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Van Morrison

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Belfast, Northern Ireland (1958 – present)

George Ivan Morrison (generally known as Van Morrison) (born 31 August 1945) is a Grammy Award-winning artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He’s a singer, songwriter, author, poet, and multi-instrumentalist, who has been a professional musician since 1958. He plays a variety of instruments, including the guitar, harmonica, keyboards, drums, and saxophone. Featuring his characteristic growl - a unique mix of folk, blues, Irish, scat, and Celtic influences - Morrison is widely considered one of the most unusual and influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll.

Known as “Van the Man” by his fans, Morrison first rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Northern Irish band Them, writing their 1964 hit “Gloria”. A few years later, Morrison left the band for a successful solo career, starting with the album Astral Weeks.

Morrison has pursued an idiosyncratic musical path. Much of his music is tightly structured around the conventions of American soul and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Moondance”, “Domino”, and “Wild Night”. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as his classic album Astral Weeks and lesser known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic Soul,” and Morrison rejects the characterization of his genre of music as Rock, citing Elvis Presley as a non-influence.

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  • Irryco

    Van Morrison accepting the Legend Award, GQ Magazine, from Bob Geldof. Well worth seeing. ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU31wkXT5cI

    18 Sep 12:49pm Reply
  • SokolovaAL

    I like his early 80s albums

    13 Sep 4:04pm Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    Beautiful Vision is tremendous. It bears repeating.

    31 Aug 12:33pm Reply
  • Nakkinak

    his 80s albums are insane

    4 Aug 2:25pm Reply
  • Irryco

    Astral Weeks and Veedon Fleece are mine.

    30 Jul 12:26pm Reply
  • Tymbolic

    Not that anyone cares, but Tupelo Honey and Veedon Fleece are my favorites.

    24 Jul 5:17pm Reply
  • Irryco

    If you like his early 80s albums, especially Beautiful Vision, his "Live at the grand opera house in Belfast" from 1984 is a must.

    22 Jul 6:49pm Reply
  • towlesda

    I'm starting to think that Veedon Fleece is his best album.

    24 Jun 2:41pm Reply
  • Irryco

    The song Ancient Highway is one of the highlights of his career, I think. :)

    9 Jun 12:32pm Reply
  • ralfsu

    The 'Days Like This' album is rather good !

    9 Jun 9:52am Reply
  • Keila_M

    Tupelo Honey ♥

    25 May 9:32am Reply
  • Irryco

    Check out the latest issue of Uncut for a very nice text about Veedon Fleece. :)

    27 Apr 1:29pm Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    Hm. Interesting point. I don't know when I'll get to hear the whole thing, but someday we'll discuss it further.

    29 Mar 1:59pm Reply
  • ralfsu

    I think it breaks the spell of the album a LITTLE, I mean his stuff is so archaic and transcendental that just taking the journey there to 1969 to A&R Studios and hearing him go through these songs one by one with those involved making comments inbetween just destroys its magic, but maybe that's just me. I understand releasing box sets like that in the case of for example The Beach Boys where you can experience how they worked their cohesive harmonies into their multi-layered songs but in the case Van, it doesn't do much to hear 11 Caravans. Some of those outtakes are real shiners nonetheless.

    28 Mar 11:13pm Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    I've only heard the samples on Rolling Stone's website but they were goooood. And you're certainly right that such a thing isn't "necessary" - but for the obsessives, or for fellow musicmakers like I hope to be, an entire session becoming available like that is an unbelievably cool thing.

    28 Mar 1:10pm Reply
  • ralfsu

    Well the Moondance remaster sure sounds like a million dollars, some of the outtakes are pretty lovely too, although I question the necessity of such a box set... Apparently Van wasn't happy either, he never granted permission for such a release!

    27 Mar 7:50am Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    Van is certainly an artist who just keeps carrying on, but I'd cite him as a rare example of someone who can get away with it. A record like Days Like This, thirty years into the man's career, breaks no new ground whatsoever, for music or for Van, and yet it's terrific.

    21 Mar 10:08am Reply
  • Irryco

    I don't agree with you on that point.

    8 Mar 6:14pm Reply
  • RussellChap

    Van Morrison is a case of an artist who keeps going doing his thing. Pity most of it has been uninteresting for the last 30 years or so. Sometimes just carrying on is the worse thing an artist can do.

    7 Mar 10:51pm Reply
  • FrankShiner

    I recently had the honor of recording Van's Brand New Day with producer Gary Katz of Steely Dan renown. If you get a chance please check it out and let me know what you think. http://youtu.be/8wN00ImO8Yk

    5 Mar 2:20am Reply
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