Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

RETURN TO FOREVER

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Return To Forever picture
Return To Forever biography
Founded in NYC, USA in 1972 - Disbanded in 1978 - Reformed briefly in 1983 & 2008 - Active Live since 2012

RETURN TO FOREVER was jazz keyboard player Chick COREA's jazz-rock fusion band of the 1970s. Like WEATHER REPORT and the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, it was a group formed by an alumnus of Miles Davis' late-'60s bands with the intention of furthering the jazz-rock hybrid Davis had explored on albums like Bitches Brew. At the time, this was seen as a means of creativity, a new direction for jazz, and as a way of attracting the kinds of large audiences enjoyed by rock musicians. RETURN TO FOREVER started out as more of a Latin-tinged jazz ensemble, but COREA, influenced by the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA of John McLaughlin and some of the progressive rock bands coming out of Great Britain, notably YES and EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, moved the group more toward rock, achieving considerable commercial success. A later re-orientation of the band gave it more of a big band style before COREA folded the unit, retaining the RETURN TO FOREVER name for occasional other projects. COREA formed RETURN TO FOREVER in the fall of 1971 while he was working in STAN GETZ's band, and the two groups shared some members. In addition to COREA on keyboards, the initial lineup featured Stanley CLARKE on bass, Joe Farrell on reeds, and the Brazilian husband-and-wife team of percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. "Return to Forever" was the name of the first tune COREA wrote for the outfit, and he then adapted it as the group's name. The band made its debut at the Village Vanguard nightclub in New York City in November 1971.

In February 1972, they recorded their first self-titled album, though it was not released on ECM in Europe until the following year and did not appear in the U.S. until 1975. COREA, Clarke, and Moreira, all of whom had been playing with GETZ, left his band to concentrate on RETURN TO FOREVER.

The band toured Japan and recorded a second album, "Light as a Feather", in London, using some of the songs COREA had written and recorded with GETZ, such as "500 Miles High" and "Spain." It was released on Polydor Records. Up to this point, RETURN TO FOREVER was more notable for its Latin sound than for fusion, but when Farrell left in the spring of 1973, COREA replaced him with a rock guitarist, read more

RETURN TO FOREVER Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all RETURN TO FOREVER videos (3) | Search and add more videos to RETURN TO FOREVER

Buy RETURN TO FOREVER Music


RETURN TO FOREVER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RETURN TO FOREVER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 306 ratings
Chick Corea: Return to Forever
1972
3.43 | 206 ratings
Light as a Feather
1972
4.18 | 373 ratings
Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
1973
4.12 | 288 ratings
Where Have I Known You Before
1974
3.79 | 193 ratings
No Mystery
1975
4.29 | 822 ratings
Romantic Warrior
1976
2.87 | 124 ratings
Music Magic
1977

RETURN TO FOREVER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 24 ratings
Return to Forever: Live
1977
3.37 | 40 ratings
Return to Forever: Live
1992
4.31 | 20 ratings
Live at Montreux 2008
2008
4.15 | 60 ratings
Returns
2009
4.52 | 63 ratings
The Mothership Returns
2012

RETURN TO FOREVER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.60 | 50 ratings
Live at Montreux 2008
2009

RETURN TO FOREVER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.51 | 14 ratings
The Best of Return to Forever
1980
3.78 | 15 ratings
Return to the 7th Galaxy: The Anthology
1996
3.67 | 3 ratings
This Is Jazz, Vol. 12
1996
4.53 | 22 ratings
The Anthology
2008
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Definitive Collection
2008

RETURN TO FOREVER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

RETURN TO FOREVER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Return to Forever: Live by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Live, 1992
3.37 | 40 ratings

