Monday, 27 May 2013

Things I'd Wish Van Would Do - Part 1

What do you wish Van would do?  Never think about it? Well, you're saner then I am.  Here's part of my 40-page "To Do" list for Van:

  1.  Buy rights to all Bang recordings (so we can stop getting all those reissues of inferior recordings.) People hate being ripped off and they think Van's doing it.

2.  Create a release schedule for CDs of every concert Van's done.  Stretch it out over a thousand years or so - Over one thousand years that's a release rate of about 4 per year.

  3.  Take the 34 or 35 studio albums and make 20 great albums from that material.   (Being a Vanatic I've already planned each one.  This idea is mainly to generate new generations of fans.  I'm hoping that in 2034 an album called Tupelo Street Choir will make the Top 10.)

4.  Tour China and India and any other countries with large populations.  A lot of Indians speak English and I think he could do huge sellout concerts there.  He'd do well in China just based on curiosity value.  Same as Japan. Wouldn't it be great to swell the fan base?  Wouldn't it be great to licence your product in Asia?  Think about 100 million Chinese using some herbal supplement under the "Healing Game" brand? Or a wool products label called Veedon Fleece.  Nigeria should also be on the list to market to being the largest English-speaking country in Africa. You've never played in Asia, Africa or South America.  Van, they're waiting.

5.  Tour Australia and New Zealand.  Bring Michelle and the kids and spend some time down here.  Forget 1985, Australia needs you now.  Think of the privacy for your family in North Queensland at some luxury tropical resort in the middle of the tour.  There are resort islands that only take 6 guests.  And Australians have the money to pay outrageous prices.

6.  Assist Simon Gee or whoever to create a permanent Van Morrison Museum in Belfast.  Call it The Music of Northern Ireland Museum if you will and celebrate all the
Northern Irish musicians from the showband era to today.  Imagine, if you will, being able to view Van's pacifier or baby rattle.  This is what fans are crying out for.  This would take some of the pressure off the people who now reside at 125 Hyndford Street.     
7.  Spend months in the studio recording thousands of cover songs.  These albums could be released posthumously.  Van, this is the stuff that will help pay for your kids' and grandkids' education.  If Michael Buble can do this and call it a "music career" so you can too Van.  Contact Rod Stewart's manager for some pointers.     

8.  Start an old people's home for old musicians.  My plan calls for selecting a town in Northern Ireland that's in need of revitalising.  Van buys a hotel and turns it into an old musician's home complete with recording studios and a massive music library.  What a great way to go out for old musos.  They can spend their golden years or whatever talking about , listening to and even making music.  The whole project would be Van's way of putting something back.  Think of the tax benefits he'd get!  Also, the whole thing could be supported by benefit concerts.  Plus some Northern Ireland town in financial difficulty could get a boost. Renovators, nurses, cooks, orderlies, music librarians, etc. would all be needed and cash would flow to the community.  (Note to Bob Dylan:  do this in the US.)
 9.  Reform Them and do a tour.  Surely among the 30 or so members of Them a group of 4 or 5 could be formed into a really good outfit. 

10.  Record a Frank Zappa tribute album.  I'd love to hear Van doing Catholic Girls

11.  I'd really like Van to do a one song album.  This would become his new Astral Weeks.  Another masterpiece to go with the first. His 60 minute piece could be a subtle history of his days from Them to the "jazz stylings" of Born to Sing.  Then he could release the album again as the single!  Perfect!

12.  I know Van isn't into novelties but what about a Van Morrison salt and pepper set .  A younger van could be the pepper and an older Van could be the salt.  We don't use pepper as much, do we? 

After Van reads this surely he's going to hire me as an ideas man.  Even if it's just to annoy Richard Gere or Clinton Heylin with prank phone calls. I could imagine Van and I sitting in his study reading papers and listening to Nick Drake or whatever and he turns to me and says "how do you think I should do my hair?" and I'd answer him and with his new hair he's soon palling around with Simon Cowell and Nicky Minaj and doing duet albums with Katy Perry.  Picture Ryan Seacrest's arm around Van's shoulders. This is what I can bring to Van.  Van, call me. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Everybody's Dummy

Everybody's Dummy is a great music blog with reviews of all kinds of albums.  “Wardo’s” reviews and assessments of 10 or so of Van’s albums make for interesting reading.  Here are some brief samples with his ratings out of 5 in brackets.  However, I must warn the hardcore fan here.  Wardo rates Into the Music as the only geniune Van classic and puts it above Astral Weeks, Moondance and Veedon Fleece!

