Legacy Recordings has acquired the catalog of Van Morrison in a major career-spanning deal that encompasses 50 albums, videos and compilations and unlocks all of his albums for digital distribution, many for the first time.
Through the new content acquisition, the Northern Irish legend’s 33 album titles will be made available digitally and through all streaming services, to roll out from Aug. 28.
Most of the Morrison catalog has never been available for streaming, and many titles have been unavailable to download via the myriad digital music services. Legacy also has plans to issue physical releases.
The new Legacy Van Morrison archive includes all of Morrison’s solo works from 1971 to the present, including live works, plus the recordings made with his early-career rock band Them from 1964 through 1966.
Terms of the catalog partnership weren’t disclosed.
“Van Morrison is one of the great singers, performers and musical artists in the history of recorded music,” Adam Block, president of Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, said in a statement. “He continues to touch the hearts and souls of millions with the emotional power and spiritual truths of his songs. Legacy Recordings is proud to partner with Van to help him protect and curate his astounding catalog and to be given the opportunity to bring his music to whole new generations of fans around the world.”
In time, Legacy plans to release a new career-spanning single CD compilation and deluxe Legacy Editions of classic Morrison solo albums. The rollout will include a 37-track anthology The Essential Van Morrison, which will drop Aug. 28 as a two-disc CD album and in digital formats.
Morrison, known for such hits as “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Gloria” (recorded with Them in 1965), is a living legend. With a 50-year-strong career behind him, the Belfast-born artist has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
Morrison, who turns 70 later this month, was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II during her annual Birthday Honours List in June of this year. He’s also received a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2004 he collected the BMI Icon honor for his “enduring influence on generations of music makers.” His heaving trophy cabinet also boasts six Grammy Awards.
The singer signed a recording deal with RCA Record late last year, which yielded the release Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue. In April, Duets reached No. 23 on the Billboard 200.