Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Van Morrison's fury at Moondance reissue

Belfast singer Van Morrison
Belfast singer Van Morrison

Belfast singer Van Morrison has declared war on Warner Brothers Records after deciding that this is not a marvellous night for a Moondance re-issue.

The multi-millionaire star from the Beersbridge Road blasted his old US record bosses after saying he hadn't endorsed their move to bring the album out again which he said happened behind his back.

Earlier this month Warner Brothers said Morrison was releasing a deluxe edition of his classic 1970 album Moondance which includes Van classics like Into The Mystic, Caravan, And It Stoned Me, and I Shall Sing, which became a huge hit for Art Garfunkel.

Warner Bros said the reissue would come out at the end of September on various formats including a 4CD/1 Blu-Ray edition featuring a newly remastered version of the original album and three discs of previously unreleased music from the sessions.

But in a statement posted on his official website Morrison insisted he wasn't reissuing Moondance.

He said: "It is important that people realise that this is factually incorrect.

"I did not endorse this, it is unauthorised and it has happened behind my back.

"My management company at that time gave this music away 42 years ago and now I feel as though it's being stolen from me again."

Moondance was Morrison's third solo album and was released in February 1970. It is regarded by legions of Morrison's fans as his finest and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Van fans have been divided over the row about the reissue.

Several posted on internet forums to say they agreed with their hero's stance but others criticised him for trying to block the re-mastered album. It's understood that Morrison no longer owns the rights to his early albums and one of his most famous songs, Brown Eyed Girl.

Morrison, who has been spending more and more time in Northern Ireland, has been playing a large number of gigs here in recent times after telling friends he didn't want to have to travel as far as before. He's just announced two more £200-a-head concerts for the Europa Hotel in October.

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