Van Morrison – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)

This is a lively song by Van the Man…Van Morrison. First heard this song after I bought the Van Morrison album Saint Dominic’s Preview in the 80s without knowing any song on it…I didn’t need to…it was Van Morrison. Van is one of my favorite singers…it’s not just his voice but the way he phrases his words. If you ever get a chance to see him live…do it. I got that honor (The Pay The Devil tour) once and I have to say he sounded better live than on record and that doesn’t happen a lot.

The song peaked at #62 on the Billboard 100 in 1972. This song is an obvious tribute to the great Jackie Wison.

For more on this album and a few more, Aphoristical gives his top 5 Van Morrison albums and this one is at number 2.

From Songfacts

The opening track of Saint Dominic’s Preview, this is a tribute to Jackie Wilson, one of Morrison’s influences. Released as the first single from the album, it charted at #61 on the Hot 100.

Guitarist Doug Messenger recalled the recording of the song to Uncut: “Jackie Wilson Said was totally disorganized. He didn’t know where anything went, and no one seemed to know what to do with it. Van went away and the band worked on the basic structure. When he came back we went through it a couple of times and he was real happy because all of a sudden it seemed to be making sense. He said, ‘I think it’s coming together,’ which is what he always said when he felt it was working.”

“I remember he said to the drummer, Ricky Schlosser, ‘When I sing “boom boom boom,” hit the tom and the kick drum at the same time.’ We ran through it once or twice, and the first recorded take is what’s on the album. It was all over the place, but somehow it worked. Even when he ad-libbed at the end -‘One more time’- somehow we all kept it together. At the end, Van was smiling like a Cheshire Cat. ‘I think we got it!’ We tried a second take and – of course – it all fell apart.”

The song was used as the opening theme for the 1991 comedy movie Queens Logic.

This was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners on their 1982 album Too-Rye-Ay. Released as a single, it reached #5 on the UK singles chart.

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)

Jackie Wilson said
It was Reet Petite
Kinda love you got
Knock me off my feet
Let it all hang out
Oh, let it all hang out
And you know
I’m so wired up
Don’t need no coffee in my cup
Let it all hang out
Let it all hang out

Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding
Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding
Do da do da
I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven
I’m in heaven, when you smile
When you smile, when you smile
When you smile
And when you walk
Across the room
You make my heart go
Boom boom boom
Let it all hang out
Baby, let it all hang out
And every time
You look that way
Honey child, you make my day
Let it all hang out
Like the man said let it all hang out

Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding
Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding
Do da do da
I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven
I’m in heaven, when you smile
When you smile
I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven
I’m in heaven, when you smile
One more time
I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven
I’m in heaven, when you smile
When you smile

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “Van Morrison – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”

  1. Nice! Perhaps curiously, I heard the Dexy’s Midnight Runners version first & didn’t realize it was a Van cover til some time later.
    I miss the days when I used to be so passionate about some artists that I’d buy a new release from them without hearing it. Weren’t many but there were some; of those most aren’t still rolling and the few which are (thinking of you, U2..) haven’t put out material that’s quite that essential for awhile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can relate to what you said. Not many artists you can just buy off the cuff.
      Dexy’s Midnight Runners did a faithful version of it I will say.

      Like

    1. He had a stretch of albums from Astral Weeks to Hard Nose the Highway that was just incredible.
      I was in awe when I saw him live…on how good his voice was.

      Like

  2. One of many Van Morrison songs that I just love! Such a great song! It was never one that was in a “hot rotation” at the oldies stations I worked at, so it was always one that I cranked up when I got the chance to play it.

    Never knew that Dexy’s Midnight Runners did a cover, but I am going to look for it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so lively….I never hear it on radio much now that you have said that… It should have been a bigger hit than it was….

      I didn’t either…they stayed pretty true

      Liked by 1 person

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