Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.113) - Ranked #65 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Songs such as the title track 'And It Stoned Me' and 'Caravan' felt like a lucid dream..."
Rolling Stone (3/19/70, p.47) - "...MOONDANCE is an album of musical invention and lyrical confidence....this one will be immensely popular..."
Vibe (12/99, p.160) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Q (Magazine) (p.140) - "[A] single, flowing, perfectly programmed suite of songs, with 'Into The Mystic' its majestic centrepiece."
NME (Magazine) (9/18/93, p.19) - Ranked #17 in NME's list of The Greatest Albums Of The '70s.
Personnel includes: Van Morrison (vocals, acoustic guitar); John Platania (guitar); Jack Shrorer (saxophone); Jeff Labes (keyboards); Garry Malabar (drums).
Personnel: Van Morrison (tambourine); Collin Tilton (flute, tenor saxophone); Jack Schroer (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Jeff Labes (piano, organ); Gary Malabar (vibraphone, drums); Guy Mason (conga drum).
Photographer: Elliott Landy.
It's unusual for a decade-defining record to come out in that decade's first year, but that was clearly the case with MOONDANCE. While it would have been one of the finest albums of any decade, it clearly marked a turning point both for Van Morrison and for rock as a whole. Coming after 1968's expansive, acoustic, jazz-inflected ASTRAL WEEKS, MOONDANCE marks a complete about-face: instead of looking inward to the depths of his soul, Van turned his gaze towards sunnier climes, offering up a seamless disc of tightly composed and arranged tunes brimming with warmth and energy.
Here the R&B influence that had been part of Morrison's tool kit since his days fronting Them truly came to the fore at last. "Crazy Love," "Caravan," and "Brand New Day" could have been covered by any great soul singer, even as they redefined "soul" through the filter of Morrison's eclectic sensibilities. An openhearted record full of truly inspirational moments, MOONDANCE is Van at the absolute top of his game, setting the pace for everyone else to follow. Nearly every song here is a stone-cold classic, and MOONDANCE has become embedded in the collective pop consciousness as one of the most important touchstones of its time.
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