BUY
Return to Forever: Live
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars I can remember my brother (the one that introduced me to SO MANY rock classics in the early 1970s) owning this album in its three-disc vinyl form and playing it to death on his audiophile stereo system around 1981. Man! hearing Chick and new-found phenom drummer Gerry Brown on those huge Polk Audio speakers was an experience I don't think I'll ever forget! And my brother, himself an accomplished drummer, loved Gerry Brown unlike I'd ever seen or heard him love a drummer before or since (while I was not quite ready to let go of my Lenny White worship). Unlike many reviewers, the singing of artists like Gayle Moran, Annette Peacock, Dagmar Krause, and Nina Hagen never bothered me; as a matter of fact, I like/love all four of these unusual vocal stylists, so liking Chick's solo or last RTF work with his wife Gayle singing never hurt. Actually, my favorite Chick/RTF album of all-time is his 1978 "solo" release, The Mad Hatter, on which Gayle plays a wonderfully integral part. Such is the case with MusicMagic and this live album. It's just full of great music with peak performances from some of the 1970s best jazz-rock fusion instrumentalists--all of which is presented in quite listenable, even enjoyable forms, with incredible sound rendering-- even for a live album. Though I don't listen to this or MusicMagic much any more (perhaps once in the last ten years), I can relay the fact that I held both in pretty high esteem back in the day. In terms of how fortunate we are to have such a record of such incredible artists all playing at the very top of their games, I cannot help but think this album as nothing but essential listening to any so-called prog lover.

P.S. I don't know why this is only listed in its 2-CD release format: we were owners and avid listeners of the 3-CD vinyl form during the last years of the 1970s decade. Something that needs to be rectified.

 No Mystery by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.79 | 193 ratings

BUY
No Mystery
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The jazz fusion renaissance of the 70s has many big names attached to it. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Masayoshi Takanaka, and so many more, so much that the list could honestly go on for an eternity. In fact, you could say the jazz fusion renaissance never ended in the wake of the 80s as it is still highly influential to this day, almost that it goes on forever. Perhaps the late and great Chick Corea knew this, and thought to give it his own spin of things, but rather then go for the avant garde touches that his colleagues would do, he'd go to a more accessible direction, combining the genre with latino jazz, prog rock, and on this album and Where Have I Known You Before in particular, funk.

No Mystery is the group's 6th album, 5th if you consider Corea's 1972 album of Return To Forever as something a part of his own solo discography. It was released in 1975 with some high praises, even winning a Grammy. In regards to the jazz fusion movement, it could be seen as a more attainable outlook to what Herbie Hancock put out on the table with his album of Head Hunters, straying away from their more proggy jazz rock sounds to a more routed jazz funk volume that is quite energetic in its wake.

The best thing about this album to me is that it is extremely fun. It really put the fun into funk music, containing these joyous moments of vivacious jazz and rock, fused into this electrifying mix of style, and at points beauty. The first side for me is definitely the highlight, with tracks like Dayride, Flight Of The Newborn, and Excerpt From The First Movement Of Heavy Metal having this giant quality and superb merry that I have a huge affinity for, though the second half with the slightly more overtly jazz fusions songs like the title track and the two part Celebration Suite are also really nice, having this more beautiful side to this vibrant album.

Another thing that gives me great joy is clearly how inspirational this album is, especially when looking at the Japanese city pop sound of the late 70s through late 80s. While city pop is a lot more rooted in, well, pop, you can definitely find a link here to some city pop artists like Masayoshi Takanaka and Himiko Kikuchi, whom both I am a big fan of. I think this just brings me a lot of happiness because it shows that no matter where or when in the world, an album can reach out into the right hands, and create this dynamic and new sense of art, even if the album comes from a place that has quite a different culture to that of where it lands. I just find that nice.

Though, if there is one thing I am not quite fond of is how the synths sound. I feel like at certain points they are kind of dry, and almost a bit played much. I think there are points, like in the first part of the Celebration Suite where the synth keys actually work really well and add a nice dynamic to the album, but for the most part I think some of the songs like Jungle Waterfall and Sofistifunk should've held the synths back a bit and allow the other instruments to shine, or at least not go so aggressive as they did on those two songs.

A high recommendation, especially if you enjoy albums like Head Hunters or Get Up With It. It holds all the right formulas that make jazz funk and fusion so great, and adds a bit more to lighten the mood of any day. I give it two thumbs up.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.29 | 822 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Audiophool

5 stars As an exemplar, This Is Essential Fusion!

Possibly the one Progressive Fusion album you must have first. Almost everyone will like this -- In part because it is so approachable. Not nearly so intellectual as John McLaughlin and much easier to get into. Brilliantly recorded and engineered it is one of my standard albums for equalizing a room (all of Joni Mitchell post 1976 is another, as is all of Steely Dan post 1976 except for Katie Lied ). This album lead me to further efforts from all the band members.

