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Van Morrison Album by Album Discussion: Part 1 (1968-1977)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DJ WILBUR, Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Van sometimes gets slagged for name dropping in his songs. I guess some critics think of it as gratuitous or simply lazy writing---however, I believe he does it for a reason. He's actually singing his citations and influences as opposed to coldly documenting them as in a text. I believe it's an expression of humility and respect for literary and musical titans.
    I've decided I'm going to keep count of musical and literary name checks.

    For those of you keeping score at home:laugh: , it's:

    Musical Heroes: 2 (Leadbelly, Ray Charles)
    Poets: 0
     
  2. Randy W

    Randy W Original Member

    Moondance. Ahhhh...

    His breakout LP and a perennial favorite. I'm a big fan of side 1 as well. The perfect make out album - it builds and then releases Into the Mystic.
     
  3. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    I bought Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir, and Tupelo Honey at the same time, one Saturday afternoon in 1989. I know that Moondance usually gets more glory and praise than those other two, but all three are forever linked together in my mind.

    I love all of Van's work, some more than others. But those three albums changed my life that glorious weekend in 1989. Even now just thinking back to that time gives me goosebumps. All I can say is, in the words of The Man himself, it stoned me to my soul.

    And yes, Moondance is the perfect make out album! :righton:
     
  4. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Moondance a make-out album? Hmm---well, yes, I seem to recall it being used for such purposes.;) :shh:
     
  5. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
  6. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Re: Side One: Would have to be considered one of his, if not the, greatest sides ever, imo.

    Re: Brand New Day: Me too.

    Everyone and Glad Tidings are winners too, imo.
     
  7. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    :hugs: i never made out to Van

    :cheers: i have drunk to Van.

    wonder what that says about me?

    We're kinda quiet on the Moondance album? (you'd think it was A Period of Transition or something)
     
  8. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    Anyone else think "Come Running" was an odd choice for a single?
     
  9. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    I wish more people knew about "Moondance" I really dont think they do. Van too the many is "Brown Eyed Girl".

    Its such an accesible album.One you can play and enjoy so easily.I work with some young folks in their 20'swho had never heard of Moondance. I let it play one time recently .They were mezmorized.They thought he was a black singer.

    Its the one Van album that I think could very well transcend and ageless if given the chance by each person.

    A little simple country fishing song. An elegant dance by moonlight.An endearing love song .A mystical caravan. Its all there and with beautiful melodies on each album. In its way I think it is just as perfect as Astral Weeks.
     
  10. jostber

    jostber Forum Resident

    Location:
    Skien, Norway
    Love that "Moondance", a beautiful realized album. The earlier thread here on this forum by Steve Hoffman on that album is quite a worthwhile read too. And this reissue remastered by Steve is greatly anticipated:

    http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=WBLP3103

    Would a Van Singles collection be a fine compilation?
     
  11. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    While there's always a chance a new generation will skip over Van's music, I'm confident that he'll be re-discovered at some point. The recent CD Van Morrison At the Movies demonstrates how well Van's music complements a visual image. This, I think, is the best opportunity for younger folks to find the treasures of his catalogue: as part of a soundtrack.

    I do think it's sad that "Brown Eyed Girl" is his most recognized song--I suppose we have films like Pretty Woman to blame--or thank--for that.
    I used to play in a cover band in the early '90's and "Brown Eyed Girl" was a HUGE favourite among kids at that time; a guaranteed dance-floor filler.
    However, it was much more fun for me to play either "And It Stoned Me" or "Wild Night."
     
  12. brew ziggins

    brew ziggins Forum Prisoner

    Location:
    The Village
    The song Moondance has been totally played into the ground, so much so that when I'm selecting a Van CD to play I often forget that this disc also features Into The Mystic, Caravan and And It Stoned Me/. Overall, not my favorite VtM cd, but those three songs are stone classics.
     
  13. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    Since we're discussing the "perfect side 1", this is the perfect time to refer folks (though what Van fan could have missed it) to perhaps my favorite SH thread about one of my favorite Van albums and certainly my favorite Van song.

    Bust out your tambourine! :pineapple:
     
  14. rockerreds

    rockerreds Forum Resident

    A story:I took my copy of Moondance over to a friend's house in 1970 and played it for him.To this day Van Morrison is his favorite musical artist.
     
  15. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
  16. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    Thanks for those Tom!! :)
     
  17. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    One thing came to mind reading the multiple comments on how amazing side 1 is; how does this change when the majority of listeners are now using either CD or MP3 for their medium of choice (not necessarily here at SH, but in the general listening public)?

    "Into The Mystic" goes from the position of honor of being the crowning achievement of a perfect five song set to the undistinguished position of "middle child". While it doesn't diminish the power of the song, the lasting impact is diluted by the almost immediate up-tempo beat of "Come Running".

    "Into The Mystic" is my favorite Van song, which is saying a lot. It's the type of piece that as the final, sustained notes fade leaves you just breathless. To break that mood too quickly is to lessen the song. More like hearing it on the radio in the middle of "12 Tunes At Noon!" than the carefully chosen climax that it deserves to be.

    Check the thread referenced earlier to see the care that went into the song sequence for this album. It isn't happenstance that side one is a powerhouse.
     
  18. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    What do we think of the "fable" that appears in the gate fold of the Moondance album?
     
  19. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Too Long in Exile

    Location:
    St. Thomas, ON
    I was afraid someone was going to mention that. Hmm, funny how it didn't quite make the transition to CD, eh? Must've been an oversight.:laugh:

    Has anyone actually taken time to read it?

    Heh-heh, Ms. Planet's name doesn't appear at all in the CD booklet--I just checked.
     
  20. Very true. It's like looking at a large print of a Van Gogh canvas. We can't see (or hear) exactly what the artist wanted us to, and its power is diminished.
     
  21. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    Yep, when I bought the CD I forgot all about that Fable until I pulled the vinyl out a couple years ago. I wonder if it will be included when (or if) the SH mastered vinyl reissue comes out.

    Ms. Planet's blurb for His Band And The Street Choir wasn't nearly so cringeworthy, and thus survived the transition from vinyl to CD.
     
  22. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC USA
    This is another great one, with the sublime Into The Mystic. Here Van has put together a real band with good R&B and Blues chops. They play jazzy arrangements, and more structured songs. The playing is raw and edgy enough too avoid slipping into the light jazz or cocktail lounge territory. It is more accessible than Astral Weeks, but it still has depth and staying power. All those years of touring bars playing blues are paying off, Van shows soul to burn. Unlike the songs on Astral Weeks these can be covered by other artists more easily and effectively. Van introduces themes that he will return to throughout his career, radio, water, mysticism. He reaches the right balance of jazz and R&B. The solos are tasty.

    Despite the endless overpaying there are times when I just have to hear the whole thing straight through.
     
  23. I'm coming a little late to this thread. I am wondering what people consider the best CD versions for these first two albums, Astral Weeks and Moondance.

    What catalog numbers do the 1st Japanese CD pressings have?

    Wasn't there a silent remastering for at least one of these titles?
     
  24. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter


    i'd be curious to know as well. I know Moondance had a "target" issue, i assume that'd be japanese or w. germany pressing....i have a us pressing myself. Sounds good, i like my german vinyl pressing more though.
     
  25. Buzzcat

    Buzzcat New Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Sadly, I've only heard this album (Moondance) on cd. I have a copy, mint, waiting for me at my local record store which I will be picking up this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to hearing this album make even more sense than it already does to my ears.

    I'll just add one word to the description of Moondance: Supergroovy!
     
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