Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE (born 31 August 1945), known professionally as Van Morrison, is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer whose recording career spans seven decades. He has won two Grammy Awards.
Morrison began performing as a teenager in the late 1950s. He played a variety of instruments such as guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for several Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Known as “Van the Man” to his fans, Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B and rock band Them. With Them, he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”.
Under the pop-oriented guidance of Bert Berns, Morrison’s solo career began in 1967 with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl”. After Berns’s death, Warner Bros. Records bought out Morrison’s contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). While initially a poor seller, the album has become regarded as a classic. Moondance (1970) established Morrison as a major artist, and he built on his reputation throughout the 1970s with a series of acclaimed albums and live performances.
Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as the album Astral Weeks The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic soul”. His live performances have been described as “transcendental” and “inspired”, and his music as attaining “a kind of violent transcendence”.
Morrison’s albums have performed well in Ireland and the UK, with more than 40 reaching the UK top 40. With the release of Latest Record Project, Volume 1 he scored top ten albums in the UK in four consecutive decades. Eighteen of his albums have reached the top 40 in the United States, twelve of them between 1997 and 2017. He has received two Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, the 2017 Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was knighted for services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland.
The Best of Van Morrison is a compilation album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It compiles songs spanning 25 years of his recording career. Released in 1990 by Polydor Records, the album was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the best-selling records of the 1990s and helping revive Morrison’s mainstream popularity. Its success encouraged him to release a second and third greatest hits volume in 1993 and 2007, respectively. The album remains Morrison’s best-seller.
The Best of Van Morrison was Morrison’s first greatest hits album and featured songs that were compiled from 25 years of material. including “Wonderful Remark”, a song which first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1983 film The King of Comedy. The album became one of the best-selling records of the 1990s, spending a year and a half on the UK charts, helping Morrison regain his commercial popularity during the decade. It also debuted at number one in Australia on the ARIA Albums Chart. In the United States, the album never reached the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 but remained on the chart for more than four-and-a-half years. In 2002, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having shipped four million copies in the US. Morrison was reluctant at first to have a greatest hits album released, although its success encouraged him to personally select tracks for the second and third volumes in 1993 and 2007, respectively. “As the story goes, Van Morrison wanted nothing to do with his first greatest hits collection”, wrote Andrew Gilstrap from PopMatters. “He probably warmed up to the idea, though, after the sales figures started pouring in—year after year after year.”
The Best of Van Morrison remains his best-selling release.(wikipedia)
For an artist who’s doggedly album-oriented, plus a songwriter who revels in subtlety, Van Morrison doesn’t seem like a logical candidate for a successful greatest-hits compilation. Nevertheless, The Best of Van Morrison is a crackerjack compilation, tracing Van the Man from his days with Them, through his best-known tunes (“Brown-Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” “Blue Money,” “Wild Night”), to highlights from the ’70s and ’80s cult efforts, topped off by “Wonderful Remark,” a song first heard on the King of Comedy soundtrack. This collection makes Morrison’s work seem a little more immediate and accessible than it usually is, but that’s a blessing, since it provides a great summary of his hits and a nice introduction for the curious. Yes, it could have dug deeper into the catalog, but as a sampler, it can’t be faulted. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Van Morrison (vocals, guitar, saxophone, harmonica)
many other musicians
01. Bright Side Of The Road (Morrison) (Into The Music;1979) 3.46
02. Gloria (with Them) (Morrison) (Them; 1965) 2.38
03. Moondance (Morrison) (Moondance;1970) 4:31
04. Baby, Please Don’t Go (with Them) (Williams) (Them; 1965) 2.43
05. Have I Told You Lately (Morrison) (Avalon Sunset;1989) 4.20
06. Brown Eyed Girl (radio edit) (Morrison) (Blowin’ Your Mind!; 1967) 3.05
07. Sweet Thing (Morrison) (Astral Weeks;1968) 4.23
08. Warm Love (Morrison) (Hard Nose The Highway;1973) 3.23
09. Wonderful Remark (Morrison) (The King Of Comedy – Soundtrack;1983) 3.59
10. Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) (Morrison) (Saint Dominic’s Preview; 1972) 2.58
11. Full Force Gale (Morrison) (Into The Music; 1979) 3.15
12. And It Stoned Me (Morrison) Moondance 4.29
13. Here Comes The Night (with Them) Bert Berns Them 2.47
14. Domino (Morrison) (His Band And The Street Choir;1970) 3.05
15. Did Ye Get Healed? (Morrison) (Poetic Champions Compose;1987) 4.07
16. Wild Night (Morrison) (Tupelo Honey;1971) 3.34
17. Cleaning Windows (Morrison) (Beautiful Vision;1982) 4.42
18. Whenever God Shines His Light (duet with Cliff Richard) (Morrison) (Avalon Sunset. 1989) 4.54
19. Queen Of The Slipstream (Morrison) (Poetic Champions Compose; 1987) 4.55
20. Dweller On The Threshold (Morrison)/Murphy) (Beautiful Vision; 1982) 4.44