Sunday, 2 December 2012

Artistfacts: Van Morrison

The Artistfacts site is the twin brother of Songfacts and as such is committed to bringing little known and well known facts to light about the most well-known performers of the rock era.  Here are 10 facts about The Man ("for those who came in late" as The Phantom comics say). 

1.  Van Morrison's musical career has bridged such a wide variety of genres that he is difficult to label.

  2.  He's a member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  3.  At his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1993, Robbie Robertson, former member of The Band, said of Morrison, "he is the Caruso of rock and roll".
  4.  Morrison's career began as a teenager, working in the Northern Ireland showband scene. 
  5.  In 1967 he released Brown Eyed Girl and while many consider it to be his signature song, he said in an interview with Time that he has "about 300 songs" that are better.
  6.  Morrison was given three sessions to records the album Astral Weeks. Morrison said at this point, he was literally a starving artist.
7.  Rolling Stone magazine later named Astral Weeks #19 on its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, saying that it defies easy description and Morrison was "never this open, and naked, again."
  8.  Morrison's next album, Moondance in 1970, became his first album to sell a million copies and also made the Rolling Stone greatest albums list, at #65.
  9.  He regularly collaborates with other artists, such as his recording of Have I Told You Lately with the Chieftains in 1995, which won a Grammy Award.

10.  He said in a 2008 interview in the Los Angeles Times, when the reporter questioned him about his music, "It's a funny feeling that you actually have the courtesy of asking me about my songs. Did you know there have been numerous books written about my music where none of the authors were interested in my take on my music?"

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