I am amazed considering this forum's leaning towards older music that there only seems to be one substantial discussion of this masterpiece (and that was back in 2005), one I consider to be Van Morrison's greatest achievement. This to me combines the best of Astral Weeks and Moondance with the kind of idyllic lyricism and folksy mysticism of the former without any of its longeurs, the greater soulful and R&B/jazz inflected singing of the latter and all the wonderfully intricate and poetic instrumental interplay of both. I can't do justice to the greatness of this album in just a few paragraphs so I'll leave others to comment on the rest, but I'll just mention a few of the highlights; "Fair Play" inspired like the rest of the album by his then recent cathartic trip with his fiancee to Ireland, is as melodic and captivating an opener as one could wish for, like the heralding of a summer dawn, with a lovely breezy piano part which celebrates the joy of life, nature, beauty and love rediscovered combined. Streets of Arklow has a kind of Celtic-infused melancholy and epic feel belying its 4:22 length, with sweeping strings and gorgeous recorder parts. Bulbs is a great uptempo, dancing and singalong number harking back to Come Running only IMO better; and Country Fair closes the album in the way Fair Play started it, with a kind of late summer evening glow, again with more Celtic style, dreamy, impressionistic recorders and gentle guitar strumming. And last but not least, You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push the River is probably the greatest song Van the Man ever wrote, urgent, impassioned, majestic and ecstatic both vocally and instrumentally in a kind of fusion of folk rock and early 20th century English classical music - the attention to detail is just incredible, with all these shimmering strings, jazzy piano parts, that unforgettable ever-present flute and deep-hued wind accompaniments all above an intricate and irrestistable bass groove that never loses its grip. Only minus for me is Morrison's scat vocals on Cul de Sac which are a bit overdone and just prevent this from being a 5-star album, but other than that, everything is virtually flawless. Your thoughts?