Listen to The Lion

Even with a masterly new album, will Ireland's eccentric Van Morrison gain the success he has long deserved?

"Tell me something," Bruce Springsteen asked a while ago. "How come every year or so there's a new Van Morrison record, and every time it's great, and every time no one pays attention? Why is that?"

Good question. And there are some easy answers. Morrison is too demanding -- an eccentric performer who is likely to sing his best songs with his back turned. Too personal. Too unpredictable. Not quite presentable. And way too spiritual.

But Morrison does not make easy music, and he deserves more than easy answers. Especially now, when he has just released a new album, a 21-song,...

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