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Super Hits

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Album Review

Anyone who's followed Van Morrison's career knows that Sony has the rights to the recordings he made for Bang — in other words, one album plus outtakes. Since part of the reason the Super Hits series is such a success for the label is that they stick to what's in the vaults — it cuts their costs considerably to rely on what they already own — Sony's options are pretty limited here. So, it isn't much of a surprise that what they come up with is essentially Morrison's debut Blowin' Your Mind! minus two songs (the notorious "T.B. Sheets" and "Who Drove the Red Sports Car"), plus a selection of four highlights from the session outtakes ("The Back Room," "It's All Right," "Chick-A-Boom," "Madame George"). In other words, there are no hits here outside of "Brown Eyed Girl." Granted, that's his biggest hit, but casual listeners who buy a collection called Super Hits will likely expect a little more than one hit. However, this particular Super Hits contains nothing but Bang material. Although this is very good music, it's largely of interest to collectors who will prefer to own either the official debut or the exhaustive single-disc compilation Bang Masters. Casual fans would be better off with Mercury's The Best of Van Morrison. It may cost a bit more, but it has more of what they're looking for.


Born: 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Equal parts blue-eyed soul shouter and wild-eyed poet-sorcerer, Van Morrison is among popular music's true innovators, a restless seeker whose incantatory vocals and alchemical fusion of R&B, jazz, blues, and Celtic folk produced perhaps the most spiritually transcendent body of work in the rock & roll canon. Subject only to the whims of his own muse, his recordings cover extraordinary stylistic ground yet retain a consistency and purity virtually unmatched among his contemporaries, connected...
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