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 "Van" Morrison OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison 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's death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.
Moondance (1970) established Morrison as a major artist, and he built on his reputation throughout the 1970s with a series of acclaimed albums and live performances. He 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.
- An Interview With Van Morrisonhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05xk2zg.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05xk2zg.jpg2018-02-08T17:55:00.000ZPaul talks to Van Morrison about the highlights (and lowlights!) of his music career.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05xk1w0
An Interview With Van Morrison
- Moondance or Astral Weeks? What's the best Van Morrison album?https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05tpxtp.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05tpxtp.jpg2018-01-12T16:45:00.000ZGuy backs up his controversial choice of favourite work by Van the Man.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05tpnbd
Moondance or Astral Weeks? What's the best Van Morrison album?
- Van on discovering Lead Bellyhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fjfwl.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fjfwl.jpg2017-09-08T16:34:00.000ZVan Morrison tells Walter about his introduction to blues musichttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05fjfwx
Van on discovering Lead Belly
- How a paper round bought Van Morrison 'Hootin' Blues'https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fdzd9.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fdzd9.jpg2017-09-07T16:32:00.000ZSir Van Morrison tells Walter Love about the first record he ever boughthttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05fdz7l
How a paper round bought Van Morrison 'Hootin' Blues'
- Van’s inspirationhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04qhs86.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04qhs86.jpg2017-01-23T15:05:00.000ZVan Morrison explains to John McCarthy how he’s developed the music which has touched people’s lives.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04qhsd8
- 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 Weekshttps://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 singinghttps://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 2https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02g8z1f
Van Morrison enters Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame
Van Morrison Tracks
Past BBC Events
Latest Van Morrison News
Performances & Interviews from Similar Artists
6 Questions for... Cat Power
Cat Power on meeting her hero Bob Dylan
Memories of Bob Dylan
Ricky Ross performs Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love
Why it's pointless trying to interview Bob Dylan!
Wonderful Peggy Seeger
When Dylan went electric
Joe Boyd On An Illustrious Music Career
Bob Dylan is inducted in to Michael Balls Singers Hall of Fame
Bonnie Dobson on Dylan, Seeger and other folk luminaries