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It's Too Late to Stop Now

Warner Bros. 2760-2
(Originally released February, 1974
Remastered re-issue released January 28, 2008)

CD1:

  1. Ain't Nothin' You Can Do (3:36)
  2. Warm Love (3:03)
  3. Into the Mystic (4:28)
  4. These Dreams of You (3:31)
  5. I Believe To My Soul (4:00)
  6. I've Been Working (3:50)
  7. Help Me (3:00)
  8. Wild Children (4:54)
  9. Domino (4:28)
  10. I Just Want To Make Love to You (4:45)

CD2:

  1. Bring it on Home To Me (4:26)
  2. Saint Dominic's Preview (6:13)
  3. Take Your Hands Out of My Pocket (3:58)
  4. Listen to the Lion (8:25)
  5. Here Comes the Night (3:12)
  6. Gloria (3:53)
  7. Caravan (8:45)
  8. Cyprus Avenue (9:25)

    Bonus Track (on the 2008 remastered re-issue)
  9. Brown Eyed Girl

Musicians:
David Hayes: Bass
Teressa "Terry" Adams: Cello
Bill Atwood: Trumpet
Nancy Ellis: Viola
Tom Halpin: Violin
Tim Kovatch: Violin
Jeff Labes: Organ/Piano/Arranger/Keyboards
Van Morrison: Guitar/Keyboards/Saxophone/Vocal/Producer
John Platania: Guitar
Nathan Rubin: Strings/Violin
Jack Schroer: Piano/Arranger/Saxophone
David Shaw: Clarinet/Percussion
Ted Templeman: Producer

Review by Scott Thomas:
Before Veedon Fleece came the in-concert recording It's Too Late to Stop Now! By the mid-1970's, double live albums were already a well-established institution which enabled artists to fulfill contractual obligations without having to write and record new material. Not surprisingly, Morrison's contribution to the genre, recorded in Los Angeles and London during a highly acclaimed tour, is one of the best. Instead of taking the easy, well-traveled route of offering picture-perfect reproductions of greatest hits, Morrison renovates some of his best known songs (e.g.; "Into the Mystic"), dredges up some lesser known gems ("I've Been Working," "These Dreams of You"), and works up a glorious, Them-like sweat on covers of six R&B/soul classics.

Van's touring band from this period, the 11-piece Caledonia Soul Orchestra, was always superb and is documented here at the top of its game. The R&B bump & grind of the rhythm section (bassist David Hayes and drummer Dahaud Shaar) and horn section (saxophonist Jack Schroer and trumpeter Bill Atwood) and the jazz-inflected playing of pianist Jeff Labes symbolize the poles of Morrison's musical vision. Labes, a master at improvisation, anticipates and reacts to every move executed by his ever-spontaneous, ever-inventive leader. In these performances, Van refuses to let any human vocal sound go to waste. Grunts, whispers, the spoken word, and even silence are used to supplement the more conventional R&B vocal devices Van had mastered in his Them days. Like any great jazz artist, his timing is peerless, his technique flawless, and his imagination boundless. Like any great soul artist, he knows how to work his audience. Note the teasing and orgiastic climaxes to both "Caravan" and "Cyprus Avenue."

Notes:
See the liner notes in the Discography entry for the It's Too Late To Stop Now Outakes bootleg CD for related information on this release. The track times listed above are for the original album release; the tracks were lengthened for the remaster reissue.

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