MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
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
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, Bill Connors from SPIRAL STAIRCASE. Moreira and Purim also left to form their own group, and COREA brought in drummer Steve Gadd and percussionist Mingo Lewis, unveiling the new lineup at the New York City nightclub the Bi...
read more

Return To Forever official website

RETURN TO FOREVER MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

RETURN TO FOREVER forum topics / tours, shows & news


RETURN TO FOREVER forum topics Create a topic now
RETURN TO FOREVER tours, shows & news Post an entries now

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


Romantic WarriorRomantic Warrior
Import
Sony UK 1999
Audio CD$6.77
$5.77 (used)
The Mothership Returns [2 CD/DVD Combo]The Mothership Returns [2 CD/DVD Combo]
Eagle Records 2012
Audio CD$17.37
$17.43 (used)
Where Have I Known You BeforeWhere Have I Known You Before
Verve 1985
Audio CD$9.01
$6.27 (used)
Live: Complete ConcertLive: Complete Concert
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$10.99
$16.80 (used)
The AnthologyThe Anthology
Concord Jazz 2008
Audio CD$9.39
$9.17 (used)
ReturnsReturns
Eagle Records 2009
Audio CD$12.44
$10.00 (used)
Electric Lady Studio NYC June 1975Electric Lady Studio NYC June 1975
Hi Hat 2015
Vinyl$16.39
$20.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Return to Forever - Anthology [New CD] Rmst USD $16.32 Buy It Now 1h 40m
CHICK COREA-RETURN TO FOREVER-9 LP'S-NO MYSTERY-SECRET AGENT-FRIENDS-MUST SEE! USD $45.59 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Return To Forever - Mothership Returns [CD New] USD $21.26 Buy It Now 5h 3m
Chick Corea Quintet ~ Return to Forever/ Japan Orig LP/ Sheet USD $10.99 Buy It Now 7h 2m
Scorpions - Return To Forever - MediaMarkt Exclusive - 17 Tracks - SEALED USD $7.99 Buy It Now 7h 16m
RETURN TO FOREVER Romantic Warrior LP Funk Jazz Lovely copy !! USD $23.23 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Return to Forever - Musicmagic [New SACD] USD $26.32 Buy It Now 10h 3m
LOT OF 2 RETURN TO FOREVER LP - ROMANTIC WARRIOR; MUSICMAGIC - JAZZ-ROCK - VG+ USD $9.95 Buy It Now 10h 21m
Return to Forever - Musicmagic [New SACD] USD $23.05 Buy It Now 10h 42m
Return to Forever: Deluxe Edition USD $10.98 Buy It Now 13h 8m
Return to Forever Music magic JAPAN MINI LP BLU RAY CD SEALED USD $39.99 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Scorpions - Return to forever - Double Vinyl LP album 2015 (NEW USD $25.81 [0 bids]
15h 5m
Return To Forever featuring Chick Corea - No Mystery (Japan SHMCD) USD $59.00 Buy It Now 15h 6m
Return To The 7th Galaxy: The Return To Forever Anthology 2 disc set - Rare OOP USD $30.00 Buy It Now 15h 10m
RETURN TO FOREVER,CHICK COREA NO MYSTERY POLYDOR MP 2470 Japan Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
15h 45m
RETURN TO FOREVER Chick Corea Where Have I Known You Before VG in Shrink LP Jazz USD $8.00 Buy It Now 15h 48m
RETURN TO FOREVER - ELECTRIC LADY STUDIO,NYC,JUNE 1975 CD NEW+ USD $26.70 Buy It Now 15h 54m
Return To Forever - Musicmagic LP CBS 1977 Holland 1st Press MINT/NM Music Magic USD $1.28 [0 bids]
16h 2m
Return To Forever Hymn Of The 7th Galaxy test press White label Vinyl LP Corea USD $16.76 Buy It Now 16h 35m
Return To Forever-Musicmagic-Audio Fidelity 250-HYBRID SACD SEALED USD $24.99 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Return to Forever NEW t shirt Chick Corea Al Di Meola Stanley Clarke SMALL USD $10.00 Buy It Now 17h 25m
Chick Corea Return to Forever Musicmagic 12" PROMO Vinyl Record 1977 Excellent USD $10.70 Buy It Now 18h 15m
Chick Corea Return to Forever Where Have I Known 12" Vinyl Record 1974 Excellent USD $10.70 Buy It Now 18h 31m
CHICK COREA : Return To Forever -Poster Size NEWSPAPER ADVERT- 1975 30cm X 40cm USD $3.87 Buy It Now 18h 47m
1976 STANLEY CLARKE - SCHOOL DAYS - SEALED - 8 TRACK TAPE RETURN TO FOREVER BASS USD $22.22 Buy It Now 18h 49m
1975 LENNY WHITE VENUSIAN SUMMER GERMAN TEST PRESSING LP RETURN TO FOREVER DRUMS USD $58.88 Buy It Now 18h 49m
