Van Morrison Biography (BBC)
George Ivan “Van” Morrison grew up in Belfast to a professional singer mum and a jazz/blues obsessive dad. Having such a musical head start proved useful in the early ‘60s beat boom, and his band Them gained a reputation for hard-nosed R&B with a wild-eyed and mystical edge. Their 1964 breakthrough single Baby Please Don’t Go captured this abandon, with the b-side Gloria proving a lasting influence on American garage rock bands, and in particular, Patti Smith. After two albums (and a handful of BBC radio session tracks) the tempestuous band split in 1966. Unbowed, Van changed musical tack, producing the joyful hit Brown-Eyed Girl.
His next great leap forward was 1968’s Astral Weeks, a record of molten memories that regularly ranks towards the top of most ‘best albums’ lists and has been the subject of both BBC documentaries and tribute concerts. The more optimistic follow-up, Moondance, tidied up the musical format a bit, and is equally beloved. Having hit his stride, Van’s early 1970s albums (including His Band and the Street Choir, Tupelo Honey, Saint Dominic’s Preview) were all musically from a place where jazz, blues and folk fused together with ancient celtic poetry, in a kind of ecstatic rush, although his TV interviews, even with The Old Grey Whistle Test’s Bob Harris, could be another matter.
Always a working musician – including seven Glastonbury appearances, and a much loved BBC Four Sessions performance in 2009 - his list of musical collaborators is long and varied, taking in John Lee Hooker, Lonnie Donnegan, Cliff Richard, The Band and The Chieftans (with whom he recorded Irish Heartbeat, the 1988 album of traditional folk tunes). He also wrote Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, one of Rod Stewart’s biggest hit singles and a modern classic. And he even went back to Cyprus Avenue in Belfast for a special BBC concert to celebrate his 70th birthday.
Van Morrison Biography (Wikipedia)
Sir George Ivan Morrison, OBE (born 31 August 1945), known as Van Morrison, is a Northern Irish singer and songwriter with a reputation for being at once stubborn, idiosyncratic, and sublime. His studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are acclaimed as among the greatest recorded. In 2016, he was knighted for his musical achievements and his services to tourism and charitable causes in Northern Ireland.
Known as "Van the Man", Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns' death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially a poor seller; Moondance (1970), however, established Morrison as a major artist, and he built on his reputation throughout the 1970s with a series of acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and the Chieftains. In 2008, he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.
- Van Morrison talks to John McCarthy about Astral Weekshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04q1kmd.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04q1kmd.jpg2017-01-19T16:58:00.000ZVan Morrison talks to John McCarthy about recording his seminal 1968 album, Astral Weekshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04q1kmh
Van Morrison talks to John McCarthy about Astral Weeks
- Keeping It Spontaneoushttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049fyz8.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049fyz8.jpg2016-10-05T12:53:00.000ZVan Morrison tells Clare that he still uses the jazz approach to performance and singinghttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04b1q5j
Keeping It Spontaneous
- Van Morrison enters Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Famehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02g8z16.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02g8z16.jpg2015-01-04T20:55:00.000ZPaul Radcliffe in Aberdeen nominates Van Morrison for Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame on Radio 2http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02g8z1f
Van Morrison enters Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame
Van Morrison Tracks