Review Summary: Sometimes only the test of time can show the value of a piece of work. Some times you just can't take the critics word for it.
I guess it is hard to explain why I find myself championing this album so often. As one of my father’s favorite song writers I was introduced to All of Van Morrison’s work (pre 80’s) simultaneously. That would basically mean that any album listed on the previous page pre 1980 I am intimately familiar with and could sing without even putting much thought into it. But there are only three albums I keep in constant rotation on my ipod. “Veedon Fleece”, “Moondance” and “Hard Nose The Highway”. Although Hard Nose is and always has been considered a weaker brother to Moondance I’ve always considered it far more of a worthy companion piece that absolutely has some strengths of its own and a little polish given the age difference of the two pieces. This is my first review so do please be kind in the comments.
1. "Snow in San Anselmo" 5/5 This is hands down one of my favorite songs of all times. Beautifully orchestrated with a backing choir and sung with so much emotion it really hits you in the gut.
2. "Warm Love" 3.5/5 This was the single off of the album and it charted. It’s a catchy, fun single Van could write in his sleep but none the less entertaining and worthy of being in your collection.
3. "Hard Nose the Highway" 3.5/5 Ah, the title track. I feel this more than any other you could see actually being on the Moondance album. It also contains one of my favorite lines from Van “In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime And leave one or two cards showing”
4. "Wild Children" 3.5/5 This would be one of the slower tracks. It’s a little harder for me to identify with as it is about being a child when soldiers come home from a war but the effect is still stirring.
5. "The Great Deception" 4/5 I love this song as the lyrics are just scathing. I can only assume this was based on disillusion of society as a whole with lyrics like:
“Did you ever hear about the rock and roll singers
Got three or four Cadillacs
Saying power to the people, dance to the music
Wants you to pat him on the back”
6. "Bein' Green" (Joe Raposo) 3.5/5 I really like this version of this song. I still listen to it all the time and marvel at his ability to arrange and compose.
7. "Autumn Song" 3.5/5 this would be another classic Morrison romance song. It’s about staying warm together and enjoying the changing of the season. Worded as only Van the man can with his typically great and playful instrumentals and comforting crooning.
8. "Purple Heather" (Traditional) 3/5 This for me is the most forgettable song on the album. It is still a great song that has the signature Van Morrison arrangement and a voice still at the top of its game making it still fully worthy of being in a Van Morrison collection.