BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 28th September 2016
In the week that he performs a special concert for BBC Radio 2, the legendary Van Morrison looks back at his life and work in a series of interviews with Leo Green.
This second episode of four takes in Van's early life as a solo musician, and in particular his debut solo album, the classic Astral Weeks.
Recorded over three days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing. Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.
Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic's Preview (1972) closer track Listen to the Lion.
Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.
Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.
Awards and accolades - a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 Grammys, honorary doctorates from Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres des Artes et des Lettres - attest to the international reach of Van's musical art.
Van Morrison - Bright Side Of The Road [Polydor]
Van Morrison - Moondance [WB]
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl [Metro]
Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately [Polydor]
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks [Warner]
Van Morrison - Glad Tidings [Warner]
Van Morrison - Why Must I Always Explain [Polydor]
Van Morrison - If I Ever Needed Someone [Warner Bros.]
Van Morrison - St Dominic's Preview [Hummingbird]
Van Morrison - Bulbs [Polydor]
Van Morrison - Cleaning Windows [Polydor]