RETURN TO FOREVER-The Best Of (1980) DJ/Promo COLUMBIA LP USD $6.79 Buy It Now 18h 54m
Return To Forever Romantic Warrior LP Vinyl Album Very Good Plus VG+ PC 34076 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 18h 57m
LP Return To Forever Music Magic USD $19.89 Buy It Now 20h 31m
Chick Corea Return to Forever Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy Poly VG++ LP 1973 USD $5.62 [0 bids]
20h 58m
RETURN TO FOREVER CHICK COREA Japan 1978 Mail Order NM LP RETURN TO FOREVER USD $29.99 Buy It Now 21h
SCORPIONS RETURN TO FOREVER (TOUR EDITION) CD+2DVD's MEXICAN EDITION MEXICO USD $29.60 Buy It Now 21h 27m
RETURN TO FOREVER F/ CHICK COREA - HYMN OF THE SEVENTH GALAXY LP VINYL RECORD -V USD $5.99 Buy It Now 22h 7m
1973 Polydor Records PD-5536 Return to Forever "Hymm of the Seventh Galaxy" USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER -Romantic Warrior- LP Vinyl Album USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Return to Forever [9/11] * by Scorpions (CD, Sep-2015, Sony BMG) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Return To Forever Romantic Warrior (Ogv) vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $45.25 Buy It Now 1 day
BRAND NEW This Is Jazz, Vol. 12 by Return to Forever (CD, Sep-1996, Sony Music) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER - ROMANTIC WARRIOR - OZ PRESS JAZZ FUSION PROG ROCK LP -1976 USD $20.24 Buy It Now 1 day
NEW Return To Forever (Audio CD) USD $17.43 Buy It Now 1 day
The Best of Return to Forever Return to Forever Vinyl Record USD $14.13 Buy It Now 1 day
Return to Forever "WHERE HAVE I KNOWN YOU BEFORE" 1974 Polydor LP-PD-6509 VG+ USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SCORPIONS RETURN TO FOREVER BRAND NEW SEALED CD 2015 USD $11.81 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy UCCU-9720 CD JAPAN 2010 NEW USD $111.66 Buy It Now 1 day
Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior [New CD] Blu-Spec CD 2, Japan - Import USD $16.96 Buy It Now 1 day
AL DI MEOLA ELECTRIC RENDEZVOUS CD JAPAN 1 ST PRESS 35DP 30 RETURN TO FOREVER USD $15.09 Buy It Now 1 day
CHICK COREA and RETURN TO FOREVER CD - The Definitive Collection - BRAND NEW USD $10.95 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER / ROMANTIC WARRIOR JAPAN CD OOP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Return To Forever ?- Romantic Warrior Vinyl LP - PC 34076 USD $12.75 Buy It Now 1 day
14/6/75PMM26 NEWSPAPER ADVERT 15X5 RETURN TO FOREVER FT CHUCK COREA : NO MISERY USD $9.03 Buy It Now 1 day
07 Romantic Warrior - Return to Forever - Columbia 1976 KC 34076 Record LP USD $11.12 Buy It Now 1 day
CHICK COREA QUINTET RETURN TO FOREVER POLYDOR MP 2273 Japan Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
SCORPIONS Return to Forever 180g 2LP gatefold New Sealed Vinyl 2 LP USD $31.42 Buy It Now 1 day
CHICK COREA QUINTET RETURN TO FOREVER POLYDOR MP 2273 Japan Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER - MUSICMAGIC JAPANESE IMPORT-LP/Vinyl/Record USD $3.99 [0 bids]
1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER - MUSICMAGIC (1977) - PC 34682 AL/BL, LP VG USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Return To Forever- No Mystery- new/sealed 8 Track tape- rare? USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Return To Forever, Flora Purim, New USD $16.73 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER Romantic Warrior 25AP55 LP Gv0291 USD $2.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Return To Forever - Musicmagic LP VG+ White Promo PC 34682 Vinyl 1977 CBS Jazz USD $7.80 Buy It Now 1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER FEATURING CHICK COREA RARE 8 Track 1974 Where Have I Known... USD $16.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Five Peace Band Live Chick Corea & John McLaughlin CD 2009 RETURN TO FOREVER USD $10.32 Buy It Now 1 day
Return To Forever Featuring Chick Corea- Where Have I Known You Before LP USD $0.49 [0 bids]
1 day
Return To Forever Featuring Chick Corea USD $6.45 [0 bids]
