Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published June 1st 2022
The moon is always in a song somewhere
The second column for a long-overdue request from a regular reader and commenter, about that large hunk of rock that circles Earth at a pretty constant rate.
The moon, that large natural satellite that circles the Earth, has been a main source of poetry and song for millennia, dating back to the Babylonians. I think I need to point out that I have now been told that some-one wrote a song about Saturn's moon Titan, but that does not count here. Sorry.
There are so many songs about the moon! Without exaggeration, I have hundreds in my collection. And so that is why this list was so hard to compile. Trying to work out what to remove, what misses out, etc. As such, here are some rules: 1) No classical music. Sorry. There are some fine pieces, but this was already hard enough. 2) No repeats of songs across columns except where the cover version is very different in tone and form. 3) No repeated artists in an individual list. 4) The word moon must be in the title in some form. This means 'Brain Damage/Eclipse' from Dark Side Of The Moon does miss out here. Sorry. 5) Moonshine songs about alcohol do not count here (but a series of alcohol columns is coming at some point).
Now we enter the 1970s, so get ready for classic rock, glam rock, soundtrack music and other various forms.
'Moondance' by Van Morrison (1970)
This is the way I like to remember Van Morrison – hitting his stride as a solo artist in the early 1970s with tracks like this, wonderful pieces of music that have stood the test of time. There is something of jazz about this track, and it sits so well.
'Half Moon' by Janis Joplin (1971)
Janis was taken from us way too soon. She released and recorded not enough music, but what she left us is so glorious. This rocking song just hits hard and, while it is one of her lesser-known tracks, is as good as anything else she released.
'Moonshadow' by Cat Stevens (1971)
Cat Stevens is an acquired taste, I have come to realise, but I like a lot of his releases. He was there at the beginning of the "one person with acoustic guitar" movement that persists to this day, but his lyrics were a cut above. However, this song, though I really like it, and know all the words, is one I am not a hundred percent sure what it means.
'Moonage Daydream' by David Bowie (1972)
I prefer the 1972 version from the Ziggy Stardust… album, the re-recorded version, to the original because by now he had Mick Ronson on guitar and that added grunt just makes this track so very good. Ronson was an unsung hero in this era of Bowie's music.
'Sister Moonshine' by Supertramp (1975)
While not as well known as some of their other tracks, this is definitely one of the better ones Supertramp put out. From that acoustic guitar intro to the amazing vocals, this song is just a wonderful piece of rock-pop, eschewing the glam rock that dominated the charts, and the growing disco movement.
'Under The Moon Of Love' by Mud (1975)
While most people know the Showaddaywaddy version – and that was the first one I heard – I prefer Mud's more rock-based glam version of this track. The lyrics are hardly anything to write home about, but it is a fun song.
'Dancin' In The Moonlight' by Thin Lizzy (1977)
A little lighter than much of their music at the time, this track shows another side of the band, and one that is well worth listening to. Still, Phil Lynott's voice shines out here.
'Mooning' by Louis St. Louis & Cindy Bullens (1978)
A song that might not mean much from the title, but to people of my generation, it is there, from the soundtrack to the film Grease. That film and its soundtrack is a definite guilty pleasure (as much as I hate that term) of mine, and this song is such a wonderful duet.
'There's A Moon In The Sky' by The B-52's (1979)
Not only is there a moon in the sky, but it's called the moon! From the B-52's first, self-titled album, an album a good friend named Melinda introduced me to, this is one of so many wonderful songs from that record. Just great… but, yes, it is weird. Really weird.
'Walking On The Moon' by The Police (1979)
This is the first police song I remember hearing, a strange musical sound that did not seem to go with any other style I had heard before. I now understand where it had come from, but back in 1979/1980 when I heard it, it was different. And it still stands as one of The Police's best songs.
Ten songs from the 1970s celebrating the moon. A slightly eclectic mix, and missing any blatant disco tracks, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. There is still more to come, so be prepared, and I hope you enjoyed the second instalment! Part one can be found here.
There are some classics on this list.
One throwback 70's moon song that takes me back is Silvery Moon by Sherbet.
(It was Sherbet or Skyhooks!) - I liked both though -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHuNupyhSak