Rhino Its unclear how many infants were conceived to the music of Van Morrison's singular smash album Moondance over the course of its 43 years in record stores as its soundtrack. Or first kisses kissed. Or first sexual experiences experienced. Or first dances danced at weddings. Or dinner parties hosted...
Track Listing: CD 1 Remaster: And It Stoned Me; Moondance; Crazy Love; Caravan; Into
Come Running; These Dreams Of You; Brand New Day; Everyone; Glad
Tidings. CD 2
Sessions, Alternates & Outtakes: Caravan (Take 4); Nobody Knows You
Down And Out (Outtake); Into The Mystic (Take 11); Brand New Day (Take
Tidings (Alt. Version); Come Running(Take 2); Crazy Love (Mono Mix);
These Dreams Of
How do you describe a stone cold classic album like George Ivan (Van) Morrison's Moondance? The answer is you don't; it describes you. Using words on a document to discuss the ins and outs of a collection of tracks that absolutely embody the very fabric of music itself is like trying to make the wind blow or sun shine...
How much of a good thing is too much..? "It's too late to stop now," sang Van Morrison on Moondance in 1970, and he was right: here we are again in its aura, drawn back like wanderers to the light of an inn. Recorded when he and his wife Janet (pregnant with their daughter, Shana) lived in the mountains near Woodstock, Moondance was the third LP in a solo career that stretches to this day...
Deluxe? Sure. Necessary? Probably not. Expanded, overhauled and otherwise overloaded, this five platter, beautifully appointed and annotated Moondance set is the very definition of bloated. It features three packed discs of outtakes, rehearsals, mono remixes, working cuts and the like, most never meant to see the light of day. It's very much like watching the sausage being made...
Ostensibly the most nostalgic of songwriters, Van Morrison has resisted attempts to archive his back catalogue; a succession of remastering programmes have bitten the dust or emerged in a most illogical manner. So there was cause for rejoicing when the Moondance package was announced: a 4CD-plus-Blu-ray box comprising the remastered original of the 1970 album that brought him acclaim, and all the trimmings...
Even fans as cranky as the notoriously prickly Morrison admit his prolific output sacrifices quality for quantity, although none begrudge his obvious talent and sheer determination to crank out product with Willie Nelson-styled proficiency. Few artists deserve a comprehensive, multi-label box retrospective more than Van Morrison. In lieu of that, Universal remasters, expands and reissues 29 of the Irish bard's albums recorded from 1971-2002...
There are some moments that have a bit more space to breathe. "Going Down To Monte Carlo" is desperate and sleazy, and the no-good gambler's trip through high-stakes luxury is the most compelling story told on record. "Playing in the background, some kind of phony pseudo jazz," Morrison sings, in a line that either might be a jab at his new sound, or else just the kind of sharp, fresh imagery the rest of Born To Sing is so fully lacking...
Returning to the iconic Blue Note label, last his home for 2003's What's Wrong With This Picture?, Morrison made a rare press announcement saying he was happy to be back with a record company that would reward him with "a music-based focus and marketing approach". Not that he's ever been one to jump through corporate hoops; wherever he's hung his hat Van's been his own man, played his own game...