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John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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John McLaughlin Johnny McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist album cover
3.35 | 61 ratings | 6 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. New York nn My Mind (5:45)
2. Friendship (7:00)
3. Every Tear from Every Eye (6:50)
4. Do You Hear the Voices that You Left Behind ? (7:39)
5. Are You the One ? Are You the One ? (4:41)
6. Phenomenon: Compulsion (3:21)
7. My Foolish Heart (3:22)

Total Time 37:18

Line-up / Musicians

- John McLaughlin / electric guitar
- Jack Bruce / bass on track 5
- Billy Cobham / drums on tracks 1 & 6
- Stanley Clark / acoustic bass on track 4
- Chick Corea / piano and mini-moog on track 4
- Tom Coster / organ on track 2
- Jack DeJohnette / drums on track 4
- Stu Goldberg / electric piano, organ and mini-moog synthesizer on track 1
- Jerry Goodman / violin on track 1
- Neil Jason / bass on track 2
- Alphonso Johnson / Taurus Bass Pedals and Bass on track 3
- Alyrio Lima / percussion on track 2
- Armando Peraza / congas on track 2
- Patrice Rushen / piano on track 3
- David Sanborn / alto saxophone on track 3
- Carlos Santana / electric guitar on track 2
- Fernando Saunders / bass on track 1
- Tony Smith / drums on track 3
- Michael Walden / drums on track 2
- Tony Williams / drums on track 5

Releases information

Recorded at Sound Mixer Studios (tracks: in New York and Devonshire Studios (tracks: 2.4.5.) in N. Hollywood, CA.
Recording dates: January 16 (2.), January 18 (5.), January 20 (4.), January 26 (1.), January 28 (3.), January 30 (6.), February 2 (7.), 1978.
Produced by John McLaughlin in association with Dennis McKay.

Thanks to Petrus for the addition
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Buy JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Johnny McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist Music

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Johnny McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Johnny McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

To my knowledge this is the first or second solo album after McLaughlin's adventures in Mahavishnu Orchestra and the world music Shakti duo. In some seven years, the sizzling jazz-rock of the early 70's had been metamorphosed into the slick fusion that will over-crowd the market by the end of the decade. So you should expect nothing like John's brilliant early solo career (pre-MO), but rather a much cooler and less enthralling music, filled with a star-studded guest list. Yes, appearing on this album is almost the whole planet of late 70's fusion, plus a slightly surprising Jack Bruce apparition even if John was a regular on Bruce's early 70s solo albums and their Tony Williams tenure. I guess that after three acoustic Shakti records, McL fet the need to remind us that he was first and foremost an electric one, but I find his choice of artwork very disputable since the end of MO, and here we are hovering the zero.

NY On My Mind sounds like early MO going absurdly soft in the middle section, ruining the overall track, while Friendship is in the Santana realm (little wonder looking at the players), but it's plagued by cheesy heard-elsewhere front riff. The tear-jerking Every Tear is yet another McL riff that is now all too well-known and this umpteenth recycling of the formula is not only stale, but even slightly irritating, especially considering ther goalless soft jazz jamming coming in the middle section. The amazing quartet on Do You Hear The Voices give in a good performance, but too much showmanship from Stanley, Jack and Chick is losing points. TWL MkIII in the following Are You The One??? While again quite impressive in showmanship (you never have to ask twice JB to show off ;o)), but again the track falls a little flat overall. Phenomenon could sound like a work in progress of MO track that was never released, with McL nearing metal guitar riffs and Cobham roffling away o,n his drums, shooting everyone in sight >> some Math prog or Brutal prog groups probably found their inspiration here. The last guitar ditty closes this unfocused album, a bit as if McL wanted to remind us of all he had done so far.

The music developed is along the all-too over-stretched spectrum lines of later-RTF, the contemporary-Weather Report (yuuuckkk!! Bad albums from these guys during the late 70's), the then-present-day Santana and JL Ponty and the dozens of other acts flooding the style. Whether this type of album is really susceptible to please the proghead is rather doubtful. Yes, most of the tracks are impeccably played, but their respective interests are rather uneven. But nevermind me, as I find that McLaughlin's career will be of a lesser interest from the early 80's onwards, but the last two albums he made in the 70'S (this one and Electric Dreams) still hold some delightful moments. But these moments are not numerous enough and too many different sessions are used to make this song assemblage, rather than a focused album, making this album not that worthy of acquisition.. Certainly not an album that should be used as an introduction to understand McLaughlin's contributions to the site's scope of interest.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A Collaborative effort .

