The Caledonia Soul Orchestra was the band created by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison in 1973. The band is often considered one of the tightest performing backup groups of the 1970s. The band was named after an eighteen minute instrumental outtake on the His Band and the Street Choir album.
In 1973 Van Morrison and the Caledonia Soul Orchestra went on a three-month tour of the United States, and Europe with the result of which was the seminal live double album It’s Too Late to Stop Now. The title is taken from the last line in the lyrics in one of Morrison’s songs: “Into the Mystic” from the 1970 Moondance album. In live performances with The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, he would close the concert with a dynamic, stretched out version of the Astral Weeks song, “Cyprus Avenue” and then shout out “IT’S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW!” as he quickly exited stage.
Van Morrison live at The London’s Rainbow Theatre on 24th July 1973. (Voted by Q Magazine readers as one of the top live performances of all time.)
01 – Warm Love (3:22)
02 – Take your Hands Out Of My Pocket (4:03)
03 – Here Comes The Night (3:17)
04 – I Just Want To Make Love To You (5:36)
05 – Brown Eyed Girl (3:12)
06 – Moonshine Whiskey (7:14)
07 – Moondance (5:19)
08 – Help Me (2:41)
09 – Domino (4:37)
10 – Caravan (8:45)
11 – Cyprus Avenue (9:34)
12 – Wild Night (4:21)
Bonus not in the TV Broadcast:
13 – I Paid The Price (6:43)
14 – Saint Dominic’s Preview (6:18)
15 – Gloria (3:16)
01 Warm Love – Van Morrison & The Caledonia Soul Orchestra:
“The Rain Song” is one of Zep’s finest moments, featuring a soaring string arrangement and a gentle, aching melody. “The Ocean” is just as good, starting with a heavy, funky guitar groove before slamming into an a cappella section and ending with a swinging, doo wop-flavored rave-up. With the exception of the rampaging opening number, “The Song Remains the Same,” the rest of Houses of the Holy is fairly straightforward, ranging from the foreboding “No Quarter” and the strutting hard rock of “Dancing Days” to the epic folk/metal fusion “Over the Hills and Far Away.” Throughout the record, the band’s playing is excellent, making the eclecticism of Page and Robert Plant’s songwriting sound coherent and natural.” – Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)
Post-Al Green What’s Going On, which means it’s about fucking rather than the human condition, thank the wholly holey. Gaye is still basically a singles artist, and the title track, as much a masterpiece as “Inner City Blues,” dominates in a way “I’m Still in Love with You,” say, doesn’t. Then again, it’s an even better song, and this album prolongs its seductive groove to an appropriate thirty minutes plus
~Robert Christgau (Consumer Guide Reviews)
On this album, Gaye meditated on the gap between sex and love and how to reconcile them – an adult version of the Motown tunes he had built his career on. It’s some of the most gorgeous music he ever made, resplendent with sweet strings and his clear-throated crooning.
Four songs in colour: I´ve Been Working, Caravan, Gloria & a 9 minute Cyprus Avenue. With The Caledonia Soul Orchestra in top form and Van in a black stetson, this US TV broadcast is legendary among Van fanatics. And rightly so.
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert
Los Angeles, California
Broadcast Date: April 18th 1973