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Return To Forever - The Best of Return to Forever CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.51 | 13 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Once upon a time, way back in the mystical 1970's major label record companies actually cared about releasing quality music. In that time, creative bands were allowed to flourish, and record albums that amazed listeners. And, oh, there were so many listeners, as these record companies and their executives made these albums available to radio stations and reviewers, and encouraged people to listen to tehse fabulous artists.

And when a band had enough albums released, someone who cared about the music would carefully sift through the artist's catalogue, and come of with a compilation of their best material. These compilations were called "Best of..." compilations.

Then, suddenly, in the middle of the decade, record company executives discovered that they didn't have to put much effort into their product, and they could still make piles of money. Bands with adventurous sounds were discouraged from making interesting music, and were disparaged with epithets like "pretentious" and "dinosaurs".

Eventually, most of these fine artists grew discourage, and ventured away from making good music, leaving the greedy record companies with reels of tapes containing songs that the labels owned the rights to.

So the labels, knowing that some people didn't fall for their evil ploy to foist poor quality cheap music on them, and still yearned for good music, decided they could squeeze a few more dollars out of these people by releasing a few good songs, along with some of the lesser quality tracks, and slap the name "The Best Of..." on the albums.

Here is one of a series CBS (before the even more greedy Sony bought them out) released in the early eighties. We all know that Return To Forever's best music all came from the albums with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and either Al DiMeola or Bill Connors.

On this "best of", only three tracks come from those albums. The rest, while still fair music, comes from the later albums, that featured Corea and Clarke, and numerous other musicians.

The good thing about these albums is that they could usually be found brand new for about $3. But you had to know what you were purchasing. Musically, this is a fair album. But as the best of a great band, it fails.

Evolver | 3/5 |


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