Modern biomedical studies often collect multi-view data, that is, multiple types of data measured on the same set of objects. A popular model in high-dimensional multi-view data analysis is to decompose each view’s data matrix into a low-rank common-source matrix generated by latent factors common across all data views, a low-rank distinctive-source matrix corresponding to each view, and an additive noise matrix. We propose a novel decomposition method for this model, called decomposition-based generalized canonical correlation analysis (D-GCCA). The D-GCCA rigorously defines the decomposition on the L2 space of random variables in contrast to the Euclidean dot product space used by most existing methods, thereby being able to provide the estimation consistency for the low-rank matrix recovery. Moreover, to well calibrate common latent factors, we impose a desirable orthogonality constraint on distinctive latent factors. Existing methods, however, inadequately consider such orthogonality and may thus suffer from substantial loss of undetected common-source variation. Our D-GCCA takes one step further than generalized canonical correlation analysis by separating common and distinctive components among canonical variables, while enjoying an appealing interpretation from the perspective of principal component analysis. Furthermore, we propose to use the variable-level proportion of signal variance explained by common or distinctive latent factors for selecting the variables most influenced. Consistent estimators of our D-GCCA method are established with good finite-sample numerical performance, and have closed-form expressions leading to efficient computation especially for large-scale data. The superiority of D-GCCA over state-of-the-art methods is also corroborated in simulations and real-world data examples.