In his first bid for superstardom after the hauntingly brilliant but commercially non-viable Astral Weeks, Van Morrison put out Moondance in 1970. This is the opening song on this masterpiece of musical understatement and lyrical transcendence. Van was obviously either doing some serious medication or meditation when he did Astral Weeks, and there is enough of that same feeling left here on Moondance to send that familiar shiver up your spine. The main difference on Moondance is the introduction of the pop song hooks, usually in the R&B style, which were basically non-existent on Astral Weeks.

I've always loved this choice as a first song on this album. When he sings about the "water, oh-oh, the water" and how it stoned him, you know that he's talking about more than life on earth as we know it.

He follows that up with "Moondance" as the second tune, and this has been the one which has stood the test of time like, perhaps, no other song from that era. When you can hear the same song in the dentist's office, the grocery store, and on your own CD player, there's something very right about that.

My other favorites on this album are "Crazy Love," "Come Running," "Glad Tidings," and the ever so aptly named, Into the Mystic.

If you're wanting to get into Van the Man, there would be no better place to start than to hear the above lyrics as your first taste of this tortured artist.

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