1 day
RETURN TO FOREVER (Chick Corea) - Jungle Waterfall (Promo) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE BEST OF RETURN TO FOREVER LP RECORD 12" USD $9.52 Buy It Now 2 days
Return to Forever [Deluxe Edition] by Scorpions [+4 Bonus Track] USD $6.29 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA w/ FLORA PURIM Return To Forever ORIG ECM LP 1022 ST NEU MINT USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Scorpions - Return To Forever (Tour Edition) CD New & Sealed USD $15.96 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever - Romantic Warrior CD New & Sealed USD $7.52 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever CD NEW USD $17.59 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever - Scorpions - CD Album Damaged Case USD $8.33 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA-RETURN TO FOREVER-JAPAN HQCD Ltd/Ed E25 USD $20.50 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA Return to Forever LP Light as a feather 1973 Polydor jazz USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
RETURN TO FOREVER~ROMANTIC WARRIOR~CHICK COREA~1976 JAZZ FUSION LP *ORIGINAL* USD $2.79 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA, RETURN TO FOREVER Light As A Feather UCCU-6037 CD JAPAN 2011 NEW USD $64.39 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA+Return To Forever+ORIGINAL 1974 POSTER AD+FRAMED+FAST GLOBAL SHIP USD $90.28 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever - Electric Lady Studio, NYC, June 1975 (Vinyl) USD $30.96 Buy It Now 2 days
Lot of 7 LPS Vinyl Records-Smokey Robinson,Return to Forever,George Benson,Chick USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Returns by Return to Forever (CD, Mar-2009, 2 Discs, Eagle Vision) USD $20.56 Buy It Now 2 days
RETURN TO FOREVER - ELECTRIC LADY STUDIO,NYC,JUNE 1975 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $30.72 Buy It Now 2 days
Chick Corea Return To Forever - No Mystery New CD USD $8.03 Buy It Now 2 days
Chick Corea LP Lot Of 4 Records Return To Forever Jazz Fusion USD $8.50 Buy It Now 2 days
RETURN TO FOREVER - LIVE - JC 35281, JAZZ, LATIN VINYL RECORD Mint Vinyl! USD $11.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Jazz Lp Chick Corea Where Have I Known You Before: Return To Forever On Polydor USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA & RETURN TO FOREVER - Light as a feather (1991) CD - VG used USD $7.42 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA & RETURN TO FOREVER - Where Have I Known You Before CD - VG used USD $7.42 Buy It Now 2 days
Scorpions Return To Forever 2 CD 7" Picture Book t-shirt USB MP3 Box Sealed USD $71.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Return to Forever : Romantic Warrior CD USD $10.94 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA AND RETURN TO FOREVER Light As A Feather UCCU-9276 CD JAPAN 2006 NEW USD $133.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever - Returns - Return To Forever CD MIVG USD $15.27 Buy It Now 2 days
ROMANTIC WARRIOR Return To Forever PC 34076 LP Vinyl VG++ Cover Shrink USD $14.44 Buy It Now 2 days
CHICK COREA, RETURN TO FOREVER Light As A Feather MPF-1171 Vinyl JAPAN 1978 USD $80.41 Buy It Now 2 days
Return To Forever Ft Chick Corea - Where Have I Known You Before LP VG+ PD 6509 USD $13.00 Buy It Now 2 days
1972 Chick Corea - Return to Forever Record EMC 1022 - EMC Records - German USD $14.88 Buy It Now 2 days
RETURN TO FOREVER FEATURING CHICK COREA Earth Juice 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1974 USD $6.44 Buy It Now 2 days
RETURN TO FOREVER Romantic Warrior AL 34076 1H Vinyl LP 1976 Al Dimeola ProgJazz USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
AIRTO Return To Forever CD European Wounded Bird 2015 8 Track (Wou8000) USD $11.47 Buy It Now 3 days
SCORPIONS Return To Forever CD European Sony 2015 16 Track Expanded CD In USD $14.18 Buy It Now 3 days
Return To Forever ?Romantic Warrior columbia 1976 LP with concert stubs EXLT? USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3 days

