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Van Morrison

Van Morrison by Leo Reynolds

Picture by Leo Reynolds [1]

I’ve been listening to Van Morrison for days now. He’s someone I had somehow ignored so far in my 25 years of listening and collecting music. In the 80s, when my listening habits were formed, Van was on a path that wasn’t very likable musically – his voice losing its elasticity, his music harsher and more judgmental of an incomprehending audience than ever before.

Only I didn’t know the ‘before.’ Having no older siblings, Van Morrison wasn’t really someone I knew about or chose to discover for myself.

Now I’m 38 and a conversation related to Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners (a band I like very much and who, I realize now, tried to channel Morrison’s 70s blue-eyed soul magic) led me to take another look.

And what a great discovery he is. I’m listening to the first 5 or 6 records, and they’re all great – revelatory, powerful, focused, subtle, elegant and, above all, deeply musical.