Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, VAN MORRISON is widely admired by musicians, critics, and fans of all stripes. Throughout his illustrious career he has created some of the best-loved songs in music and become a beacon of artistic integrity whose musical influence cannot be overestimated.
Morrison introduced his unique sound, one that incorporates R&B, jazz, blues, and Celtic influences into popular music, in the late '60s and early '70s. A string of now-classic albums - Astral Weeks, Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir, Tupelo Honey and St. Dominic's Preview - established him as a true innovator.
Born in Belfast in 1945, Morrison grew up listening to his father's American blues and jazz records and early on became enamored of such artists as Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, and John Lee Hooker. As a teenager, he played guitar, sax, and harmonica with local showbands and skiffle and rock-and-roll groups; in 1964 he formed his own R&B band, Them, which had a hit with "Gloria" - a Morrison original that was covered by many (R.E.M., Patti Smith, The Doors) and remains a popular reissue. In 1967 he released his first album as a solo artist, Blowin' Your Mind, which established his complex artistry with the pop hit "Brown-Eyed Girl" and the haunting masterpiece "T.B. Sheets."
Following 1972's St. Dominic's Preview, Morrison's recorded highlights include Veedon Fleece, Wavelength, and Into the Music from the late '70s and, from the '80s, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, Poetic Champions Compose, and Avalon Sunset, albums that explored his spiritual vision. Morrison revisited his Celtic roots on a 1988 album with the Chieftains, Irish Heartbeat, while the '90s saw collaborations with his musical heroes, John Lee Hooker, Mose Allison, Georgie Fame, and fellow skiffle masters Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber
Morrison's acclaimed solo albums from the past decade include Enlightenment (1990), Hymns to the Silence (1991), Days Like This (1995), The Healing Game (1997), The Philosopher's Stone (1998), Back on Top (1999), and Down the Road (2002). Van Morrison's debut release on Blue Note Records, What's Wrong With This Picture? (2003), draws on the musical touchstones that have inspired him throughout his career.