George Ivan “Van” Morrison (Belfast, 31 agosto 1945) è un cantante, polistrumentista e paroliere proveniente dall’Irlanda del Nord; suona diversi strumenti tra i quali chitarra, armonica a bocca, tastiere, sassofono e occasionalmente anche la batteria.
Dopo gli esordi blues rock con i Them, Morrison intraprese una carriera solista in bilico tra la passione giovanile per la musica nera, una forte vena sperimentale (che lo ha portato a sconfinare spesso in territori jazz) e uno stretto legame con la musica tradizionale della sua terra d’origine. A rendere unico il suo stile contribuiscono la sua caratteristica vocalità e una intensa poetica che abbraccia musica e parole in modo altamente espressivo.
La rivista Rolling Stone lo classifica quarantaduesimo nella sua lista dei cento migliori artisti di sempre nonché ventiquattresimo in quella dei cento migliori cantanti. Le sue esibizioni dal vivo, al suo meglio, sono state definite come mistiche e trascendenti.
Inoltre due suoi album, Astral Weeks e Moondance, compaiono nella lista dei 500 migliori album di sempre, ancora secondo Rolling Stone.
George Ivan “Van” Morrison, OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. 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. He has received six Grammy Awards, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Known as “Van the Man” to his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”. His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” in 1967. After Berns’ death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968. Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially a poor seller; however, the next one, Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains. In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.
Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as Astral Weeks and lesser-known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic Soul”