More places to buy RETURN TO FOREVER music online Buy RETURN TO FOREVER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
RETURN TO FOREVER has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

4.03 | 229 ratings
Chick Corea: Return To Forever
1972
3.41 | 144 ratings
Light As A Feather
1972
4.16 | 284 ratings
Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy
1973
4.16 | 207 ratings
Where Have I Known You Before
1974
3.72 | 137 ratings
No Mystery
1975
4.26 | 584 ratings
Romantic Warrior
1976
2.73 | 81 ratings
Music Magic
1977

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

3.10 | 30 ratings
Live: Return To Forever
1977
3.79 | 19 ratings
Return to Forever: Live
1977
4.43 | 14 ratings
Live At Montreux 2008
2008
4.11 | 43 ratings
Returns
2009
4.50 | 45 ratings
The Mothership Returns
2012

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

4.49 | 44 ratings
Live At Montreux 2008
2009

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

2.51 | 13 ratings
The Best of Return to Forever
1980
3.76 | 12 ratings
Return To The 7th Galaxy: The Anthology
1996
3.67 | 3 ratings
This Is Jazz, Vol. 12
1996
4.53 | 20 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
 Music Magic by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.73 | 81 ratings

BUY
Music Magic
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

2 stars Another shakeup in the Return to Forever lineup, this time Al DiMeola and Lenny White departing. Chick Corea's wife Gayle Moran joins (she was previously with the second edition of Mahavishnu Orchestra for two albums), and Joe Farrell from the original 1972-73 lineup rejoins, as well as a horn section. Now this probably wasn't the wisest decision for Chick Corea to go this direction so hot on the heels of Romantic Warrior, which not only a highly regarded in RTF's and even Chick's career in general, but of the fusion genre to begin with. Upon listening to "The Musician" it's as if Chick was trying to meld the vocal style of Light as a Feather with a horn section. It's as if he was pretending his wife was Flora Purim as she attempts her vocal style. Unfortunately she's no Flora Purim, and thankfully she didn't touch on Brazilian styles of music (Bossa Nova, for example). Light as a Feather proves that vocals and jazz can go together, but then Flora Purim was suited for such, given her background as a Bossa Nova singer, and that influence was heavily felt in that album (as well as the 1972 RTF on ECM billed as a Chick Corea album) and those two albums were great and highly recommended. Here on MusicMagic it's a like a big mess. There are some pretty syrupy stuff here, for example "Hello Again". What on Earth? Pretty cheesy stuff. Or Stanley Clarke's "So Long Mickey Mouse". What on Earth? A bunch of "La la's" throughout with him attempting to do soulful vocals, and Gayle Moran being, well, Gayle Moran. On the other hand, there are some absolutely brilliant passages, some of the solos Chick Corea give are first rate, with that nice spacy keyboards and often proggy arrangement and even the horn section does some creative twists and turns as long as they aren't sounding like a Las Vegas lounge act. The last song, "The Endless Light" is perhaps the best thing on the album, overall, where the vocals and instrumentation work the best. I never could understand what the lyrics were about. Perhaps being a Scientologist would make more sense (Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Gayle Moran, at least, were all Scientologists). I can see why this is panned in many circles. I could have seen the potential in this album, some of those instrumental passages are as great as anything they've done before, but when the vocals kick in, it all comes crashing, and same if the horns decide to go Vegas on us. Luckily my copy is a cheap used LP, and if you need to get this, I suggest you get it cheap. It's too bad RTF ended up the way they did. I can sorta understand why Chick wanted to include vocals, since Gayle Moran already provided vocals on his two previous solo albums, My Spanish Heart and The Leprechaun, so he thought it would be great to include them on then next RTF album. For the simple fact that until this point, RTF never released a bad album (Chick Corea knew to keep the standards high on those albums) so making MusicMagic all that more disappointing. Scientology can be easy to blame. At least this was the end of RTF (although there was a live album released in 1978). So as mentioned, has its moments, but only get this on the cheap.
 No Mystery by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.72 | 137 ratings

