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Old 06-07-2008, 05:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
Son of JayJamJah
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Default Moondance (1970): Part Two

Van in late 1970...



Moondance - continued

6. Come Running – This is the song that made me buy this album. Poppy and confident Van instructs his admirer to simply “come running” to him. He even details the outcome of her actions as specifically as the lyrics can allow. Oddly, it was the only remaining song from Van’s initial Astral Weeks demos for Bang Records. A light hearted song of very care free subject manner it is simply a toe-tapper and a very good one. It’s in large part Van’s ability to go back and forth from a song like “Into the Mystic” to this that makes the album so successful. It’s strong, demanding chorus elevates this song for me. Van jumps out and back into place lyrically, adding to the care free nature of the song. Another extremely well placed horn section is the final piece to the puzzle. 8.5\10

7. These Dreams of You – Van’s biography describes it as a song about a dream he had where as the lyrics dictate among other things “Ray Charles was shot down” and “We played cards in the dark”. Very surreal lyrically yet it keeps it’s story structure it’s more firm and structured musically and contrast creates an interesting mood for the song. Probably the strongest lyrically performance of the album all things considered. Sad at times, but never losing faith nor insistence (“…you are an angel”). Perhaps the most unfortunate of songs in terms of its outcome is Van is thrown out, kicked when he’s down and up against the wall. Still there is a determination and that prevailing optimism in the voice of Morrison as despite their unfortunate nature Van still cherishes the dreams of his love and would not trade them for anything even though it hurts. 8.5\10

8. Brand New Day – With a soft and sanguine start, this song is about hope and it reflects that lyrically and musically. With a chilling steady strummed acoustic chorus and its electric bass fills backed by harmonizing vocals it give new life to a tried and true musical format. Van was “inspired” to write this song by hearing “The Weight” (Take a load off Annie) by the Band. He set out to write the song he felt when he was lifted by their song. Each verse is an ascending celebration with musical tempo and key to correspond. An excellent song and probably Van’s “favorite from the LP” as he’s hinted. The lyrics while not particularly insightful or original are secondary to the overall message and tone of the song which is supremely hopeful. 9\10

9. Everyone – Another up-tempo and uplifting number but in a more care free way. The all-inclusive romp of song you may remember from the movie “The Royal Tenenbuams” is a ballad of hope as Morrison envisions, if somewhat indirectly as is his nature, for a quick end to brooding civil war in his home land of Ireland. “and make dreams come true if we want them to” and “we shall walk again…just like we use to” are among the song’s hopefully imagery. Musically highlighted by the organ and flute which had stand out performances amongst an otherwise very steady and circular musical pattern. A solid jumpy song that moves at a fast and fun pace. 8\10

10. Glad Tidings – The final song of Moondance encapsulates the spirit of the album immaculately. With a strong and steady opening and lyrics of love leading into a celebratory chorus. The horns and strings build around the humming drum and bass rhythms which open the song and allow for continuity throughout while still having a free flowing and unpredictable aspect to the music. With a creative and beguiling lyrically structure. The song takes about faith and the happiness and satisfaction in seeing positive results from commitment. It is a song of well wishing and good intentions and an end to a cycle of a different kind with a much more desirable departing message. 9.5\10

...Moondance is a powerhouse of hits. Each track has the capacity to be a radio hit as well as a fan favorite for the nuance and diverse nature of the songs and their relatable upbeat message of hope and happiness. What’s so startling about this album is how different it is from Astral Weeks and yet how great it is. At such a young age Van had already became as dynamic and multidimensional a musician as almost any of his era.

First Time I Listened to it: 1971
Defining Track(s): Moondance, Into the Mystic, Caravan. For commercial success, iconic status amongst many fans, myself included and how great it was live respectively.
Line in my head: "I dreamed you paid you dues in Canada and left me to come through"

Star rating: (1-5) (from my personal catalog) *****
How it made me feel today: (1-10): 9.5
Overall Ranking: TBD (1 or 2)




Next up: His Band and the Street Choir - 1970

Last edited by Son of JayJamJah; 06-11-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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