Still On Top: The Greatest Hits

Van Morrison

Hip-O, 2007

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


So, I used to think I was a music snob. But I then realized two things: 

1) I liked some of the bands and at least one song by a lot of other bands that I wasn't supposed to like.

2) I disliked many of the bands and artists that I was told I should like. 

Regarding the last many critics fall all over themselves praising Pavement, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Van Morrison? It feels as if you don't worship those guys, you just don't "get it" and are to be ignored. Go back to your Pearl Jam and your Supertramp and your Nickelback, you moron, and leave us to the real music.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I'm not falling for it, which is why I'm here to eviscerate Van Morrison's career-summarizing compilation album.

You've all heard "Brown-Eyed Girl." You probably know "Domino," "Wild Night," "Gloria," "Moondance" and "Into the Mystic" from the radio. The latter two are fine songs, but "Domino" and "Wild Night" are average at best, and "Brown-Eyed Girl" has been played to death everywhere, yet gets a huge response every time it is played, anywhere, anytime. Such is life.

But after that? Van never made another great album, yet this compilation is padded with 13 songs from after his commercial peak. Also noted is the absence of anything from Astral Weeks, which most critics argue is Van's best album and was an influence to other musicians of the time, such as The Doors.

So what we have is a bunch of slow, tedious and frankly boring songs that just run together. Perhaps "Wavelength" is acceptable, I guess. But there are other ways to get the cream of the crop, and shelling out money for five songs on a 19-song disc is not a wise investment in the iTunes age.

Skip this one and go listen to something you like, not something a snob told you that you should like. Van Morrison isn't it.


Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Hip-O, and is used for informational purposes only.