Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Van Morrison - It's Too Late to Stop Now... Again (1973)
This album is kind of strange. In 1974, Van Morrison released the double live album "It's Too Late to Stop Now," taken from concerts from May to July 1973. It's widely considered to be one of the greatest live albums of all time, done at a peak of Morrison's creative and performing powers. This is an attempt to make another album exactly like that, drawn from the exact same concerts, but with no overlap whatsoever. Thus the title.
Here's how I made it. In 2016, a super deluxe version of "It's Too Late to Stop Now" was released, called "It's Too Late to Stop Now, Vol. II, III, IV and DVD." That contained all of the live concerts that the original album drew from, namely:
The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA, May 24, 1973
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA, May 29,1973
The Rainbow Theatre, London, Britain, July 23 and 24, 1973
In addition, there's a pristine soundboard bootleg of this show:
The Lion's Share, San Anselmo CA, February 15, 1973
So I drew on all four of those shows as raw material for this album. (As it turns out, I didn't use any performances from the London shows, since they were all repeats of songs played earlier.)
I figured out what all the unique songs from these concerts were. Then I removed all the songs that were on the official "It's Too Late to Stop Now" album. I also have posted four other complete "must have" Morrison concerts here:
Live in Boston 1968 The Catacombs, Boston, MA, 8-1968)
Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, April 26, 1970
The Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA, August 8,1971
Pacific High Studios, San Francisco, CA, September 5, 1971
I removed any song that appeared on any of those albums too!
There were only two exceptions. I kept the version of "Into the Mystic" from the 1973 Lion's Share show, because this is a legendary "scat vocal" version, where Morrison does the song in a very different way and scat sings over most of it. I also kept the version of "Sweet Thing" from the 1973 Santa Monica show, because although that song was done in the 1971 Lion's Share show, that was a very different acoustic version.
Yet, after I removed all the songs that appeared on all those concerts and/or albums, I still was left with 18 songs, totaling an hour and 31 minutes. How long is "It's Too Late to Stop Now?" Eighteen songs and an hour and 32 minutes of music. So this is nearly exactly the same length, except a totally different bunch of songs that shouldn't overlap with any of your other live Van Morrison music taken from this blog.
On top of all that, I plan on following this soon with yet more Morrison live material from the early 1970s, consisting of songs that aren't on any of the above albums or concerts, including this "It's Too Late to Stop Now... Again" album! I think that shows what a remarkable number of songs he was doing in concert in that era.
The bottom line is, if you enjoy "It's Too Late to Stop Now," you should enjoy this. Yeah, these weren't his top choices to put on a live album at that time, but everything he was doing in concert at the time was solid gold, so there's no way to go wrong.
01 Into the Mystic [Scat Version] (Van Morrison)
02 Everybody's Talkin' (Van Morrison)
03 St. Dominic's Preview (Van Morrison)
04 Misty (Van Morrison)
05 [There'll Be Bluebirds Over] The White Cliffs of Dover (Van Morrison)
06 Purple Heather [Wild Mountain Thyme] (Van Morrison)
07 Bein' Green (Van Morrison)
08 Foggy Mountain Top [T for Texas] (Van Morrison)
09 Heathrow Shuffle [Instrumental] (Van Morrison)
10 What'd I Say (Van Morrison)
11 Hard Nose the Highway (Van Morrison)
12 Hey Good Lookin' (Van Morrison)
13 Snow in San Anselmo (Van Morrison)
14 It's Not the Twilight Zone (Van Morrison)
15 Naked in the Jungle (Van Morrison)
16 There, There Child (Van Morrison)
17 Since I Fell for You (Van Morrison)
18 Sweet Thing (Van Morrison)
The cover art was made by Peter at the Albums I Wish Existed blog. It's based on alternate art from the official "It's Too Late to Stop Now" album.