Then it hit us. Why not take a page out of the old Tower Records playbook. The legendary Tower Records had a magazine that they published called Pulse. One of our favourite features of the magazine was a readers column called Deserted Island Discs. The column would feature readers’ top 10 albums that they would take away with them on a deserted island. What a perfect way to write up a list without having other people curse you out for not including such and such songs. It simply comes down to survival. You can’t get any more honest than that. So here it is. If we only had enough room to take 10 Van Morrison songs with us onto a deserted island, these are the ten we would take.
# 10 – Angeliou
“Angeliou,” is probably the least familiar Van Morrison song on his list. It was released on our favorite Van Morrison album entitled Into The Music. The album was released in 1979. In early interviews in his career, Bruce Springsteen always mentioned being inspired by Van Morrison. One can easily here that on Springsteen’s second album. However, in 1979 it seems Van was listening to Bruce. You can hear some Springsteen influence on this great song.
# 9 – Astral Weeks
This was one of those songs in which you heard something incredibly new and beautiful, yet did not really understand it. It was just there. The entire album was like that. This was the moment when so many people in the music industry along with most music fans recognized that this artist called Van Morrison was a musical genius.
# 8 – Hungry For Love
Sometimes it’s much more difficult to write a great song that’s built on a simple chord structure and melody than utilizing complex or original chord changes. Van Morrison’s “Hungry For You Love,” was the perfect example of beauty in simplicity. Most of us fell in love with this song and Debra Winger at the same time.
# 7 – It Must Be You
This is the song I want to wake up to every morning on my desert island. The great double album Hymns To The Silence may be Van Morrison’s most underrated work. The album was released in 1991.
# 6 – Tupelo Honey
You know this one!
# 5 – Into The Mystic
When you look at the track listing on the Moondance album, it reads like a greatest hits album. “And It Stoned Me Moondance, Caravan, Crazy Love, and Into The Music.” That’s just the first side.
# 4 – Dweller On The Threshold
We always talk about Van Morrison’s sense of melody and lyrics. However, the man also came up with incredible grooves and than just sung in perfect pitch over them in such a free rhythmic sense. No one has ever been able to sing and groove in that Van Morrison style except for the man himself. “Dweller On The Threshold,” is a perfect example of that sense of spiritual groove that defines some of Van Morrison’s best material.
# 3 – Wavelength
Van Morrison took that spiritual groove and came up with a very commercial sounding record that everyone loved except for maybe some Van Morrison fans who did not like the commercialism of “Wavelength.” However, this is the perfect song to roll down the windows and drive around all day listening to on that desert island.
# 2 – Brown Eyed Girl
Another great pop song that has just bleeds that late 1960s sound that blended Motown, British Invasion, singer songwriter and every other style that was bouncing around in 1967. Even though we heard it a million times, its making the trip.
# 1 – Moondance
Well, we got our morning song, our dancing song, our driving song, our spiritual song, our oldies song, our rare song and now we have our cool evening song. We can’t leave home without this one. As cool as it gets!