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Return To Forever

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Return To Forever The Best of Return to Forever album cover
2.51 | 13 ratings | 5 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Musician (7:01)
2. The Romantic Warrior (10:49)
3. So Long Mickey Mouse (6:07)
4. Majestic Dance (4:59)
5. Musicmagic (5:59)
6. Hello Again (3:49)
7. Sorceress (7:31)

Total Time 46:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Instrumentation could not be verified at this time. If you have information, please contact the site.

Releases information

Columbia CK 36359
Digitally remastered Columbia Jazz contemporary masters: 1991 Sony Music Entertainment Inc Columbia 468206 2

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RETURN TO FOREVER The Best of Return to Forever ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

RETURN TO FOREVER The Best of Return to Forever reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is not really a band that benefits from a 'best of' record. As with many progressive/fusion acts, their best albums were structured and themed to be heard in their entirety. As a result, even the quality cuts on this release suffer from lack of good company; an uneven mix of their worst and best with little thought as to continuity. Fans don't need this collection and new comers to fusion should avoid it-- get 'Romantic Warrior' the *album* and you should be quite happy.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a compilation album. Even though this does not represent the band's best tracks, but each track is not bad at all. Each individual track at least deserves three stars - if you really love jazz-rock music. Well, if you think that the songs do not seem accessible for your ears, you might need to scrutinize any further on musicianship of the members. From the opening track "The Musician" it is very obvious that Chick Corea has crafted his music brilliantly. The music itself does not seem continuous to many ears - but with more than 3 spins people would know that the composition is excellent. "the Romantic Warrior" is an execellent track with jaw-dropping Chick Corea and Di Meola works. If you have problem with "So Long Mickey Mouse", you might listen to the live version - you will see how dynamic the music is.

This is an excellent compilation even though I would suggest you to buy each individual album of Return To Forever. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars I would not recommend this album as a very good overview of the music Return to Forever has made over the years. Basically there were four phases in the career of this talented jazz fusion group. The first phase, which includes their first two albums, was Brazilian flavored jazz that veered towards free-form jazz rock in the solo sections. The next phase only lasts for one album, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, and features guitarist Bill Connor leading the band into a very rockish Mahavishnu style. The next three albums feature a style unique to RTF that can best be described as progressive hyper nerd-funk. The third and final album of this phase, Romantic Warrior, is one of the most successful albums ever recorded when it comes to blending progressive rock and jazz fusion. Their final phase, which includes their last studio album and RTF live, finds the band employing weak to annoying vocals and an overly busy horn section with a big drop in compositional material to work with.

Unfortunately this ironically titled Best of collection pulls five songs from the last phase of their carrer, when the band had lost their way, and adds to that three great songs from their excellent Romantic Warrior album. Taken as a whole it is not a bad album, thanks to the Warrior cuts, but it is not a very good sampling of their career.

Instead of this uneven collection I would recommend their first album, simply titled Return to Forever, in which you can hear Chick Corea playing his slightly distorted Fender Rhodes in a dissonant modern Latin Jazz style with an energy and fury that he was never able to duplicate again. I would also recommend Romantic Warrior for those who would like to hear jazz fusion with a strong progressive rock influence.

Review by Evolver
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.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Some albums would be magical and they are magical. Some albums would be magical and they are not magical. In this case, "The Best Of Return To Forever" is an album that appeals to me especially in "The Romantic Warrior" and "Sorceress", two Rock song with great Al Di Meola guitar. For the rest ... (read more)

Report this review (#765528) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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