16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Mahavishnu Orchestra at its best,
By A Customer
This review is from: Birds Of Fire (Audio CD)
'Birds of Fire' was the Mahavishnu Orchestra at its peak. It's more polished than its predecessor, 'The Inner Mounting Flame', while lacking none of that raw, visceral energy. To some ears it will still sound a little rough compared to what has happened since in the fusion area, but there is more than enough heart in it to compensate. It makes so much other fusion music seem, while technically adept, calculated and clinical by comparison. The rapport between the five players is truly remarkable, especially when McLaughlin, Hammer and Goodman trade ever shorter bursts of improvisation, in the manner (though not the style!) of Indian musicians (eg, 'The Word'). If you enjoy instrumental improvisation at the highest level within the big rock sound world, this album is a must-have. It's been remastered very nicely too, so everything is as clear as a bell - or as clear as it can be among all that heavy distortion!
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Initial post: 12 Dec 2011 12:28:33 GMT
I agree with what you say about the album being 'rough' in comparison with more recent work. But that is the magic of Birds of Fire, imo. The soloing by McLaughlin on the first track, eg, is stunning, magical, mind-blowing, but what makes it special for me is how it teeters on the edge of chaos. You just don't know how he holds on, which is thrilling. This is not safe music, but challenging and about as spiritual as music gets.
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