Van Morrison - Moondance - Review
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critics' view

Van’s third LP arrived in January 1970; Eschewing the freeform, often long-drawn nature of the songs on the preceding “Astral Weeks”, Van opted for a fresh approach; more direct songs with more conventional structure, less folky more bluesy. Speaking in regards to this new accessible approach Morrison stated:

“I make albums primarily to sell them and if I get too far out a lot of people can't relate to it. I had to forget about the artistic thing because it didn't make sense on a practical level. One has to live.”

To my ears, the end results were pretty much the same in any case: soulful and extremely classy. I notice Jelly Roll is back – twice!! Following on from the use on the debut album’s “He Ain't Give You None” (I done more for you, than your daddy has ever done, gave ya my jelly roll, and he ain't give ya none) it appears again here on the two best tracks. On the classic opener “And It Stoned Me” Van sings:

“And it stoned me to my soul, stoned me just like jelly roll”.

The supreme “Into The Mystic” is memorable in many ways, not least for Collin Tilton's tenor saxophone imitating a foghorn blowing, and, again Van serves:

“ I just wanna rock, Just wanna rock! Your jellyroll soul”

The man’s obsessed! Above and beyond all of this Jelly Roll tomfoolery, Van’s got a trademark thing going on, for sure. Prose, melody and arrangements are all key elements of his sound and vision – he certainly knows how to use those studios and musicians. I think it’s fair to say that he’s already a master craftsman at the age of just 24.

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