Sir Van Morrison is known for his unique and inventive musical legacy, which has made him one of music’s true originals. The Irish singer/songwriter is famous for his originality and distinct vocal ability, along with the emotional candor in his singing. Having influenced artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Elvis Costello, the work of this legend has contributed to paving the path to many stars’ success.
With albums such as Astral Weeks and Moondance to his name, the artist is one of the most highly regarded singers of the era with Van Morrison tickets selling out faster than you can imagine. Currently, Van Morrison is playing shows in multiple countries, with the performances expected to go on till the end of August, 2018. Don’t miss out on a chance to catch this legend live in action!
Early Days and Musical Beginnings
Born in 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Van Morrison got involved in music as a teenager in the late 1950s. He had already started listening to some of his father’s music collection from the age of two or three and at 15 years old, he dropped out of school to pursue music seriously. He started off with a local band called the Monarchs that toured throughout Europe. By 19 years of age, Morrison left the band, and opened an R&B club, along with the formation of a new band called Them.
The band became quite popular locally, making a good living playing covers. Soon they managed to become famous for some of their own singles, such as “Don’t Start Crying Now” and “Baby Please Don’t Go”. However, Morrison’s days with the band weren’t going to last long. Upon the culmination of the band’s American tour, Morrison parted ways with the group and began working on his solo projects.
Breakthrough as a Solo Artist
After the breakup of Them, Morrison began working on his own music, He released four singles that were recorded in New York. One of these singles, called “Brown Eyed Girl” got into the top 10 and ended up becoming one of the most prestigious classic songs of all time.
Soon after this newfound success, Morrison was signed on to Warner Bros. and headed to the studio to start working with several other jazz musicians.
Astral Weeks and Moondance
Released in 1968, Astral Weeks was Van Morrison’s first album for his new label. The album is widely recognized as one of the greatest musical albums of all time. Talking about this album, Morrison said, “When Astral came out, I was starving, literally”. After initially receiving an indifferent response from the public, the album eventually achieved a lot of critical acclaim. It has been described as hypnotic, and meditative, almost as if possessing a unique musical power by AllMusic’s William Ruhlmann. Even Rolling Stone was all praises for this masterpiece, beginning its review with, "This is music of such enigmatic beauty that thirty-five years after its release, Astral Weeks still defies easy, admiring description."
After the success of Astral Weeks, Morrison began working on his next album called Moondance. Released in 1970, this was Morrison’s third studio album and quickly became his first million selling album reaching number twenty nine on the Billboard charts. Moondance was a huge stylistic variation from its predecessor. While Astral Weeks was a sorrowful and vulnerable kind of sound, Moondance was a more optimistic and cheerful take on music. The title track from this album, “Into the Mystic” received a lot of air play on local radio stations. “Come Running”, another track from the album reached the American Top 40. Rolling Stone was again all praises for the talented star, saying that he now had, "the striking imagination of a consciousness that is visionary in the strongest sense of the word."
Moondance has since been listed at number sixty-five on Rolling Stone’s list for The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Subsequent Music and More Success
In 1972, Van Morrison released Saint Dominic’s Preview. The sound of this album went towards a more daring and adventurous spirit, demonstrating Morrison’s versatility as a musician. In 1973, he released Veedon Fleece, which initially received a very slow response but eventually came to be regarded as one of Van Morrison’s best works to date.
Morrison’s album, Wavelength was released in 1977 to an amazing response. It became the fastest selling album of his career and went gold quickly. According to AllMusic, it is “the definitive post-classic-era Morrison” that can be heard on this album.
The early to mid-nineties were a successful time for Morrison, with three of his albums reaching the Top five in the UK charts, along with sold out concerts. Albums such as The Best of Van Morrison, Enlightenment, Days Like This and Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison, were all commercial successes and helped make Morrison a household name at the time.
Stylistic Elements of Van Morrison’s Music
Van Morrison’s music has some highly distinct stylistic elements that can be associated with his music alone. His characteristic growl, which is a mix of blues, folk, gospel and jazz is an element in his music that is not seen elsewhere. He has been labeled as one of the most unusual and influential singers in rock and roll history, with critic Greil Marcus adding that “no white man sings like Van Morrison”.
As far as his songs and lyrics go, Morrison has written hundreds of songs during the course of his career. A lot of his songs deal with a strong sense of nostalgic yearning for his carefree childhood days. His lyrics also show a noted influence of poets such as William Blake and W.B. Yeats.
In addition to influences and music, the performance style of Van Morrison is also very strongly associated with his entire persona. Critic Greil Marcus talks about this aspect of Morrison, saying that "Morrison remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of rock & roll, a singer who cannot be pinned down, dismissed, or fitted into anyone's expectations."
Recognition, Awards and Legacy
Van Morrison has won a total of 13 Awards and has been nominated for 24 during the course of his career. With thirty three studio albums and six live albums to his name, the honors received by this legendary artist are truly endless. He has been placed at number 27 on the Acclaimed Music’s list of The Top 1000 Artists of All Time. Morrison is also the winner of two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. In addition to that, two of his albums and two of his songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame – three in 1999 and one in 2007.
Van Morrison was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, 26 years after his first hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” was released. He was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and in the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
Van Morrison Tour Tickets
Fans of the legend seem to be in luck, as Van Morrison Tour tickets for his upcoming shows are now up for grabs. Get yours for his upcoming performances.