By the way Lenny White is BRILLIANTLY captured on this album.

It must have been electric for the four of these artists to collaborate on this album. I had to read up on just what an Alembic Bass was after hearing Stanley Clark wail away. There are Four Lead Musicians on this album. I mention Al DeMiola elsewhere...

 Where Have I Known You Before by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.12 | 288 ratings

BUY
Where Have I Known You Before
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The first output of what is my favourite RTF line-up has brought even more dexterity to what was already a mighty rhythm section by White-Clarke. Playing is top notch and there are plenty of interesting motives.

The first track is a very strong rhythm-led composition, you can bet Clarke put his mastermind to it. I love the dynamics by White that is even more emphasized by strong fill-ins. It is one of the more cohesive tracks on the album. "Shadow of lo" is the counterpart with calm keyboard textures on Rhodes and soothing guitar lines but don't get deceived because after the third-minute mark we have an increase in speed and Corea with Meola ship in a couple of solos. Drumming/bass are quite stable and yet they don't bore. The third, final part of the track is more funky oriented, with keyboards a la George Duke. "Beyond the seventh galaxy" bears a strong name and playing is matching even though the composition is not mind- blowing but enjoy its intensity. "Earth juice" is the most accessible track with a melodic solo by Meola. The suite at the end of the album showcases elaborate synth sequences but also drum beat deeply rooted in fusion with hints to world music. The trio (Clarke, White and Corea) provide a delicate dessert full of strength and nuance. Percussions highlight the Latin leanings. Meola also gets some breathing space to deliver energetic soloing. This track alone is a reason to acquire the album. Highly recommended to any fusion fans.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.29 | 822 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Antonio Giacomin

5 stars ROMANTIC WARRIOR

If someone started telling me in the beginning of the eighties that I would hear and appreciate a musical genre named jazz rock I wouldnīt take that seriously. It is easy to understand the reason; jazz-rock sounds very DIFFICULT to understand and finally to appreciate its achievements.

As the time goes on passing through, the age gave me conditions to make myself close to this, letīs say, difficult kind of music. The process for this advance centered in some study of music, yet superficial, just to make me understand the complexity that the realm of Music presents; it is not for everyone to become a real musical expert. But, if I was not able to become even an amateur player, at least there was the result of leading me to give total respect and admiration for great performers. Thatīs exactly what is jazz-rock about, artists that excels in playing like monsters and masters of their instruments. This is the main reason for me to listen nowadays to Jazz, to electronic prog and even some rare times classical music.

What do we have in Romantic Warrior ? A CONSTELLATION of masterplayers, the names of Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Aldi Meola and Lenny White; all of them great names in the world of elaborated music. My favourite one is Stanley Clark, because the instrument I tried unsuccessfully to study and learn was the bass. What about the album itself? Well, there is A LOT to be said; an expert in harmonic rules could write a book about what was achieved in the songs. To all members of the band compositions was allowed, although Mr Corea composed more than one totaling three of them. The title track is supposed to be considered a highlight, but there are no poor songs here.

It is not easy the listening to Jazz Rock/Fusion. You can perfectly consider this album or this genre as a whole, as boring. But once you get your trails throughout this kind of music, I am sure you wonīt stop anymore; and for sure I will wish you a very good journey.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.29 | 822 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JazzFusionGuy

5 stars I sit here, exhausted after a long day of yard work, an hour or so of computer troubleshooting, and outside a 50 mph squall line of severe thunderstorms baptizes day's end. But all is not fatique and frenzy -- before me a glass of red wine glows, grilled steak and new red potatoes steam, candle-lit eyes of my beloved are smiling, and Return to Forever's re-released Romantic Warrior breathes nostalgia into our midst. Such intangible bliss and music like this is precisely what life's finer experiences is all about.

Bill Connors era of RTF: Some history first. I remember the sadness I experienced upon hearing Bill Connors had left RTF and that this flashy Al Di Meola had replaced Connors -- RTF was just not the same. I essentially shunned them. Even though I continued buying releases, sampling RTF members' solo offerings, I never heard that same magical fire that Connors had lended. On another front The Mahavishnu Orchestra fizzled out into fusion confusion. What was happening here? The 70's fusion-fest seemed to be passing into mundane oblivion or mutating into something worse. Then this release came along.

