Van Morrison

Musician + Singer and Songwriter
Born Aug 31, 1945

Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are described as transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Van Morrison.


1945 Birth George Ivan "Van" Morrison was born on 31 August 1945, at 125 Hyndford Street, Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland, as the only child of George Morrison, a shipyard electrician, and Violet Stitt Morrison, who had been a singer and tap dancer in her youth. … Read More
1950 4 Years Old From 1950 to 1956, Morrison, who began to be known as "Van" during this time, attended Elmgrove Primary School. … Read More


1958 - 1960 2 More Events
1963 17 Years Old 1 More Event
This was Morrison's first recording, taking place in November 1963 at Ariola Studios in Cologne with Morrison on saxophone; it made the lower reaches of the German charts.
1964 18 Years Old The roots of Them, the band that first broke Morrison on the international scene, came in April 1964 when he responded to an advert for musicians to play at a new R&B club at the Maritime Hotel – an old dance hall frequented by sailors. … Read More
1965 19 Years Old 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. … Read More


1967 21 Years Old 1 More Event
Following the death of Berns in 1967, Morrison became involved in a contract dispute with Berns' widow, Ilene Berns, that prevented him from performing on stage or recording in the New York area. … Read More
1970 24 Years Old 1 More Event
Morrison's third solo album, Moondance, which was released in 1970, became his first million selling album and reached number twenty-nine on the Billboard charts. … Read More
1971 - 1972 2 More Events
He released his next album Hard Nose the Highway in 1973 receiving mixed, but mostly negative, reviews. … Read More


1980 34 Years Old With his next album, the new decade found Morrison following his muse into uncharted territory and sometimes merciless reviews. In February 1980, Morrison and a group of musicians travelled to Super Bear, a studio in the French Alps, to record (on the site of a former abbey) what is considered to be the most controversial album in his discography; later "Morrison admitted that his original concept was even more esoteric than the final product." … Read More
1982 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Lester Bangs wrote in 1982, "Van was making holy music even though he thought he was, and us rock critics had made our usual mistake of paying too much attention to the lyrics."
1983 37 Years Old His 1983 album, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart was "a move towards creating music for meditation" with synthesisers, uilleann pipes and flute sounds and four of the tracks were instrumentals. … Read More
1985 39 Years Old 1 More Event
A Sense of Wonder, Morrison's 1985 album, pulled together the spiritual themes contained in his last four albums, which were defined in a Rolling Stone review as: "rebirth (Into the Music), deep contemplation and meditation (Common One); ecstasy and humility (Beautiful Vision); and blissful, mantra like languor (Inarticulate Speech of the Heart)." … Read More


1986 - 1988 3 More Events
…  Another compilation album, The Best of Van Morrison Volume Two was released in January 1993, followed by Too Long in Exile in June, another top five chart success. … Read More
1994 48 Years Old …  He has received six 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.
1995 49 Years Old Morrison performed before an estimated audience of sixty to eighty thousand people when US President Bill Clinton visited Belfast, Northern Ireland on 30 November 1995. … Read More


1996 - 1998 3 More Events
1999 53 Years Old His next release, 1999's Back on Top, achieved a modest success, being his highest charting album in the US since 1978's Wavelength. … Read More
2002 56 Years Old The album, Down the Road released in May 2002, received a good critical reception and proved to be his highest charting album in the US since 1972's Saint Dominic's Preview. … Read More
Morrison's 2005 album, Magic Time, debuted at number twenty-five on the US Billboard 200 charts upon its May release, some forty years after Morrison first entered the public's eye as the frontman of Them. … Read More


…  The couple married and have two children; a daughter was born in February 2006 and a son in August 2007.
A new double CD compilation album The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3 was released in June 2007 containing thirty-one tracks, some of which were previously unreleased.
It was his highest charting album in the US until his Top Ten debut on Billboard 200 in 2008.
In February and March 2009, Morrison returned to the US for Astral Weeks Live concerts, interviews and TV appearances with concerts at Madison Square Garden and at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. … Read More
2010 - 2013 3 More Events
In August 2014, a "Van Morrison Trail" was established in East Belfast by Morrison in partnership with the Connswater Community Greenway. … Read More
The Songwriter's Hall of Fame announced on 8 April 2015 that Morrison would be the 2015 recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award on 18 June 2015 at their 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner in New York City.
…  In 2016 he was knighted for his musical achievements and his services to tourism and charitable causes in Northern Ireland. … Read More
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