Tag Archives: Mahavishnu Orchestra

August 6th 1973 (Pt I)

“Rained all day – went up Trev’s, borrowed Tubular, In Rock, Birds of fire + Tonto’s”

I have written about Tonto’s Expanding Headband’s “Zero Time”  before.

Two out of the other three albums I borrowed on this day in 1973 require talking about at some length. So much so in fact that I plan to make this diary entry a “three parter”, doubtless a debatable practise for some readers… to whom I ap0logise in advance.

The one that – at least in my humble opinion – needs, by far, the smallest amount of time devoted to it is the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Birds of Fire”

Don’t get me wrong, I admire John McLaughlin and everything – especially the time he spent with the MIGHTY Miles Davis – and I admit he is an accomplished virtuoso guitarist. However, the material he did under the “Mahavishnu Orchestra” moniker was – for the best part – dull pretentious dreary rubbish. The pedigree is massive – fellow jazz greats Bily Cobham and Jan (“Miami Vice”) Hammer amongst the other band members – but the end result is 40 minutes of turgid nonsense.

I verified this a few weeks ago by pure coincidence. I discovered that – maybe for all the wrong reasons – I had a copy of the “Birds of Fire” CD loitering amongst my collection. I drove to the gym and back a few times listening to it in the car. It may be the reason I couldn’t WAIT to get to the gym?!

Tomorrow… find out everything you didn’t want to know about Deep Purple’s “In Rock”…


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An Aside – My “History of Music” Project: Part IX

My fascination for Dutch yodelling/guitar/hammond organ combos knows no bounds, stating that Focus were the first continental group to make a lasting impact. If only Holland was a ‘continent’ eh?

Having recently listed to a Mahavishnu Orchestra album again, I have NO CLUE as to why I would have referred to them as “magic”… unless it included a disappearing act?

A personal nod for Faust too. I had/have no shame.

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