UMPG publish Van Morrison for selected songs from the albums 'Blowin' Your Mind', 'Astral Weeks' and 'Bang Masters'.
One of music’s true originals Sir Van Morrison's unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast. Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964. Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics.
Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career. After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm. Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing. Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.
Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s and 80s, Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century. Borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.
Awards and accolades - a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 2 Grammys, honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres - attested to the international reach of Van’s musical art.
Yet there was never any suggestion that Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, would ever rest on his laurels. With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.