Back by popular demand after a two-week hiatus, it’s Montauk Madness! Specifically the third round of Montauk Madness, where the Sweet Sixteen faces off in our toughest matchups yet. Brace yourselves for some hard decisions!
Our first face-off pits Van Morrison against Billy Joel. A battle across the pond, Ireland vs. New York. Morrison made it here by spanking Barenaked Ladies with 91% of the vote and soundly defeating Peter Gabriel with 73%, while Joel had even more decisive victories over Michael Penn (95%) and Frank Sinatra (82%).
The random nature of the matchups in Montauk Madness serves up some interesting pairings. This is probably the first time Barenaked Ladies and Van Morrison have been mentioned in the same breath.
Initially, I went with Barenaked Ladies here, my rationale being that I own and enjoy nine of their albums vs. only one by Morrison.
Van Morrison sist at #3 on my list of the best albums of 1970 with his third release, Moondance. This record could easily claim the #1 position but I have a soft spot for the two albums still to come.
The folk, soul and R&B sounds on this album, paired with Morrison’s unique vocals, put it in a class all its own. I can’t say that I reach for Moondance on a regular basis, but every time I hear it I wonder why I ever bother listening to anything else.
Best Albums of the 70s – #6
Moondance – Van Morrison (1970)
Almost every album on this list was recorded by a group or artist that shows up frequently in my music collection. In fact, some artists on this list have more than one album on this list.
But Van Morrison’s Moondance sits alone on my CD shelf, despite the fact that the Irish bard has released more than 40 albums, some of them considered classics.
I have two albums on this list of favorites that represent the only music I own by the given artist. The first is Van Morrison’s Moondance. Can you guess the other one?
I’m not sure when I first discovered this album. I don’t recall it playing a major role in my childhood so it could well be that I didn’t hear it in its entirety until high school or college. I knew the title song prior to that, I’m sure, and I was familiar with ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (which doesn’t appear on this album) but if I had to guess I’d say I picked it up during my late teens when I was on a quest to hear the classics.
My next installment in the greying white guys series is Irish legend Van Morrison. Morrison has put out 40 albums but I own exactly one of them.
Actually, I own two if you count my wife’s copy of 1997’s The Healing Game. I’m not really sure where or why she picked that one up but it features a couple of nice songs.
The other album is, of course, Moondance. That 1970 classic is among the finest albums ever recorded, 40 minutes of pure perfection. Some would say Astral Weeks is Van Morrison’s masterpiece, but I never got into it after trying hard for a few listens. No, Moondance is the one.