It’s Too Late To Stop Now (3.5)   -   This is one of those albums that gets mentioned as one of the best live albums of all time. It was certainly lavish; two records in a triptych cover loaded with photos, offering a full 90 minutes of music from three club-sized shows in Los Angeles and London. For him, it was never about promoting your latest record; a show was always about the music and the moment. That’s what makes his choices to cover Ray Charles, Bobby Blue Bland, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and Sonny Boy Williamson some of the better moments on the album.  So while It’s Too Late To Stop Now is a perfectly enjoyable album, is it essential? The greatest live album ever made? That’s a matter of personal taste.
Astral Weeks (4.5)   -   While he’d been a recording artist for a while, and even been on the pop charts as a solo artist, Astral Weeks was Van Morrison’s first real album.It’s not the kind of album that grabs you immediately; like many of the great ones, it slowly sinks into your brain until you simply have to have it. It’s a late-night narcotic that evokes autumn. The title track begins with a simple bass run over two chords, setting the stage for Van to rap a stream of consciousness that barely rhymes, like a train travelling over the green hills before coming to the stop where he gets off.  Astral Weeks is a slow burner, one that once you “get”, you understand that it truly is all good. This is where the legend of Caledonia soul, the Belfast Cowboy all began—gardens wet with rain, tree-lined streets, thinking back to simpler days and immersing oneself in literature and music.
A Period Of Transition (2)   -   It was three years between Veedon Fleece and the next Van Morrison album—an eternity in the ‘70s. The decision was made to lay down some generic tracks with Dr. John (credited under his given name of Mac Rebennack) as key collaborator and co-producer. Given the all-too obvious title A Period Of Transition, the album doesn’t really please.

Beautiful Vision (3)   -   This was more like it. Beautiful Vision presents another version of the Van Morrison recipe, setting up his general ‘80s style with soft pop and a few smooth jazz touches. Mark Isham is still on board for tootling via trumpet and synth. Tasteful use of uilleann pipes help Celtic Ray and Northern Muse (Solid Ground) along, both upbeat enough to kick the side into gear. Dweller On The Threshold is a whirling dervish of a song, and luckily the horns don’t get in the way. The title track and She Gives Me Religion sound a little alike until their choruses.

 Wavelength (2.5)   -   Right off the bat, Wavelength seems to be a step in the right direction. Only a year after his return to the business, Van seems to have come to grips with the expectation of the marketplace. Even the cover was stylish, giving the consumer another crotch shot below an almost relaxed, confident stare captured in soft focus by the same guy who’d photographed Joni for the Hejira cover.  The album isn’t immediately memorable. Kingdom Hall might suggest a conversion to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but overall it’s just a simple celebration of dancing and having fun.

Common One (2)   -   After the triumph of Into The Music came… this. Common One is an ironic title for an album that has no identity. Of the six tracks, the shortest is five minutes, while two are over fifteen. Haunts Of Ancient Peace is a promising start, a sinuous groove with understated horns. Summertime In England is a gallop over the same two chords through a couple of different tempos. Much of the vocal is mushmouthed, and the few lyrics that cut through cover the usual territories: William Blake, T.S. Eliot, a laundry list of poets, Avalon, and so forth, eventually fixating on the album title. As rambling as it is, collaborator Jeff Labes did construct a very precise string arrangement, but there’s just no tension or payoff.

Veedon Fleece (4)   -   Possibly because it doesn’t have a recognisable hit single, Veedon Fleece is one of Van’s lesser-known albums. Which is too bad, because it’s one of his most underrated. It also comes across as one of the more overtly Celtic albums in the canon. Not all of the songs have such touches, but there’s a pervading Irishness that goes right through to the green cover.  With a gentle acoustic strum over two chords and colour from a piano, Fair Play is a sweet waltz, picking up whenever Van gets to scatting. Only four songs in Streets Of Arklow manages to be a nice distillation of the entire album instrumentally and thematically.

