Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

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 which had more than the usual complement of instrumental tracks. 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]

Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Studio album by
Van Morrison
ReleasedMarch 1983
GenreCeltic, jazz
LabelMercury (All countries except US & Canada [Original release])
Warner Bros. (USA & Canada)
Polydor (All European & Asian reissues since 1989)
ProducerVan Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Beautiful Vision
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast
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
Robert ChristgauB−[2]
Rolling Stone[3]


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

All tracks are written by Van Morrison.

1."Higher than the World"3:42
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, piano, Fender Rhodes, alto saxophone, vocals
  • David Hayes – bass guitar
  • Mark Isham – synthesizer, trumpet
  • John Allair – Hammond organ, piano, Fender Rhodes
  • 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]


Region CertificationCertified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[9] Platinum 15,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone



  1. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart - Van Morrison - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. "Robert Christgau: CG: Van Morrison". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  3. "Rolling Stone review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  4. Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 376-377
  5. Eyekiller (8 December 2018). "Van Morrison Official Website - Tours, Music, Songs". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  6. Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence. p.377
  7. Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p. 239
  8. "Official Charts Company - Van Morrison". 22 July 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  9. "New Zealand album certifications – Van Morrison – Inarticulate Speech of the Heart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 28 November 2019.


  • 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.
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