Tupelo Honey is the fifth solo album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was released in October 1971 by Warner Bros. Records. Morrison had written all of the songs on the album in Woodstock, New York before his move to Marin County, California, except for "You're My Woman", which he wrote during the recording sessions. Recording began at the beginning of the second quarter of 1971 at the Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco. Morrison moved to the Columbia Studios in May 1971 to complete the album.
The namesake for the album and its title track is a varietal honey produced from the flowers of the tupelo tree found in the Southeastern United States. The album features various musical genres, most prominently country, but also R&B, soul, folk-rock and blue-eyed soul. The lyrics echo the domestic bliss portrayed on the album cover; they largely describe and celebrate the rural surroundings of Woodstock and Morrison's family life with then-wife Janet "Planet" Rigsbee.
Tupelo Honey received most of its success in America; it charted at number 27 on the Billboard charts and in 1977 it was certified gold by the RIAA. It failed to reach any of the European or other world-wide charts. The album yielded two hit singles, the hymn-like title track, as well as the R&B-flavored "Wild Night". The third released single, "(Straight to Your Heart) Like a Cannonball", was less successful and did not enter the Billboard Hot 100. The album received mostly positive reviews from music critics at the time of its release, but Morrison's biographers were less favorable towards it in later years.
Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely viewed as among the greatest ever made.
Known as "Van the Man" to his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone in a range of Irish showbands who covered the popular hits of the day before rising to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the gritty Northern Irish R&B band Them with whom he recorded the garage band classic, "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns' death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968. Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially poorly received; however, the next one, Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains. In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.
Much of Morrison's music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles, "Brown Eyed Girl", "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)", "Domino" and "Wild Night". An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as Astral Weeks and lesser-known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as "Celtic Soul".
Morrison has received considerable acclaim, including six Grammy Awards, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and appearing on several "Greatest Artists" lists.
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