Van Morrison

Born 31 August 1945.
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Van Morrisson and Bob Dylan - Foreign Window

Van Morrison and Bob Dylan perform Foreign Window in Greece, taken from the Arena documentary of 1992 One Irish Rover.

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Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are described as mystical and transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists.

Known as "Van the Man" to his fans, 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 in 1968. Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially poorly received; however, the next one, Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically 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.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Astral Weeks: Live At The Hollywood Bowl

    Astral Weeks: Live At The Hollywood Bowl 2009

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    Nothing short of miraculous.
  2. Review of Keep It Simple

    Keep It Simple 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It may look simple, but only a master like Van could pull this off.
  3. Review of It's Too Late To Stop Now (Remastered)

    It's Too Late To Stop Now (Remastered) 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    One of the best bands and their genius of a singer deliver the goods one more time.
  4. Review of Tupelo Honey

    Tupelo Honey 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    The Belfast Cowboy's most bucolic album. Filled with domestic joy and great country...
  5. Review of Still On Top

    Still On Top 2007

    Reviewed by James Young
    Soulful and uplifting, awash with lyrical hooks powered by his increasingly...
  6. Review of At The Movies

    At The Movies 2007

    Reviewed by Tim Cunningham
    ...Once again shows why Van’s the Man.
  7. Review of Pay The Devil

    Pay The Devil 2006

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    Legendary Celtic soul troubador Morrison tries his hand at some Nashville classics...
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