In the summer of 2000, James Morrison fronted a covers band with a repertoire of classics from the Sixties and Seventies. Playing five nights a week to packed pubs, he raked in a small fortune by the standards of any regular 16-year-old. When he later got a regular job for far less pay, he came to a realisation. “I knew straight away that I could play music, do something I enjoy and make enough money. Or I could do a job I hate and earn f*** all.”
He’d barely even dreamed of making it big, but what he achieved was remarkable. His five Top 10 singles all rank among the biggest of their era, including the breakthrough smashes ‘You Give Me Something’ and ‘Wonderful World’, plus the huge Nelly Furtado collab ‘Broken Strings’. Fans were enraptured by the beauty of his once-in-a-generation voice as well as the honesty of his immediately relatable songwriting. It made for a devoted following which resulted in 5x Platinum for ‘Undiscovered’, 3x Platinum for ‘Songs For You’ and ‘The Awakening’ going Platinum in the UK along with Platinum albums in France, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand and Belgium. Now with 5 studio Albums Morrison has over 7 million worldwide record sales, over 500 live shows under his belt as well as a BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist.
He earned the respect of his own heroes, too. Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Paul Weller all invited Morrison to join them at shows. He even made a show-stealing appearance at an all-star celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Stax Records during the 2017 Proms. “It doesn’t get much better than that!” he grins, his memory of performing with Stax legends Eddie Floyd, Booker T and Steve Cropper one that he’ll forever cherish.
After four years away from the limelight, he returned with the album that he always wanted to make in 2019 ‘You’re Stronger Than You Know’ which was a modern British take on a classic soul and Motown, echoing influences such as Van Morrison, Otis Redding, The Band and Dusty Springfield. The power, tenderness and finesse of his vocal can only come from a man who has experienced everything that he’s singing about.” In keeping with his enthusiasm for making a set of contemporary soul, Morrison enlisted Joss Stone to bring the conversational confessional of opening anthem ‘My Love Goes On’ to life. This beautiful single was a huge radio success and was added to the BBC R2 A list. Morrison also pays tribute to his partner, Gill, with ‘So Beautiful’, a song that he wrote a decade ago with Gary Barlow but placed on the backburner. What had then seemed like just another song later took on a new context, he admits. “After everything we went through it seemed to say everything I wanted to.”
Morrison has announced a Greatest Hits tour for Spring 2022, “It’s been way too long since I saw you all and I’m so excited to announce these special shows. Playing live is something I have really missed in the past year and seeing as it’s been nearly 15 years since I started, many of my songs over time have taken on a new life of their own- new emotions, new meanings and new feels in the way my band has played them. I’ve also become a better singer and inhabit the songs in a different way now. I wanted to reflect all of that on this Greatest Hits tour. I am buzzing to be back in a room with all my fans sharing my best songs. I can’t wait to see you all, it’s going to be amazing!