It's Too Late to Stop Now Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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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.Read more ›
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!!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting arrangements of great tunes. The man at his peak, as good as you'd hope.Published 3 months ago by B Lee
Few times has something moved me as this album does . . . every time I listen to it. Quality of audio is stellar! This seller has a new permanent client.Published 3 months ago by Andy
This is the best live concert album Van Morrison ever made. It originally came out as a two-LP vinyl set. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Edward Hunsecker
I have loved Van Morrison since the late 60's. He is a true artist , and this CD is some of his best in concert.Published 7 months ago by Grandmother Moon
We wore the vinyl version of this album out twice, so were ecstatic to finally hear this killer album again, as if it were the first time. Sheer bliss.Published 10 months ago by VANESSA Y. MCCLINCHY