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33 of 33 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 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...
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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33 of 33 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 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 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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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd?, 19 Feb 2008
By 
Victor Best "gvb" (birmingham, west mids United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
back in the early seventies this or another show from the same tour was shown on television.
it was also broadcast in fm stereo on the radio so me and my brother bought some tins of beer and put speakers either side of the tv.
to watch what was definitely the best live show ever seen on the box.
so there must be a dvd waiting for release?
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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 500 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best live album of all time by any artist? Probably, 20 Dec 2010
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
Van Morrison's "It's Too Late to Stop Now" released in 1974 is a double CD showcasing the best moments distilled from three live performances on Van's 1973 world tour: at The Troubadour in LA, the Santa Monica Civic and the great and much-missed Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, London (which, alas, is no more). Many make a convincing case that this is the greatest live-performance album of all time, by any artist.

Van has always been a multi-talented writer, producer and arranger and this tour featured his "Caledonia Soul Orchestra" with string and brass sections complementing the rock music instrumental backing line-up to highlight every mood change during the gig: brass for the full-on rock/soul numbers, strings to fill out the more atmospheric pieces, and the whole held together by Van's unique, powerful and insistent vocal. The result by any logic shouldn't even work, but Van's extraordinary genius for synthesising different styles into his own trademark sound makes for a one-off, an all-time great. Even if you're not a committed Van Morrison fan, listen and you'll understand why he inspires such respect and has such a loyal fan base. From the explosive opener "When you got a heartache, ain't nothin' you can do" you'll just be overtaken by the irresistible urge to jump to your feet and dance - even if you're driving, which can be a problem!

I saw this line-up live at the very first Knebworth One-Day Festival on a hot summer Saturday in 1974 (I was very young and it was my first ever outdoor concert), and have never forgotten Van belting out those powerful, soulful vocals into the summer afternoon sunshine backed by a band so tight, so seamlessly unified yet infinitely flexible and responsive they were one beautiful organic whole, to treat the listener to a truly awesome, unforgettable experience. I mean, wow. Since that day, I have been a die-hard Van Morrison fan.

The 18 numbers performed on this album are the best of the best, performed by one of the world's great musical artists in his prime, still with the power and restlessness of youth in his soul but with enough experience and maturity to understand the complexities of sound and instrumentation mix and the discipline necessary to pull it together and make it work. The power of Van's vocal delivery and his ability for on-the-spot improvisation to go with the mood of the moment often belie the committed professionalism of execution, the attention to minor details behind the performance. It's masterful.

This album is a true classic. It's outstanding. It has soul. Whichever of the various releases over the years you listen to (I have most of them and it doesn't really matter), just listen to it. Almost nothing else you ever hear afterwards will compare. Go on, treat yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Van Morrison Live performance, 28 Oct 2010
By 
S. Hatherell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's Too Late To Stop Now: Live (2CD) (Audio CD)
I was at the Rainbow in the '70's when some of this album was originally recorded. I was blown away then, and still am by the performance. The man is a rock god and truly gives the most stunning performance.
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