The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison


Almost everyone has heard the song “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison before. However, not many people know about the controversy that surrounded the release of the song. When Van Morrison signed a record deal with Bang Records in 1967, he had just split with his Northern Irish R&B band, Them, and was eager to begin recording again. Because he was so excited to get into the studio, he didn’t read through his contract carefully, and now claims he never received any royalties from the song. Bert Berns, who owned Bang Records, also assured him that “Brown Eyed Girl” would be released as a single, and then secretly included it as the lead track of the album Blowin’ Your Mind.The release was so secretive that Van Morrison himself didn’t even know about it until one of his friends called to congratulate him and tell him that he’d bought a copy.

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