Exclusive album stream: Van Morrison - Moondance Deluxe Edition
Moondance Deluxe Edition
Astral Weeks may routinely top greatest-album-ever polls, but we shouldn’t let its mythic status diminish the genius of Van Morrison’s subsequent work. It may be heresy to suggest that Moondance is Van’s real masterpiece, but the 1970 follow-up to Astral Weeks did see the Belfast cowboy expand his palette, explore a wider range of moods, and in the process come up with a fistful of stone classics that stand among his best tunes.
The songs were written while the cult of Astral Weeks was still in its nascent stage, and at the time Van was disappointed with that album’s mixed reviews and modest sales. He felt the album’s “samey” arrangements were a weakness, and determined that his next album would have a more varied mix of moods.
Moondance delivered on that front, shifting from the sensuous jazz of the title track to the upbeat, optimistic closer, Glad Tidings, while on the opener, And It Stoned Me, Van played to one of his greatest strengths – his ability to evoke childhood memories and touch on the nostalgic nerve-endings.
Album stream: Expanded edition disc two
The remastered album may reveal new musical dimensions, but it’s Van’s voice that really gets showcased here. Listen to the almost-perfect, plaintive, soulful vocals of Crazy Love, and you’ll understand why he was being compared to such soul greats as Marvin Gaye.
The full special edition features the original album remastered, plus 50 unreleased alternate takes and versions of the songs, including several iterations of Caravan.
There are also some gems for Morrison completists including I Shall Sing – a song left off the finished album, but which became a hit for Art Garfunkel three years later – and a version of the 1923 blues standard Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.
Listen to Moondance with fresh ears and you’ll hear the sound of a stocky, gruff but supremely talented singer seducing the world.
Download tracks: And it Stoned Me; Crazy Love; Caravan; Into the Mystic
Buy Moondance on iTunes: http://bit.ly/17riqLo