Van Morrison Says He Has So Many Unreleased Songs ‘It Makes My Head Spin’
Van Morrison will release his 36th album later this week, and the 71-year-old singer and songwriter has no plans to slow down. In fact, as he tells Rolling Stone in a new interview, "I have so much unreleased stuff it makes my head spin."
"There's a lot more than what you're hearing," he said. "Back in the day, James Brown was putting out six albums a year, and two of them were instrumentals. You couldn't do that now. People wouldn't even know what that is."
In the topic-spanning interview, Morrison touched on the music industry, his place in it and his storied past. "I have hundreds and hundreds of songs on recordings," he noted. "There's a lot of stuff people don't write about. When they talk about the history, it's the history from way back. What about the history after that? That's the real history, the stuff people don't know. Get into that. If you want to know me, get into that."
There's plenty of opportunities to get into Morrison's history these days. For starters, he still tours quite a bit, something he chalks up to necessity rather than any sort of desire to perform "Moondance" for the 67,812th time.
"It's not a drive," he said. "It's what I do. It's like Robbie Robertson said to me, 'It's like breathing.' I've been doing a lot of touring in the past several years because I need the money. I was running out of money, paying for a lot of stuff. I had to go out there again."
Morrison's latest album, Keep Me Singing, comes out Sept. 30, and true to his prickly reputation over the years, it confronts his lengthy career with bitterness and defiance, as well as the occasional nostalgic glance. But he still gets agitated when asked to look back.
"They didn't want anybody who wasn't going to bend over for them," Morrison explained, pointing out his shoddy treatment by the music industry back in the day. "You're not complying – and they want you to comply. All this bulls--- about rebels and all that crap – they're all establishment and complying all the time. All these so-called rebels, rock 'n' roll bulls--- – they're all conformists."
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