Enlightenment (Van Morrison album)

Enlightenment is the twentieth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was released in 1990 and reached #5 in the UK charts and "Real Real Gone" charted at #18 in Mainstream Rock Tracks.

Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1990
Reissued June 2008
RecordedFebruary 1990
Wool Hall Studios, Real World Studio, Box Studio and Pavilion Studios, London, England; The Kirk, Somerset, England
GenreCeltic, folk rock
ProducerVan Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
The Best of Van Morrison
Hymns to the Silence
Singles from Enlightenment
  1. "Real Real Gone" b/w "Start All Over Again"
    Released: September 1990
  2. "In the Days Before Rock 'N' Roll" b/w "I'd Love to Write Another Song"
    Released: November 1990
  3. "Enlightenment b/w "Avalon of the Heart"
    Released: January 1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauB+[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA[3]
Rolling Stone[5]

The June 2008 re-issued and re-mastered version of the album contains alternative takes of "Enlightenment" and "So Quiet in Here"."Start All Over Again" from this album was listed as one of the standout tracks from the six album reissue.[7]


The album was recorded in London, England, and Real World in Box. The arrangements were by Fiachra Trench and Micheal O'Suilleabhain played piano with a brass section made up of British jazz musicians from the late sixties: Frank Ricotti, Henry Lowther and Malcolm Griffiths. One of the songs "So Quiet in Here" was recorded at the Kirk, Rode, Somerset, a setting which served as both church or studio.[8]


The song "Enlightenment" contains the words: "I'm in the here and now and I'm meditating/ And still I'm suffering but that's my problem/ Enlightenment, don't know what it is". "So Quiet in Here" is a continuation of the song "Into the Mystic" from the Moondance album. The single released from the album, "Real Real Gone", was originally written and meant for the 1980 album Common One.[9] The song "In the Days Before Rock 'N' Roll" was a collaboration between Morrison and the Irish poet Paul Durcan.

Track listing

All songs by Morrison unless noted otherwise.

  1. "Real Real Gone" – 3:43
  2. "Enlightenment" – 4:04
  3. "So Quiet in Here" – 6:09
  4. "Avalon of the Heart" – 4:45
  5. "See Me Through" – 6:13
  6. "Youth of 1,000 Summers" – 3:45
  7. "In the Days Before Rock 'N' Roll" (Durcan, Morrison) – 8:13
  8. "Start All Over Again" – 4:10
  9. "She's My Baby" – 5:14
  10. "Memories" – 4:14

Bonus tracks (2008 CD reissue)

  1. "Enlightenment" – 3:29 (alternative take)
  2. "So Quiet in Here" – 4:03 (alternative take)




Recorded mainly at Wool Hall Studios, Beckington
Townhouse, London, Real World, Box and Pavilion Studios, London.
("So Quiet in Here" recorded at The Kirk, Rode, Somerset)

  • Producer: Van Morrison
  • Engineers: Mick Glossop, Steve Williams
  • Additional engineering: Alastair McMillan
  • Mixing: Mick Glossop, Steve Williams
  • String, Brass and Choir arrangements: Fiachra Trench
  • String section leader: Gavin Wright
  • Keyboard and Synth arrangements: Neil Drinkwater



UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1990 UK Album Chart 5

Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1990 The Billboard 200 62



Year Single Chart Position
1990 "Real Real Gone" Mainstream Rock Tracks 18


  1. AllMusic review
  2. Robert Christgau review
  3. Entertainment Weekly review
  4. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 784. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. Rolling Stone review
  6. Brown, Glyn (November 1990). "Guiding Light". Select. p. 100.
  7. "Catalog Reissues by Van Morrison on Blurt Online". blurt-online.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
  8. Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, pp. 292-293
  9. Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, pp 293, 294


  • Hinton, Brian (1997). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison, Sanctuary, ISBN 1-86074-169-X
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