Tuesday, January 23, 2007

189. Van Morrison - Moondance (1970)

Track Listing

1. Stoned Me
2. Moondance
3. Crazy Love
4. Caravan
5. Into The Mystic
6. Come Running
7. These Dreams Of You
8. Brand New Day
9. Everyone
10. Glad Tidings


Despite the crappy title which spawned many crappy drawings of half-naked elves faffing about in the woods when I was trying to look for the album cover on Google Images and the equally crappy cover of the title track by some brit easy-jazz fuckwit, whose name I think is Bublé or some shit, this is not a bad album.

In fact this is the sunny side of Astral Weeks, Van Morrison's earlier record reviewed here. While Astral Weeks was all doom and whinnyness this is a much shinier listen. Over all it is quite a happy album, with the exception of Into The Mystic, which is nonetheless a great track.

In fact there are quite a few toe-tapping tracks here. While Astral Weeks was a sniffling Irish drunkard, mummbling through depression, Moondance is happy Irish drunk, still mumbling but cheerier. There are problems with it however, Van Morrison thinks he is a good writer, and so do his fans, but he's not that good... Into The Mystic is a perfect example of someone who didn't really know what the fuck he was writing about until later on. The story of the development of that tracks lyrics are actually quite interesting. Of course Morrison says that "He really cares more about the sound of words than their meaning", but talent is in marrying the two and that is a crap excuse. And he already uses his trademark unintelligibility for sound purposes.

It's is still a great album, and a recommended one. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Into The Mystic
2. And It Stoned Me
3. Moondance
4. Glad Tidings

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

In 2001 the TV network VH1 named Moondance the 32nd greatest album of all time. It is number 65 on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

"Moondance" was used over the love scene in An American Werewolf in London. "Glad Tidings" was prominently featured in The Sopranos Season 5 finale. "Everyone" was used over the closing scene and end credits of Wes Anderson's film The Royal Tenenbaums.

From All Music, about Into The Mystic:

He once said that his original title for the song was "Into the Misty," and he may have intended a meaning such as "into the mist," since the song refers to fog horns among other things nautical. The only dictionary definition for the noun "mystic" (a favorite word of Morrison's, which he previously used as an adjective in Them's "Mystic Eyes") is a person who practices mysticism, and that is not the sense in which the word is used in the song. Morrison also said that, when the time came for him to submit a lyric sheet of the song, he couldn't decide exactly what the opening lines were. Was the first line "We were born before the wind" or "We were borne before the wind"? Was the second line "Also younger than the son" or "All so younger than the son"? Was the third line "Ere the bonny boat was one" or "Ere the bonny boat was won"? The original LP release did not contain a lyric sheet, but when the album was reissued on CD in the 1980s, it did, and someone had decided that the song went, "We were born before the wind/Also younger than the sun [not son]/Ere the bonnie boat was won."

Van Morrison's intelligibility reaches new lows in this version of Into The Mystic:

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