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Topic ClosedThe Mahavishnu Orchestra

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Poll Question: Which of these two albums do you prefer, and why?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
9 [34.62%]
9 [34.62%]
8 [30.77%]
0 [0.00%]
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Mahavishnu Orchestra
    Posted: April 02 2008 at 13:50
Self-explanatory question. Discovered TMO pretty recently, and I've so far got and really enjoyed these two of their albums. I'd like to understand why people prefer one to another, when for me they mostly merge into one, with the unusual (for the albums) tracks standing out.

I'm mostly doing this to better understand how to analyse their jazz rock style, since it's often too fast and abstract for me to grip onto, even if I love it. Personally, I prefer TIMF because of the superb acoustic A Lotus On Irish Streams and the bluesy thing on Dance Of Maya. Got to say that Resolution and One Word are equally killer highlights, and both albums are pretty consistent in quality.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 13:57
Birds of Fire

It's more chaotic and unorganised with some much better solos. It's pretty much what MO are all about really.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 13:58
I'll tell ya later cause I have an ear ache and have ear phones so don't want to listen the albums right now, gonna wait to buy some 1000 Watts amplifers for the computer
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 15:18
Birds of Fire is my choice.I think Cobham stands out a little more, and i do prefer the solos on it better.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 15:23
The Inner Mounting Flame for me. The song quality is at par with Birds of Fire, but the track lengths seem just right. With the second album, you either get too much or too little. Everything was properly balanced on the debut. That being said, both albums are incredibly great!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 15:36
I think I prefer Birds of Fire a little more....as state above; it was more chaotic.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 15:56
Equally good. The first has McLaughling solos closer to power metal's ones, and BOF is a typical fusion record, but really precise.. They're great in different ways, but both necessary.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 16:25
MO could be my favorite group after Yes and King Crimson! Both albums are absolutely breath taking, and I can't really say one is better than the other. They have a number of similarities which makes them easy for comparing.

Side A.) the opening tracks on both are fierce musical attacks that still remain highly enjoyable followed by a more laidback track with really great solos. Theses are followed by uptempo jams that show just how tight these five musicians can play together before taking a break of the aggressiveness with soft acoustic numbers.
Side B.) once again it's nice to start off with a big bang... or in these cases, a thundering nuclear holocaust! Both Vital Transformation and especially One Word are Cobhams realm with some of the most unbelievable drumming ever caught on tape! The counterpoints doesn't stop there, as You Know, You Know and Sanctuary are both slower and sweeter than what you'd expect from MO, but just as emotional as always. Closing tracks are like the bands final words before you can start scratching your head and digesting what you've just experienced!
Miles Beyond, one of McLaughlin's many tributes to Miles Davis, is more to my liking than Dawn, but I prefer A Lotus On Irish Streams over Thousand Island Park. One Word for me is clearly better than VT, but Awakening hits harder than Resolution... so it is pretty much a draw.

P.S: if you haven't already checked out Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond, be sure to do so. It's a huge mistake to think you've covered MO with just their first two albums. "Hymn to Him" for me could possibly be the greatest piece of music ever created.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 16:38
Birds of Fire because it blisters with energy from beginning to end and the playing is so incredibly inspired that the intensity is staggering.  Not that the debut is something less, I just think BOF is tighter and better produced.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 16:39
Those are the 2 best albums released by MAHAVISHNU. They both are equally total masterpieces IMLHO They had their own style, No prog collection is complete without those 2 albums
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 16:56
Inner Mountain Flame for me, i just listened to it last night at it was just amazing, both are probably equal to me though
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 17:13
Yeah the "avian glow" wins by a slight margin , mainly for sentimental reasons
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 17:18
TIMF. Fewer "noisy" parts than BOF, I guess it seems more straight forward... and for a lack of words, it just sounds better...

BOF gets kudos though for "Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love." Awesome song title IMO (but probably cheesy to most of the rest of you)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 17:25
I prefer both Apocalypse and Visions of Emerald Beyond over these two :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 17:44
Originally posted by Anderson III

MO could be my favorite group after Yes and King Crimson! Both albums are absolutely breath taking, and I can't really say one is better than the other. They have a number of similarities which makes them easy for comparing.

Side A.) the opening tracks on both are fierce musical attacks that still remain highly enjoyable followed by a more laidback track with really great solos. Theses are followed by uptempo jams that show just how tight these five musicians can play together before taking a break of the aggressiveness with soft acoustic numbers.
Side B.) once again it's nice to start off with a big bang... or in these cases, a thundering nuclear holocaust! Both Vital Transformation and especially One Word are Cobhams realm with some of the most unbelievable drumming ever caught on tape! The counterpoints doesn't stop there, as You Know, You Know and Sanctuary are both slower and sweeter than what you'd expect from MO, but just as emotional as always. Closing tracks are like the bands final words before you can start scratching your head and digesting what you've just experienced!
Miles Beyond, one of McLaughlin's many tributes to Miles Davis, is more to my liking than Dawn, but I prefer A Lotus On Irish Streams over Thousand Island Park. One Word for me is clearly better than VT, but Awakening hits harder than Resolution... so it is pretty much a draw.

P.S: if you haven't already checked out Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond, be sure to do so. It's a huge mistake to think you've covered MO with just their first two albums. "Hymn to Him" for me could possibly be the greatest piece of music ever created.


I certainly will look at more MO soonish. I've recently been busy with a fair few other things, so haven't looked further yet.

Many thanks for the replies everyone Smile Keep going.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2008 at 07:25
Originally posted by stewe

I prefer both Apocalypse and Visions of Emerald Beyond over these two :)


Dude, I was thinking the same thing. LOL

Put all four together and for me that's the essential MO.  Although I have everything from their '70's era including the recently released DVD with the live at Montreax Apocalypse pieces and the Lost Trident Sessions.  I've seen youtube videos of the original lineup.  Hope a DVD of one or more of those shows gets released in the near future.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2008 at 17:28
This is just way too hard for me to chooseCry. Both are equally amazing.


Edited by birdwithteeth11 - April 03 2008 at 17:28
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