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Return to Forever: The Anthology

To commemorate the first Return to Forever tour in over 25 years comes this excellent 2 CD collection of the best material that this band ever recorded. For those not familiar with the band here's a little history-Return to Forever was a band created by Chick Corea after the keyboard legend left Miles Davis' electric group. At first RTF were more of an acoustic ensemble, but after two albums of lighter fare, the band decided to turn things up a notch, and with the new line-up of Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White, and guitarist Billy Connors, the band delivered the killer Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy in 1973. This release made the world stand up and take notice with its blend of jazz and rock, the songs highly complex yet melodic, with just the right amount of classical and latin flavors. With bands like RTF, The Mahavishu Orchestra, Tony Williams Lifetime, Weather Report, and of course Miles David, fusion was born. Shortly after, Connors left the band and in came 19 year old guitar prodigy Al DiMeola. The rest is history.

Back to The Anthology, this really is the only compilation you need to look into if you don't have the four individual CD's for Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I Known You Before, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior. While obviously some songs are missing here, you do get the entire HOTSG, most of the main tracks from WHIKYB & No Mystery, and all of Romantic Warrior, and the remastered sound is simply spectacular. In addition, the booklet is fabulous, filled with vintage photos and commentary from Bob Belden as well as the band members. Hearing classic tunes like "Captain Señor Mouse", "Hymn Of The 7th Galaxy", "Song To The Pharoah Kings", "No Mystery", and "Medieval Overture" with modern remastering technology applied will send shivers up and down your spine. Hearing Corea's wild Fender Rhodes & Moog flights in this light are just awesome, and throw in Clarke's gymnastic bass grooves, DiMeola's searing guitar licks, and White's busy, funky drum work, and you have a recipe for success.

So, if you have all the four RTF albums represented here, you still might want to shell out the cash for this great sounding set. If you have yet to explore the mighty Return to Forever, now is the time. Then grab a ticket and check them out on tour at a theater near you.

Track Listing
1. Hymn Of The 7th Galaxy
2. After the Cosmic Rain
3. Captain Señor Mouse
4. Theme To The Mothership
5. Space Circus
6. The Game Maker
7. Vulcan Worlds
8. The Shadow Of Lo
9. Beyond The Seventh Galaxy
10. Song To The Pharoah Kings
1. Dayride
2. Sofistifunk
3. No Mystery
4. Celebration Suite
5. Medieval Overture
6. Sorceress
7. The Romantic Warior
8. Majestic Dance
9. The Magician
10. Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant (Part I And II)

Added: June 2nd 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Return to Forever Website
Hits: 2729
Language: english

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