I was amazed and thrilled. It wasn't all I expected. It was more. Everyone on this release performed magically. Jazz rock fusion had reached another pinnacle. Compositions were unbelievably complex and beautiful, unison lines moving wildly, solos inspired and superb, and the artistic soulfire was at maximum. RTF was peaking all sysytems. There was a playful yet forceful punch happening here. Chick Corea's keys were perfect cool, Al DiMeola's guitar voicings, phrasings, and leads awesome, Stanley Clarke's bass playing went beyond the mere words' description, and Lenny White's drums as usual, superbly jazzy grooves. Also impressive; each member wrote at least one song of the six offered.

Amazingly, this release was 100% cohesive, like movements of varying force in one stream of thought. Nothing was lacking, nothing was excess, Romantic Warrior remains to this day, a diamond, exuding flawless beauty. Yes, it grew out of the jazz rock fusion genre but it's fine art that outlives its hey-day, an example of just how incredibly wonderful fusion can be. Strangely enough, Romantic Warrior was this incarnation of RTF's last true hurrah. Nothing else afterwards ever came close. It was as if RTF was saying goodbye and thank you creating a monument to a fading era, a waning passion. For those of you wondering if this remastered, re-release is technologically superior in sound quality to prior releases and worth grabbing -- listen up. Yes, no doubt about it. For those of you never even hearing of this until now -- this is a jazz/ jazz fusion fan must-have. It is a unique classic that never grows old. Like steak and wine by candle light after a long hard day, Romantic Warrior is a very, very good experience. Highest recommendations.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.29 | 822 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #48th Review

I don't know why i took so long to reach this album, why i avoided listening to it, no reason at all. I remember reading some reviews here back in 2018 and not being able to understand what was the fuzz, i don't remember what i read back then and what i ended up listening to, but now after many years, while in a return to forever mood, decided to give this a listen... and now i understand, this album is very good, but i'll tell you why below.

1.- Medieval Overture 9/10 Starting with those time signatures that i love, this track trapped me immediately, i'm pretty sure that i never heard this one before, reminds me of ELP and that's excelent, i would remember anything sounding like ELP.

This track is complete and pure progressive rock, i seriously encourage anyone to listen to this, after listening to the entire album. I think that this track gives you more in 5 minutes than some of the next tracks... except The Magician, listen to that one as well (spoilers).

2.- Sorceress 7/10 This track starts a little too funky for my taste but as it comes a long, the track lets its dark side come about, while the main hook is the funky sounding rythm, this goes to landscapes unimaginable, so you have to sit on it for a nice instrumental rythmic section until the cream of the butter starts, and you won't be dissapointed.

3.- The Romantic Warrior 6/10 With a complex atmospheric introduction to boot, this track then continues into some funk sounding rythms while going all in with instrumental virtuosity from time to time. I don't feel much with this track, this was probably the track that i heard at first in 2018. I have to say though, this track features more acoustic guitar than what i've been accustomed with Chick Corea's music so far. This one's main hook wasn't as strong for me as the previous track, i was constantly looking for all the stuff that would take me away from that rythm and they appeared, but it wasn't enough, this was almost a 5.

4.- Majestic Dance 7/10 I was expecting something calmer with the title but instead i got a hard rock sound instead, well, i'm glad, the track gets weirder a long the way with parts that feature only keyboards and/or guitar, and that its just ok, once the drums and the rest enter again it feels like a breath of air, and the ending features some very nice bass lines. Really enjoyed this little track, wish it was longer, with shorter and crazier solo stuff.

5.- The Magician 9/10 If you love being confused, you're at the right place! I'm really liking this track, the walls of sounds and the time signatures. Every chord that appears here is notable, an example of a classic progressive rock track with many changes in landscapes. You could've shown me a sample of 10 seconds from this, tell me its King Crimson and i would've believed you. Conclusion, this is great, another stand out for me and a full recommendation to everyone.

