7. VAN MORRISON — Moondance
With albums one has lived with for years, knows inside out, and sings along with, it can be easy to forget just how good the songs are; familiarity can obscure the craft. Then you notice you are singing—or at least humming—the whole damn thing and realise it’s because there isn’t a dud track. Many choose Van’s ‘first’ album (Astral Weeks) as their favourite, but for me it’s his second proper record that hits all the right spots and maintains an internal integrity belied by the blending of blues-rock, Caledonia soul, jazz, and Irish folk influences.
Unlike a couple in this list, Moondance isn’t confronting or laser bright, it doesn’t make you squint or run away. It’s inviting, like a great beer, a fine Shiraz or an open fire. Managing to canvas both the spiritual and the corporeal, the record is a trusted lantern, shedding a warm bronze glow when something known and reliable is needed.
Do you like moon dancing?