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Who is Van Morrison?

By Kathy Hawkins
Updated May 23, 2024
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Van Morrison is a popular singer from Ireland who has been making music since the 1960s. He first started performing with the band "Them," and then went on to an extremely successful solo career. Over the years, Van Morrison has released an eclectic range of albums, with elements of rock, jazz, blues, country, and other musical forms.

During his childhood in Belfast, Ireland, Van Morrison became fixated on music. His father bought him a guitar at age twelve, and he formed a band with some of his friends from school. As a teenager, Van Morrison also learned to play saxophone. He first gained commercial success as the singer for Them, which broke up after two years.

In 1967, Van Morrison released his first solo album. A single from that album, "Brown-Eyed Girl," was a top ten hit, and is still played frequently on classic rock radio stations. The next year, Van Morrison released the album Astral Weeks, a sprawling, improvisational, mystic-themed record that is today hailed as one of the classic rock records of all time.

Van Morrison recorded and toured steadily through the 1970s; one of his most successful and critically acclaimed albums was Moondance. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his albums were derided for being too experimental or too generic, although he still had a few successes. More recently, he has been involved in many collaborations with other artists, including Mark Knofler of Dire Straits, Ray Charles, and Tom Jones.

Many other musicians cite Van Morrison as an essential influence on their work. Some artists who claim Van Morrison has inspired them include U2, Counting Crows, Tom Petty, and Patti Smith. Van Morrison has been recognized as an essential American artist, with six Grammy Awards to his name and a membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Discussion Comments
By WaterHopper — On Mar 06, 2011

@boathugger: Here’s a little more information for you:

Van Morrison’s song, “Brown Eyed Girl” has featured in the movies “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “Born on the 4th of July”. He also did a song, “Days Like This” which was featured in the movie “As Good As It Gets”.

By CellMania — On Mar 04, 2011

@boathugger:

Van Morrison is definitely a legend. There are so many awesome songs that he has sang or been a part of. One that I particularly like was when he did a couple of songs on a record called “Hymns to the Silence”. I believe he did “Just a closer walk with thee” and “Be Thou My Vision”.

Morrison also had a song featured in the one of my favorite movies, “Michael” starring John Travolta. The song was called “Bright Side of the Road”. That same song was featured in UNESCO’s advertisements for World Press Freedom Day in 1984, as well.

By BoatHugger — On Mar 03, 2011

In my music appreciation class we were all assigned a singer and/or musician to do an essay on. I was assigned Van Morrison. I am trying to learn more about Van Morrison music and style. Can anyone provide me with any interesting info on Mr. Morrison?

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