Van Morrison - Moondance [LP] (Orange Vinyl, limited to 2000)
Limited 140gram ORANGE Colored Vinyl!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 66/500!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time - "Into The Mystic" - Rated 474/500, "Moondance" - Rated 231/500!
TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the April/May 2009 Issue of The Absolute Sound! Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the July 2009 Issue of Stereophile!
It's unusual for a decade-defining record to come out in that decade's first year, but that was clearly the case with "Moondance". While it would have been one of the finest albums of any decade, it clearly marked a turning point both for Van Morrison and for rock as a whole. Coming after 1968's expansive, acoustic, jazz-inflected "Astral Weeks", "Moondance" marks a complete about-face; instead of looking inward to the depths of his soul, Van turned his gaze towards sunnier climes, offering up a seamless disc of tightly composed and arranged tunes brimming with warmth and energy.
Here the R&B influence that had been part of Morrison's toolkit since his days fronting them truly came to the fore at last. "Crazy Love", "Caravan", and "Brand New Day" could have been covered by any great soul singer, even as they redefined "soul" through the filter of Morrison's eclectic sensibilities. An openhearted record full of truly inspirational moments, "Moondance" is Van at the absolute top of his game, setting the pace for everyone else to follow. Nearly every song here is a stone-cold classic, and "Moondance" has become embedded in the collective pop consciousness as one of the most important touchstones of its time.
"That was the type of band I dig," Morrison said of the Moondance sessions. "Two horns and a rhythm section — they're the type of bands that I like best." Morrison took that soul-band lineup and blended it with jazz, blues, poetry and vivid memories of his Irish childhood, until songs such as the title track, "And It Stoned Me" and "Caravan" felt like a lucid dream. On the sprightly "Everyone," Morrison turns the title over and over in his mouth, not scatting so much as searching for the sound of magic. One song, "Into the Mystic," serves as an apt summary: To listen to the album is to get your passport stamped for Morrison's world of ecstatic visions." - www.rollingstone.com
"...Songs such as the title track 'And It Stoned Me' and 'Caravan' felt like a lucid dream..." - Rolling Stone (12/11/03)
"Once the needle drops, it's as if the music is being piped in from the heavens. Vocals are lifelike, levels non-fatiguing, and instruments richly detailed." - Bob Gendron, The Absolute Sound, April/May 2009, Issue 192
"'Into the Mystic' is one of Morrison's warmest ballads, an Otis Redding-style reverie with acoustic guitar and horns. The lyrics are truly mysterious: "People say, 'What does this mean?' said Morrison. 'A lot of times I have no idea what I mean. That's what I like about rock & roll — the concept. Like Little Richard — what does he mean? You can't take him apart; that's rock & roll to me.'" - Rolling Stone
"The title song of Morrison's first self-produced album started 'as a saxophone solo,' he said. 'I used to play this sax number over and over, anytime I picked up my horn.' He played the sax solo on this recording, which combined the bucolic charm of his life in Woodstock, New York ('the cover of October skies'), with his love of the sophisticated jazz and R&B of Mose Allison and Ray Charles." - Rolling Stone