Van Morrison Jon Landau - Essay

Jon Landau

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Van Morrison's road has been rocky, and it has not left him unscarred, but it is now obvious that he has not only made it through his personal bad times, but that he has come upon a period of great personal creativity. Beginning with Astral Weeks, he has released three albums of extraordinary quality in the last two years.

Moondance is, in my mind, one of the great albums of 1970. In it Van presented his fully developed musical style…. The lyrics were simple, personal and intense….

If Moondance had a flaw it was in its perfection. Sometimes things fell into place so perfectly I wished there was more room to breathe. Every song was a polished gem, and yet too much brilliance at the same time and in the same place can be blinding. The album would have benefitted by some changes in mood and pace along the way. One or two light and playful cuts would have done the job.

On His Band and the Street Choir he seems to have realized that and has tried for a freer, more relaxed sound. Knowing he could not come up with another ten songs as perfectly honed as those on Moondance, he has chosen to show another side of what goes on around his house.

"Give Me A Kiss," "Blue Money," "Sweet Jannie," and "Call Me Up In Dreamland" are all examples of Van's new rollicking, good-timey style….

As "Domino" opens the album with a show of strength,...

(The entire section is 459 words.)