Friday 2 October 2015

What we're listening to. Ivan Morrison "It's too late to stop now".

There's some irony in here around Ivan Morrison

Firstly, one of our Streamabout crew is a lifelong fan; Secondly another of the crew's daughter is in the same school class as Van's son; Thirdly he lives near Streamabout's offices (5 minutes away) so we see him out and about and lastly he's just turned 70.

Add to that, the whole Van collection just went up this week on Imusic.

We mentioned 'Moondance' in our blog before, but thought we'd put on another gem, a classic - "It's too late to stop now".

A live double album from 1974 (so Van was only 29, extraordinary in itself). 

Uniquely too, it was the first live album not to have over-dubs which means it's an exact copy of the live show with nothing added afterwards. Hence a recording of 'Moondance' was not included because it just wasn't perfect live. 

Recorded at LA's 'Troubadour' and London's 'Rainbow', you can hear Van as the band leader which he always was, conducting everything. But this is probably his tightest, best band ever - Jef Labes on Piano, "Brother" Jack Schroer on Sax, John Platania on Guitar, David Hayes on Bass - backed by a superb string section (Nancy Olson/Ellis on Viola) and a class horn section.

'Into the mystic' of course is here from Moondance as is a superb version of 'Caravan'. (In fact, if you want to hear the band and Van at his incredible best, listen to 'Caravan'. You can hear him direct the sound - "turn it up!")

'Wild children' tells you his age ("We were the wild children, born 1945, when all the soldiers can marching home from war..."), 'Gloria' (as in Patti Smith), 'Cyprus Avenue' (A Belfast street), and a lovely 'St. Dominic's Preview'. But it's all magical. Mystical. 

It came after 'Moondance', 'Hard nose the highway', 'Tupelo Honey', 'Astral Weeks' (aged 23 btw) and so on - so it's right in that really creative Van time.

You won't do better than this. You just won't. It's one of the all time great live Albums at the very, very least. 

And here's the real deal.....