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Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Best Of The Mahavishnu Orchestra CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars This compilation covers the three first albums of the band: "Inner Mounting Flame", "Birds of Fire" and "Between Nothingness & Eternity". These are the albums that the original line up (McLaughlin, Goodman, Hammer, Laird and Cobham) recorded in the bands powerfull beginning. The lost Trident Sessions have the same line up but it was lost and first released in 1999. Since this the members went off in different directions and the Mahavishnu Orchestra went on under the leadership of McLaughlin.

This is a very good introduction to this different, unique, even furious band, or should I say 'institution'. The music stand on the border of progressive rock and fusion jazz and on the other hand reaches oriental influences.

If you have tasted the music, and liked it, you would probably do better by buying the original albums. But if you think that one CD of this music is enough then this is your pick.

Report this review (#59315)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A better title for this 1991 Mahavishnu Orchestra anthology would be The Mahavishnu Orchestra For Metal Heads. As keyboardist Jan Hammer points out on the liner notes for the Birds Of Fire re-master, guitarist John McLaughlin pioneered speed guitar techniques with the Mahavishnu Orchestra that would be employed by metal guitarists ( and others ) of the 1970s right up to the present day.

This case in point is effectively demonstrated by the suprisingly well selected track list taken from the first 5 Mahavishnu Orchestra LPs including the '73 Between Nothingness & Eternity live LP, sensibly ommitting the mediocre swan song Inner Worlds. While the extraordinary individual talents of other musicians who played on the two lineups featured here are adequately displayed it is evident from the selections that this collection was ostensibly produced with McLaughlin's guitar pyrotechnics as a selling point. McLaughlin is definitely on full afterburner on firebreathing fusion tracks like Meeting Of The Spirits and Birds Of Fire and blues rave ups Dance Of Maya and Lila's Dance which comprise some of the most electrifying Mahavishnu Orchestra recordings.

Perhaps only for metalheads who, for some reason or another missed the 70s, who dig guitar freakouts a la Satriani, Vai and Malmsteen, this compilation nonetheless does give a vivid impression of what the loudest and fastest band of the day was all about : pushing the envelope to the limit with groundbreaking passion, power, intricacy, audacity and intensity that would never be equalled.

Report this review (#254064)
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2009 | Review Permalink

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