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INNER WORLDS

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Mahavishnu Orchestra Inner Worlds  album cover
2.39 | 69 ratings | 9 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All in the Family (6:01)
2. Miles Out (6:44)
3. In My Life (3:22)
4. Gita (4:28)
5. Morning Calls (1:23)
6. The Way of the Pilgrim (5:15)
7. River of My Heart (3:41)
8. Planetary Citizen (2:14)
9. Lotus Feet (4:24)
10. Inner Worlds Pts. 1 & 2 (6:33)

Total Time: 44:05

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- John McLaughlin / guitars, vocals
- Stu Goldberg / organ, piano, keyboards, vocals, clavinet, Mini Moog
- Ralph Armstrong / bass
- Narada Michael Walden / percussion, piano, conga, drums, marimba, vocals, tympani, shaker

Releases information

1976 LP Columbia 33908

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Inner Mounting FlameInner Mounting Flame
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MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Inner Worlds ratings distribution


2.39
(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
14%
Good, but non-essential (42%)
42%
Collectors/fans only (28%)
28%
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)
9%

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Inner Worlds reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A pretty good indication it was time to move on and the Mahavishnu thing had gone as far as it could. A couple good tracks ("Way of The Pilgrim", "All In The Family") but the rest of it is saddled by ill-conceived vocal tunes ("Planetary Citizen" is an abomination!), weak compositions and a rather clunky guitar synth that proved to be nothing more than a multi-thousand dollar noisemaker than anything else.

For die hard completists only.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#22511) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Review by Philo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When I got this album first I absolutely hated it so much I wanted to break it, or get rid of it somehow. I even kept thinking about how I could get rid of it, I guess I was expecting the white hot intensity of the earlier Mahavishnu albums, mainly as the first two are fusion classics as the McLaughlin led band became pioneers of the genre. But over a time I grew to like Inner Worlds and it does have some charms and it is quite different to any other release by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It starts off promising with a nice pacy, half beat kilter number in "All In The Family", Micheal Walden is a competent drummer though very different to the powerhouse who is Billy Cobham.

"Miles Out" I can only guess is a tribute to McLaughlin's mentor Miles Davis, but at best it is an unfinished messy outtake, Miles Out being a very apt description. The album picks up on the next track which is low key but spiritually beautiful song called "In My Life" which features Walden on vocals and the following track "Gita" is equal to it with its lyrics very hypnotic and memorable. "The Way Of The Pilgrim" sees McLaughlin producing some acrobatic guitar work at last, though is still subtle but a good tune none the less with some nice changes in its tone and its the nearest thing to "traditional" Mahavishnu Orchestra, and in many ways familiar to Jeff Beck's take on fusion which in turn was influenced by McLaughlin...McLaughlin IS the master when it comes to this stuff, of that there can be no doubt!

"River Of My Heart" sounds like "In My Life" and contains the same sentiment in the lyrics and like that song, I also find its a highlight, but again like many McLaughlin tunes its dedicated to that damn guru the Sri Chimney or whatever his name is!!! What follows is a tune called "Planetary Citizen" and fans of Massive Attack might find some of this familiar as they nicked parts of this for their piece "Unfinished Sympathy", its another highlight for me, great vocals too. Very uplifting and I often found myself singing " Are you ready to be...A planetary citizen...", the only problem I have with this song is thats its too short. Next up is a dark piece "Lotus Feet", which features some nice guitar synth from John and and subtle and effective congas and sleigh bells from Walden and a Mini Mood played like I have never heard before by Stu Goldberg. This being his standout moment on the album. Inner Worlds has a kind of futuristic sound about it, a more advanced and better version of "Miles Out" though its basically some sound effects and "Inner Worlds Part 11" is a fitting coda to the album but its hard to tell where PART 1 ends and PART 11 starts! Overall its a Mahavishnu album where McLaughlin shares the load in the writing etc...and Micheal Walden has a starring role and though at first I may have had reservations (at the very least!) its actually a very good album, fusion with some extra experimentation I might add, but a good album and one that I would recommend but do not expect Birds Of Fire, but do have an open mind.

