After the dreamy acoustic sound of Astral Weeks, Van Morrison switched gears. For Monndance, he built his arrangements around a powerful horn section, veering more toward the punchy, old-school R&B he loved than Astral‘s jazzy meanderings. Morrison’s singing got more aggressive, too, on the gospel-flavored “Brand New Day” or the glorious “Caravan,” the first in a series of tributes to the otherworldly powers of radio. He kept his croony side, though, on the murmuring “Into the Mystic” and, of course, the immortal, swinging title track — a staple of prep schools and lounge acts to this day, and still none the worse for wear.
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