How would you expect if musicians that you have known each from different album make a collaborative effort? If you ask me the same question, my answer is simple: it depends. Yes, it depends on who actually drives the collaborative effort - a single musician drives the others to play together his compositions in an album or each musician drives the collaboration altogether playing each or combined composition. This album represents the first category while the example of the latter is Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin.

In this "Johny McLaughlin Eelectric Guitarist", John really wants to embrace top class musicians in their respective fields. Billy Cobham - whom I knew from the first time through his album "A Funky Kind of Thing" and his truly ground breaking album "Spectrum" where he collaborated with Jan Hammer and Tommy Bolin (James Gang, Deep purple). Jerry Goodman - one of the world' best rock / jazz violin - whom I knew for the first time through his band in the 70s, The Flock. David Sanborn, Santana, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke etc. What surprised me was the inclusion of Jack Bruce (Cream). All of them are great names in music. Having listed all musicians in the album you might expect something wonderful coming out from the music.

It's not the case with this album. Yes, the music tends to be adventurous and experimental in nature but it's less tempting for me to spin the album. It's not because the composition is lousy or each musician does not express their virtuosity skillfully. I think this album is lacking in direction - what kind of music is actually this album? A contemporary jazz? Avant-garde? Improvisation and experimentation? It's not clear to me. Or, is it just a John's declaration that he is an electric guitarist? Well, everybody in the world knows that he is a great guitar player. Take a look at Santana at "Friendship" or Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke at "Do You Hear the Voices that You Left Behind ?" (7:39). It's good to hear them play, but then what this track is offering? If someone asked me a question on how good they play - I would certainly say that they play great! But, the song itself lacks of soul, I would say.

So, I would say that this album has great musicians, great performance, but it lacks music direction and soul. It's a good album for collectors / fans only and not recommended for others who do not expose to contemporary music. Keep on proggin' ..!

"The hero is an ordinary person with an extraordinary level of commitment."

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars All-stars line-up for late 70-s fusion release often means what we have right there, on this album - relaxed toothless and faceless soft fusion.

McLaughlin plays technically perfect electric guitar with support of such fusion giants, as Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Jack DeJohnette, Alphonso Johnson, Carlos Santana,Tony Williams,Jack Bruce,etc. It's pity, but it doesn't help much.

Music there is strongly influenced of that time popular trends, as pop-fusion or soft fusion. Sound is liquid, quite polished, but happily still didn't decrease till just fusion-wallpapers level.

Starting from very beginning, on album's opener Jerry Goodman's violin sounds as Ponty's pop-circus from 80-s. In too many places later album's music again and again remind me Cobham pop-fusion albums...

Happily, the year is 1978, not mid 80-s, so in all the album is still kind of transitional product to jazzy pop. You will easy find some great moments there (as McLaughlin's guitar soloing,etc).

Far not the best John's release, but possibly not the worst.

My rating is 2,5, rounded to 3.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album doesn't get a lot of love here, perhaps because it's just collection of instrumental jazz-rock pieces with no central Mahavishnu-esque theme, perhaps too many guests on board but for a bass fiend like myself, getting to admire talents like Fermando Saunders, Alphonso Johnson, the great Jack Bruce, super show-off Stanley Clarke and the magical Neil Jason (who has played with EVERYONE) is quite the thrill. Now the drummers aren't too shabby either what with Tony Williams, Michael Walden, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette and Tony Smith bashing away merrily on the drum kit. The keyboardists are quite ordinary (LOL): Chick Corea, Tom Coster, Patrice Rushen and the highly underrated Stu Goldberg. Yes, laughter is permitted, just throw in Carlos Santana, David Sanborn and jerry Goodman. Are these all uninspired session men earning their keep and playing along at minimum speed? No. A big resounding NO! Many have criticized this release as having no direction and no soul, which already is odd for the jazz-rock scene that thrives on jamming and technical prowess. The main clue to better understand what is going on here should be immediate: this is not a Mahavishnu Orchestra or a John McLaughlin album but a 'JOHNNY McLaughlin" release! It seems to be a rather important inkling into what was intended, since he had never called himself Johnny before or after! Let us try to analyze this effort on its own merits and not according to past or future positions.