BUY
No Mystery
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars To me, No Mystery is a bit of an oddity in the RTF catalog. It's clear on side one (the first five cuts, if you own the CD) the band was exploring funk, with a little disco thrown in. It's still unmistakably fusion, though, so if you like fusion, it shouldn't bother you too much, but maybe for the more prog inclined, it might, although Al DiMeola's "Flight of the Newborn" is the most proggy thing on side one, more resembling something off Al's late '70s material (the more proggy stuff, not the flamenco stuff) from Land of the Midnight Sun or Elegant Gypsy. "Excerpt From the First Movement of Heavy Metal" gets me scratching my head. What's metal about this? Of course I understand Chick Corea and the boys would never play heavy metal, but what about the rest of the First Movement, and perhaps several other movements? Was there supposed to be a Heavy Metal Suite? Regardless, it's more of the funky stuff the guys were exploring on that side. I suppose it was Lenny White steering the band in a more funky direction as a lot of it brings to mind his first solo album Venusian Summer, released later the same year (1975). Side two is a different story. Here they're going for a much more prog-oriented direction. To my ears they actually sound like Romantic Warrior sessions, even though this predates that album by a year, but it's clear as a bell where they were already heading on this side. The music is much more complex, there's almost Gentle Giant-like moves at times. All this culminates with the two part "Celebration Suite". Side two is very much worth it for the proggers, especially if they enjoy Romantic Warrior. I can see while why this album still gets favorable reviews, it's not as highly regarded as the other three with Lenny White (Al DiMeola wasn't on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy). Mainly because the funky material they do here may not appeal to every proghead, and that disco on "Jungle Waterfall" may make many wonder if they sold out. Luckily they didn't, and that was their only disco song here. For the more prog inclined, listen to side two, it's amazing stuff, foreseeing what they'll be doing on Romantic Warrior. Side one is still quite enjoyable, but less complex and less prog. Still worth getting.
 Where Have I Known You Before by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.16 | 207 ratings

