Van Morrison Biography
A true music innovator, Van Morrison's songwriting muse has produced well over 20 studio albums and landed him the status of lyrical visionary.
Born in Ireland in 1945, Morrison's musician parents schooled him well in jazz and blues. After touring with R&B band the Monarchs as a jazz saxophonist, Morrison founded the band Them, whose "Gloria" became an oft-covered rock 'n' roll classic. Dissatisfied with the corporate aspects of the music world, Morrison disbanded Them and returned to Ireland.
Soon, however, Morrison was back in the studio, recording singles with songwriter Bert Berns on his Bang label. The immediate result was the song "Brown-Eyed Girl," which became a Top 10 hit and prompted Bang to release a collection of Morrison's songs as the album Blowin' Your Mind! in 1967. After releasing the inaccurately titled The Best of Van Morrison, Morrison left Bang for Warner Bros.
Though the resulting Astral Weeks was a commercial flop, it was immediately hailed by critics as a masterpiece. His 1970 release Moondance had a more accessible country-pop sound and found commercial success in its title track and the single "Come Running." Its 1970 follow-up, His Band and the Street Choir, continued down this road, producing the Top 10 single "Domino." Stylistically similar, 1971's Tupelo Honey featured the popular country-flavored track "Wild Night."
Morrison's subsequent albums revealed a stylistic evolution, touching first on soul in 1973's Saint Dominic's Preview and later, introspective folk on Hard Nose the Highway and Veedon Fleece. The R&B-influenced A Period of Transition emerged in 1977 after a brief dry spell and was followed by the commercially popular Wavelength.
Morrison exited the '70s with Into the Music, a quiet effort that examined Christianity, foreshadowing Morrison's journey into mysticism that directed his creative force in the '80s. Among his notable albums of the period include 1985's A Sense of Wonder (Mercury), which paid tribute to poet William Blake, and 1987's Poetic Champions Compose, a collaboration with the Chieftans that had Morrison exploring his Celtic roots.
The release of a greatest hits collection in 1990 gave Morrison a career boost, setting the stage for the release of the acclaimed double album, Hymns to the Silence and A Night in San Francisco, which captured an inspired live performance. The Philosopher's Stone, a collection of previously unreleased material, was released in 1998 on A&M Records.
Morrison's latest studio CD, Back on Top, came out in early 1999. The album features the standout single "When the Leaves Come Falling Down."
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Shaman | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/30/13
He can be take you to a personal spot in your heart that you didn't know existed. This makes him an Irish shaman, shapeshifter, extrordinaire. To have had his music 50 +years in my life has been at times an almost spiritual journey.Unmatched emotion and always spot on with accompaniment.
best of the best | Reviewer: larry | 8/1/09
music of all types has lived ,always, at the core of my being. when i really dicovered "the man"----apart from his earliest rock hits---during the early eighties, i was riveted by his musical accomplishments and continue to marvel. if i had to spend the rest of my years in total isolation and could only choose one performer to "live" on my ipod it would,of course, be van. all musical and spiritual needs fully met!!
"He Can Man" Van | Reviewer: Dave | 1/16/09
The thing that blows my mind about van is there are no boundries. I wasn't fortunate to be apart of his earlier career, but to be apart of his history now is amazing. It's overwelming how much stuff I discover each time I search his discography. To be talented in so many dimensions is a gift from god.
The Man With Soul | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/6/09
There's something about Van Morrison's music that moves me in a way I can't explain. Songs like Brand New Day, Redwood Tree and Did Ye Get Healed seem to speak directly to your emotions, opening up memories and impressions you didn't even know you had. The Man Has Soul.
In Love | Reviewer: Candy | 12/14/07
I have followed and listend to Van (my man) since the early 70's and I'm still in love with him and his music. The only CD's I own and allow in my car/home are his! He is a genius and genuine.
Mystical Muse Musician | Reviewer: Kat Anderson | 12/4/07
I happened to surf the channels a couple of nights ago and found Van Morrison on pbs channel 13 and WOW!!! The man is absolutely magical----what a fantastic memory and stamina ! And check out those musicians too ! I'm off to the music store.
Sweet as Tupelo Honey | Reviewer: Chris | 9/14/07
I agree in that it is hard to label Van Morrison. He is one of the most diverse recording artists ever.
My personal favorite is "Your my woman" on the Tupelo Honey album. The man just knows how to touch your soul with his smooth style and easy rythems.
Easily the most underappreciated performer of the 70s and 80s.
If you like Blues, Rock, Country, RB, Jazz, or Gospel music you should check him out.....
still funky after all these years | Reviewer: dianne | 5/16/06
i've never been able to come up with a lable for his music (like r&b or rock and roll,etc.when people ask me what kind of music he sings.he's one of a kind and i'm really happy that he's still doing his thing.
fantastic | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/6/06
I cry, laugh, smile, dance, sing when I listen to him. He's magical.
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