RETURN TO FOREVER — Return to the Seventh Galaxy: The Anthology

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4.09 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 1996

Filed under Fusion
By RETURN TO FOREVER

Tracklist

Disc 1
1. 500 Miles High (9:08)
2. Captain Marvel (4:55)
3. Light as a Feather (10:59)
4. Spain (14:18)
5. After the Cosmic Rain (8:45)
6. Bass Folk Song (7:00)
7. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (3:31)
8. Captain Señor Mouse (9:02)
9. Theme to the Mothership (8:46)

Total Time: 76:28

Disc 2
1. Vulcan Worlds (7:54)
2. Beyond the Seventh Galaxy (3:17)
3. Earth Juice (3:49)
4. The Shadow of Lo (9:10)
5. Where Have I Known You Before (2:19)
6. Song to the Pharoah Kings (14:23)
7. Dayride (3:28)
8. No Mystery (6:12)
9. Flight of the Newborn (7:25)
10. Celebration Suite (Part I & II) (13:58)

Total Time: 72:00

Line-up/Musicians

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Al DiMeola (tracks: 2.01 to 2.10)
Bass – Stanley Clarke (tracks: 1.01 to 1.06)
Bass [Acoustic & Electric], Organ [Yamaha], Synthesizer, Vocals – Stanley Clarke (tracks: 2.01 to 2.10)
Bass [Electric & Fuzz], Bell Tree – Stanley Clarke (tracks: 1.07 to 1.09)
Drums – Steve Gadd (tracks: 1.04 to 1.06)
Drums, Percussion – Airto Moreira (tracks: 1.01 to 1.03)
Drums, Percussion, Congas, Bongos – Lenny White (tracks: 1.07 to 1.09)
Drums, Percussion, Congas, Marimba – Lenny White (tracks: 2.01 to 2.10)
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Bill Connors (tracks: 1.07 to 1.09)
Electric Piano – Chick Corea (tracks: 1.01 to 1.06)
Guitar – Bill Connors (tracks: 1.04 to 1.06)
Percussion – Mingo Lewis (tracks: 1.04 to 1.06)
Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Organ [Yamaha], Synthesizer, Drums [Snare Drum], Marimba, Vocals – Chick Corea (tracks: 2.01 to 2.10)
Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Gong [Gongs] – Chick Corea (tracks: 1.07 to 1.09)
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute – Joe Farrell (tracks: 1.01 to 1.03)
Vocals, Percussion – Flora Purim (tracks: 1.01 to 1.03)

About this release

Verve Records – 533 108-2 (US)

An anthology of recordings made from 1972 to 1975 by bands assembled by Chick Corea under the name "Return to Forever." The album is a compilation of tracks from the four Polygram studio albums, Light as a Feather, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I Known You Before and No Mystery together with four previously unreleased live tracks (including a very funky 14 minute version of "Spain")

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
A rather strange series of XXth anniversary edition of RTF (I’ve seen the same treatment for Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi era) that holds a few surprises and a few disappointments as well. First of all, this compilation only concerns the Polydor albums, meaning that RTF’s debut album on ECM and the later two albums on CBS get the cold shoulder treatment. Can one imagine a RTF compilation without tracks from Romantic Warrior? Actually since I think RW is so over-rated, that this omission is half forgiven, as is the ignoring of their last (poor) album, but I don’t think the debut album should’ve gotten ignored. In either case,, this compilation’s name gives a clear reference to what I think is their best album.

While the better tracks of LAAF are featured on this compilation, one of the pleasant surprise is to find the superb 14-mins Spain in a live version with an intermediary line-up that had never recorded: it is a different version of the line-up that’s featured on the Seventh Galaxy album, with Bill Connors in place, but Mingo Lewis (ex-Santana) on percussions and Steve Gadd on drums. This three-track radio session is the only real “gift” but what a gift it is: not only is the Spain version awesome with its fairly different interpretation, but there is also a completely unknown track getting a release: Bass Folk Song. All three tracks are absolute musts and this previously unavailable line-up smokes. Clarke’s bow on his stand-up bass provides a cello-like drama for Spain’s introduction, while the previously unavailable Bass Folk Song is an awesome romp through the group’s instrumental prowess. Should there one day be a remastering of the Seventh Galaxy album, there is no doubt that these three tracks should belong as bonus tracks.

Three more tracks are taken from the Seventh Galaxy album, which means that only Space Circus is missing from what is clearly the group’s crowning achievement. The second disc concentrates on the first two albums with ADM on guitar, the editors just choosing to opt for a live version of Shadows Of Io, so there is little surprise here. The track selection from those two albums is correct and does justice to those albums. As I said above, I have a few reservations about the albums selection process and calling this compilation “thing” an anthology, but then again the tracks chosen give a real good introduction of RTF’s works outside the RW album, that owning this “thing” and the RW album could be almost everything you needed, if the debut album had gotten a bit of a sunshine as well.

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