$71.50 - $256.50
Six-time Grammy Award winner Van Morrison is one of the most accomplished songwriters and tour date draws of the 20th century. As a member of the group Them, he penned the hit track "Gloria" that would go on to become one of the greatest rock songs of the '60s. He began his solo career with a bang when he wrote the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl," that would go on to be one of the most covered songs ever. He has influenced countless musical artists and groups and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Recently, he released his 33rd original studio album, Keep It Simple, in 2008 to critical acclaim. With no tour dates in 2011 and no new albums on the horizon, fans of Van Morrison might have to wait until 2012 to see Van Morrison live.
George Ivan Morrison was born on August 31, 1945, in Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland. In the spring of 1964, Morrison responded to an ad requesting musicians to play at a new R&B club on its opening night. Not a member of a band at the time, Morrison approached The Gamblers to fill the spot and the band soon became known as Them. One of the songs performed at the Maritime was "Gloria," the length of which depended on how much time needed to be filled. After a dispute over revenues on a tour date in Hawaii, Them disbanded and Morrison returned to Ireland jaded.
In 1967, Van Morrison returned to New York and signed a solo contract with Bang Records without even reading the document. After recording a few tracks in the studio, Bang released the album, Blowin' Your Mind!, without notifying Morrison. Despite the deceit, the album contained a copy of "Brown Eyed Girl," which became an instant classic and received massive plays on the radio.
Van Morrison had begun work on a groundbreaking song cycle that he had already performed on tour dates in clubs and small venues. Morrison was nearly broke at this point and funneled his despair into the 1968 album Astral Weeks. The Celtic song cycle initially confused many, but has become widely known as Van Morrison's masterpiece and one of the greatest albums in the history of music. Moondance was released in 1970 and was a more conventional album than the previous, exhibiting a R&B sound that struck a chord with fans and critics. By this time, Morrison was finishing the recording process in a matter of days, allowing him to release an album almost every year and play extensive tour dates.
After releasing the hit album, Wavelength, in 1978, Van Morrison spent much of the 80s making meditative records similar to Astral Weeks. Many of the albums he released in the 90s failed to achieve commercial success, and Morrison spent the majority of his time on grueling tour dates. This streak was broken with the releases of Down the Road (2002), Magic Time (2005), and the country album, Pay the Devil (2006). After a slew of Greatest Hits albums, Van Morrison released his latest and 33rd album, Keep It Simple, in 2008, which reached #10 on the Billboard 200 and proved that Morrison still has what it takes after all these years.