Tupelo Honey (3)   -   Life in the sticks was certainly agreeing with Van, based on the sunny, bucolic photos adorning the sleeve of Tupelo Honey. Here we see the country squire, long-haired, bearded and developing a gut, wandering along wooded lanes with horses, his lady and a cat. His R&B approach gets a little country colour, thanks to the occasional appearance of a pedal steel guitar, but it still has to cut through the Caledonia soul. Wild Night was the big hit, with its percolating bass line, but it’s Straight To Your Heart (Like A Cannonball) that grabs your ears. Old Old Woodstock and Starting A New Life celebrate home and family, and You’re My Woman is an overt love song, building from basic verses to the repetitive cadences that would pepper his live performances.
Moondance (3.5)   -   Having found a way to make the music he heard in his head, Van proceeded to record a collection of songs that covered all his interests—jazz, folk, country and even pop. Of all his records—and he’s got a lot—Moondance is still the best place for newbies to start. In a departure from the esoteric jazz sound of Astral Weeks, the album is overtly catchy, with memorable choruses and hooks aplenty. None so more than And It Stoned Me, which seemingly describes a journey to a fishing hole with a stop off at a guy who offers the narrator and his friends a welcome drink of water or something stronger.

Into The Music (5)   -   It took a few false starts, but Van managed to close the decade with a masterpiece. Like all his greats, Into The Music takes a while to get into. And like all his greats, it’s full of romance and religion beneath the surface. It’s true Caledonia soul, mixing Irish folk touches with R&B, along with such instruments as harmonica, banjo and Dobro, Appalachian influences that reflect just how huge American country-western is in Ireland. Some prominent musicians appear in support: Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band, Pee Wee Ellis from the James Brown band, and a couple of refugees from ECM Records and John McLaughlin. None seem extraneous.

Hard Nose The Highway (3.5)   -   Nobody following along with Van thus far would have expected him to do some major departure from his basic style. But with Hard Nose The Highway, it could be said that this was his first weird album. The worst thing about this album is the cover, followed by the title. Those able to stomach the packaging enough to open the shrink wrap would be wise to buckle in for a strange trip. Snow In San Anselmo is an altogether disturbing song to start, with a ghostly choir chirping about, well, snow (in San Anselmo). There’s some give and take for a few verses, a couple of double-time jazz breaks and even an endorsement of the round-the-clock hospitality of the local pancake house.
Saint Dominic’s Preview (3)   -   So Van cut his hair, shaved and got divorced. He also started to split his pants, as shown on the cover of Saint Dominic’s Preview. This album follows evenly along his post-Moondance path, mixing horn-heavy soul and acoustic ruminations. As has become tradition, the opening track is what George Martin would call a potboiler. Here it’s Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile), wherein he takes joy in a song on the radio and scats along to another place. Others will disagree, but the over dramatic Gypsy with its predominant flute is a little grating. Likewise, I Will Be There isn’t as effective as some of his other jazz homages. As eleven-minute songs go, Listen To The Lion threatens to be tedious, but manages to hypnotise. The comparisons to Astral Weeks are well placed, and even the middle section where he starts growling (like, ahem, a lion) can be excused.
His Band And The Street Choir (3.5)   -   Van’s further flirtation with mainstream appeal continued with His Band And The Street Choir, an acoustic R&B album that’s even happier than Moondance. There’s only one song in a minor key, and even that’s a romantic one. The best songs still endure—Domino is a wonderful opener, with interesting interplay between the guitar and the horn section. We still have no idea what Crazy Face is about, even if it’s just a setup for his squawking two-note sax solo.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Van's Belfast

Like so many writers have done, journalist John Kelly has offered the following piece on the connection between Van and Belfast.  I've read so much of this stuff that, to me, Belfast looms like some ethereal Shangri La.  I've never been there but I've questioned every person I could find who was either born there or has visited there.  They always seem to have a lesser opinion of the city than I do.  I can't wait to go there one day. 
The standard Australian tourist's response to Belfast is "the poor people who have to live in that cold, dark, damp place with rundown buildings".  But that's Australians for you: if a city doesn't have white sandy beaches and an average winter high temperature in the twenties (Celsius, that is) then it rates as a hell on earth. Sorry London, Paris, New York, etc. Now here's John and an edited version of his piece:       
I have interviewed Van on several occasions for both radio and print and sometimes, at his request, for projects of his own. This piece appeared in The Irish Times in 1998.East Belfast is a territory well covered in the songs of Van Morrison.  He constantly invokes its spirit and clearly glories in the names of its places, successfully elevating them well beyond their image of coal-brick and church-hall - the Castlereagh Road, Cyprus Avenue, North Road, Abetta Parade and Orangefield.  With the naming of names, Morrison reclaims his own place and replaces it where he remembers it - in the imagination and in the heart.  His are the days before rock n' roll and, significantly, the days before Belfast tumbled so violently out of the sixties and into the seventies.  Van Morrison's East Belfast is a place of swishing radio signals late on hot summer nights, the windows open and distant sounds echoing across Beechy River.

