The first Van Morrison song I heard was probably Brown Eyed Girl. It was catchy enough, but it really didn’t capture the nearly unimaginable genius of its creator. No, to do that, you really need to listen to a number of this artist’s albums to get a sense of the genius that hides behind his unassuming demeanor.
Van Morrison was born to working class Irish parents in August 1945. His father, a shipyard worker, as well as his mother shared a love for music of all sorts, particularly the blues of Leadbelly, Jelly Roll Morton, and Solomon Burke.
Growing up in a household where the records were constantly playing, young Van developed a passion for music all his own.
Today’s FamilyFirst pick goes into great detail regarding Van Morrison’s life and musical history. The lines that he crosses with his music are amazing. He plays good old rock and roll (Gloria, Baby Please Don’t Go) as well as spiritual music that transcends mere religion (When Will I Ever Learn to live in God, Listen to the Lion).
Everyone has their favorite Van Morrison album. Mine is Avalon Sunset. Among its songs is a spoken account of a trip to Coney Island to waht may, IMHO, be his greatest single song: the closing These Are the days.
Read up on Van’s genius at Wikipedia, and if you don’t own any VM albums, go out and buy one. Just don’t be surprised if, like me, you end up buying the whole lot.