Morrison gave an interview to BBC Radio 4's Today, in which he spoke about the inspiration for this album. He explained: "Basically, I'm a simple guy in a complicated business. I've never been comfortable with fame, so that's what a lot of this material is about."
Keep It Simple was the 35th LP which Van Morrison had produced himself and the first in several years in which he penned all 11 songs specifically for one album. He told Today: "Its got elements of blues, folk, gospel all my influences - Curtis Mayfield. It's got a lot of inspiration from various things I was inspired by out there, but it comes out like a new album."
This entered the American album chart at #10. Remarkably, over 42 and a half years after Morrison first appeared on the album chart as the vocalist for Them, this was Morrison's highest-debuting set. His previous best opening had been the first week entries of #25 for Down the Road in 2002 and Magic Time in 2005. It was also his highest ever chart placing in the Billboard 200. His previous high water mark had been with Saint Dominic's Preview in 1972 at #15.