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Send comments to Philo (BETA) | Report this review (#39072) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars You gotta wonder what gets into otherwise talented, gifted people sometimes. While John McLaughlin designated this as a Mahavishnu Orchestra album do not allow yourself to be misled. Any resemblance to the innovative, revolutionary and amazing music the group created in the early 70s is utterly nonexistent. You can call a chunk of limestone a diamond all you want but it's still nothing more than a common rock to anyone with at least one functioning eye.

"All in the Family" is the first track and it's quasi-interesting to some extent compared to what is coming later. Narada Michael Walden's drumming is undeniably skillful as he guides the band through a high-powered jam designed to facilitate a spirited sparring match between John's guitar and Stu Goldberg's synthesizer. "Miles Out" has an odd, almost funky feel to it once you get past some strange guitar noises at the beginning. There's some very fast playing going on with Walden continuing to be impressive but McLaughlin and Goldberg grossly overindulge in electronic devices and make an ugly mess of things. "In My Life" is a poor attempt at composing an easy-listening ballad and, other than John's flashy 12-string acoustic guitar solo, it is ridiculous. The song has no discernable soul and the words are embarrassingly juvenile and banal at best. I'm not really sure what to make of the next tune, "Gita," but it reinforces my opinion that jazz rock/fusion combined with vocals rarely works, if ever. A handful of Santana's tunes in this vein have proven to be the exception but that's definitely not the case here. Beware. This song is LAME. I mean, was anybody paying attention to quality control here? Moving on, it's quite telling when one of the few highlights of an album is a tune that only lasts for 1:20 in duration. While I'm not praising it by any means, "Morning Calls" is, at the very least, inoffensive with its extremely simple guitar and organ melody.

Walden's "The Way of the Pilgrim" has a straight rock beat and a rather pedestrian musical theme accented by some rumbling tympani. This song might have come close to achieving flight had the synthesizer and guitar leads displayed a smidgen of fire and emotion but they don't and the tune fails to make much of an impression. Narada brings things to a complete standstill with the next song, "River of my Heart," as his very feminine-sounding voice accompanied by piano is pathetically weak. I really hate to rain on the boy's parade but enough already! Please stop trying to sing! Bassist Ralphe Armstrong contributes a tune at this point, his funky R&B-tainted "Planetary Citizen" that is either a godawful imitation or an unintentional lampoon of Earth, Wind and Fire. The vocals are deplorable and the only thing this song has going for it is the fact that it is blissfully short. "Lotus Feet" (is that some kind of a metaphysical put- down or what?) follows and, in light of what has come before, it's not too bad. Walden plays congas and sleigh bells while the guitar and synthesizer create a peaceful atmosphere but the tune never takes the listener anywhere at all. "Inner Worlds" starts out with some spacey noises before Walden's drumming moves things in a more traditional Mahavishnu Orchestra direction. The problem arises in the truth that in the past you would have been treated to breathtaking, exhilarating guitar, keyboard and violin rides but here you get only blatant overuse of effects. The drums are good throughout and the band does reach for some bombastic pageantry at the end but it's too little too late to save this stinker.

All I can say is that if this was the state of John McLaughlin's "inner world" at that point in his life then he was in desperate need of some intense psychotherapy. I will forever respect, enjoy and highly recommend the albums "Inner Mounting Flame" and "Birds of Fire" but I would warn all who would be tempted to indulge their ears in this travesty to stay far away from it. Believe me, I'm doing you a favor.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#118378) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars With the MkII line-up partly broken up (Moran, Ponty, the strings and brass are gone), McLaughlin kept the Walden-Armstrong rhythm section and set out to the Herouville Chateau studios and recorded in the summer of 75 what would be known as the last real Mahavishnu Orchestra, except if you count the 84 reformation. All of the missing musicians of the second line-up were not replaced except for Gayle Moran by organist Stu Goldberg, which for this writer is an improvement. With a bland artwork showing who's the master on board, this album is a difficult one, because it sounds least to the usual MO sound. Much maligned by partly undeservedly so, imho.

