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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let Me Tell You About My Baby... Makes Me Feel Alright..." - It's Too Late To Stop Now by VAN MORRISON (2CD Remaster)
Taking its title from a lyric at the end of "Into The Mystic" on "Moondance" (1970) - Van Morrison's live set "It's Too Late To Stop Now" was released in early 1974 as a double-album. It's always been a fan favourite and was equally championed by critics the world over at the time - muted by some as even being one of the best live albums ever made. Well - on hearing it...
Published on 9 Mar 2008 by Mark Barry

versus
3 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There is better
The 1973 van Morrison is the immature version of this iconic artist. If you want a live performance then "A Night in San Francisco" is infinitely better.Remastered or not this is a tinny sound and simply not the polished Van Morrison that newer recordings offer.
Published on 29 Jan 2008 by aesthete


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let Me Tell You About My Baby... Makes Me Feel Alright..." - It's Too Late To Stop Now by VAN MORRISON (2CD Remaster), 9 Mar 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
Taking its title from a lyric at the end of "Into The Mystic" on "Moondance" (1970) - Van Morrison's live set "It's Too Late To Stop Now" was released in early 1974 as a double-album. It's always been a fan favourite and was equally championed by critics the world over at the time - muted by some as even being one of the best live albums ever made. Well - on hearing it again after all these years on this superb-sounding January 2008 2CD remaster - it's easy to see why everyone went nuts for it. "It's Too Late To Stop Now" is a magical body of work and with this latest sonic upgrade which includes a Previously Unreleased bonus track - 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 the 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. Them classics "Here Comes The Night" and "Gloria" are superlative too - especially the barnstorming "Gloria with "it's gonna be alright..." and the crowd bashing their hands together as hard as they can! The album is full of great moments, the James Brown funky tightness of "I've Been Working" with the brass, piano and guitar all playing up an absolute storm; the beautiful other worldly Tim Buckley meandering feel to the soulful nine minutes of "Listen To The Lion" and the infectious joy of the crowd to the opening guitar flicks of "Domino".

Some reviewers have said they found the sound 'thinny' - I don't. To me it's warmer and more revealing than it's ever been and I'm digging this fab set so much more for it. The original master tapes have been 96K/24 Bit digitally remastered by Tim Young at Metropolis Mastering in London and the sound is GORGEOUS - really amazing. The 'upgraded' booklet isn't however - it's very disappointing. As the original album gatefold contained a few colour shots of Van and the band, then that's all we get here - nothing else - no lyrics, no history of where the album fits in, no new liner notes, no new photographs of the tour, the band, the audiences etc. Could have done better lads. And speaking of short change, while all the other 6 releases in this reissue campaign have had two bonus tracks each, here the original 16-track 2LP set is given only one bonus cut, a previously unreleased version of "Brown Eyed Girl". It's short, but it's in keeping with the sound of the other tracks and admittedly it's excellent. Nice to hear it after all these years. But across three concerts, surely there was more?? Couldn't this have been a DELUXE 3CD EDITION? Now how special would that have been!

To sum up then - despite a few presentation niggles, this is still a bona fide 5-star masterpiece given a SUPERB REMASTER and I for one am loving every second of it. Buy it with confidence.

PS:
30 Van Morrison albums are re-issued in remastered form throughout 2008 and into early 2009. Each title contains an upgraded booklet; previously unreleased bonus tracks and all will be at mid-price. The releases are in 4 batches as follows:

28 January 2008 (7 titles)
Tupelo Honey (1971), It's Too Late To Stop Now (2 CD Live Set) (1974),
Wavelenght (1979), Into The Music (1979), A Sense Of Wonder (1985),
Avalon Sunset (1989) and Back On Top (1999)
(see SEPARATE REVIEWS for all 7)

