Celtic soul pioneer, Van Morrison, rose to prominence as the gritty voiced frontman of the punkish R&B outfit, Them, in the mid-60s. He subsequently launched an idiosyncratic solo career with the gorgeous blue-eyed soul masterpiece, Brown-Eyed Girl, before venturing off into uncharted territory with the stunning 1968 album, Astral Weeks, an unsurpassed fusion of jazz, folk, gospel, and rock. The irascible star followed his muse on a series of often complex, soulful and spiritual albums that veered from sweet, pastoral outings such as Tupelo Honey, and Veedon Fleece to the reflective, introspective Common One and vibrant R&B-flavoured sets such as Too Long In Exile. Morrison also fused his Irish roots with his beloved soul music on groundbreaking albums such as St. Dominic's Preview, with his backing band, the aptly titled Caledonian Soul Orchestra. Morrison is, unquestionably one of the pivotal singer-songwriters of the past five decades. His prolific output is staggering, and through all this his unique voice remains perfectly intact.
Followers: Brian Kennedy, Paul Brady, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Hothouse Flowers
Influenced By: Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Muddy Waters, Jackie Wilson, Mose Allison, John Lee Hooker
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