Its a part of town which has been traditionally represented to the outside world by its preachers and its politicians.  Many of them would have you know that its a loyal and God-fearing territory full of well-scrubbed doorsteps, bunting and flute bands: that it is a fixed and definite heartland cluttered only by its churches, its temples and its gospel halls.  All the more extraordinary perhaps that within this very particular territory, a small house at 125 Hyndford Street has become one of the most important sources in recent musical history. 

 "My father had all these records - Mahalia Jackson, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Josh White.  And there was always Bing Crosby singing too.  But that wasn't out of the ordinary.  And before that, my mother used to get me these records out of Woolworths.  Things like Turkey in the Straw, She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain and cowboy songs.  They were low budget records on red vinyl 45's - plastic not like the 78's - but they weren't 45's either.  This was before 45's.  On Top of Old Smokey was another one."
The Hyndford Street house can be described as a source in the sense that it was a place from which something began and developed.  And within that house, Morrison's parents were two further sources - people from whom something precious and special was obtained.  They were people who had gathered earlier sources into that one small house and shared it with their only child Van.   

"My mother sang and relatives would come around on a Saturday evening.  They'd go to the club first and and then come back and have a few drinks and sing songs.  I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen, Danny Boy.  My uncle used to sing that one I'm A Rambler I'm A Gambler.  Then my father used to take me to Solly's place (Solly Lipsitz) - Atlantic Records - every Saturday morning and it was always packed!"

Van Morrison has a remarkable memory and his descriptions of the Belfast of his youth are quite extraordinary to anyone of my generation.  He insists however that his family was not unique and he happily recalls the sounds of Slim Whitman and Webb Pierce coming from open doors along the street.  He talks fondly of a neighbour called Jim Tosh who played Hank Williams numbers in the narrow back entry behind the houses - sometimes joined by others on T-chest bass, washboard, harmonica and guitar.  When Morrison sings in Cleaning Windows that he heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon on the street where he was born, that is exactly the way it was.

"Yeah, the first time I heard Leadbelly, that was it - it was already made up for me.  It was not just a hobby - it was more than that.  I was really into Leadbelly, Lonnie Johnson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Josh White.  The first soul music I heard was the McPeakes but they were taken for granted.  The very first record I ever bought was Hootin' Blues by Sonny Terry and it cost 1/6 in Smithfield.  I think the shop was called Smith's.   

A drive through Morrison's part of Belfast reveals the deep influence of religion.  Just about every possible denomination of Protestantism is represented - from Saint Donard's Church of Ireland which has turned up more than once in his work, to the smaller and more mysterious congregations and evangelical sects.  Morrison has expressed an interest in many aspects of spirituality over the years . 
 When Morrison's mother was singing with her relatives in the house, the young Van had a party piece of his own and not surprisingly it was a Leadbelly song - Goodnight Irene. 
"The first person I ever saw perform was Elton Hayes.  He was singing Mister Froggy and then I never saw him again.  Then there was Rory McEwan on TV and he really made me take notice.  And then Lonnie Donegan came along and I hooked into skiffle.  Then I played a school concert when I was about fourteen because one of the teachers asked me to do it.  We played Midnight Special and I don't think they knew what to make of it.  Skiffle wasn't going that long.  It was me and a couple of Hyndford Street guys and we actually called ourselves Midnight Special.  T-chest bass, washboard and guitar.  We wanted a jug but we couldn't get one.  But then me and Gilbert Irvine found a lead pipe in Beechy River and we called it a Zobo - you blew into it. He was lucky he didn't get typhoid!"
There were several other unique figures in Belfast - among them the singer David Hammond who was one of Morrison's teachers at Orangefield School.  Hammond denies that this had any bearing on Morrison who seemed to pass through school very quietly, but Morrison does remember Hammond singing Casey Jones in class.  More significant was Solly Lipsitz who ran Atlantic Records on High Street.  Morrison always speaks highly of Lipsitz who was himself yet another source - both of records and of information.  His record shop and others in town were absolutely vital to Morrison who was by this stage also keeping up with the latest developments in what they were calling rock 'n'roll.

