Music Monday: Moondance by Van Morrison

Today is the start of what I hope to be a weekly feature: posts about music on Mondays. I’m going to start the first few weeks highlighting great albums. In the days of iTunes and repetitive, uncreative radio, people don’t tend to listen to full length albums. I’ve lamented that fact before, and I still wish that people…including me…took the time to listen to entire albums.

That thought brings me to one of the best albums of all time: 1970’s Moondance by Van Morrison. I fell in love with this record when I was in college and I walked into a store in downtown Athens where I heard “Into The Mystic” playing. I was enthralled, and I think I looked for and bought the CD that day.

Like much of Morrison’s work, Moondance is low-key and largely understated. But it’s joyous and celebratory at the same time. There’s no heartbreaking or sad subject matter, and the lyrics are simply poetic and beautiful.

Songs like the title track and “And It Stoned Me” are considered classics these days, although “Come Running,” with its mystifying rythym, was the only Top 40 hit to emerge from the album.

Pretty much every song on Moondance could stand on its own as a classic. From the jazzy title track to the exuberant soul of “Glad Tidings” to the English folk of “Everyone,” the album is full of memborable tunes.

The crowing jewel of this record, at least in my eyes, is “Into The Mystic.” Soaring and pretty, with lyrics that Morrison admitted were chosen just because of the way they sounded together, “Into The Mystic” is an amazing song about love that lasts forever. It has become my all-time favorite song.

There’s plenty to love about Moondance, and there’s plenty to make the listener come back to it again and again. The classics have staying power for a reason (or for many reasons).