Van Morrison

Life
1945- ; [George Ivan Morrison], soul musician; b. Belfast, son of shipyard worker and part-time jazz musician; ed. Elm Grove and Orangefield schools; apprentice fitter from 1960; toured with The Monarchs in Germany, and formed Them, 1964, entering charts with ‘Gloria’; he went to the US in 1967; produced Blowin’ Your Mind, followed by Astral Weeks (1968), Moondance (1970), Into the Music (1979), Beautiful Vision (1982), Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Irish Heartbeat (1988), Enlightenment (1990), and Too Long in Exile (1993), among others incl. hit, On a Day Like This (1995); there is an unofficial biography (c.1992), disliked by its subject and another deemed ‘definitive’ (2005); played outside the Bank of Ireland with Mícheal ó Súilleabháin, the traditional-musician and composer, [Sat.] 19 March 2009; [...] his poetry was published as Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics, with a foreword by Ian Rankin (Faber 2014); knighted, June 2015. OCIL

“Glad Tidings” - at YouTube - online [accessed 07.07.2014].

 

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Criticism
Steve Turner, Van Morrison: Too Late To Stop Now (Bloomsbury 1993), 192 pp 0-7475-1565-4; John Collis, Van Morrison (UK: Little, Brown 1996), 256pp., with discography, 199ff.; Johnny Rogan, Van Morrison: No Surrender (London: Harvill Secker 2005), 448pp., ill. [16pp. of photos]; Clinton Heydon, Can you Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography (Viking/Penguin), 560pp.

See also Martin McLoone, ‘From Dublin up to Sandy Row, Van Morrison and Cultural Identity in Northern Ireland’, in Causeway (Summer 1994), pp.39-44.

Note: There is a Van Morrison entry in The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, ed. Robert Welch (OUP 1996).

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Commentary
Gerald Dawe, review of Clinton Heydon, Can you Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography (London: Viking/Penguin), in The Irish Times (9 Nov. 2002), p.10, describes it as ‘a snooty, prickly affair characterised by what seems like the author’s preoccupation with psychobabble’, and speaks of the time ‘before the curtain dropped in the late 1960s and the city, despite the best efforts of thousands of ordinary men and women who braved the terror, fell for over a decade into a kind of fragmented darkness, Belfast’s vibrant music scene was a liberation.’

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