Brown Eyed Girl
by Van Morrison
This album has always bothered Morrison. Recorded in just two days, its eight songs were packaged and released by producer Bert Berns without Morrison's approval. One cut, "Brown Eyed Girl," became a classic; the rest of the album drew mixed reviews. But it's Morrison first solo effort after leaving Them, so students of the artist should have a listen.
Morrison followed up Blowin' Your Mind with Astral Weeks, an introspective, ruminating mixture of jazz, blues, folk, and classical music. Many fans were more confused than thrilled by the ambitious project. Critics, though, were impressed, and grew even more enthusiastic about the album over time. Today, critics consider it one of the great albums of the last half-century—they just can't decide exactly how to label the music.
Morrison gave his less cerebral fans something to work with in this 1970 release. It contains some of the most recognizable Morrison hits ("Moondance," "And it Stoned Me," "Caravan," "Into the Mystic," and "Come Running").
After a series of fairly accessible albums, Morrison reminded his fans that he could get complicated. He tapped more deeply into his Celtic roots and produced an album that Rolling Stone called even more ambitious than Astral Weeks. Some cuts were too demanding for the casual fan. But even these responded well to songs like "Jackie Wilson Said."
During the 1980s, Morrison explored a series of religious themes in his work. This album, issued in the middle of this phase, offers a nice introduction and summary of this period.