The sheer quality of the cast is enough to make one want to let go of any and all apprehensions and enjoy the ride. Boost the speakers to LOUD, I say. " New York on my Mind" is a deliberately restrained and suave piece that glides smoothly along , perhaps close to MO in many ways due to the presence of Goodman and Cobham no doubt (who both shine here BTW), suitably 'Hammer'-ed by Stu Goldberg's stupendously liquid Moog synth solo and driven along by Fernando's sexy bass asylum. 'Johnny' screeches swiftly, showing his legendary dexterity in the finest light. Really great track.

That Devadip Carlos Santana and Mahavishnu Johnny Mclaughlin had a long and distinguished "Friendship " that went beyond being pals and musicians and that would include devout spirituality, is well documented in the annals of rock history, so this piece should come as no surprise or disappointment. It's a typical Santana exhibition, soaring, screaming and diving like only he can, ably assisted by Johnny on rhythm guitar as well as a large contingent of the Santana band, 1979 vintage in Tom Coster and Armando Peraza. Throw in the stunning Narada Michael Walden on the boom-boom kit with Neil Jason carving on bass, and you get the idea. I also hear a tinge of Jan Akkerman in the guitar motifs, a common attribute back in those days.

The "Every Tear from Every Eye" has some identifiable riffs that are by now iconic, stuttering wildly like only 'Johnny' can, Sanborn's sax supplying the opaque serenity and some deadly Taurus pedal work from Alphonso, who will present a lovely bass solo later as well. Slow-burning jazz improv as Rushen's seductively feminine piano shuffle along. Poignant, heartfelt, there is no dry eye in the house, listening to this smoker.

Keyboardist Chick Corea takes over on the bright and adventurous "Do You Hear the Voices that You Left Behind?", ably assisted by busy boys , Clarke and deJohnette, thus giving 'Johnny' ample room to flick his blisteringly fast pick over the strings and get the blood boiling, which he does liberally throughout the piece. The rhythm section really cooks diligently, a phenomenal display that may appear to some as classic jazz. Clarke takes out his acoustic bass to great effect and puts down a mean run. Corea adds a rapid Mini-Moog solo that sizzles.

Stealing the show however is another question-marked title, the Jack Bruce-dominated "Are You the One? Are You the One?", a colossal romp of the finest vintage, expertly fueled by the ever-propulsive Tony Williams and finished off by the omnipresence of 'Johnny''s imperial wah-wah guitar display. The trio is just plain nasty, all three musical giants pushing the boundaries of their immense talent. Bruce takes the long road, showing off some incredible moves, driving his bass manically, barely unhinged and devout to the cause. Nearly 5 minutes of genius. From trio we go to duo, as 'Johnny' and Billy combine for some devilish sonic theatrics, eschewing any need for added support, the two being noisy enough, thank you! What 'Johnny' does to his electric guitar is clearly inhuman, verging on outright sadism. Smear on some sheer and unchallengeable insanity. No wonder Johnny was often compared to Jimi! And from duo to solo, a tender "My Foolish Heart" lullaby, featuring sweet sounds from 'Johnny' and qualifying as an ethereal wave goodbye.

I don't know but I really liked it, a totally unpretentious menu that sparkles, shimmers and glitters nicely as 'Johnny' comes marching home to becoming John again.

4 Power-driven minstrels

Latest members reviews

4 stars John McLaughlin returned slightly to the previous sound or tendency of early 70's with Mahavishnu Orchestra. The record may have sounded dated in the end of 70's because its sound went more backwards in the timeline than forward. The line-up is star-filled; they have enough chops to make this a d ... (read more)

Report this review (#2340532) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, March 7, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars McLaughlin turns the electricity back on after 3 wonderful albums with Shakti which featured McLaughlin playing east Indian stylings with a custom made guitar with sympathetic strings and raised frets substituting for the sound of a sitar. Invitations are sent out to music buddies from the past t ... (read more)

Report this review (#101016) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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