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Moondance - Van Morrison
Moondance - Van Morrison
Date: 03/09/02, updated on 03/09/02 (57 review reads)
Advantages: Err - it's dead good!
Disadvantages: Only 37 miutes long - but 37 good minutes!
Moondance - Van Morrison (1970)
Every now and then, I get the need to dig out a long lost CD and listen to something that, despite it's greatness, has been collecting dust for years.
Ironically, this Van Morrison offering predates the CD by nearly two decades, but has stood the test of time and greatness.
Instrumentally, the album relies on just about every type of saxophone there is, flutes, keyboards, guitars, drums to produce a mellow but strangely catchy feel. Lyrically, every track is credited to the man himself.
One of my favourite tracks opens, "And It Stoned Me", followed by the title track itself. "Moondance" the track is a beautifully seductive track, telling a tale of love and seduction.
"Crazy Love" and its delightful chorus moves from seduction to worship in love and the lyric "she gives me some sweet lovin' brightens up my day". Ah, I could sing it to you now if only this medium would allow!
"Caravan" is a livelier offering, full of gypsy references, which appear again in my favourite track, the unmistakeable and memorable "Into The Mystic". As well as featuring prominently in a Glenn Close film (the name of which escapes my memory) it is arguably Van Morisson's finest moment. "I just want to rock your gypsy soul, just like way back in the days of old, then magnificently we will float into the mystic".
The all too short "Come Running" is a cracker, the style of which was reproduced more recently on the "Enlightenment" album, while "These Dreams Of You" fall back on the bluesy influences of the Irish band "Them" where Morrison was lead singer, although it is fair to say this isn't the highlight of Moondance by any stretch of the imagination!
If you ever feel low, "Brand New Day" can capture your mood and lift you to a plateau from whi
ch to rebuild. It is a truly inspiring lyric drawing on the inner strength we all have when things are against us and the gospel backing
really makes this a cracker.
The almost medieval start to "Everyone" gives way to a more typical, if forgettable sound before the more arousing finale "Glad Tidings" with its message from New York.
If you've heard and liked "Brown Eyed Girl" (that's the one that turns up on every compilation album ever made), then "Moondance" is a fine album to introduce you to the real van Morrison. For those who've bought the commercially successful material of the late eighties and early nineties, go retro and invest in this. And if you've never really given him any thought, this is worth £8 for "Into The Mystic" alone.
Still available in all record shops of any repute and at Amazon.