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Van Morrison Back Catalog Finally Gets Digital Release

 

A new record label deal will make dozens of Van Morrison albums available to stream and download for the first time. Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music, recently acquired the rights to 50 albums, videos and compilations that the singer-songwriter has put out over the past half-century, dating back to his days in the group Them. Over time, the label intends to put out deluxe editions of select records and eventually make the full catalog available digitally. Additionally, it will release a 37-track, career-spanning compilation, Essential Van Morrison, on Friday. The albums that will be available digitally are listed below.

The label will release deluxe “Legacy Editions” of 1972′s Saint Dominic’s Preview, 1973′s Hard Nose the Highway, 1974′s It’s Too late to Stop Now and 1990′s Enlightenment to kick off the series. Although it has not specified any bonus content, Legacy typically adds several bonus tracks to these editions. It also has plans to issue a new single-disc compilation album.

Earlier this year, Morrison put out a new album called Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue, which found him looking backward at past recordings and bringing a long list of collaborators to reinterpret them. Guests on the record included Steve Winwood, Bobby Womack, Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal, among others. The album also included a new version of “Irish Heartbeat,” featuring Mark Knopfler.

In an April interview with Rolling Stone, Morrison said that making the Duets album made him realize just how many songs he’d recorded, estimating he had between 350 and 400 tunes in his catalog. “The work was created for survival reasons,” he said. “I had to make two albums a year for Warner Bros. I was churning out songs, and not every song got on an album…. I didn’t know I was going to have this body of work.”

In other Morrison news, the Irish singer will celebrate his 70th birthday, as well as his oeuvre, in his hometown of Belfast later this month, where he will perform two concerts. The engagements, dubbed “Van Morrison: Live on Cyprus Avenue,” are part of the Belfast EastSide Arts Festival and will take place on August 31st.

Van Morrison Albums Available Digitally:

St. Dominic’s Preview (1972)
Hard Nose the Highway (1973)
It’s Too Late to Stop Now (Live) (1974)
Veedon Fleece (1974)
A Period of Transition (1977)
Wavelength (1978)
Into the Music (1979)
Common One (1980)
Beautiful Vision (1982)
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart (1983)
Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast (Live) (1984)
A Sense of Wonder (1984)
No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1984)
Poetic Champions Compose (1987)
Irish Heartbeat (w/the Chieftains) (1988)
Avalon Sunset (1989)
Enlightenment (1990)
Hymns to the Silence (1991)
Too Long in Exile (1993)
A Night in San Francisco (Live) (1994)
Days Like This (1995)
How Long Has This Been Going On? (1995)
Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison (1996)
The Healing Game (1997)
The Philosopher’s Stone (2CD outtakes compilation, 1998)
Back on Top (1999)
The Skiffle Sessions: Live in Belfast (Live) (2000)
Down the Road (2002)
What’s Wrong with This Picture? (2003)
Magic Time (2005)
Pay the Devil (2006)
Keep it Simple (2008)
Astral Weeks “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” (Live) (2009)

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