"Solly had all the records.  Jazz and blues.  I loved Bill Haley and  I remember buying Razzle Dazzle.  And Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis - he had so many good records one after another.  I still love Jerry Lee.  Then there was Little Richard and Chuck Berry although I wasn't so much into him.  A friend's brother was really into Johnny Ray and he was always being played on the radio.  Some people say that Johnny Ray invented rock 'n' roll but the main ones for me were Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee."
But Morrison was still a blues singer at heart and he loved a music that appeared to be past and gone except in the hearts of its devotees.  Showbands now reigned supreme and perfected Shadows numbers and routines.  But something was bubbling under nevertheless.  In the late fifties Chris Barber had begun bringing bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy across the Atlantic.  When the craze hit Belfast, Van Morrison was perfectly placed.  He already knew this music intimately.  No surprise then that a Belfast group called Them would appear on the scene and show everybody else how it really should be done. 
And so the source continues to flow.  And it all began in a small house in a city that can often seem anything but inspirational.  It began in the days before rock 'n' roll, before the music business existed as we know it now, and in a very different Belfast.  All the precious things that George and Violet Morrison cherished about music - all the Leadbelly and the Lonnie Johnson and the Mahalia Jackson - entered their only child Van from the minute he could hear and emerged again years later in new and different strands of genius like light through a prism.   

Friday, 17 May 2013

Kevin Forde's Take on Ringworm, etc.

Kevin Forde wrote the following piece about what he calls the world's strangest album.

After a brilliant stint with musical pronoun Them, Morrison signed as a solo artist for Bang Records in 1965 and recorded eight songs, originally intended to be released as four singles. The songs and band had been chosen by Bang boss Bert Berns, but Morrison was unhappy with the sessions. Ignoring the singer’s protestations, Berns instead released all eight tracks as Morrison’s first solo album with the truly terrible title of Blowin’ Your MindThe album name was almost as bad as its cover.

The Celtic minstrel was not happy and his arguments with Bang Records would continue after Berns’ death in 1967. Morrison wanted out of his deal. The label refused and insisted he deliver them some more short snappy pop stuff like “Brown Eyed Girl” (a song Morrison claims Bang never paid him royalties for).

Unable to record the music he wanted with the band of his choice, Van became understandably distraught. His state of mind wasn’t helped when Ber Berns’ widow (who blamed the argumentative Irishman for her husband’s heart attack) tried to have him deported. A quick marriage to his U.S. girlfriend Janet Rigsbee ended that problem.

ringworm - the condition
Finally, Van found himself a musical saviour. Warner Music stepped in and bought out his deal with Bang Records. There was still one problem, though. Morrison had to record 36 songs for his old label who would also continue to earn royalties off everything he released for a year after he left them. A true professional, Van did the only thing he could: swallowed his pride and recorded more than 30 songs in a single recording session… on an out of tune guitar.

The subject matter of the songs were as diverse as they were ridiculous. As well as the aforementioned songs about ring worm and sandwiches, there were a number of digs at a guy named George and a song about saying the word France.

Surprisingly, the bizarre set was deemed unfit for release by Bang Records who seemed to think that they were somewhat below Van Morrison’s regular output. They eventually saw the light of day under a range of different names from the mid-90s (including, but not limited to, Celebrities at their Worst Volume 3.1) and remain some of the strangest and funniest songs in rock history.

Morrison waited exactly one year before recording his first album with Warner. The rambling, jazz-influenced poetic music on Astral Weeks would go on to be regarded as perhaps the greatest of his storied career and one of the finest of the era.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Van Joins Eric Clapton in Belfast

Eric Clapton’s second concert on his 2013 European Tour was at Belfast's Odyssey Arena last Friday, May 10.  The set list was identical to the previous evening's in Dublin, with one major change: Van Morrison stepped out for Help Me.
Clapton's opening few numbers were restrained.  Hello Old Friend and My Father's Eyes didn’t challenge Clapton’s famous guitar skills.  The solos began to emerge on blues numbers like Black Cat Bone and Got To Get There In A Little While. Eight songs in local hero Van Morrison emerged to a flood of cheers.  It was an electric moment and a thin-looking Van the Man was a highpoint of the concert. 

