Recent News & Changes

HESE PAGES CHANGE GRADUALLY as new material is submitted (and as time permits my incorporating such submissions). Following is a list of recent changes. Use the jump menus (above, or at page bottom) to view site changes for other years.

Upcoming & Recent Releases

  • Van Morrison's new CD Keep It Simple was released April 1, 2008 in North America

    Order the CD now
    from Amazon.com

  • The first series of back catalogue reissues is now available: Tupelo Honey, It's Too Late To Stop Now, Wavelength, Into The Music, A Sense Of Wonder, Avalon Sunset and Back On Top.

  • A 3CD limited edition box set of Van's best

    Order the 3CD box set now
    from Amazon.com

  • The Best of Van Morrison, Volume 3 was released on June 19, 2007.

    Order the CD now
    from Amazon.com

  • A CD collection of some of the Van Morrison songs used in movies was released in February 2007

    Order the CD now from Amazon.com

  • Live At Montreux 1980/1974, the first-ever DVD from Van, released in October 2006.

    Order the DVD now
    from Amazon.com

  • Blues legend B. B. King released a CD to celebrate his 80th birthday. 80 is an album of duets, with Van on "Early In The Morning". See the full list of Guest Appearances for other releases featuring Van Morrison as a guest.

    Order the CD
    from Amazon.com

  • Ray Charles's final CD Genius Loves Company is an album of duets, with Van dueting on "Crazy Love". See the full list of Guest Appearances for other releases featuring Van Morrison as a guest.

    Order the CD
    from Amazon.com

  • Van featured in Red, White and Blues, part of the series produced by Martin Scorcese on "The Blues":
    The Blues DVDs cover
    The full 7-movie set of "The Blues" is available on DVD.

    Order the soundtrack CD
    from Amazon.com
  • May 22, 2008
    • I've created a Bibliography entry for Peter Mills's new book Hymns to the Silence: Inside the Music and Lyrics of Van Morrison, due out on June 1. The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com

    • Van fans may remember the Knebworth commemorative set that came out a while back (Van appeared at the Knebworth rock festival in 1974). Henrietta Bannister contacted me recently to say that they have reprinted the T shirt which reproduces the poster from that year (The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers and Van were among the featured acts). Those interested can contact Henrietta at info@rockmusicmemorabilia.com

    April 23, 2008
    • Long-time Van-fans will know that this site began more than a dozen years ago at a different URL, as a personal hobby and an expression of my own enthusiasm for Van's music; it was a way of sharing information about Van the Man and his music with fellow fans. The site started small, but over time it grew as contributions from other fans were incorporated. Those who follow the various Van lists will know that this site has recently experienced a few rough spots; in mid-January I was asked to take the site offline pending discussions of alleged infringements of Van's IP rights. Despite a lack of specifics I did so, and the discussions which ensued have led to the site you are looking at today.

      I want to thank the many fans who took a moment to express their concerns and voice their support for this site with a personal message or through postings to the lists; it meant a lot during a difficult time. Despite a rocky beginning the discussions have generally been quite cordial (if protracted), and I believe they have resulted in a better understanding on all sides.

      I'll admit that my enthusiasm was dampened by the whole experience: I think the situation could have been handled more diplomatically than it was. But I'd prefer to focus on the positive outcome and move forward: there's a new Van album out; and the first batch of Van's remastered backlist titles has been released (they're listed on the right). Each Discography entry includes a link to Amazon.com -- and if you happen to buy while browsing: thanks! Your purchases will help defray this site's hosting costs.

      The various Van mailing lists are still actively discussing any and all things Van: reviews of the latest tour stops, the new CD etc. So if you're not already a list member, check 'em out and add your voice to the conversations...

      I want to take a moment to voice my support for Simon Gee's Wavelength magazine and website. As most already know, Simon has been involved in similar discussions, and the Wavelength site is still (temporarily, I hope) partially offline. Those who have been part of the Van fan scene for any length of time will know that no one has contributed more than Simon to this user community; his credentials and his integrity are of the highest order, and I hope that those discussions can be resolved in short order.

      In the meantime: please bookmark the new site URL (http://www.van-the-man.info/) and spread the word. The recent "vanishing act" and new URL mean that it will take some time for the various search engines (and new Van fans) to rediscover us. Let me know if you find any broken links while browsing, or if you discover anything else amiss. And welcome back.

    • According to Billboard, "Keep It Simple earns [Van] his first top 10 hit of his 40-plus-year career, debuting at No. 10 with 37,000. His previous high water marks were with 2005's Magic Time and 2002's Down the Road, both at No. 25." Keep It Simple was also No. 8 in the Digital Album Sales category during in its opening week.

    • Mark Barry wrote a nicely detailed review of the new remastered version of Into the Music on Amazon which I've included on the Discography entry. He also noted the following release schedule for the remaining remasters (although there is still a bit of uncertainty as to whether the US and UK list of titles to be remastered is the same; watch this space):

      June 2008 (8 titles)
      Veedon Fleece (1974), Common One (1980), Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart (1983), Live At The Grand Opera House, Belfast (1984), No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986), Enlightenment (1990), A Night In San Francisco (2CD Live Set) (1994) and The Healing Game (1997)

      September 2008 (7 titles)
      Saint Dominic's Preview (1972), A Period Of Transition (1977), Beautiful Vision (1982), Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Hymns To The Silence (2CD Studio Set) (1991), How Long Has This Been Going On (Live At Ronnie Scott's) (1995), Tell Me Something - The Songs Of Mose Allison (1996)

      January 2009 (8 titles)
      Hard Nose The Highway (1973), Irish Heartbeat (with The Chieftains) (1988), Too Long In Exile (1993), Days Like This (1995), The Story Of Them (2CD Set) (1999), The Skiffle Sessions - Live In Belfast (with Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber) (2000), Down The Road (2002) and What's Wrong With This Picture? (2003)

      PPS: Those hoping to see desperately needed sonic upgrades of his 1st and 2nd album masterpieces on Warner Bothers "Astral Weeks" (1968) and "Moondance" (1970) or even "His Band & The Street Choir" (late 1970) will be disappointed to hear that they're NOT in this re-issue campaign. Apparently there is still some dispute between the record label and Van that remains unresolved. A damn shame! "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" in particular have both been languishing around on crappy-sounding non-remastered CDs for over 20 years now and they're glaringly obvious omissions in this supposedly 'extensive' re-issue campaign. These universally recognized masterpieces deserve 2CD DELUXE EDITION treatment and soon. (Some tracks in remastered form are available across the 3 volumes of "Best Of"). Let's hope they sort their differences and soon!

    • A Discography entry for a new Van-related DVD release titled Under Review 1964-1974, the legality of which is apparently in dispute.

    A few news items carried over from last year...

    Part of the van-the-man.info unofficial website

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