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The Inner Mounting Flame Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 18, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Columbia / Legacy
  • ASIN: B00701QRJU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,331 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Mahavishnu Orchestra's 1971 debut album _The Inner Mounting Flame_ is a treasure in the world of fusion. It's rhythmically complex and involved, but dynamic and fiery. Jazz-inflected rock made accessible to nearly anyone who appreciates rock with sophistication. But, sophisticated doesn't necessarily mean feeble, as this music is bursting with energy and intensity.

Guitarist John McLaughlin (who had worked with Miles Davis not too long before this album and band came together) composed all of these tracks, which are spirituality-oriented - as evidenced by some of the song titles. These spiritual leanings can be latched onto, or they can simply be ignored - intentionally or inadvertently, either way, the music is powerful enough to outweigh any cogitation on the underlying motives of the music. It more than likely will grab hold of you in the biggest way possible, regardless of your disposition towards spirituality. While virtuosic musicianship is abound, you'd be challenged to call this nothing more than a tasteless exhibition of technical prowess. There's plenty of meat with flavor in this smorgasbord.

"Meeting of the Spirits" opens up with a suspended musical atmosphere, full of ominous tension, and fairly explosive drum pyrotechnics from Billy Cobham. What follows is a slightly angular, yet tasty rhythmic combo comprised of passionate guitar soloing from McLaughlin, tasteful, complementary violin work, thumping basslines, and flavor-filled snare hits from Cobham. Of course, his snare drumming is not the only thing impressive here, and on the album in general. An excellent opener.

"Dawn" is an extremely beautiful ballad-like number with a 7/4-ish rhythm, and exhibits subtle touches of R&B, jazz and modern classical.
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Format: Audio CD
Having just recorded with Miles Davis (Tribute to Jack Johnson, 1971), guitarist extraordinaire John McLaughlin and thunderous drummer Billy Cobham joined together with Jan Hammer (electric and acoustic piano), violinist Jerry Goodman, and electric/acoustic bassist Rick Laird to produce this remarkable 1971 debut. The approach taken on the Inner Mounting Flame fused the energy of rock with an admixture of jazz, resulting in a rock-jazz hybrid (with an emphasis on the rock side of the equation).

The music on this album simply burns and at times the intensity is frightening. Odd meters abound (e.g. 5/8, 9/8, although even more exotic meters are used), with numerous and hairpin metric shifts and some really weird root movements. McLaughlin plays with such passion, volume, and sheer speed that he makes contemporary electric guitar "shredmasters" look like they are moving in slow motion...or simply asleep. Although this album really knocks you for a loop, there are also some great grooves and quieter, more calm and reflective moments (A Lotus on Irish Streams). All of the guys in the band are excellent musicians and most importantly, they listen to one another - as a result there is some excellent interplay, especially between McLaughlin, Hammer, and Goodman. Cobham of course is a true virtuoso and his superb technique never ceases to amaze. Last but not least, bassist Rick Laird is the anchor in the band and keeps everybody from launching into orbit around the Earth.

The remastering of this album is OK and features some detailed liner notes and good sound quality. Of course, as somebody who once owned this on vinyl, the CD will never hold the same magic, but the music will always be incredible, no matter what format it is presented in.

This landmark recording is very highly recommended along with the follow-up album Birds of Fire (1973).
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Format: Audio CD
There are just some experiences you NEVER forget, and for me, at age 15 was hearing this groundbreaking disc by The Mahavishnu Orchestra! My initial impressions were of complete awe, even a bit of terror, wonderment, curiosity and a determination to get my brain around this frighteningly intense yet very spiritual and lofty music. Years later, it STILL stirs many of those same feelings for me.

One of the most striking things aside from the music itself (a very natural, unforced vet fierce melding of Coltrane, Hendrix, blues and Indian ragas) was John McLaughlin's choice of musicians. Jerry Goodman was the only member of MO Mk I that had no previous jazz experience, yet was able to integrate his classical, folk and rock sensibilities into the mix very beautifully! Jan Hammer bought to the table an incredibly varied and colorful piano style and even turned in some SMOKING organ and Rhodes (a shame he didn't play more organ, he sounded GREAT on it!). Drummer Billy Cobham had just the right balance of sheer technique and soul (having logged in time with Miles Davis and James Brown among others). Bassist Rick Laird provided a solid bedrock for the others to build on, yet if you listened closely, he played very melodically in an understated way. Five VERY headstrong musical personalities like this coming together made for some exciting musical fireworks AND for some serious personal tensions (which would blow the band apart a couple years later), but in that brief time, revlutionized music!

1. Meeting Of The Spirits - Beginning with a powerful introduction of mysterious chords and swirling sounds, the band calls us to higher loftier realms, with McLaughlin playing EVERY NOTE as if his life dpended on it. Great opener with mesmerizing power and ferocity!

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