June 8: Van Morrison: Too Long in Exile (1993)


Too long in exile
Too long not singing my song
Too long in exile
Too long like a rolling stone
Too long in exile

I  love this album and I dig John Lee Hooker’s presence. Some wonderful songs & as always loads of interesting lyrics.

Released 8 June 1993
Recorded The Wool Hall Studios, Bath, England;
The Record Plant, Sausalito, California
Genre Rock
Length 77:04
Label Polydor
Producer Van Morrison

Too Long in Exile is the twenty-second studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1993 as his first album on Polydor Records, a sister label to his previous label Mercury Records. It was one of Morrison’s most commercially successful albums in years, due in part to a cover of “Gloria“, one of his own songs originally recorded by Them. This newer version with guest vocals and guitar from blues legend John Lee Hooker was released as a successful single charting at #31 in the U.K..


It’s got John Lee Hooker on it. It’s different. Blues is improvisation, it’s like jazz, so it’s always going to be different.
~Van Morrison (to Victoria Clarke)

You know, exile–like Joyce and Shaw and Wilde and, oh yeah, Alex Haley. All on account of those “Bigtime Operators” who bugged his phone back when he was green. Now getting on to grizzled, he seeks guidance from the kas of Doc Pomus and King Pleasure and “The Lonesome Road,” an unutterably sad spiritual recast as an upbeat vibraphone feature. And especially, on three cuts, his old soulmate John Lee Hooker, who doesn’t come close to sounding overexposed on Them’s “Gloria” and Sonny Boy’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and something new by Van called “Wasted Years,” about how the dumb stuff is behind them now. I don’t know about Hook, but Van’s just jiving–when he wanders “In the Forest,” it’s never a safe bet that he’ll get out. A-
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)


  • Van Morrison – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, alto saxophone, harmonica
  • John Lee Hooker – vocals, electric guitar on “Gloria” and “Wasted Years”
  • Georgie Fame – Hammond organ, backing vocals
  • Ronnie Johnson – electric guitar
  • Nicky Scott – bass guitar
  • Candy Dulfer – alto saxophone
  • Kate St John – tenor saxophone, cor anglais
  • Teena Lyle – backing vocals, Hammond organ, percussion, vibraphone
  • Jonn Savannah – backing vocals, Hammond organ
  • Geoff Dunn – drums
  • Howard Francis – Hammond organ, piano
  • Paul Robinson – drums
  • John Allair – Hammond organ
  • Richard Cousins – bass guitar
  • Kevin Hayes – drums



All songs written by Van Morrison except as indicated.

  1. “Too Long in Exile” – 6:18
  2. “Big Time Operators” – 6:03
  3. “Lonely Avenue/You Give Me Nothing but the Blues” (Doc Pomus, Morrison) – 6:24
  4. “Ball & Chain” – 5:36
  5. “In the Forest” – 4:38
  6. “Till We Get the Healing Done” – 8:29
  7. “Gloria” – 5:19
  8. “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” (Sonny Boy Williamson) – 4:07
  9. “Wasted Years” – 3:57
  10. “The Lonesome Road” (Nathaniel Shilkret, Gene Austin) – 3:16
  11. “Moody’s Mood for Love” (James Moody), Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) – 2:32
  12. “Close Enough for Jazz” – 2:39
  13. “Before the World Was Made” (text by William Butler Yeats, adapted by Morrison, music by Kenny Craddock) – 4:24
  14. “I’ll Take Care of You” (Brook Benton) – 5:19
  15. “Instrumental/Tell Me What You Want” – 8:08


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