6.- Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant 8/10 I feel as if the previous song prepared me for the real stuff. Many Japanese developers have based the music for fight scenes in RPGs from progressive rock music, and this sounds like that, except that it IS that, its progressive music, but also the title states "duel" and i can surely FEEL that... probably some game i played featured some of the chords that are here... but no game features Chick Corea doing some insane solo in the middle of this track.

The track then drops the bass and goes into full funk mode for a second, that sounded very smooth and clean, i have to do a compliment to the bass sometime, right? Well, the music piece uses this but doesn't overstate its welcome compared to other tracks because it goes into the "Jester" parts, and i imagine the "Tyrant" parts are the royal sounding sections. I'm not as convinced on the second part more than the first.

This album gets a 77/100 and that is 4 Stars, i recommend the full album but if you have a few minutes of time, listen to the first track or the previous to last track, they're both excelent.

 Live at Montreux 2008 by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Live, 2008
4.31 | 20 ratings

BUY
Live at Montreux 2008
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Being back in the most legendary line-up, after 32 years is a treat to any fusion music fan. The guys have certainly have appetite to play together and revive the old chemistry. On display are the most memorable compositions of their latter career 1974-1976. Playing abilities are excellent as before but the intensity is generally lower than previously. The exception being the encore track "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant" with everybody running for his life. There are solos by each band member.

Performances are precise, interplay tight and musicians are focused and not showing many emotions (this is not a rock concert).

 Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.18 | 373 ratings

BUY
Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #47th Review

Once i heard the tragic and unexpected passing of Chick Corea i knew that i had to review this album, it features the first Jazz Fusion i ever heard and still love to this day. One sad thing is that i kept pushing away this review and thus pushing listening to Return to Forever further and further, i really wanted to listen to Romantic Warrior on 2020 and didn't. I feel bad for not paying atention to Chick sooner, he was very active on his Youtube channel wich i would've followed instantly, yet he left some last words, probably at a very important moment of my life, "It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It's not only that the world needs more artists, it's also just a lot of fun." Even in his last moments, he said a word that's very important but very overlooked in this adult life... fun.

1. Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy 5/10 This track doesn't make justice to the rest of the album, its kind of catchy, repeats that same rythm almost through the entire song while also showcasing a little of the band members talents. I really like some of the time changes here, specially at the end, but i have to be real here, this song is like a free trial of some variety cookies, and this one is the most basic of the bunch, still has some special flavor to it, but not enough to make you care that much about the other cookies, but if you buy the cookies you'll realize they're amazing and that the other cookie didn't do it enough justice.

2. After The Cosmic Rain 6/10 The beginning can be very repetitive and kind of a funky mess, the chords also don't impress me much, there are many small changes through out, and this band is really good at doing those, they where really doing a more laid back track but in that process it seems that they added some very uninteresting motifs instead of putting their best here, the track that mostly needed them, Chick does the better work here, but even then, his work feels kind of restrained because of the limitations in the song, at first, Chick shows that no track is simpler enough for him to not let it go and make it his own.

So, in the end this track is ok, but not satisfactory, i hardly hear the potential at the beginning and even then this track doesn't go as crazy or atmospheric as others here in this same album.

3. Captain Seņor Mouse 8/10 This is fast, gives me this tarantella vibe at beginning only to confirm latin inspiration at the 1:48 mark, but being much better than that because the song doesn't conform with just doing that and adds, and goes back, is fantastic, i think that people in my family might get a kick out of this.

Everything here has an erratic play, including the keyboard, just listening to it makes me feel for my fingers, i'm thinking on some techniques but either way this is hard to play in all fronts... this album is hard but this song should definitely be the hardest one.

I feel like at the end the song lost the point a little bit, and the guitar solo doesn't convince me much here, in other tracks i don't mind it as it is doing ok, it could do better but here i just hear it and it really just doesn't move me.

4. Theme To The Mothership 6/10 Again, a more basic rythm an premise, much like the second track, but this one has better interesting intersections, i just wish the bass did play something else a little more different than just changing time signatures, it gives this sense of repetition and boredom rather quickly, its as if everyone else is fighting this, many times succesfully, specially for Chick, the section where Chick dominates is the best part of the track, as usual, but the rest is so repetitive, i can't give it a better score than the second track.

