Release Date: 2007
|1.||Gloria (performed by Them) - The Outsiders||2:39|
|2.||Baby, Please Don't Go (performed by Them) - Wild at Heart||2:43|
|3.||Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) - Pope of Greenwich Village||2:59|
|4.||Domino (live) - Clean & Sober||4:45|
|5.||Moondance (live) - An American Werewolf in London||3:43|
|6.||Queen of the Slipstream - Extreme Close-Up||4:55|
|7.||Wild Night - Thelma & Louise||3:33|
|8.||Caravan (live) - The Last Waltz||5:56|
|9.||Wonderful Remark - King of Comedy||3:59|
|10.||Brown Eyed Girl - Born on the Fourth of July||3:11|
|11.||Days Like This - As Good As It Gets||3:14|
|12.||Into the Mystic (live) - Patch Adams||4:37|
|13.||Hungry For Your Love - An Officer and a Gentleman||3:46|
|14.||Someone Like You - French Kiss||4:10|
|15.||Bright Side of the Road - Fever Pitch||3:47|
|16.||Have I Told You Lately? - One Fine Day||4:21|
|17.||Real Real Gone - Donovan Quick||3:42|
|18.||Irish Heartbeat (with Chieftains) - The Matchmaker||3:52|
|19.||Comfortably Numb (live) - The Departed||4:43|
|Total Album Time:||74:35|
|by Matt Millstein
February 12, 2007
Van Morrison is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of the past forty years. Morrison's songwriting abilities are second to none and his voice and style is completely original and recognizable. His music can range from upbeat rhythm-and-blues-drenched rock n' roll to slow, schmaltzy, adult contemporary. The new compilation Van Morrison at the Movies: Soundtrack Hits illustrates this range in the Irish singer's repertoire with total clarity. It is impressive how much Morrison's vast catalog has been appropriated by modern cinema. This album is not short - it is made up of nineteen songs, all from major motion pictures and nearly all of the songs are recognizable. There's nothing edgy about this album; it is smooth sailing from start to finish. The album covers the some of the early part of Morrison's career, exemplified by songs like "Gloria" and "Caravan", but it is also heavy on softer, adult contemporary love songs like "Have I Told You Lately" and "Hungry For Your Love", indicative of the latter part of his career. Van Morrison at the Movies: Soundtrack Hits was released by Manhattan Records a subsidiary of EMI/Capitol Records which specializes in adult contemporary albums, so the song selection isn't surprising.
Each song on this abum is matched up with a film. "Gloria" is part of the soundtrack for the movie The Outsiders, "Wild Night"is from the movie Thelma and Louise,"Caravan" from The Last Waltz, "Have I Told You Lately" from One Fine Day, "Real Real Gone" from Donovan Quick, "Into the Mystic" from Patch Adams, and "Days Like This" from As Good As it Gets, among others. "Comfortably Numb" is the only cover song on the album and it is quite an oddity. The track comes from the Roger Waters album, The Wall: Live in Berlin, 1990 and Waters, as well as members of The Band, assist Morrison on this rendition. To hear Van Morrison singing one of the classic Pink Floyd songs from The Wall is slightly jarring, but it works just the same - there's something novel and unique about this rendition. Comfortably Numb which was featured in the recent Martin Scorsese film The Departed comes as the last song on the album and is a fitting ending. "Caravan" is also from a Scorsese film, The Last Waltz, the concert film chronicling The Band's final concert, so it's amusing that "Caravan" and "Comfortably Numb" have similar musical personnel.
A number of the most well known songs on the album are live versions. "Caravan" is the exact version Morrison played in The Last Waltz concertand "Comfortably Numb" is from The Wall: Live in Berlin,1990. "Caravan", "Domino", "Moondance", "Into the Mystic" and "Comfortably Numb" are all fine live tracks, however none of them showcase Morrison at his "live" best. The studio versions of "Domino", "Moondance", "Into the Mystic" and "Caravan" are all among Morrison's studio best, so the bar is set pretty high. All are radio and fan favorites from the classic Van Morrison albums; Moondance and His Band and the Street Choir. Van Morrison at the Movies: Soundtrack Hits would have turned out better if the only live song on the album was "Comfortably Numb", because the song has a uniqueness that the other live tracks do not.
There are some great studio chestnuts from the latter part of Morrison's career like "Real Real Gone" from the Enlightenment album and "Days Like This" from the album of the same name. Both songs are from 90's albums. Van Morrison still puts on a good high energy live show, but his studio work is that of a gracefully aging artist. Listening to this album makes me want to listen to the early albums: Astral Weeks, Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir, Saint Dominicks Preview and Tupelo Honey; the best of Morrison is embedded in the albums of his prolific early career. Greatest hits packages will never be able represent the great Irish singer like his classic albums do. They lack the continuity and flow that moves from song to song.
Van Morrison at the Movies: Soundtrack Hits isn't a bad collection, it just isn't one I would choose. There are other hits packages that showcase the depth of Morrison's career with more balance,and for me nothing beats the early albums like Astral Weeks. I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone but a die-hard fan, or a lover of easy listening/ adult contemporary rock.
Exclusive Music Video:
"Days Like This" - Van Morrison
(© Blue Note)
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