all of the tracks on this album, and the fact that I haven't heard them so much through the years is actually a plus (Brown-Eyed Girl was one of my favorite songs as a teenager, but I have heard it SOOOO many times, you know?) Highly recommended."
This is a great album
pig whisperer | Coquitlam, British Columbia Canada | 03/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
WARNING: the music that Morrison played in the 1980's is different from his 70's music. Fans of that period may not like this period as much. Personally, I prefer his 80's albums (and hate the 90's stuff)
This compilation is an overview of Morrison's music with his new record company from 1984 to 1991. His previous 1980's Warner Brothers albums - Common One, Beautiful Vision and Inarticulate Speech of the Heart - aren't represented here (the best tracks from these underrated albums would make a cool compilation).
This isn't really a 'best of' album as it misses radio friendly songs like 'Tore Down A La Rimbaud', 'Ivory Tower', Youth of 1,000 Summers' and 'Someone Like You'. Also, four songs from this period are on Best Of Vol. 1. (which is a very poorly sequenced compilation of brilliant songs - for every great song another deserving song is missing).
This wonderful collection, with songs selected by Morrison himself (a maximum of 2 songs from each album), has only a few minor mistakes that are easily fixed with the CD player programme mode.
The first 5 songs are great and the sequencing is perfect. The sixth song, 'I'll Tell Me Ma' from Irish Heartbeat - his Irish album -seems out of place. After the 2 previous slower songs an uptempo song is needed, but a jaunty Irish jig isn't it. The next song, track seven, the poetic 'Cony Island', also doesn't fit. Here, the song is sequenced close to two other 'poetry pieces' - track five 'A Sense of Wonder' and track nine 'Rave on John Donne'. Perhaps it's too much poetry in too short a time frame. Because of this the track doesn't shine like it did on the Avalon Sunset album where it seems *much* prettier. On the original tape of Best Of 2 this song was at the end of side 1. Now it's just stuck in the middle of the disc.
The next 2 songs are great, especially the live and extended version of 'Rave On John Donne'; he may flub a line and his sax solo isn't the best (I an not a big fan of his sax SOUND) but the band is great and, after he introduces them, I wish the song went on longer.
Next up is the other mistake: 2 songs from his band Them. These are cover versions, aren't compatable with the rest of the allbums sound and aren't among the band's, or his, best work.
The remainder of the album is great. The song 'One Irish Rover' was a revelation to me. It's from his No Guru, No Method, No Teacher album. I must have listened to side one of that album the most (think vinyl) or didn't appreciate the song because it was burried at the end of that long album, but in the context of Best Of Vol. 2 it really shines and seems a much more powerful song.
The song 'Hymns To The Silence' is worth the price of admission and justifies this purchase. The style and sound of that song fits in perfectly with the other songs on this collection. The original album of the same name is a 2 disc collection of gospel,blues and jazz that I really dislike (God knows, I've tried to like it). Personally, I think that Hyms To The Silence is the only GREAT song on that entire double album. Get it here and save the cost of a double CD.
The last song on the album, 'Evening Meditation' is really nice, but it sounds better on the original album as track 3 and not burried at the end of an album as it is here. Side 1 of A Sense Of Wonder is one of my favorite Morrison sides because it was the first Morrison album (think vinyl) I ever bought.
To summarize, when I put on this disc I edit out tracks 6&7 and 10&11; all of the tracks fall into place perfedtly. If I want to hear more at the end I don't play 'Evening Meditation' and put on side 1 of A Sense of Wonder.
This is a great album of his under appreciated 80's work."
OBSCURE BUT BEAUTIFUL
Pieter | Johannesburg | 10/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What this album lacks in cohesion is compensated for by its charming stylistic variety. The two cover versions Don't Look Back and It's All Over Now Baby Blue stand out because they do not overtly reflect Morrison's contemplative side and they date from an earlier era, but they are beautiful and moving too. The other songs are music of deep spiritual yearning in various styles. These include the catchy pop of Real Real Gone, the spoken poetry and social commentary of Rave On John Donne, the poignant childhood reminiscing of Coney Island, the gentle, evocative strains of Sense Of Wonder and the engaging gospel sounds of Hymns To The Silence. I would have also expected to find the track Be Thou My Vision from the Hymns album here, as it is a passionately numinous listening experience but the artist was the compiler and this selection is his personal choice. The fact that these tracks are relatively obscure only enhances the listening experience, proving that some of Van's least commercially successful work has grown in stature down the years and that his output has been consistently excellent."
Andy Gio | UK | 03/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album leaves contempory gospel in its wake.Van alone knows he has to put his heart where his mouth is.This is an intensely beautiful spiritual journey, from the mystical Coney Island to the deeply moving, When will I learn to live in God.Subtlety and sublime : In the Garden.The album would be worth the money for these tracks alone"