May 10, 2013 Set List - Eric Clapton & His Band

01. Hello Old Friend

02. My Fathers Eyes
03. Tell The Truth
04. Gotta Get Over

05. Black Cat Bone

06. Got To Get Better
07. Come Rain Or Come Shine (featuring Paul Carrack)

08. Help Me - with Van Morrison
09. Driftin'

10. Further On Down The Road

11. Layla

12. Stones In My Passway
13. It Ain't Easy (Paul Carrack - vocals)

14. Lay Down Sally
15. Wonderful Tonight

16. Blues Power

17. Love In Vain
18. Crossroads

19. Little Queen Of Spades

20. Cocaine
21. Sunshine Of Your Love

22. High Time We Went


A clip of Van singing onstage with Eric is on the official Van facebook site.  Click here.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

A Tale of Two Concerts

Here are two interesting Van concert reviews with some subtle differences. The first from Canada is by Pastor Ben and the second from Norway is by Per Ole Hagen.  Both reviews have been shortened for the sake of brevity (we live in the era of the diminished attention span after all).  Read the full reviews by clicking on the links.   

Concert 1  -  MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Canada (01/03/2007)
Last night my friend Frank and I went to the Van Morrison concert. It was totally awesome. I would have to say that it was the best concert that I have ever been to. It was also totally different from any concert that I have ever seen.

Every concert I had been to had been a show that was rehearsed and programed. It did not matter if the group was a large name or just some local group. Van Morrison was just about the music. There was no light show, no smoke, no jokes, just really good music. They appeared to decide to do certain songs while on stage. And during the songs Van Morrison would point to different members of the band to indicate that they should do a solo at that point. It was amazing. They were so very, very talented.
The other thing that made Van Morrison different from other groups is that he really highlighted his band. When he was not singing or doing a sax solo he would move to the back of the stage to allow the other musicians to have the spot light. Often I have seen other rock stars love to be worshipped. There was also no warm up act. His band came on and did two numbers without him. Then he joined them and played for 90 minutes. Van Morrison then walked off to the side (the band stayed where they were) and then came back on to do two closing numbers.

Concert 2  -  Norwegian Wood Festival, Oslo, Norway (10/06/2000)
I have seen Van Morrison on several occasions, and loved all his performances. My best experience with Van Morrison, is the concert he did at the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo  in June 2000. Both because Van the Man was telling jokes on stage, and making fun of his musicians. But also because of the dove.

Early in the set, a dove flew in and landed on organist Geraint Watkins’ instrument. There it sat through the whole concert. Van was in a great mood, the band played excellent, and he sang all his best songs during the concert. After Have I Told You Lately, where he introduced the song with “It’s just a song that I wrote that Rod Stewart made famous, it’s alright, I don’t mind” Van and the band did a long version of It’s All In The Game as an encore. The dove still sat there, as if it was listening to the great music. When the applause ended and the stage crew started to clear the stage, the dove fell down from the organ, dead.
Sten Fredriksen from the festival tells that they buried the dove backstage. I like to think that the dove probably was dying, but got a beautiful death accompanied by one of rock history’s greatest songs, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Range Place 2.0

Born to sing? Has anyone out there heard of The Range Place2.0? It's an unusual discussion place about the vocal ranges of numerous popular singers.  Van's in there but the information isn't much use to me, being totally ignorant about the more sophisticated things to do with music. 
Van Morrison
Voice type: High baritone

Vocal range: E2-C5
Significant high Notes:   C5 ("Cyprus Avenue"), B4 ("And It Stoned Me", "Linden Arden Stole The Highlights", "The Days Before Rock and Roll"), A4 ("Moondance", "Domino" live It's Too Late to Stop Now) and G4 ("These Dreams of You")

Significant low notes:  E2 ("The Days Before Rock and Roll")

 Other Comments

Guest   -   The "The Healing Game" album contains some of his very best singing, IMO.  I love the soul he puts into it..
JonnyWinter91   -   Good B4 in 'And It Stoned Me'.