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VINE VOICETOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 December 2010
Van's third album released in 1970 could hardly be more different than its immediate predecessor, the seminal `Astral Weeks'. As an original musical masterpiece AW is universally recognised as something unique and special; however, `Moondance' is a mellower, more mature offering, less demanding and insistent. In the past 40 years it has been played and enjoyed by millions throughout the world and continues to win new generations of appreciative fans with each passing decade. The songs here are more structured, more accessible, and stand on their own as separate pieces. Many have been covered by other artists, but none of these covers comes close to the magic of Van's original recordings.

The album is an exemplary collection of beautiful pieces, with styles ranging from jazzy (the title track) to rocky up-tempo (Running to me), to midnight romantic-mood piece (Crazy Love), gospel-themed with backing choir (Brand New Day) to the sublime (Into the Mystic). Every song is good, and they fit together seamlessly to make for a special listening experience. You can listen to `Moondance' every day just about anywhere, anytime and you will never tire of it: this is rare indeed.

The powerful, restless dynamism of Van's voice, bursting with the passionate intensity of youth, together with visionary lyrical writing elevates some of these songs to timeless greats. There is no trace here of the bland, the formulaic or mundane. Van is a true original, and if `Moondance' were his only career recording he would still win entry to the Hall of Fame. That a consistency of excellence and increasing mastery of musical form is evident throughout his 40-year career puts him right up there in the top 10 musical innovators of the past 50 years: talented, hard to categorise, versatile, eclectic, respected, unique.

Now in October 2013 we have the `Expanded Edition' from Warner Bros, containing a re-mastered version of the classic album on one CD, and a second CD full of previously unreleased `sessions, alternates and outtakes'. These are interesting to say the least and contain some numbers which didn't make it onto the original release like `Nobody knows when you're down & out', `I shall sing' and a long, frantic jam-version of `I've been working'.

The package is rounded off by a tasteful 24-page booklet containing a cryptic essay in story-format by Janet Planet; a long essay on the `Moondance' recording sessions and the impact of the album on the music scene by Alan Light, and a shorter elegy penned by the original sound engineer Elliot Scheiner.

Overall this is a nice package, and the one to go for if you don't already have this classic album in your collection.
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on 22 July 2016
After Astral Weeks this is my next favourite Van album. More straightforward than Astral Weeks (which I found a bit meandering and impenetrable at first listen), this was my introduction. Having listened to this for a few months I revisited Astral Weeks and found it was a revelation so . A very good way of getting into the early Van Morrison - alongside St Dominic's Preview, Tupelo Honey, His Band & Street Choir.
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on 5 February 2014
One of the best albuns of alltime with the excellent HD and sorround sound it deserves. I can only reproduce the stereo file by analog outputs of my bluray reader since the digital/PCM via HDMI output (192Khz) is not detected in my decoder (audiolab 8000AP has a problem?) but the sound is even extremely good for a 1970 album.The remastered CD1 has all the original album and, of course not being HD, is very good too. In the other 3 CDs we have some quite good unrealesed tracks and many unrealesed takes from realesed tracks that I tkink are directed specially for collector fans.The book(let) is rather interesting while not in a usual format. It is a real book in CD case format where we can find a lot of pages about the record and the author, and 4CD+1BD.
Since the price is a driver of sales (and of my pocket), I'd prefer a lower price and simpler edition (even in the same booklet or another cheaper format) with 1BD + 1CD-original album + unrealesed tracks only, or even BD only since who buys this kind of bluray usually is pre-owner of the cd (even not remastered, with the bluray who cares... )
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on 26 February 2014
This is a great album... Into The Mystic played on repeat whilst I'm driving! Can't comment on any sound improvement in this Remastered form, just sounds fabulous. I've been bitten by the Van Morrison bug again and will be buying more old album on disc!
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on 15 May 2014
This is a wonderful album. The title track is a classic, but every track is great. There are a variety of styles, incorporating soul, jazz and blues elements. Although Astral Weeks is often rated the best album this is just as good and should be on any list of best LPs ever
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on 2 February 2018
One of my favourite van Morrison's cd plus bonus tracks excellent
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on 8 June 2013
of course moondance is one of the best albums ever, but to have the 180g vinyl to listen to without any crackles is great. the sound is perfect and the gatefold sleeve is of excellent quality with original notes unlike recent jimi hendrix reissues which have modern
booklets and notes (which are excellent). this feels much more like a vintage product. but with jimi or van you cant go wrong.
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on 3 June 2016
Forgotten how wonderful this album is. Great vinyl too, beautifully recorded and the sleeve is quality as well, thicker than the original.
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on 12 April 2017
excellent sound-a bargain
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on 7 February 2017
Van as his celtic soul best complete with bad jokes
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