30 June 2008 UK/1 & 8 July 2008 USA (8 titles)
Veedon Fleece (1974), Common One (1980), Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart (1983), Live At The Grand Opera House, Belfast (1984), No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986), Enlightenment (1990), A Night In San Francisco (2CD Live Set) (1994) and The Healing Game (1997)
(see also SEPARATE REVIEWS for "Veedon Fleece", "Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart", "Enlightenment", the live 2CD set "A Night In San Francisco", "Common One" and "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher")

November 2008 (7 titles)
Saint Dominic's Preview (1972), A Period Of Transition (1977), Beautiful Vision (1982), Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Hymns To The Silence (2CD Studio Set) (1991), How Long Has This Been Going On (Live At Ronnie Scott's) (1995) and Tell Me Something - The Songs Of Mose Allison (1996)

January 2009 (8 titles)
Hard Nose The Highway (1973), Irish Heartbeat (with The Chieftains) (1988),
Too Long In Exile (1993), Days Like This (1995), The Story Of Them (2CD Set) (1999), The Skiffle Sessions - Live In Belfast (with Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber) (2000), Down The Road (2002) and What's Wrong With This Picture? (2003)

PPS:
Those hoping to see desperately needed sonic upgrades of his 1st and 2nd album masterpieces on Warner Bothers "Astral Weeks" (1968) and "Moondance" (1970) or even "His Band & The Street Choir" (late 1970) will be disappointed to hear that they're NOT in this re-issue campaign - on either side of the pond. "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" in particular have both been languishing around on crappy-sounding non-remastered CDs for over 20 years now and they're glaringly obvious omissions in this supposedly 'extensive' re-issue campaign. These universally recognized masterpieces have long deserved 2CD DELUXE EDITION treatment (some tracks in remastered form are available across the 3 volumes of "Best Of"). However, I've recently been informed by a good source that all 3 are NOW AVAILABLE since June 2008 in JAPAN in RHINO REMASTERED form. See the excellent Japanese site CDJAPAN.CO.JP for details (worded in English).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live albums ever made, 5 Feb 2008
By 
J. Pauley (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
I've been following Morrison since the beginning of his solo career and have seen him live on numerous occasions. I was at several of the concerts on the tour this album was recorded on, including the London and Dublin shows. Believe me, this is the best Morrison has ever sounded and this is the best band he has ever graced a stage with.

How a previous poster can describe this as "immature" is beyond me. Also I suggest he gets himself some new audio equipment or a new pair of ears, as the sound of this set is as far from "tinny" as one can get. This album has long been considered by fans and critics as not only one of the best live albums anyone has produced, but a classic album in its own right. Buy with confidence - the live Van doesn't get any better than this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever Live Album, 18 Mar 2004
By A Customer
I like live albums. This is the best of the lot. Morrison has an electric band with a brass section and a string section. Lots of colour. Everything is well arranged but never staid or precise. Lots of little tight and fluid cameos from different musicians. But the cherry is Van Morrison's voice. He somehow goes into intense mode when on form and singing live and THIS IS IT! He sings phrases over and over to to convey the feel. His voice swirls and barks. At the end somebody shouts out "Turn it on." "It's already on!" he growls. It is - switched on to the full.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must buy, 1 Feb 2008
By 
C. R. LAW "musicman" (Barnes) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
This is my favourite album of all time and I don't class myself as a big fan of Van. The previous review said the sound is tinny which I just don't get. It's produced by the great Ted Templeman and is really well engineered, highlighting John Platania's guitar, the piano and strings at all the right moments. The interaction with the audience is captured perfectly. The material is Van's strongest in my view and his voice in 1973 had matured from its Them era squeak to be a very good rock voice, capable of fronting a big band. Highlights for me are Caravan Listen To The Lion and I've Been Working. Play it right through. It's a blast!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man,The band ,The best, 27 Mar 2000
By A Customer
The sheer bravado of this short, shuffling and tortured genius was exhibited here in 1972. His grandiose plan of taking his eclectic mix of jazz, R+B and soul,and adding a string section to it was ridiculous enough. To then add a huge brass section should have been disastrous. The actual result was breathtaking.If you get the chance to see the video-do so;if not just make sure you buy this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before the Curmudgeonry..., 11 Mar 2008
By 
AK 1957-05 (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
I think the reviewer who describes this as "immature" and compares it unfavourably to "San Francisco" demonstrates the divide in the Van Morrison camp. Some people got on board around Have I Told You Lately and only know him as the gruff curmudgeon we see today. Some of us remember him as a young, lithe firebrand, however, someone not permanently hiding behind shades and grumbling about copycats, and this is an excellent document of that artist.