5. Space Circus 9/10 This is it, the first Jazz Fusion track i ever heard believe it or not, i think that it was in 2010 when i was 16... wow, idk why the teacher told me to listen to this, and i'm so happy he did, i really don't remember the context, yet i remember how i felt when i listened to it, that was what i wanted to listen, i was lost, it was hard for me to find music groups, i had no idea where to start, everywhere i started left me to a dead-end, while i didn't become a big fan of Return to Forever at first, i was still able to find a little more than with other bands.

Why this track then? The begining got me good, more than anything, that soothing, calm yet misterious sounding piano introduction, am i alone in this dark filled with dust place, the light of the windows looks like a simple geometric being with animation, i immediatily imagined this place and somehow felt welcomed... and that's just the first minute.

Then the song starts, and at first i remember really liking a certain repeating part for some reason, i still like that but its not as surprising as it once was, but still, very funky sounding and the instrumentals are an stapple on this record BUT, at the time i had never heard something like this, it was very effective for me back then and i still think it is, improv, return, improv, return, improv in the return, its all really cool, but what completely sells this theme in the end is the ending, because besides all the rythmic influenced playing the ending is just a perfect return to silence.

6. Game Maker 9/10 This introduction has an scary aproach, and the tension keeps growing without accelerating, just adding little by little, and there it goes, absolutely menacing, i don't understand why "game maker" but it certainly feels like you have to take down some entity that's causing havoc. This track gets a little repetitive at times, but when it lets go... IT LETS GO, everyone is incredible here but Chick... he clearly carries the song, i think that he is the game maker after all. I think that the real reason why i really like this song its because of its insane changes, you might get acoustom to some rythm but eventually that gets obliterated, and there are points where this track doesn't stop, i feel like there's no composition here where the author thought "this 17/12 part will be great here", no, instead he just did it, he probably didn't even realize or care, he just did it and i think that's what makes this song be so impressive.

In conclusion, i don't love this album, but i surely do love the tracks highlighted here, and i can't recommend those enough, i don't know if this is the best place to start with Return to Forever or Chick Corea, but it sure did it for me, so while not being the best, its still a place to start or to land and to admire. Long live Chick, he returned to forever, thanks for everything.

Final Score is 72/100 and i grant it 4 Stars because its an excellent addition, i would dare to say essential because the 3 tracks highlighted need to be heard.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.29 | 822 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars When I bought the original CD in the US, little did I know about the band. I hadn't anticipated that it could be the best offering by Return to Forever. Romantic Warrior is the crowning achievement of jazz fusion, a who's who in fusion and must-have for all keyboardists digging into fusion. The band has matured into the astonishing blend of fusion, progressive rock and classical music the way only Chick Corea can mix it. I have the work of Corea in high esteem and masterpieces like "My Spanish Heart" and this album show multiplace facets and inspirations to him. Al di Meola has a credible player but I find contributions of Clarke and White more audible.

The first track is, together with the last suite, the tour-de-force of the band. "Medieval overture" shows the versatility by the band from frenetic and dynamic rhythm section to more solemn synth chords. What a lovely sounds of the synths!

"The sorceress" is a better known track and has a killer bass guitar, electric piano being more in the background. Later comes the perfect calm progressive rock ARP stuff followed by virtuoso jazz piano but all members have space to shine through including the drummer.

The title track is the catchiest track on the album and maybe less original than the previous tracks due to quite generic fusion instrumentaton. Meola reminding of McLaughlin on electric guitar. Corea sticks to his piano weapons and specific soloing that is accessible and perfectly tandemed by the bass and drums.

"Majestic dance" is quite clear the leading force by Meola and Clarke - it sounds reminiscent of solo Clarke stuff. There's a lovely synth solo but also heaviness caused by raw guitar sound.

"The magician" has playful classical music intermezzos by Corea on ARPs, it sounds both pompeous and romantic apart from the raw guitar.

And the final track is not only the culmination of the album but also another compositional highlight with enough space for graduation and plenty of jamming - killer Corea synths, Meola guitar accolades, White's fill-ins and impressive Clarke fretless bass.

Event after 17 years after the purchase of the album, I am discovering new nuances as this record has plenty to offer. Should be in the TOP 7-8 of all fusion records and the most representative work by Return to Forever.

Thanks to Dick Heath for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.