Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.33 | 1181 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Yes, I did mean 5 stars as I clicked OK on the "do you really mean it..." tab that pops up when you select a 5 star rating on this site. Briefly for those that don't know, the band in its first and very best incarnation was John McLaughlin (ex-Miles Davis) guitar and leader; Jerry Goodman on electric violin; Jan Hammer (Miami Vice) on key's; the phenomenal Billy Cobham on skins and Rick Laird on bass.The basis of the music was great musicians - and I mean really great - playing jazz/metal/fusion based music with superfast soloing and improvisiation - all instrumental (until the later incarnations of the band).

For me, this their second album is even better than "Inner Mounting Flame" - more structure to the tracks, and more diversity too - "Open Country Joy" has you've guessed it got a touch of C&W about it but don't let that put you off....the title track is a blinder, Cobham's furious drumming underpinning McLaughlin's soloing. Back in vinyl days, each side finished with a shorter (2 min) number with a simple riff, building higher and higher - "Hope" was for side 1, "Resolution" on side 2. "One Word" is the longest track with the three soloists exchanging at a furious pace, before a slightly overlong Cobham solo (the only small disappointment, this). "Sanctuary" builds the tension up again with Jan Hammer's erie Moog and Cobham stretching the beat out. And I love "Celestial Terrestial Commuters" (hey, it was the '70's...) with Cobhams pace behind against Goodman and McLaughlins dueling.

It may sound an odd comparison, but at times the music reminds me a little of King Crimson in the "Red" era, which I think is down to the guitar leading the structure of most tracks. This is an album that if you haven't heard, you really should at least try it. 5 stars!

Phil | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives