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Devotion [Original recording remastered]

John McLaughlinAudio CD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension: The Fine Line


John McLaughlin (born 4 January, 1942 in Doncaster), also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English jazz fusion guitarist and composer. He played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his landmark electric jazz-fusion albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. His 1970s electric band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex ... Read more in Amazon's John McLaughlin Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1971
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B00005N8VL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Devotion
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6. Purpose Of When

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1969 Jazz- Rock, Blues Trailblazing September 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
First, purchase the 1992 Restless/Metrotone Original CD release of this music which is not a remaster from a vinyl record but is from the original studio Master Tape from the 1969-1970 Alan Douglas, Stefan Bright production. "Devotion" must be clearly heard without distractions.

This music is very important in that it is a continuation along the trail blazed by Jimi Hendrix (Electric Ladyland and the Band of Gypsys ), The Cream (Wheels of Fire), Miles Davis (Miles in the Sky, In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew) and The Tony Williams Lifetime (Emergency and Turn it Over the latter recording included drummer Tony Williams, John McLaughlin , Larry Young (Khalid Yasin) and bassist Jack Bruce).

John McLaughlin began this journey jamming with Graham Bond, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker with the Graham Bond Organization back in 1964 in London blues clubs, when the world was intensly focused on the Beatles and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" music.

As we fast-forward 5 years to 1969, New York City, John has been initiated into the Miles Davis Directions movement with The Tony Williams Lifetime being his main focus for his evolving musical talents. Jimi Hendrix was also in New York successfully taking the electric guitar far beyond traditional rock borders, and John, with the music of Devotion, is attempting to tap this base and create one of his own. Guitarist Eric Clapton and the Cream in 1968 were also expanding the boundaries of rock and blues jamming as can be clearly heard on the recording "Wheels of Fire" on the portions that were recorded live at the Fillmore.

Devotion is the crucial mix of a Jazz-Rock, Blues guitarist, a Jazz keyboardist, a Blues/Rock drummer (very similar to Ginger Baker), and a Rock/Blues Bassist with slight overtones of the Beatles.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars QUESTIONABLE REMASTERING August 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I bought this item on the strength of the REMASTERING claim, only to discover that a vinyl edition of the recording was used - and it shows. At various points, analogue hiss can be discerned and even a crackle or two. This re-release does the magnificent original recording a disservice. It is time this fusion classic was given the state-of-the-art remake it deserves. Plus, there must also be a number of unreleased tracks still lying in Douglas Records` vaults. However, once again, the music industry is asleep at the wheel...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the import August 13, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Let me start out my saying that Devotion is an excellent album that any John Mclaughlin fan or fan of early fusion should own. This album would definately receive a five star vote from me. So I suppose you are wondering why the three star rating then. It is do to the remastering of this album. Now usually I am a big advocate of remastering albums, it brings the music to today's standards making them sound more fresh and new. But this remastering is full of scrathes, chips, and burps for lack of better terms, it makes the recording annoying and just plain ticks me off. I also own the import of Devotion, and on a side to side comparison that one sounds just as good without the annoyances that I stated this album has. Futhermore the import is only [price] so you don't have to worry about paying more for this fantastic album. Do yourself a favor and get the import and not the flawed domestic release.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How Dare They Call It "Remastered"? August 14, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This edition of DEVOTION sounds as bad as a cd can. The sound of the cd seems to have pops and needle scrapes of this being re-recorded from...the lp! If you can find older editions of this music on cd or lp, you will get much much better sound for your money.
As to the music itself, it is merely McLaughlin aping Hendrix. The acidtrip cover says it all. While the backing band--which includes the late, great organist Larry Young--is aggressive and able, the tracks are dull psychedelic jams, chromatic riff-o-rama, and unintelligent mixing and producing. This album gives no clue that McLaughlin would later help create such electric masterworks as BIRDS OF FIRE. The music itself gets maybe two stars.
Potential buyers should know that John McLaughlin himself has condemned this album as a whack job done by the ham-handed producer Alan Douglas. So beware!
Overall, this cd sounds terrible and the music is marginally interesting.
Save your money for the great McLaughlin albums: BIRDS OF FIRE, VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND, anything by Shakti or Remember Shakti, TIME REMEMBERED, MY GOALS BEYOND, and FRIDAY NIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Album, not this release July 10, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
If you love Hendrix, or the Larry Coryell of Barefoot Boy, or the guitar-playing on Miles Davis' Jack Johnson (part McLaughlin, and part Sonny Sharrock, apparently), then find a good edition of this album, because it is very good. I loved it when it was first released (heard it in 1969, I think), and it has held up. I must have bought a dozen or more copies back then for friends in Ireland who could not get it. McL dismisses this album, as do Jazz & Pop reviewers, and the Penguin Jazz book, but listen to it, and decide for yourself. There was a flow, a spontaneity, and a sense of excitement here that was entirely missing (for me) in all of the stilted Mahavishnu recordings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good enough May 16, 2010
Format:Audio CD
While Devotion definitely isn't in the same league as the mind-blowingly fantastic and rock-solid intense jazz fusion creation that is the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it does have its moments.

What immediately surprises me the most about Devotion is that it's not nearly as tightly constructed as say, any given Mahavishnu Orchestra album. This is most definitely a dated, psychedelic album with just sprinkes of McLaughlin's guitar magic (that being his furious and passionate guitar solos- the album simply doesn't contain THAT many of them).

The songwriting also feels rather aimless, like McLaughlin wasn't quite sure which direction he wanted to take at the time it was recorded.

That's actually a disappointment since I am a HUGE Mahavishnu Orchestra fan so I probably assumed wrong and went in expecting more or less the same kind of furious passion as the Inner Mounting Flame, for example.

However, a part of me must also remember that this album was released *before* Mahavishnu Orchestra was formed, so with THAT in mind, Devotion is interesting for the sake of curiosity and for the sake of finding out where McLaughlin's groundbreaking formula began, even when the songwriting definitely doesn't compare to anything from the Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Apocalypse, and Visions of the Emerald Beyond.

Devotion also contains some McLaughlin ideas that he'd use for his Mahavishnu Orchestra albums in the near future, so it's interesting to hear them in this context.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good psychedelic jamming!
This is an odd ball in the Mclaughlin catalog. Don't expect his jazzrock fusion wizardry as in other albums from this period. Read more
Published on April 14, 2007 by Speedy
3.0 out of 5 stars rock disgression for laughlin
this album has been remastered from the vinyl copy(i'm in accordance with billynorm usa)and however i think it deserve an accurate best packaging with bonus tracks ,booklet and... Read more
Published on November 15, 2004 by pietro anania
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT aping Hendrix, NOT remastered
McLaughlin could have easily "aped" Hendrix, but he never did. Even though Buddy Miles (who stank up every session he ever played on) plays on it, I love this album, but... Read more
Published on February 6, 2003 by W. Messman
4.0 out of 5 stars So Devoted
I have always loved John McLaughlin's music. So when they rereleased his album, Devotion, I was sure to pick one up. Read more
Published on June 21, 2002 by Ricky Baldado
5.0 out of 5 stars This is got to be one of the best McLaughlin cd's ever
Hey...forget what everyone else might have said about this you like really trippy jam rock/jazz? Well, if you do this is about as good as it gets. Read more
Published on May 30, 2002 by D. Rapport
4.0 out of 5 stars this album is trippy fusion
The first guy who wrote a review saying that McLaughlin was "aping Hendrix" is stupid. This album is awesome, far more harmonically elegant than Hendrix usually was. Read more
Published on March 8, 2002 by blong
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