Q - 5 Stars (out of 5)
Q (Magazine) (p.141) - "[I]t's a vibrant, vital document in its own right, summarising his whole career to that point....He goes back to his more youthful Belfast days for a rip-roaring 'Gloria'..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[O]ne of the greatest live albums ever made, Van flitting between impassioned readings of his best songs and stellar interpretations..."
Personnel: John Platania (guitar); Tom Halpin, Nathan Rubin, Tim Kovatch (violin); Nancy Ellis (viola); Terry Adams (cello); Jack Schroer (saxophone); Bill Atwood (trumpet); Jeff Labes (piano, organ); Dahaud Shaar (drums).
Audio Mixer: Donn Landee.
Audio Remasterer: Tim Young .
Recording information: Rainbow Theater, London, England; Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monic, California; Troubadour, Los Angeles, California.
Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Connie Root.
"Though he's released several fine live recordings over the course of his career, this is the definitive live Van Morrison album. From his fertile early-'70s Celtic soul-man period, this 2-disc set presents Morrison as one of the premier re-interpreters of American roots music. Backed by a loose-but-funky, horn-driven band, he recontextualizes Muddy Waters (""I Just Want To Make Love To You""), Sonny Boy Williamson (""Help Me""), and Sam Cooke (""Bring It On Home To Me"") for the post-Beatles generation.
At the same time, the versions of classic Morrison songs like ""Domino"" and ""Into The Mystic"" are even more fully realized than the studio recordings, with Morrison pouring his soul into every tune. The set list reaches as far back as Morrison's days with Them (""Here Comes the Night,"" ""Gloria""), and continues up through tunes from 1973's HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY. A stirring, 10-minute-plus version of ""Cypress Avenue"" from ASTRAL WEEKS closes out the concert, and puts the cap on this stunning live document."