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

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I don't know why I had been resistant at Return to Forever for years. I think I do, when I was younger I thought a lot of fusion was just boring technical showoffmanship. Even when I bought Romantic Warrior (used LP at a St. Vincent de Paul) in 2006, it has some nice ideas, but then I dismissed it. Years later it really grew on me, and I noticed how much prog leaning that particular album had. Then much more recently I went for Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, and really pleasantly shocked with Light as a Feather (with the Brazlian approach thanks to Flora Purim and Airto Moreira). Now it's Where Have I known You Before. This album find Chick Corea finally incorporating synthesizers along with electric piano and clavinet. Bill Connors was now out of the picture, in comes an unknown Berklee student named Al DiMeola to fill in, and this is the classic lineup that would last for two more albums (including the ever popular Romantic Warrior). The album takes a more calm, refined approach, where Hymn if the Seventh Galaxy was pretty obviously taking on to the more raw sound of Mahavishnu Orchestra (but without violin). The "Where Have I..." title variants are basically piano interludes that go with the full-band stuff. "Vulcan Worlds" is the opening cut and what a great piece this is, especially the synth passages. Stanley Clarke did a version of it on his self-entitled second album from 1974 on Nemperor. "The Shadow of Lo" is more calm and relaxed, but there are a couple of electric piano riffs that sounded like they were taken off Mahavishnu Orchestra's Birds of Fire. "Beyond the Seventh Galaxy" was an obvious sequel reference to Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, this is pretty much a straight up fusion piece you come to expect from this era, a great piece nonetheless. "Earth Juice" is an interesting one. Lenny White does that disco hi-hat thing, and Al DiMeola gives a nice rock feel to the guitar. The overuse of hi-hat may turn off many, because it became such a bad disco cliche that it became one of the reasons for the bad name of disco (of course having the campy Village People in the late '70s didn't help matters any). In 1974 that hi-hat approach had luckily not been done to death, and there's too much of a rock attitude to be actually disco. You can't get Studio 54 dancing with this piece (and beside Studio 54 didn't even exist in '74). "Song to the Pharaoh Kings" is over 14 minutes and what a wonderful piece. Of the RTF albums I have, I will have to say this is by far my favorite. Great stuff that I can recommend to all fusion fans.
 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.26 | 584 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars When you have some of the biggest names in 70's fusion on your team, how can you lose? When it comes to jazz fusion, there are few superstar lineups more formidable than Latin shredder Al Di Meola, electric jazz pioneer Chick Corea, and the powerhouse rhythm section of Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Although the talent on display here is a smorgasbord for jazz cats to ogle over, there's certainly more to "Romantic Warrior" than just its name-dropping creds.

What we have here is one of the finest marriages of jazz fusion and progressive rock that's been set to record. While the medieval influences alluded to by other reviewers may be a tad overstated, there's no denying that there's a symphonic flair to this record that you won't find on any of the dime-a-dozen instrumental fusion albums that got popped out like rabbits between 1975 and 1980. "Romantic Warrior" is something of a mixed bag. Pure (and expertly done) fusion numbers like "The Sorceress" and the acoustic title track act as expansive vehicles for passionate and inspired soloing. More rock-oriented tracks like "Majestic Dance" pack in a punch that you just don't find in most jazz, and the complex and spacey "The Magician" is in a league all its own in the Return To Forever canon. In all, there's a great diversity to this record that should appease fans of Miles Davis and Gentle Giant alike.

Of course, what really sells this album for me is the excitement that it conveys. As cliche as the term is in jazz reviews, this whole album is electric, through and through. From the frantic rhythmic workouts of the opening track, you know that the next 45 minutes are going to be a complete thrill ride. The album subdues (but never tires) a little with "The Sorceress" and "The Romantic Warrior", but from there it builds up into a non-stop crescendo of intensity that doesn't back down until the crashing finale of "Duel of the Jester and The Tyrant". If there was any one fusion record that deserved to be considered a "masterpiece of progressive rock music", this would be the one. This is fusion for prog fans, and prog for fusion fans, and an album that excels at both. One of the true jazz rock masterpieces that every fan of 70's fusion needs to check out. 5 stars.

 Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.16 | 284 ratings

BUY
Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars What a drastic change in sound for Return to Forever. Light as a Feather found the group as a Brazilian type of jazz band, with Flora Purim and Airto Moreira. The Bossa Nova influence on that album is hard to escape, you expect Flora Purim to break into "The Girl From Impanema" at any time. The album is stuffed full of great electric piano solos from Chick Corea himself an fantastic stand up bass playing from Stanley Clarke. Wonderful album, but had RTF stopped there, there would be little reason for RTF to be included here. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy featured an overhaul in the lineup. Corea and Clarke still present, with newcomers Lenny White and Bill Connors. There was a transitional lineup that started recording this album but then were partially redone with the stabilized lineup. Gone are the Brazilian/Bossa Nova influences and instead they became the established fusion band that they're most remembered for. Chick Corea admitted being inspired by John McLaughlin around this time, so it should come as no surprise that Hymn of the Seven Galaxy is very much in Mahavishnu territory. Bill Connors doing that similar lightening fast guitar playing, Lenny White playing with that same ferocity of Billy Cobham, and of course Stanley Clarke with his similarly fast bass playing. "Captain Senor Mouse" has a bit of that Latin influences, but even here it's still fusion overdrive. "Space Circus" has a funky feel to it, but for the most part this album is full of break-neck fast playing which will either blow you away or you feel it's just technical showoffmanship. I'm with the former, though. Because of the obvious Mahavishnu comparison, it's that reason Bill Connors quickly left, he felt it was a bit too close to Mahavishnu territory for his liking, or at least he felt the band shouldn't have tried riding the coattails of another band, so he was quickly replaced by Al DiMeola, their most recognized guitarist. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy makes no bones about who they are: no longer a Brazilian jazz band, but a full-on fusion band, and this is an album I highly recommend for fans of the genre.
 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.26 | 584 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars The jazz fusion scene features some of the most skilled musicians that are unmatched by most. One of the more notable examples is that of Return to Forever, a band fronted by piano virtuoso Chick Corea.

Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior features some of the most wonderful sounding pieces I've heard in awhile. The aforementioned frontman Chick Corea's skill with a plethora of different pianos, including but not limited to the Yamaha organ, Polymoog, and ARP Odyssey is nothing short of inspiring to a former keyboard player like myself. Every band member plays similarly; with eclectic and complex tempos but with a cool, smooth disposition, very similar to Corea's free jazz solo career. Lenny White's insane playing style is punchy and extremely effective especially with the beautiful chords presented by Corea and Stanley Clarke's ominous bass plucks. The album art as well as the style with which the acoustics are played bring out a sort of medieval vibe, like an ancient piece invigorated with the intricacy of a team of modern masters. The certain hone to this blade gives off a sense of subtle self-respect that isn't too hard to chew, because I resoundingly revere such wonderful music.

Romantic Warrior combines the chill swing of your downtown parlour jazz with the richness of an orchestra. I highly suggest you check it out.

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.26 | 584 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Progressive fantasy jazz rock

Often considered as RETURN TO FOREVER's best album, "Romantic Warrior" is more avant-garde and less funky than the band's previous efforts. Featuring a more important usage of electronic keyboards and rocking guitars, the musicians also incorporated symphonic/heavy prog elements from bands such as YES or KING CRIMSON in their music. Combined to the strange and charming synthesizers of Chick Corea, the result is quite original and inspired, while remaining accessible. The question is: what's the relation with the title?

"Medieval Overture" (by Chick Corea) is in fact not really medieval. Instead, this composition is a rather retro-futuristic spacey jazz/rock with various keyboards in the style of YES. Very nice, and sets the tone for the rest of the disc. Lenny White's "Sorceress" is the funkiest track of the record. Opening with a calm and groovy bass line, it contains a few guitar and keyboards interventions with a slight flavour of McCoy Tyner. In contrast, the title track (by Chick Corea) is fully acoustic. Majestic and delightful, however a bit too long.

Despite its title, the cool "Majestic Dance" is not very dancing but rather the rock-iest passage of the disc with its distorted guitars. This is logic when you know this was composed by Al Di Meola. Stanley Clarke's "The Magician" is the most complex composition, and also my least favorite track. Quite odd and changing, it incorporates fun small melodies. Ironically this song is the only one truly related to the album thematic, as it sounds a little medieval by moments. Once again by Chick Corea, "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant" is the longest composition. Contrarily to the previous song, the music is more accessible and built around a nice melancholic melody as a main theme, with a few surprises inside...

Only after the listen can you understand the album title. "Romantic Warrior" do not naively refer to love or martial metal songs. Instead, it should rather been taken as an oxymoron that corresponds to the musical style: both calm and turbulent, light and ferocious. Everything is a matter of contrast. Unusual, original and with an unique sound, this 1976 opus is one of the proggiest and greatest achievements of its genre.

Very recommended to jazz rock / fusion aficionados or hard rock fans wanting to discover the style!

