Too Long in Exile

Too Long in Exile is the twenty-second studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. The album was produced by Morrison and draws on urban blues and soul jazz sounds, including collaborations with John Lee Hooker and Georgie Fame. Released in 1993 by Polydor Records, Too Long in Exile received positive reviews from most critics and reached number four on the UK Albums Chart.

Too Long in Exile
Studio album by
Released8 June 1993
StudioThe Wool Hall Studios in Bath, England; The Record Plant in Sausalito, California
GenreUrban blues, soul jazz
ProducerVan Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
The Best of Van Morrison Volume Two
Too Long in Exile
A Night in San Francisco
Singles from Too Long in Exile
  1. "Gloria" b/w "It Must Be You"
    Released: May 1993

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[3]
Rolling Stone[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
The Village VoiceA−[6]

Too Long in Exile received generally positive reviews. Rock critic Peter Paphides wrote in Melody Maker at the time, "never has one man's regression therapy sounded this exhilarating", while Gavin Martin from the Daily Mirror remarked that Morrison has "rediscovered his 'earthy, elemental fire'. He is still the foremost blues auteur."[7] Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot found his singing "freer than ever" and most of the performances "joyful", praising the music's urban blues and soul-jazz sounds. Kot said the album is a "casual tour de force", with the exception of the cover song "Moody's Mood for Love", which he felt would nevertheless be enjoyed by fans of Morrison's "Moondance" (1970).[2] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said Morrison draws on the spiritual guidance of blues greats for the album's best material, highlighting the collaborations with John Lee Hooker on "Gloria" and "Wasted Years", although he lamented some aimless songs such as "In the Forest".[6]

In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rob Sheffield said Too Long in Exile was the "breeziest" of Morrison's post-1980s albums.[5] In a less enthusiastic review, AllMusic's Bil Carpenter wrote in retrospect that it was "an earthly departure from his previous two pop efforts", featuring a "delicious" cover of "Lonely Avenue" and impressive duets with Hooker but also a "mundane" title track.[1] Rolling Stone included the album in its list of the "Essential Recordings of the 90's".[8]

Track listing

All songs written by Van Morrison except as indicated.

  1. "Too Long in Exile" – 6:18
  2. "Big Time Operators" – 6:03
  3. "Lonely Avenue/You Give Me Nothing but the Blues" (Doc Pomus, Morrison) – 6:24
  4. "Ball & Chain" – 5:36
  5. "In the Forest" – 4:38
  6. "Till We Get the Healing Done" – 8:29
  7. "Gloria" – 5:19
  8. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" (Sonny Boy Williamson) – 4:07
  9. "Wasted Years" – 3:57
  10. "The Lonesome Road" (Nathaniel Shilkret, Gene Austin) – 3:16
  11. "Moody's Mood for Love" (James Moody, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) – 2:52
  12. "Close Enough for Jazz" – 2:39
  13. "Before the World Was Made" (text by William Butler Yeats, adapted by Morrison, music by Kenny Craddock) – 4:24
  14. "I'll Take Care of You" (Brook Benton) – 5:19
  15. "Instrumental/Tell Me What You Want" – 8:08



Album - UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1993 UK Album Chart 4[9]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1993 The Billboard 200 29


Region CertificationCertified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[10] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[11] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[12] Gold 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Silver 60,000^

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


  1. Allmusic review
  2. Kot, Greg (8 July 1993). "Too Long in Exile". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. Entertainment Weekly review
  4. Rolling Stone review
  5. Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Van Morrison". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 559–561. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. Christgau, Robert (28 September 1993). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  7. Hinton (1997), p. 311
  8. "Essential Recordings of the 90's". Rolling Stone: 58. 13 May 1999.
  9. Chart Stats: Van Morrison
  10. "Canadian album certifications – Van Morrison – Too Long in Exile". Music Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. "New Zealand album certifications – Van Morrison – Too Long in Exile". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  12. "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  13. "British album certifications – Van Morrison – Too Long in Exile". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Too Long in Exile in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.


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