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It's Too Late to Stop Now Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, Original recording reissued, June 3, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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Given his early roots in Irish show bands steeped in American R&B, Van Morrison's power as a live performer is as riveting in his "on" nights as it can be frustrating when he's not in the mood. But his sheer power as a singer, and his long tradition of crack bands, has translated to an awful lot of good nights--enough to spawn three compelling live albums, of which this is the first and best. Recorded during his San Franciscan residency of the early '70s, with his ambitious Caledonia Soul Orchestra, this double album documents Morrison at an early vocal peak and benefits from a set list culled from his early solo masterpieces, including Moondance and Astral Weeks. As such, It's Too Late to Stop Now clicks as both anthology and coherent concert document--a classic live album. --Sam Sutherland

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ain't Nothin' You Can Do
  2. Warm Love
  3. Into The Mystic
  4. These Dreams Of You
  5. I Believe To My Soul
  6. I've Been Working
  7. Help Me
  8. Wild Children
  9. Domino
  10. I Just Want To Make Love To You

Disc: 2

  1. Bring It On Home To Me
  2. Saint Dominic's Preview
  3. Take Your Hands Out Of My Pocket
  4. Listen To The Lion
  5. Here Comes The Night
  6. Gloria
  7. Caravan
  8. Cyprus Avenue


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000002GNN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,077 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Taking its title from a lyric at the end of "Into The Mystic" on 1970's "Moondance", Van Morrison's 2LP live set "It's Too Late To Stop Now" was released in early 1974. It's always been a fan favourite and was equally championed by critics the world over at the time. It has even been muted by some as one of the best live albums ever made. Well, on hearing it again after all these years on this superb-sounding 2008 remaster, it's easy to see why everyone went nuts for it then and now - it's a magical body of work - and with this sonic upgrade, to my ears, it's never sounded better.

Produced by Van and Warner Brothers resident production genius Ted Templeman, it was recorded in the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Civic in Santa Monica (both in California) and the beloved and much missed Rainbow Theatre in London. His super tight house band "The Caledonia Soul Orchestra" consisted of JEFF LABES on Piano & Organ, JOHN PLATANIA on Guitar, DAVID HAYES on Bass, JACK SCHROER and BILL ATWOOD on Sax and Trumpet with DAHAUD SHAAR pounding away on Drums. The String section featured NATHAN RUBIN, TIM KOVATCH, TOM HALPIN, NANCY ELLIS and TERRY ADAMS.

Disc One opens the proceedings with a cracking version of Bobby Bland's "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do". There are quite a few covers on the album and they sit perfectly alongside his own compositions making it a far more varied listen. There's a slick version of "I Believe To My Soul" by Ray Charles, "Help Me" by Sonny Boy Williamson (Willie Dixon writer), "I Just Want To Make Love To You" by Muddy Waters (again Willie Dixon writer), "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke and "Take Your Hands Out Of My Pocket" by Sonny Boy Williamson.
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10 Comments 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Van, like Dylan as of late, can give mixed reviews when performing live. You don't know what you're going to get at a given show by the two of them... but on a great night, few are better or their equal.
I wouldn't recommend this album for the newcomer to Van: get his first two albums first. Then, indulge yourself on this album, & be prepared for a fantastic live set, as he was arguably at the peak of his powers.
He changes some of the arrangements & tempos on a few numbers, which makes for an interesting listen. This isn't a Eagles concert, where you know everything is "played to perfection." Van seems to really "wing it" at his live shows, which is part of his charm.
Plus, his backing band at the time, The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, was probably his best & they are in FINE form.... especially Jack Platania & Jack Schroer (guitar & sax). I can't stress enough on how great this band was for Van during the 70's.
He does some fantastic covers by Sonny Boy, Sam Cooke, & etc. along with his well known compositions. There is an amazing version of St. Dominic's Preview & Caravan.....
People are lucky, as this album has been out of print for a LOOONG time prior to its re-release. Anyhoo, great live set, & highly recommended!!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure this is the best live album ever recorded; that honor may have to go to The Band's "The Last Waltz." But this is definitely up there. Van doesn't give great concerts any more, which is hard to believe when you listen to the groundbreaking verions of "Listen to the Lion," "Caravan," and "Cypress Avenue" on this compilation. Even songs that you wouldn't think could be pulled off live, like "Into the Mystic," are brilliantly done on this album. Van has two things which make him one of the towering figures in music: he has songwriting genius, and he has soul. The former can be experienced on any of his studio recordings, but to get the all the attitude behind this stout, ugly man, you must listen to him live. It's great, just great. I can't recommend it enough.
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By A Customer on February 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Live albums are so many times a way for a popular performer to get product on the shelves without the pressure of having to write new material and the cost of a big-time prodution budget, so it's easy for me to be cynical of them.
However, there are a handful of live albums over the years that prove to be definitive in an artist's catalog, and this is surely one of them. I picked up the original vinyl release in a used record store many years ago, and expected a good show with a tight band, but I was not prepared for what I heard. The expanded band playing an excellent mix of perfectly chosen covers and early Morrison classics, all with great, unusual arrangements, astounded and totally captivated me. I felt like I had just had an out of body experience.
Anyway, along ABB Live at the Fillmore and the Who Live at Leeds, this is a live album that, while maybe not transcending the studio versions, stands on its own as a testament of this man's unique genius.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is so great because all of Morrison's familiar gems gain something by these live performances. The band is tight, the audience appreciative and Van is firing on all cylinders. Old favourites like Into The Mystic and These Dreams Of You take on new rhythmic and vocal dimensions whilst I Believe To My Soul is a breathtaking R&B workout.

I honestly prefer this magnificent live version of Here Comes The Night with its flowing violins, although the original remains a classic too. Another stunning performance is Gloria, which I first heard in Patti Smith's version, but this one is amazingly gripping and powerful, as demonstrated by the enthusiastic reaction of the audience.

I have very few live albums and as a rule I prefer studio sounds, but this majestic album is infused with such spirit, warmth and exuberance that it ranks amongst my favourite Van Morrison albums. It is also an ideal greatest hits album of his early career.
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