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 such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.

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.

Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track Listen To The Lion.

Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.

Indeed, borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.

Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One an album centring on Summertime In England an extraordinary invocation of literary, sensual and spiritual pleasure the song would often become a thrilling improvised centrepiece to his live shows.

Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.

Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.

Awards and accolades - a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 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.


1967 - Blowin' Your Mind!

1968 - Astral Weeks

1970 - Moondance

1970 - His Band And The Street Choir

1971 - Tupelo Honey

1972 - Saint Dominic's Preview

1973 - Hard Nose The Highway

1974 - Veedon Fleece

1977 - A Period Of Transition

1978 - Wavelength

1979 - Into The Music

1980 - Common One

1982 - Beautiful Vision

1983 - Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart

1985 - A Sense Of Wonder

1986 - No Guru, No Method, No Teacher

1987 - Poetic Champions Compose

1988 - Irish Heartbeat (In collaboration With The Chieftains)

1989 - Avalon Sunset

1990 - Enlightenment

1991 - Hymns To The Silence

1993 - Too Long In Exile

1995 - Days Like This

1995 - How Long Has This Been Going On

1996 - Tell Me Something: The Songs Of Mose Allison

1997 - The Healing Game

1999 - Back On Top

2000 - You Win Again

2002 - Down The Road

2003 - What's Wrong With This Picture?

2005 - Magic Time

2006 - Pay The Devil

2008 - Keep It Simple

2012 - Born To Sing: No Plan B

2015 - Duets: Re-working The Catalogue

2016 - Keep Me Singing

2017 - Roll With The Punches

2017 - Versatile

2018 - You're Driving Me Crazy

2018 - The Prophet Speaks

2019 - Three Chords & The Truth

2021 - Latest Record Project, Volume 1