Moondance – Van Morrison (1970)

Moondance is the third studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was released on 27 January 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. After the commercial failure of his first Warner Bros. album Astral Weeks (1968), Morrison moved to upstate New York with his wife and began writing songs for Moondance. There, he met the musicians that would record the album with him at New York City’s A & R Studios in August and September 1969. The album found Morrison abandoning the abstract folk jazz compositions of Astral Weeks in favor of more formally composed songs, which he wrote and produced entirely himself. Its lively rhythm and blues/rock music was the style he would become most known for in his career. The music incorporated soul, jazz, pop, and Irish folk sounds into songs about finding spiritual renewal and redemption in worldly matters such as nature, music, romantic love, and self-affirmation. … For Moondance, Morrison abandoned the abstract folk compositions of Astral Weeks in favor of rhythm and blues sounds, formally composed songs, and more distinct arrangements that included a horn section and chorus of singers as an accompaniment. The album found Morrison using more traditional melodic figures, which VH1 editor Joe S. Harrington said lent the songs a ‘rustic and earthy’ quality. In Robert Christgau‘s opinion, Moondance showed the singer integrating his style of Irish poetry into popular song structure while expanding on Astral Weeks ‘folk-jazz swing’ with lively brass instruments, innovative hooks, and a strong backbeat. The songs were generally arranged around Morrison’s horn section; music journalist John Milward called it ‘that rare rock album’ on which the solos were performed by the saxophonist rather than the guitarist. … Morrison’s lyrics on Moondance deal with themes of spiritual renewal and redemption. … The opening song, ‘And It Stoned Me‘, was written about feelings of ecstasy received from witnessing and experiencing nature, in a narrative describing a rural setting with a county fair and mountain stream. Morrison said he based it on a quasi-mystical experience he had as a 12-year-old fishing in the Comber village of Ballystockart, where he once asked for water from an old man who said he had retrieved it from a stream. …”
Discogs (Video)
Out Now: Van Morrison – Moondance Deluxe
amazon: Moondance, Moondance 2CD, Moondance Deluxe 4CD
YouTube: Moondance full album 10 videos

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