We have a blog series called, “Music Monday,” here on Arner Adventures. Since music creates a soundtrack for our day-to-day living, it only makes sense.
With some time on my own, on a beautiful but chilly Sunday afternoon, I was looking for some music to relax to, and of course write about. Lately, rather than writing about new music, the old and familiar has been what my heart desires. So, on a busy weekend, after the worst news week since September 11th, 2001, I heard the song, “Into the Mystic,” by Van Morrison, and decided I’ll sit down and listen to his classic “Moondance” album, and this will relax me in the way I need relaxing. It is doing just that, as I write this.
This is the sort of album format I love- ten solid songs, clocking in at under 45 minutes, the way they did it in the good old classic rock days. Everyone has different tastes in music, but whatever your tastes may be, this is an album everyone should know. This is essential music and something we all need now. Among these ten gems, I think most, at least, know “Into the Mystic” and “Moondance.” The slightly more experienced listener would most likely recognize “Caravan.” These are the cornerstones of one of the best rock albums ever recorded. Rock is a broad term here, as the record is filled with jazz, Irish folk, and blues styled music. There’s a strolling bass, boogie-woogie piano, and soft acoustic guitar that dominate most of this record. Recorded in 1970, this was Van’s third record, and the one that catapulted him to a new level and a sound that would characterize most everything he did thereafter.
Listening to this as I write, I realize this is one I can always come back to and never be disappointed. The opening track, “And It Stoned Me” sets the tone with its relaxed easy feel which carries on throughout the album. The album slows down towards the end with “Brand New Day” and its feelings of optimism and redemption, I found myself yearning for at week’s end. “Everyone” is next. It’s an Irish folk song with a happy uplifting groove before we wrap things up with “Glad Tidings.” “Glad Tidings” finishes this record as strong as it started, upbeat and inspired, and always one of my favorite tracks.
“…and we’ll send you glad tidings from New York”
is the line that brings it all home, as Van Morrison had recently moved into his new home in New York State from Ireland. Morrison sent us possibly his greatest work, and a record that holds up after 50 years, as well as it did when it was released.