The Best of Van Morrison

The Best of Van Morrison is a compilation album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It compiles songs spanning 25 years of his recording career. Released in 1990 by Polydor Records, 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.

The Best of Van Morrison
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedJanuary 1990 (1990-01)
ProducerBert Berns, Lewis Merenstein, Van Morrison, Dick Rowe, Ted Templeman
Van Morrison chronology
Avalon Sunset
The Best of Van Morrison

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]
The Village VoiceA[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] "As the story goes, Van Morrison wanted nothing to do with his first greatest hits collection", wrote Andrew Gilstrap from PopMatters. "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

All tracks are written by Van Morrison, unless otherwise noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Bright Side of the Road" Into the Music (1979)3:45
2."Gloria" (with Them) Them (1970)2:37
3."Moondance" Moondance (1970)4:31
4."Baby, Please Don't Go" (with Them)Big Joe WilliamsThem3:03
5."Have I Told You Lately" Avalon Sunset (1989)4:18
6."Brown Eyed Girl" (radio edit) T.B. Sheets (album) (1973)3:03
7."Sweet Thing" Astral Weeks (1968)4:22
8."Warm Love" Hard Nose the Highway (1973)3:21
9."Wonderful Remark" The King of Comedy soundtrack (1983)3:58
10."Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" Saint Dominic's Preview (1972)2:57
11."Full Force Gale" Into the Music3:12
12."And It Stoned Me" Moondance4:30
13."Here Comes the Night" (with Them)Bert BernsThem2:46
14."Domino" His Band and the Street Choir (1970)3:08
15."Did Ye Get Healed?" Poetic Champions Compose (1987)4:06
16."Wild Night" Tupelo Honey (1971)3:31
17."Cleaning Windows" Beautiful Vision (1982)4:42
18."Whenever God Shines His Light" (duet with Cliff Richard) Avalon Sunset4:54
19."Queen of the Slipstream" Poetic Champions Compose4:53
20."Dweller on the Threshold"
Beautiful Vision4:47
Total length:76:14
  • The 1998 Australian/New Zealand re-release of the album also includes "Days Like This" (3:13) (from the album of the same name, 1995) as the seventh track, for a total of 21 tracks.
  • In 1998, the album was remastered and re-released, this time with the original stereo album version of "Brown-Eyed Girl".


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


Chart (1990) Peak
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[8] 1
UK Albums Chart[14] 4
US Billboard 200[1] 41


Region CertificationCertified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[15] 5× Platinum 350,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[16] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[17] Platinum 50,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

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


  1. Allmusic review
  2. Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0195313739.
  3. "Best Of Van Morrison CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 2 August 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Van Morrison". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 559. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. Christgau, Robert (1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (25 December). New York. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. 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. "The Best of Van Morrison". Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  9. "Van Morrison on the Billboard 200". Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  10. "RIAA – Searchable Database: Van Morrison". Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  11. 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
  15. "Aria Albums Chart - 1998". Aria Charts. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  16. "Canadian album certifications – Van Morrison – The Best of Van Morrison". Music Canada. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  17. "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  18. "British album certifications – Van Morrison – The Best of Van Morrison". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Best of Van Morrison in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. "American album certifications – Van Morrison – Best of Van Morrison". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 3 June 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 


  • Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press ISBN 1-55652-542-7
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