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Thread: Featured Album: RETURN To FOREVER - Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy

  1. #51
    I saw this version of the band. live at The Stables in E. Lansing MI with only about 150 other people. Bill Connors was amazing, but Stan Clarke simply blew people away. What a show- one of the greatest I ever saw.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  2. #52
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Just got The Anthology CD (2008).

    SO much better sound than on (older versions of) 'Hymn' and 'Where'.
    Still not fan of 'Romantic'.
    Last edited by Zeuhlmate; 04-08-2021 at 11:02 AM.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Just got The Anthology CD (2008).

    SO much better sound than on 'Hymn' and 'Where'.
    Still not fan of 'Romantic'.
    I reviewed the two-disc Anthology back when it was released in 2008. The set includes full remixes of Hymn and Romantic Warrior in ther entirety, along with remasters of the material culled from RTF's two albums in between, Where Have I known You Before? and No Mystery. The remixes, in particular, are a significant improvement, but even the "just" remastered material is considerably better.

    I always preferred the group with Connors. Yeah, he was sloppier than the very precise Di Meola, but to my ears and heart, Connors felt a lot more than his replacement, who I've always felt to be a masterful player but woefully sterile. Also, a lot of scalar playing, to a fault, versus Connors' more soulful choices...and tone. That said, Romantic Warrior is still my fave of the guitar-driven RTF albums released at the time. I love Hymn, don't get me wrong; but the writing on Romantic really is spectacular, with Corea, Clarke and White, in particular, really at the top of their game with this band. I also enjoyed Corea's use of acoustic piano, which he didn't use on Hymn but began to reintroduce on Where and made it a more dominant instrument on the title tracks to No Mystery and Romantic Warrior, and to tremendous effect.

    If you're interested, you can read the review here.
    Last edited by jkelman; 04-07-2021 at 08:49 PM.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I always preferred the group with Connors. Yeah, he was sloppier than the very precise Di Meola, but to my ears and heart, Connors felt a lot more than his replacement, who I've always felt to be a masterful player but woefully sterile. Also, a lot of scalar playing, to a fault, versus Connors' more soulful choices...and tone. That said, Romantic Warrior is still my fave of the guitar-driven RTF albums released at the time. I love Hymn, don't get me wrong; but the writing on Romantic really is spectacular, with Corea, Clarke and White, in particular, really at the top of their game with this band. I also enjoyed Corea's use of acoustic piano, which he didn't use on Hymn but began to reintroduce on Where and made it a more dominant instrument on the title tracks to No Mystery and Romantic Warrior, and to tremendous effect.

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  5. #55
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I reviewed the two-disc Anthology back when it was released in 2008. The set includes full remixes of Hymn and Romantic Warrior in ther entirety, along with remasters of the material culled from RTF's two albums in between, Where Have I known You Before? and No Mystery. The remixes, in particular, are a significant improvement, but even the "just" remastered material is considerably better.

    I always preferred the group with Connors. Yeah, he was sloppier than the very precise Di Meola, but to my ears and heart, Connors felt a lot more than his replacement, who I've always felt to be a masterful player but woefully sterile. Also, a lot of scalar playing, to a fault, versus Connors' more soulful choices...and tone.

    If you're interested, you can read the review here.
    I agree completely aboth 'Hymn'.
    And Di Meola's tone on 'Where' is awfull. It gets better on the two next though. The tracks from 'Where' chosen for The Anthology are fantastic.
    Also good choices for 'No mystery'

    There are parts / themes on Romantic that is great, reminds me of progbands (ELP, GG, etc) but I don't feel the music - its kind of academic, succeding themes that doesnt tell any coherent story. IMO

    I will read your review, thanks.

  6. #56
    It arrived today. I had ordered it before, but that delivery never arrived, so I got my money back. Now I ordered it from another dealer and I'm listening to it now. I like what I hear.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I agree completely aboth 'Hymn'.
    And Di Meola's tone on 'Where' is awfull. It gets better on the two next though. The tracks from 'Where' chosen for The Anthology are fantastic.
    I like Al's playing on Where. Might be that he was trying to sound like Bill Connors at that point.

  8. #58
    Member Monet's Avatar
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    After the recording of "Light as a Feather", Chick Corea has changed the Return to Forever a lot. With the departure of Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Joe Farrell, the Latin elements had largely disappeared, while some Latin moments can still be heard in the beautiful "Captain Señor Mouse". Supported by great guitarist Bill Connors, the band plays a very dense, sparkling electric jazz-rock on "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy", embedded in the versatile keyboard work of Chick Corea and carried by an awsome driving rhythm section. The guitar and electric piano solo virtuously and easily, occasionally the bass hums in the foreground, and Lenny White drums his heart out to it. Of course, some influence from the Mahavishnu Orchestra cannot be denied, especially when it comes to Connors' electric guitar playing. One can speculate whether the significant change in direction from "Light as a Feather" was triggered by the success of colleagues. Nevertheless, Corea and friends created a convincing and independent music, which occasionally reminds of that of the English colleagues from 'Canterbury scene' due to the pearly elegiac electric piano runs and the warm humming bass (Isotope, for example), but which is usually very intense, energetic and just slightly funk-oriented.
    Together with Nucleus' "We'll Talk About It Later", Mahavishnu Orchestra's first two albums, Billy Cobham' "Spectrum", Isotope's "Illusion", Soft Machine '"Bundles", as well as RTF's "Where Have I Known You Before", "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" is definitely one of the best records of Anglo-American jazz-rock from the first half to the mid-seventies. And If you compare Mahavishnu Orchestra with Return to Forever, you know exactly where the two band-leaders McLaughlin and Corea have their roots. Both come from Miles Davis' forge, but are musically much more unleashed than on Davis' jazz-fusion excursions. The compositions on "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" are rousing, sprawling, full of gimmicks and crazy rhythms. If you like that 'technical', sparkling & twisted jazz-rock, you'll surely find it on "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy". In my opinion, however, Return to Forever had reached their absolute climax with more anagogical and dreamlike "Where Have I Known You Before" the album from 1974.

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