‘The Essential Van Morrison’ is a terrific career-spanning set

Van‘The Essential Van Morrison’
Van Morrison (Legacy)
4.5 stars out of 5

Over the course of a remarkable career that’s spanned more than 50 years, Irishman Van Morrison has proven to be one of the true living legends of popular music. That career is being celebrated this week, and rightly so, with the digital release off 33 Morrison albums — and this terrific career-spanning collection.

Van CD“The Essential Van Morrison” includes 37 tracks spread over two CDs and traces his evolution from fronting Them in the early 1960s to his later-career renaissance over the past decade.

“Van Morrison is one of the great singers, performers and musical artists in the history of recorded music,” notes Adam Block, Legacy Recordings president. “He continues to touch the hearts and souls of millions with the emotional power and spiritual truths of his songs. Legacy Recordings is proud to partner with Van to help him protect and curate his astounding catalog and to be given the opportunity to bring his music to whole new generations of fans around the world.”

All of the signature tunes are here, of course, from “Gloria” and “Here Comes the Night” with Them, to solo smashes like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Crazy Love,” “And It Stone Me,” “Into the Mystic, “Domino,” “Moondance,” “Wild Night,” “Tupelo Honey,” “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile),” “Caravan” and “Bright Side of the Road.”

The set also features collaborations with The Chieftains (“Irish Heartbeat”) and Cliff Richard (“Whenever God Shines His Light” and more recent-vintage gems like “Days Like This” and “Magic Time.” This one’s a must, folks. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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