Van Morrison just keeps on swinging. The Irish superstar, beloved around the world, is changing labels. He’s jumping from Universal Music to RCA Records, a division of Sony, after a long run at the prior company.
By my count, and Wikipedia, Van has 34 albums apart from greatest hit packages. A new album, number 35, should come from RCA in early 2015. His last album, “Born to Sing: No Plan B” was a career highlight. But Morrison has so many– from “Astral Weeks” (1968) and “Moondance” (1970) right through “Hymns to the Silence” in 1991 and today.
According to his website, Morrison makes his own records which he owns and then licenses them to whomever. He’s been on various UMG labels, mostly Lost Horizon, for years. “Born to Sing” was on Blue Note, which was part of Capitol-EMI. But then Blue Note and Capitol were sold to Universal, and that put Morrison under the umbrella of bland popmeister David Foster. I’ve heard that was not a match made in heaven. And after the Leon Russell debacle, who could blame any legacy artist for hightailing it out of there?
The new RCA recording may be duets with Van on a selection of his many hits by lots of great singers. But they will be true to his jazz instincts, and not the sort of disaster inflicted on the great Smokey Robinson earlier this year by Universal.
By the way, Van Morrison is only 69 years old. We can expect a lot more from him, thank goodness.