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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 October 2007
If you've only heard odd songs from the master then this could be the double album for you. And it's exceptionally good value with so many classic tracks. Be wary though because once you've listened to some of the classics featured here, you'll be flashing the credit card to buy up his back catalogue. If like me you've a stack of Van already in your collection then there is no real need to buy this one.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2007
Whilst the man himself may be a mumbling incoherent miserabalist this belies the soul of one of the great romantic poets of our time.

From the early years as front man of Them, a kind of forgotten band but their classics Here Comes the Night and Gloria are widely known. His solo canon is quite incredible, he has a style of his own, soulful in a way that polished, modern, oversung "R&B" can never be, love songs of impossible, impassioned and often fragile beauty - everyone knows Have I Told You Lately and uplifting songs such as Domino, Brown Eyed Girl and Jackie Wilson. But there is plenty more light and shade in between.

This is a great sampler that is well remastered and does his legacy justice. Not a duff track to be found. Hell, I even like his duet with Cliff Richard, which has two things that make me rabid, Cliff and God. Now, that is power.

Be warned though - you will be off buying Astral Weeks, Moondance and the rest of his albums now that your appetite is whetted. You won't be disappointed.
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on 24 October 2007
Agree with everything said here already. However if you plan on getting his back catalogue, don't leave it too long as loads of his albums are no longer in CD production. You may see these from £50 -£200 on EBay!! So you have been warned.
Also don't forget there is a 3-CD version of this Greatest Hits (Special edition)- for the sake of a few pounds more - get that one instead. It has the same cover.
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on 3 March 2010
What was/is this? - It's a 3 disc best of a musical icon's long and varied career. It was used as a taster for the remastering and re-issuing of Van's back catalogue, which started shortly after this album's initial release.
Who is it for? - the 2 Cd version of this is for the casual/curious fan who's heard a few songs but doesn't really have any of them in his or her's music collection (for those that don't want 2cds then buy The Best of Van Morrison Vol.1). The 3cd version is for already established fans who don't have everything or the exceedingly curious. Either version is good starter for 10.
Does it replace previous collections? - Yes and No. Most of the first 2 volumes of the "Best of VM" are here. The Best of Van Morrison Vol.3. issued a few months before this album came out was a bit more specialist, had more alternate takes and was mainly for the hardcore fan. All 3 volumes of the best of series and also this album were compiled by Van himself.
Does it have everything you'll ever need by this artist? - No. As has been mentioned in previous reviews you can never please every Van the Man fan with just one collection. There were no tracks taken from Astral Weeks (VM's most acclaimed album) because at the time of this release the original master tapes couldn't be found. This album has since been remastered but only reissued in Japan (not sure what tapes were used for the remastering). There are a quite a few other songs that could/should be here but exactly what they are will change from fan to fan. You could buy this and build your own playlist (something most fans will have done already). It does have a better overview of his output since The Best of Van Morrison Vol.2 than The Best of Van Morrison Vol.3 does.
You could do a lot worse than start here (Pay the Devil springs to mind) or perhaps buy it for the car if you're already a fan.
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on 29 December 2007
I'm sure that I'm not alone in mourning the absence of certain tracks on this extensive compilation, namely, 'Sense Of Wonder', 'Summertime In England', 'Sweet Thing' and 'It's All In The game' (the version from the 'In The Mood' CD is possibly the best cover version of any song by any artist).

However, despite the absense of this handful of songs, this is still a must have compilation. Spanning Van's extensive career, it captures not only the few commercial 'hits' that Van has recorded (such as 'Gloria', 'Brown Eyed Girl' and 'Here Comes The Night'), but extends into his more self-indulgent moments found buried within his many albums as well as including a selection of popular songs featured in movies ('Someone Like You', 'Moondance' and 'Days Like This' are possibly the best of these). Unlike one of the previous contributors, I am particularly fond of these longer, self-indulgent tracks and am particularly pleased to find the likes of 'Tupelo Honey' and 'Listen To The Lion' featured here.

If you are going to have only one Van album in your collection, then this has to be it!
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on 16 November 2007
This is great! There is not ONE song that isn't worth five stars. I have loved Van Morrison's music since the 60's & this compilation shows just how great a writer & performer he is. He might be a bit of a miserable sod most of the time, but I wasn't inviting him for dinner so that isn't a problem. Add this to your CD collection. You will love it.
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on 29 October 2007
Yes, yes, just recently Greatest Hits V 3 was released and that had quite a few unreleased and obscure gems on it, but this is so far the best comprehensive set of Morrison's greatest hits. There are always a few songs we'd all like to see added to this compilation, but they do a reasonable job of assembling his most popular work. Kudo's for the inclusion of "Celtic New Year" and leaving off songs from some of his duet albums and his abysmal "Pay the Devil" CD. Overall a great place to start if you're a begginer to Morrison's vast catalogue, and the third CD has some great tracks that perhaps should have made the first two discs, like "Hymns to the Silence" and "Rough God Goes Riding." Nothing is perfect, but these CD's are as close as anyone has gotten to summing up Van's work. Highly recommended!
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on 2 November 2007
Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic songs on this set, but to completely miss out what is arguably and certainly critically the man's best work is inexplicable. Surely 'Sweet Thing' could have replaced that terrible duet with Cliff Richard for starters. Even the box set version doesn't have any songs from his most famous album, it's baffling. Nice to have the addition of 'Crazy Love' which was missing from the 80's Best Of, but that's still a stronger collection. It's a much better idea to get all the albums from Astral Weeks to Veedon Fleece. They're all essential and you'll no doubt buy them after hearing this collection anyway, so save yourself some money and time.
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on 22 May 2016
This Northern Irish singer-songwriter’s soulful back catalogue has been plundered plenty: this double CD was actually the third compilation album of his work to be issued in 2007, after At The Movies: Soundtrack Hits and The Best Of Van Morrison Volume 3.

David Cavanagh looks at all of them in the latest issue of Uncut Magazine - The Ultimate Music Guide - Van Morrison, Into The Mystic - The Complete Story. He only offers a lukewarm 3 star review to this 2–and –a half-hour collection of singles, suggesting that: ”Latecomers in need of a user-friendly entry point might want to consider… [this] approximate digest of the first two Best Ofs that covers – non-chronologically as usual – the years 1964 to 2005. Its artwork bears the unmistakable thumb print of a marketing department. Morrison, in a hat and black coat, strolling away from the camera like those mysterious figures on paperbacks of Victorian thrillers in bookshops. But the 37 tracks do a convincing job of summarising his long career, and Still On Top achieved its principal objective by charting at No.2.”

I pretty much agree with that description.Though it is difficult to actively dislike a compilation that finds space for showstoppers like ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, ‘Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)’, ‘Bright Side Of The Road’, and ‘Precious Time’, Van has actually only ever had three UK Top 40 hits, and this collection doesn’t fully capture the more intangible, nostalgic, and mystical, aspects of his work. There is, for instance, nothing here from the very highly-regarded 1968 LP Astral Weeks (Expanded Edition).
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on 24 June 2013
Already own a large number of Van's albums and play them regularly. However thought it would be useful to have a summary of his output to play in the car etc and this selection is really well thought out and covers his most accessible numbers. Should you happen to know anyone who doesn't own any of his work, buy them this and they should be delighted.
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