Album #308 – It’s Too Late to Stop Now

Album #308

Many critics and authors have called It’s Too Late To Stop Now one of the greatest live albums ever to be recorded and released. I agree with them 110%. The album’s title come from the last lyric of  Into The Mystic and it’s also repeated near the end of this “concert’s” final encore, Cyprus Avenue. The audience is actually saying this to him and he eventually responds with that line and ends the song. It’s probably my favorite moment on this album. It’s Too Late to Stop Now makes you feel as if you are right there seeing Van The Man and his Soul Orchestra playing. You feel like you are in the room, watching something magical. No other live album has given me this experience. The whole album was supposedly recorded live, with no overdubs. Morrison wanted the most absolutely perfect performances to be on this record. If they weren’t up to snuff, they were not on the album. It’s To Late To Stop Now was co-produced by Ted Templeman (Yes, the same Ted Templeman that played drums and sang in the 1960’s one-hit wonder Harper’s Bazzar and produced Van Halen’s first six albums) who had co-produced the two studio albums that proceeded this album, Saint Dominic’s Preview and Tupelo Honey and co-engineered by Donn Landee (also famous for being Templeman’s engineer and engineering Van Halen’s early albums). Musically, this album is straight up rhythm and blues Van-style with a bit of Stax/Volt and blues thrown in. Morrison’s Soul Orchestra was comprised of a horn section, a strings section and a bass player, guitarist and drummer. The feel of this album reminded me of James Brown’s Live At The Apollo 1962. The energy the two albums provide are very similar. But, this is one album that you cannot sit still to while listening. I was tapping my feet and singing along to many of the songs. The song choices of this album vary from covers like Bring It On Home To Me and Ray Charles’ I Believe to My Soul to Morrison’s biggest hits like Domino, Into the Mystic and Gloria. One glaring omission is Brown Eyed Girl but, that does not diminish this album in any way. I was surprised I had never heard of this album before the album challenge. I am quite familiar with this artist’s work and I am puzzled as to why It’s Too Late to Stop Now passed my by. But, I do know that I wanna see Morrison at some point in concert after listening to this album. If the performance will be anything like what I have heard, it will leave me wanting more. Other highlights include: These Dreams of You, I’ve Been Working, Help Me, Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Here Comes The Night and Cypress Avenue. Overall, I give It’s Too Late to Stop Now, 5 out of 5.

Next: Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell

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