I have to say that the bluesy covers drag a little for me, but the rest really does justify this album's reputation as possibly the greatest live album ever (though my personal favourite is Tim Buckley's Dream Letter). From the quadruple whammy opening salvo of Ain't Nothin' You Can Do/Warm Love/Into The Mystic/These Dreams Of You to the triumphant finale of Cypress Avenue (and, in the case of this version, Brown Eyed Girl), the adrenalin only flags occasionally (in my opinion anyway) during the likes of I Just Want To Make Love To You.

Cypress Avenue itself is an absolute triumph - Morrison has surely never sung better in his life and the band and he are in total accord. There cannot be a more exciting moment in recorded music than when Morrison shouts the album's title at the song's climax and the band come crashing back in.

The additon of a good version of Brown Eyed Girl provides a nice chill-out moment, and then it's over.

Springsteen has spent an entire career trying to be this joyous, this intense, but there can only be one master.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL, 4 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perhaps the only album ever to be both sexy and spiritual at the same time.
I don't care how miserable you are - this album is gonna help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best live album ever!, 27 July 2009
By 
David J. Grinnell (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
I saw this concert on TV. Indeed, I recorded it off the TV onto VHS, but I played it so much that the tape wore out. Hopefully, the DVD of this concert won't be too long in surfacing (it's already been too long!).

All those decades ago, yet the gig was so good that I can still remember so much of it - the tightness of the band, the enjoyment of playing that was so evident on the gorgeous cellist, Terry Adams' face, Van high-kicking during one song (Caravan?). I recall thinking that that band must be the best backing band that anyone has ever had - they were astonishing.

So when It's Too Late To Stop Now was released on LP, I went out and bought it. I then bought this 2CD set. I would happily pay out again for the DVD.

I can think of individual songs on other artists' live CDs which I would put at a similar level to this gig, but I can't think of a full Live CD that I've heard, by anyone, which is anywhere near this good (another reviewer thought that Tim Buckley's Dream Letter, which I've never heard, was better, so I'll have to check that out. If it's even close to being better than this, it must be worth hearing).

I'm reluctant to pick out my personal highlights on the CDs as it's all good, but Caravan blows me away every time - the drive that the band inject into the song is amazing.

Buy this 2CD live document of a unique talent at his peak, with one of the best bands I've ever heard backing him.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB LIVE ALBUM, 30 Jun 2003
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This album is so great because all Morrison's familiar classics 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 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 grand album is infused with such spirit and warmth 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master at Work, 27 July 2005
Van Morrison is well known for his ability to improvise when it comes to his work, he has been known to construct whole songs in the studio from a few notes scribbled down on the nearest available material. This shows in his live shows where he varies from the lyrics of many of his songs to suit the mood of the evening. This shows in this fantastic live CD which shows the Man at the peak of his creative powers. He covers songs and makes you think they were his to begin with but it is his own work which truly sends a shiver down your spine as he delivers them with power and spontaneity with his caledonian orchestra behind him beckoning to his every whim that you are caught in the spell only Van can wield on you. I would reccomend familiarising yourself with the three studio albums the songs performed come from, Astral Weeks, Moondance and St. Dominics Preview to get the most enjoyment out of this cd. This might seem a lot to ask if you don't already own them (and shame on you if you dont) but please trust me, the juice so is worth the squeeze
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