In an age when image and self-promotion increasingly dominate the rock industry, Van Morrison remains a proud, belligerent outsider. As an intensely private man and a revelatory performer, he has communicated more deeply within the limits of rock songwriting - and has been less responsive to the obsessional inquiries of the media - than almost any other artist. Ever since connecting with classic American jazz, blues, and gospel music during his Belfast youth, Van Morrison has stayed one step ahead of fellow musicians, fans, and critics. From the explosive teenage days with Them, through the creation of 1968's seminal Astral Weeks, to the vocal and spiritual experimentation of Veedon Fleece and Into the Music, Morrison has never stopped developing complex lyrical and instrumental visions that defy easy classification. Van Morrison's status in the rock community has never been higher. Enjoying commercial success, the recognition of a younger generation, and collaborations ranging from John Lee Hooker to Tom Jones, he continues to dazzle and beguile his audience. In this definitive survey of Van Morrison's life and music, John Collis charts the scale of his achievement and the sources of his creativity, and provides stimulating assessments of his music. Drawing on interviews with those closest to Morrison at every stage of his career, with a full discography and many rare photographs, Van Morrison: Inarticulate Speech of the Heart offers a unique insight into the enduring enigma of one of rock's greatest singer-songwriters and most instantly recognizable voices.