“Van The Man” is a legendary singer songwriter from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Born in 1945, his musical career began at the age of 13, playing guitar, saxophone and singing in his hometown of Belfast before he joined the band, “Them” in 1964.
With “Them”, Van had his first taste for international success with the chart topping hit, “Gloria”. However after a string of US shows which left the band with a bad taste in their mouth in regards to their manager, the band split up in 1966. After the split, Bert Berns, Them’s producer and composer of their 1965 hit, "Here Comes the Night", persuaded Morrison to return to New York to record solo for his new label, Bang Records. Morrison flew over and signed on the dotted line without fully reading the contract.
His relationship with Bang was very short lived, and luckily after receiving interest from Warner Bros Records, they were able to annul Van from his contract with Bang. However, not before he fulfilled a clause which stated he had to record 36 songs for the Bang Records. Van amazingly recorded 31 songs in one session, and submitted them to Bert Berns, who called the songs “nonsense music”. In 2017 these track were released on a compilation album called, “The Authorized Bang Collection”.
His first album for Warner Bros Records was “Astral Weeks”, a mystical journey, often considered to be his best work and one of the best albums of all time.
Van Morrison has received two Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. For us here at Talking Waves, Van inspires us with his amazing songwriting. This guy has written over 360 songs! Also the fact that he’s Irish is a major bonus. His songs are timeless classics, that will transcend history.
Van, you are the man! Please don’t stop anytime soon.
Our favourite songs: Into The Mystic, Sweet Thing, Cypress Avenue
Our favourite album: Astral Weeks
We hope you enjoyed this weeks Influence Thursday. Catch you all next week! Keep searching for your Brown Eyed Girl!