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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Anthology
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2008
The four electric albums by Reurn to Forever from 1973 to 1976, whilst being hugely influential and beloved of music fans, have always upset the critics. To rock for Jazz Critics, to complex for Rock Critics. Sure RTF played more notes, at higher speed & volume than anyone else,BUT it was always tuneful,always tasteful.

Now that Corea,DiMeola,Clarke & White have reunited for a world tour (after very successful solo careers) we get what could be perceived as the "cash in compilation". How mistaken you would be.

All the tracks have been remixed by Clarke & Corea and the result is a sonic revelation. The thin sound of the polydor recordings has been replaced by a power house remix. The bass heavy and congested Columbia recordings have a new cleaned up and balanced mix. All the echo & phasing has been removed. It is presented, as on stage, drums & bass centre, keyboards right, guitar left. You are just left with 4 superlative musicians playing live in the studio.

You get all of Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I known You Before & No Mystery minus the piano tracks and the Whole of Romantic Warrior. With the new remix they sound the same powerhouse band throughout.

So bin the old Cd's, buy this set and i'll see you at the O2 in July, for their only UK gig on the world tour, to see four of the greatest musicans ever to plug in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2009
I saw them at the Indig02 last July and they were so good, I thought age would have dampened their talent but not a bit of it.
This CD is very well remastered from the originals. I saw them in '75 and '76 and bought all the records. Then later bought some of the CD's. But at under £6 EVERYONE should buy this. The bass response is stronger and volume is a lot higher, I've yet to compare all of the originals but as a start I find Hymn of the Seventh much less trebley and I wonder that it's also nice to keep the old CD's because they do sound different, particularly Space Circus. I didn't buy the CD of Romantic Warrior so can't judge on that (I myself found this particular album less satisfying, some of the tracks unnecessarily more of a showcase of their talents). The production on the original CBS LP was not to my liking. Of course 'Warrior was their biggest selling album but there was a feeling they'd aleady hit the summit and heading downwards, borne out by several reviews in the music press at the time. But It's still a great CD so BUY IT !!!!
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on 24 July 2011
This is a good value collection, drawn from the four albums they made between 1973 and 1976, perhaps marred only by the then new synthesiser sounds having become somewhat cheesy in the following 40 years; that's the price of pioneering but with musicianship of this calibre frankly who cares! I was concerned by reviews mentioning the dreaded "remastering" being too loud, and just being "compressed and distorted" as other things have so suffered, but fear not, I at least found it fine, with dynamic range intact, comparing well with my vinyl of Romantic Warrior. It's basically intelligent rock music played by jazzers so loudness is not a problem per se.
Incidentally, the 2008 Montreux DVD of the reformed band (in surround sound) is a corker, having the drive of a live band compared with the studio albums.
Postscript: having listened to this a lot over a couple of weeks, including once inadvertently a little too loud when it was quickly bludgeoning, it certainly IS compressed which is disappointing from musicians of this talent and presumed sensitivity. It certainly is mastered loudly but if played at reasonable volume does not appear to suffer loss of detail.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2008
unlike some remixes this has been done very well. I played Romantic Warrior to death when first out on vinyl but it has been given a fresh lease of life with this release. If you liked RTF first time round do yourself a favour and get this.
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on 11 August 2010
Bought this compilation to replace my LP's, which gave me a chance to listen again to this body of work, and IMO it hasn't aged all that well, with the exception of the Romantic Warrior section, which perhaps represented their apex here, especially the stand out track "Sorceress". Seems a shame that the compilation doesn't include anything from the first 2 albums (ie RTF version 1) which featured Flora Purim and some lovely melodies uncluttered by OTT electronics.
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on 18 September 2009
Great to hear four masters of their instruments in their younger days (their prime?) If you like jazz, rock and groove with lots of improv this is for you.
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on 19 October 2014
Great tracks but do I want to listen to a whole album in one sitting. Needs to be diluted with tracks from other jazz CDs
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on 31 August 2015
Excellent
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2009
This is getting quite ridiculous, for years i've been trying to find music like this and finally ive found it.
Return to forever sound wonderful,that mid to late 70s jazz funk style coupled with awesome playing is just sublime.
So why why why have they killed this beautiful music by remastering it too loud?
I just dont get it.
I cannot believe nobody has noticed that this is just compressed and distorted and has zero dynamic range!
I'm beginning to wonder if some of these musicians have a hearing problem,surely by over seeing the project they must know it's too loud surely!
I put the cd on at a very low volume and it just blasted out...terrible.
I'm going to try the normal cds instead because the music is wonderful but i'm not listening to something so overly jacked in volume and ruin my hearing.
So back to the drawing board.
Wonderful band but all lost with seriously poor sound.
Here's hoping the single albums sound better.
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