While Van Morrison is, to be kind, an erratic and temperamental live performer, he's in stellar form throughout the double album It's Too Late to Stop Now, a superb concert set that neatly summarizes his career from his days with Them (represented by scorching renditions of "Gloria" and "Here Comes the Night") through 1973's Hard Nose the Highway ("Warm Love," "Wild Children"). In addition to the hits, including "Caravan," "Domino," and "Into the Mystic" (the final line of which gives the album its title), Morrison even pulls out a handful of R&B chestnuts ("Bring It on Home to Me," "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do") before capping off the collection with a show-stopping rendition of Astral Weeks' "Cyprus Avenue." An engaging, warm portrait of the man at the peak of his powers. [This double-live set was re-released on CD in 2016.]
Super deluxe six disc edition boasts an abundance of material. Disc one features a 2016 remaster (by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road) approved by Charlie Burchill and the second disc gathers 12-inch remixes and instrumentals of the singles, a few of which enjoy their CD debut. Various edits and B-sides can be found on the third CD in the set while disc four features previously unreleased BBC John Peel and Kid Jensen radio sessions, recorded in February and August 1982. All ten tracks on disc five are previously unreleased; made up of alternative mixes and demos and the icing on the cake is the sixth and final disc which is a DVD, featuring Charlie Burchill and Ronald Prent's 5.1 surround sound mix, first released on the now long out-of-print DVD-Audio in 2005. This mix of the album is a unique 'full duration' mix which is different to the standard version. DVD also includes promo videos and a few Top of the Pops performances. Note, this is a DVD-V unlike the DVD-A/V disc from previous Simple Minds box sets.
David Bowie had dropped hints during the Diamond Dogs tour that he was moving toward R&B, but the full-blown blue-eyed soul of Young Americans came as a shock. Surrounding himself with first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations; even at his most passionate, Bowie sounds like a commentator, as if the entire album was a genre exercise. Nevertheless, the distance doesn't hurt the album – it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul.
Fleetwood Mac retreated from the insular strangeness of Tusk and returned to straightforward pop songcraft for Mirage…