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Apocalypse

John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu OrchestraAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Price: $6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Apocalypse + Visions of the Emerald Beyond + Between Nothingness & Eternity
Price for all three: $19.03

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMYCI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Power of Love
2. Vision Is a Naked Sword
3. Smile of the Beyond
4. Wings of Karma
5. Hymn to Him

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This work is one of my favorites and has remained so for more than 2 decades. In 1974, I went to see Mahavishnu Orchestra play in a small theatre in the round. The opening band was to have been "Poco", but they had equipment problems (luckily), and, as a consequence, Mahavishnu Orchestra came out early and played for more than 3 hours. It was absolutely sensational--one could say a real spiritual experience.
They played their new "Apocalypse" album in its entirety. John McLaughlin, who wrote the music, and the superb violinist, Jean-Luc Ponty, were extraordinary, as they are on the album. Drummer Narada Michael Walden was equally thrilling. The band's amazing bass player, Ralphe Armstrong, was only 18 years old at the time of the recording, and his playing was also dazzling. Gayle Moran plays keyboards and sings on "Smile of the Beyond", a delightful piece of music. The band was accompanied by a string quartet which managed to capture the power of the orchestral arrangement of the album, adding to the electrifying performance.
Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the London Symphony Orchestra on this album. George Martin, producer of the Beatles' albums, produced the album. The combination of these unsurpassed geniuses adds even greater dynamism to this tremendous work.
Listening to the album provides a deep and rich musical experience that may take the listener some time to acquire, but it is completely worth spending the time. The album leads off with "The Power of Love," a subtle yet powerful acoustic guitar piece, followed by the thrilling "Vision is a Naked Sword," a tour de force, truly momentous in its dynamism, reaching a crescendo as powerful as any in Stravinsky's music.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Flawed and Brave Experiment by Johnny Mac December 22, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Ever the restless experimenter, John McLaughlin decided to soldier on after the acrimonious breakup of the first Mahavishnu Orchestra. He had an even grander musical vision in mind. First he put together a larger version of the band, and not being content to stop there, bought in the heavy artillery, known as the London Symphony Orchestra, tapped one Michael Gibbs to do the orchestral arrangements, enlisted the services of a young up and coming conductor in Michael Tilson Thomas, who had a taste for the adventurous and unconventional. And to cap it off, Johnny Mac enlisted the services of Beatles producer George Martin to capture this grand experiment on tape.

Did the bold experiment work? For the most part, it did.

We begin with "Power of Love", where the orchestra plays a quiet and somber understated theme as Jean Luc Ponty spins forth a haunting melody on his electric violin and McLaughlin adds poignant acoutsic guitar. But this is just a prelude to something very unsettling.

That unsettling something being "Vision Is A Naked Sword". Beginning with a rumbling gong, both the band and the Symphony unleash an ominous "Wrath of God" reworking of the main theme of "Dance of The Maya" and in doing so, nearly scaring the crap out of you, with Johnny Mac peeking out with his trademark scary dissonant arpeggios. From there things get even more jarring and intense, as J Mac and Ponty trade off phrases, Narada Michael Walden interjects and the band plays a fine game of volleying riffs back and forth before things draw to a terrifying orchestral close. WOW!!!!

Next up, "Smile Of The Beyond" is a attempt to lighten the mood after having the fear of God put in you. As the strings come in, Gayle Moran (the future Mrs.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Mastery March 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD
If there were ever an album that needed a remastering to SACD or even to DVD 96/48 its this one. It deserves every last point on each of its five stars, save one. The recording quality is not that good. Theres a lot of hiss and the editing is sloppy in places (like some of the cuts between the band and the orchestra). Other than that, it is of my top 5 favorite albums out of a collection of close to 1000. It is definitely of the most deeply spiritual recordings ever made (up there with Kohntarkosz by Magma, and A Love Supreme by Coltrane).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly McLaughlin's best and most complex April 27, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is version 2 of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which recorded two ablums (this and Vision of the Emerald Beyond) and toured mostly intact (sometimes as warm up for Jeff Beck in his jazz stage). They sound nothing like the original quintet and John McLaughlin is the only member in both versions. This version features Jean Luc Ponty, Ralphe Armstrong and Micheal Walden. This album is nothing like anything John McLaughlin has ever done, including the follow up Vision of the Emerald Beyond. On this album, the band, which is big enough to be an orchestra on its own, is backed by the London Symphony Orcherstra. The result is a fantastic, complex and lush sound. The 20 minute Hymn to Him is an amazing, complete composition, featuring incredible duets between orchestra and guitar. This album does include some vocals, which help make Smile of the Beyond a stunning 8 minute track (it was even more impressive played live). This being a jazz album over 50 minutes in length and featuring an orchestra, it might be expected to drag in some parts. But all of the compositions are strong and varied and it only slows down a little bit during Vision Is a Naked Sword.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My Heroes Have Always Been Guitar Players... LOL
To have been alive during the time Mahavishnu Orchestra was making music is one of the high points of my musical life. I only wish I could have seen them live (both incarnations). Read more
Published 15 days ago by POBIII
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful
A wonderful expression of Mahavishnu through a full symphony orchestra.
Many of the themes remind me of my favorite parts of Birds Of Fire.
Published 1 month ago by Drala
5.0 out of 5 stars great on cd
they were pioneers in the genre, have been a fan since there was MO. great on cd, greater in concert (back in the day).
Published 1 month ago by brmargvil
2.0 out of 5 stars somewhat disappointed
had seen a show on the 'author' of the music - his life and times and thought this would be interesting - more interesting - it wasn't/ isn't - i am disappointed and find i do not... Read more
Published 2 months ago by ReaderViews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Speaks to my past, of how life in my early days was. This particular recording always brings a peaceful experience to my life.
Published 8 months ago by Calvin Singleton
5.0 out of 5 stars It Finally Grew On Me
I bought "Apocalypse" back in the '90s when it first came out on CD after owning copies of the three albums which preceded it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kenneth E. Macalister Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Was this really necessary?
Once the first Mahavishnu Orchestra imploded, John McLaughlin quickly formed a second lineup. He also tried something genuinely different on that lineup's first album, adding an... Read more
Published 16 months ago by G B
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
This was a gift and was and it was very very much appreciated by the person who received the CD
Published 19 months ago by K
4.0 out of 5 stars McLaughlin goes orchestral to impressive result
Following the demise of his truly great jazz fusion quintet, the first-generation Mahavishnu Orchestra at the end of 1973, John McLaughlin immediately embarked on a more ambitious... Read more
Published 22 months ago by The Guardian
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I don't get it
It've known the music of Mahavishnu for years. Maybe not since 1974, but for a while. And I don't get this album. I never got it, and I still don't get it. Read more
Published on July 15, 2012 by LB
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