Indeed this album often glides between Santana, B Auger's Oblivion Express, Jeff Beck albums (Wired and BBB), which in itself is no flaw, but surprising. With the organ-dominated, but Carribean-beating All In The Family, Narada Walden is in full form, making this 100MPH track a very enthralling opening cut with unfortunately Mc playing the guitar synth, thus taking some of the bite of his sound, but not affecting his playing. Miles Out sounds like Beck's best torture of a string set on a neck, but Mc uses synths to enhance the cosmic sounds, before Armstrong introduces a riff, easing Narada's arrival and the quartet cruises from one galaxy to the other. While very expressive a track (especially during those days), this type of space rock sounds a bit dated, today. Narada sings the next tracks, In My Life and Gita, something that would give a very late 70's/early 80's Santana feel and on other tracks of this album, close to Auger's Oblivion Express. I certainly am not saying Walden's voice resembles Litgerwood's, but the tracks he sings on have that kind of feeling. In either case, all of the sting of the previous MO album are gone, and it is certainly not the short bagpipe tune played on dumb guitar synth (interestingly, Narada is on organ here) that would change things.

The flipside starts on the more convincing Way Of The Pilgrim, but Mc (sometimes) exaggerates with his technology frenzy, helped by Goldberg's mini-moog, but nevertheless, it's one of the album's better tracks. River of My Heart is to bunch with In My Life, where Narada proves that his ideas (this is the only non-Mc track) are not that easy to absorb on an MO album. The ultra funky Planetary Citizen, then the more reflective Lotus Feet, which is from far the proggiest track, loaded with mini-moog and (unfortunately) Mc's guitar synth, are giving a bit of substance to the album, before the two-part title track takes us again in outer space, sometimes taking Jeff Beck tonalities as in Freeway Jam. This ultra bizarre up-tempoed, partly improvised and completely crazy is not a bad outro for an MO exit.

Clearly not MO's best album, Inner World doesn't really deserves all 100% of the bad rap and rep it endures (but 50%, certainly ;o)), many MO fans are may be a little harsh on it, but had it comes with a better artwork (ala Emerald), I'm sure it would've better better with them.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#158630) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
1 stars I can't imagine that this album was John McLaughlin's idea. This had to be the brainchild of some brilliant record company executive. Just look at the cover. I'm sorry I had to do that to you.

The album starts out with an okay song, All In The Family. It's just a jam on a nice rhythm section, fronted by Narada Michael Walden. The next song is a step down. A simple jam, with McLaughlin playing on a primitive (hey, this was 1976) guitar synthesizer. After that, forget it. The rest of the album is primarily what the industry was selling as "fusion" in those days: polyester pseudo-soul, with insipid lyrics and occasional unchallenging solos.

But the lowest this stinker of an album sinks is Planetary Citizen, a thankfully short obnoxious disco excursion (hey, this was 1976).

The album gets slightly better with Inner Worlds Pts. 1 & 2, a song that tries, and fails, to recapture the spirit of the earlier Mahavishnu albums. No wonder you didn't see another album from this band for quite a while. I would hide, too.

Stop looking at the cover.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#290555) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 16, 2010

Latest members reviews

3 stars I am tempted to give this record 4 stars, but I feel that doing so may misrepresent its quality in comparison to the earlier Mahavishnu records, which are far superior in every way. Having said that, I feel that this is a worthy addition to the collection of anyone who enjoys good music, regar ... (read more)

Report this review (#150483) | Posted by themootbooxle | Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars WHAT THE HELL HAPPENNED???I understand that, sometimes, there are comercial demands in terms of image, therefore your face appears on the cover, even if you haven't wrote all the songs. But for this album McLaughlin should, at least, thought twice about that. Don't get me wrong, I don't think, ... (read more)

Report this review (#22514) | Posted by | Sunday, March 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Oh, why did this ever occur? First the Titanic, then the Hindenburg and now THIS album!! The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds Of Fire are two of the best albums ever!! This incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, unfortunately, was a total bummer. They long their string and brass sections and ... (read more)

Report this review (#22513) | Posted by | Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The dying moments of a once innovative and ambitious concept of modern music. John McLaughlin runs up the electricity bill for the last time before embarking on an exclusive 3 year East Indian acoustic sabbatical in the form of the beautiful Shakti . Why Mclaughlin even slapped the Mahavishnu title ... (read more)

Report this review (#22509) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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