 Romantic Warrior by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.26 | 584 ratings

BUY
Romantic Warrior
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars In 2006 I bought Romantic Warrior at a Eugene, Oregon St. Vincent de Paul. This very same place I surprisingly got a copy of Barclay James Harvest's Gone to Earth (American MCA pressing with die cut and original inner sleeve) and Greenslade's Time and Tide (U.S. Mercury label copy). When I brought it home I was a bit dismissive of the album. I was still in my "generally dismissive of fusion" mindset, having heard Mahavishnu Orchestra's The Inner Mountain Flame several years before and though it was just boring wankfest ("look how fast we can play"). My attitude towards that album really changed, the Inner Mountain Flame, as well as Birds of Fire are amazing, and Visions of the Emerald Beyond is by far the best album with the second lineup (I don't find Inner Worlds bad, but I do have to warn you the album gets a bad reputation because four songs feature vocals, and while I don't have too much problems with that, many do, as Mahavishnu Orchestra works best as an instrumental outfit).

As with my attitude change towards Mahavishnu Orchestra, so my attitude has changed with Romantic Warrior (I hadn't heard the other RTF albums yet). The lineup here included Chick Corea (naturally), Lenny White, Al DiMeola, and Stanley Clarke. Here they take on some very complex and elaborate fusion that leans more towards prog rock at times. It seems that Chick Corea was trying for a fusion answer of Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson. The medieval influence of this album seem a bit overexaggerated. We're not exactly talking Gryphon here, or even Jethro Tull for that matter. The cover certainly has that medieval motif, and song titles definitely have that medieval thing going on, but to my ears it sounds like yer typical mid '70s fusion/prog thang. There's a couple passages on this album that sounded a bit fuzak-y, especially a couple of the piano passages and Stanley Clarke's bass playing, but those don't last long. I particularly enjoy the synths Chick Corea uses here.

Rock critic Robert Christgau hated this album. He gave it a D+ and called it "The Emerson, Lake & Palmer of jazz rock". Remember, he never liked ELP, so obviously he hardly meant that as a compliment. Progheads might agree on the "ELP of jazz rock" thing, but in a positive light.

It's hard to believe how popular this album is in fusion circles, given the challenging and complex nature of this album. Corea & Co. was obviously trying for a prog rock album, and the prog leanings obviously didn't bother record buyers at the time. I'm not entirely sure I'd give it a five star rating, given it took me many years to warm up to it, but definitely worth it.

 Chick Corea: Return To Forever by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.03 | 229 ratings

BUY
Chick Corea: Return To Forever
Return To Forever Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by liontime

5 stars On thing I love about this album is its ability to take on a diverse range of visceral planes while still remaining cerebrally consistent. The album is full of interesting technical instrumental and vocal work yet can jump from contemplative atmosphere churning to tart poppy jazz without betraying artistic depth.

Flora Purim is a delightful vocalist who sweetens this album to no end. Airto Moreira's percussion is also definitely worth one's attention.

Ultimately what makes this album one of my favorites is its playability. Girlfriends and mothers won't hate it!! By virtue of one's ability to play it in mixed company, it grows heavy with memories and moods that other albums never have because they're meant for headphones in a bedroom. This album is good for drives, the beach, picnics, relaxed parties, anything. Go out and play it for your pop music friends.

 Where Have I Known You Before by RETURN TO FOREVER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.16 | 207 ratings

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

Review by poito

5 stars With the return of Al Dimeola to the guitar labor RTF makes another move ahead, they get away from the improvisational jazzy air in the excellent "Hymn to the 7th Galaxy" and become more ear-easy and rockier, even tackles funky ("Earth juice") and definitely they get more accessible to the big audience. Corea takes the lead here. There are several piano solo tracks and a delicatessen in "Where I have I danced with you before". It's hard to compare the different epochs of these giants, they sound so different and so good anyway? I miss my tapes rolling in a small Grundig player I stole to my brother, but how good they sound full blast in my hifi?Rien ne va plus!
Thanks to Dick Heath for the artist addition. and to E&O Team 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