Monday, February 3, 2014

40 Year Itch: Everpresent Everywhere

   Recorded in both California and London with the ultra tight 11 piece Caledonia Soul Orchestra in the Summer of '73, Van Morrison's superb double live album It's Too Late to Stop Now was released in February of 1974. The string and horn section --and Van's fiery delivery--give even Morrison's Them era tunes an epic quality.

     The 1973 tour was put together to promote Morrison's first disappointing album, Hard Nose the Highway. (Only "Warm Love" can stand next to the high achievements of the man's early 70's work). Van pays tribute to his favorite soul artists by covering soul standards "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do" ( Bobby Bland) "I Believe To My Soul" ( Ray Charles),  " Bring It On Home To Me " ( Sam Cooke) "I Just Want to Make Love To You" ( Muddy Waters), "Help Me" and "Take Your Hands Outta My Pocket" ( both by Sonny Boy Williamson II)

   Morrison's goal: to make the best truly live album ever recorded. That meant no overdubs. And no "Moondance" because of a single bum note.

        This is Van Morrison at the peak of his form. But it wouldn't last. A restless and irritable bandleader, Van broke up the Caledonia Soul Orchestra after the '73 tour, divorced Janet Planet  and moved back to Belfast for the first time since 1966 where he wrote the 1974 album Veedon Fleece.

   But that doesn't come out until October so let's take a moment to relish the live album that marks the zenith of Morrison's  concert career.

No comments:

Post a Comment