Van Morrison has two reputations. First, he is a musical genius. Second, he’s a prick. Yes, you can be both. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Morrison’s career has spanned almost sixty years. He’s known for hit songs such as “Gloria”, “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Moondance” and “Tupelo Honey.” Among his forty-one studio albums include “Astral Weeks” and St. Dominic’s Preview.” To describe his work as legendary wouldn’t be hyperbole.
Last year, Van caused controversy over his views of Covid-19 and being under lockdown. The pandemic caused the music industry to shut down. Music venues were closed, so musicians had nowhere to play. No live music meant no income. Like so many others, musicians were hurting.
Morrison felt all of what happened in 2020 was overkill. While he didn’t say the virus was a scam, he thought the government’s reaction to it was too much. He was able to use his status and his forum as a recording musician to let the public know his feelings.
He wrote and recorded three anti-pandemic/lockdown songs. On one of them, he had Eric Clapton do the vocals. It didn’t matter that there had been more than one hundred million cases of Covid-19 worldwide. It didn’t matter that there had been more than two million Covid-19 deaths. The Hell with the science, Van Morrison wanted to play music!
Both Morrison and Clapton took a lot of heat for the songs, especially Van. But, Van didn’t care because that’s who he is.
We’re now almost a quarter of the way into 2021. There’s still very little live music being played. The tours that were planned for 2020 and pushed back a year, have been pushed back another year into 2022. Just because you can’t perform live doesn’t mean you can’t make music. Van Morrison hit the recording studio.
In May, he’ll release his forty-second studio album. His latest record project is titled just that….“Latest Record Project: Volume 1.” It’s an ambitious 28-track record. It also will most likely double down on his views that he made so clear last year.
Check out some of these song titles:
“Where Have All The Rebels Gone?”, “Psychoanalysts’ Ball”, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”, “Tried to Do The Right Thing”, “The Long Con” and “Big Lie.”
And that’s just side one. Side two features, “Stop Bitching, Do Something” and “Why Are You on Facebook?” Hmmm…maybe Van has a point about the last one….maybe.
I’m not sure that all these tunes are whines about the pandemic. Who knows, maybe they’re blues tunes about relationships gone bad. We won’t know for sure until the double album drops in two months; but knowing Van and his history, you can very easily figure out what he’s thinking. He’s not that deep.
I look forward to hearing this new record. Van Morrison is a talented musician who doesn’t rest on his past accomplishments. He continues to put out new songs that adds to his musical legacy. He also continues to act like an ass and that also adds to his legacy of bad behavior. Van Morrison does both so well.