Van Morrison: Moondance (1970)
All that said, I genuinely enjoy the jazzy, poppy Moondance, even if liking his most obviously appealing record makes me feel awfully pedestrian. Yeah, I'm ok with the more subtle, meandering charms of Astral Weeks and Tupelo Honey; but this one seems to do the best job of walking the line between his R&B-flavored pop (the title track, "Come Running," "Glad Tidings") and his more reflective side. "And It Stoned Me" and "Caravan" are terrific mid-tempo numbers that retain his free-form cosmic leanings but tethered to tuneful melodies.
I may never be all-in on the guy, but considering how much I avoided his music for most of my life, I've come a long way, and Moondance probably makes the strongest case for continuing to listen with an open mind.