An iconic figure in rock music, Van Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His lengthy and eventful professional history speaks for itself.
During his career, he has published 40 albums, and the music on those albums has varied quite a little over the years. He was born in Belfast, which is located in Northern Ireland, and he has collaborated with musicians and performers from all over the world.
The challenge of ranking his top 10 works is not an easy one, thus to choose this tiny selection of his best works, we defer to a combination of considerations including critic and fan rankings, as well as rankings of his prior albums.
1. Astral Weeks
“Astral Weeks” dropped in 1968. Best Ever Albums leads the pack of critics and fans that pick this as his best album of all time with an overwhelming majority.
“Astral Weeks” appeared in 1,405 charts the year that it was released. In 1968, it reached the second spot on the charts, where it remained for the entire year. It was able to hold its position at number 15 during the whole decade of the 1960s, which is a phenomenal achievement, and its overall rank currently sits at number 60.
People have come together to form a rare consensus that, out of his 40 albums that have been released, this is, without a doubt, his finest work.
Van Morrison, a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland, released “Moondance” in 1970. The song, which Morrison himself wrote, can be found on his third studio album, “Moondance.”
Morrison’s soulful voice and the song’s jazzy, lively rhythm have made it famous. The song’s lyrics describe a sensual moonlit evening where the speaker and their companion dance and feel joy and freedom.
It’s a wonderful night for a Moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes, is the chorus, which has become a famous line in music.
One of Morrison’s most well-known songs, “Moondance” has been covered by a variety of musicians throughout the years. It is frequently performed at weddings and other romantic occasions and has been included in several movies, TV series, and commercials.
3. Veedon Fleece
The eighth studio album by Van Morrison was “Veedon Fleece” from 1974. Morrison’s enigmatic and reflective album is heavily influenced by Celtic mysticism and spiritual concepts.
The term “Veedon Fleece” alludes to a legendary quest for a miraculous fleece, similar to that of Jason and the Argonauts. Morrison’s profound album examines love, loss, and redemption.
The folk song “Veedon Fleece” combines Morrison’s distinctive vocals and acoustic instrumentation. “The album’s highlights include “Streets of Arklow,” “Linden Arden Stole the Highlights,” and “You Don’t Pull No Punches, But You Don’t Push the River.”
Despite receiving negative reviews upon release, “Veedon Fleece” has since come to be considered one of Morrison’s most influential and classic albums. Fans of singer-songwriters must hear Morrison’s poetic words, soulful vocals, and unique fusion of folk, Celtic, and spiritual influences.
4. What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Van Morrison, a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland, issued his thirteenth studio album, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” in 2003. Morrison’s distinctive fusion of R&B, soul, and Celtic elements is on full display in this album, which places a heavy focus on horn arrangements and Hammond’s organ.
Morrison bemoans the status of the world and implores the listener to “open up your eyes and ears” in the title track, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” It has a catchy horn melody and lively rhythm. The CD also has several notable songs, including the breezy “Goldfish Bowl,” the bluesy “Whinin’ Boy Moan,” and the lyrical “Evening in June.”
Overall, both critics and listeners gave “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” favorable reviews, with many applauding the album’s contagious energy and Morrison’s potent voice. For Morrison, who had gone through a period of somewhat creative stagnation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it also represented a return to form.
5. Tupelo Honey
Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison released “Tupelo Honey” in 1971. The song is recognized as one of Morrison’s best works, with a beautiful melody and sentimental lyrics that convey the wonders of love and the splendor of the natural world.
Tupelo Honey, a type of honey produced from the nectar of tupelo trees and prized for its distinctive flavor and texture, is the source of the song’s name. Morrison compares a deep and meaningful love to the richness and purity of tupelo honey.
The song “Tupelo Honey” is a perfect example of Morrison’s distinctive musical fusion of folk, R&B, and soul, with acoustic guitar and soft piano serving as the bedrock for his soulful vocals. The song has a classic appeal that has made Morrison’s fans adore it for years.
With its themes of love, nature, and the interconnectedness of all things resonating with listeners on a profound level, “Tupelo Honey” has been understood as a deeply spiritual and philosophical composition in addition to its musical virtues.
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6. Into The Music
Van Morrison, a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland, released “Into the Music” as his eleventh studio album in 1979. The record represents Morrison’s return to his soulful R&B roots, with a focus on gospel influences and themes of spiritual rebirth.
There are several noteworthy songs on the album, such as the cheerful and soulful “Bright Side of the Road,” the gospel-influenced “Full Force Gale,” and the reflective “And the Healing Has Begun.”
The classic R&B song “It’s All in the Game” is also covered on the CD, showcasing Morrison’s soulful voice and his talent for giving time-honored melodies a fresh spin.
7. No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
The sixteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, “No Guru, No Method, No Teacher,” was released in 1986. With its themes of spiritual exploration and personal development echoing his own experiences at the time, the album is widely recognized as one of Morrison’s most intimate and introspective creations.
The first song, “Got to Go Back,” has the line, “No guru, no method, no teacher, just you and I and nature in the garden,” which inspired the album’s name. Morrison explores themes of spiritual striving and the hunt for a greater purpose in life in the opening track, which establishes the mood for the album.
The album’s music showcases Morrison’s distinctive fusion of jazz, folk, and soul influences, with a focus on acoustic instrumentation and luscious vocal arrangements. Outstanding songs on the album include the jazz-infused “Thanks for the Information,” the bluesy “In the Garden,” and the reflective “Tir Na Nog.”
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8. His Band And The Street Choir
Van Morrison, a singer, and songwriter from Northern Ireland released “His Band and the Street Choir” as his fourth studio album in 1970. It is often recognized as one of Morrison’s happiest and most optimistic albums and blends folk, soul, and R&B influences.
“Domino,” the album’s lead single, is one of Morrison’s most recognizable songs thanks to its cheerful rhythm and memorable chorus. The bluesy “Crazy Face,” the funk “Blue Money,” and the reflective “If I Ever Needed Someone” are some of the other noteworthy songs.
The album’s usage of horns and backing vocals, which lend many of the songs a joyful, group vibe, is one of its defining characteristics. This is especially clear in songs like “Street Choir” and “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” which contain upbeat horn arrangements and backing vocals with a gospel influence.
9. Beautiful Vision
Van Morrison, a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland, released “Beautiful Vision” as his thirteenth studio album in 1982. Morrison explores a more ambient and reflective tone on the album, departing from the deep R&B style of his earlier works and reflecting his developing interest in mysticism and spirituality.
Beautiful Vision,” the album’s lead single, stands out thanks to its sumptuous musical arrangements and Morrison’s distinctively soulful voice. Other noteworthy songs on the album include the reflective “Cleaning Windows,” the joyful and energetic “Dweller on the Threshold,” and the moody “She Gives Me Religion.“
The album’s use of ethereal instrumentation and backing voices, which give many of the tracks a dreamy, otherworldly feel, is one of its defining characteristics. This is especially clear in songs like “Aryan Mist” and “Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell,” which have eerie musical compositions and ethereal background voices.
10. Avalon Sunset
After working with The Chieftains for a while, Van Morrison released his song “Avalon Sunset” in 1989. It was his most successful work during the 1980s era, and Best Ever Albums listed it as the tenth-best album of all time. Best Ever Albums noted that it was his most popular work.
It appeared on 73 charts throughout the world in 1989, which is an indication that “Avalon Sunset,” with its spiritual and introspective undertones, has found favor with the vast majority of Van Morrison fans that are out there.
“These Are the Days” and “When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God” are two of my favorite tracks from the album.