Van Morrison – Moondance (1970)

Artist Credit
Bob Cato Design
Judy Clay Guest Artist, Vocals
Steve Friedberg Engineer
Emily Houston Vocals
John Klingberg Bass
Jeff Labes Organ, Piano
Elliott Landy Photography
Gary Malabar Drums, Vibraphone
Guy Mason Conga Drum
Tony May Engineer
Lewis Merenstein Executive Producer
Van Morrison Composer, Guitar (Rhythm), Primary Artist, Producer, Tambourine
John Platania Guitar (Rhythm)
Elliot Scheiner Engineer
Jack Schroer Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Neil Schwartz Engineer
Collin Tilton Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Jackie Verdell Vocals
Shelly Yakus Engineer

The yang to Astral Weeks’ yin, the brilliant Moondance is every bit as much a classic as its predecessor; Van Morrison’s first commercially successful solo effort, it retains the previous album’s deeply spiritual thrust but transcends its bleak, cathartic intensity to instead explore themes of renewal and redemption. Light, soulful, and jazzy, Moondance opens with the sweetly nostalgic “And It Stoned Me,” the song’s pastoral imagery establishing the dominant lyrical motif recurring throughout the album — virtually every track exults in natural wonder, whether it’s the nocturnal magic celebrated by the title cut or the unlimited promise offered in “Brand New Day.” At the heart of the record is “Caravan,” an incantatory ode to the power of radio; equally stirring is the majestic “Into the Mystic,” a song of such elemental beauty and grace as to stand as arguably the quintessential Morrison moment.

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