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The Anthology

29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 27, 2008
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The Anthology + The Mothership Returns [2 CD/DVD Combo] + Romantic Warrior
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Editorial Reviews

The ultimate anthology is the first to include the definitive tracks from all Return To Forever albums in on double CD package. All tracks have been digitally re-mixed and re-mastered from the original session tapes - all supervised by RTF: Return To Forever. The classic RTF lineup of keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke, guitarist Al DiMeola and drummer Lenny White. The Two CD set of a brand new collection of Chick Corea's classic jazz-rock fusion band Return To Forever's classic and chart-topping albums, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973) , Where Have I Known You Before (1974), No Mystery (1975) and Romantic Warrior (1976).

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 27, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Concord Jazz
  • ASIN: B0017V7HXY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,521 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By WillieB on June 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of songs is from the electric days (1973 - 1976) of RTF. Nothing is presented from their first two albums or final release. Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke personally selected the songs for this 2-disc anthology, two hours and twenty-nine minutes of music presented in chronological order, and it is spectacular. "Romantic Warrior" is one of my favorite fusion albums and on this collection it is presented in its entirety, as well as the entire "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy", another killer album that I haven't listened to in a long time. "Where Have I Known You Before" and "No Mystery" each have four of the best songs pulled from them.

Everything has been remixed and remastered and it sounds killer. I was worried the sound would be butchered like it has been for a lot of remastered discs. But this was done with care. The muddiness has been reduced but the lows are still punchy, and the overall volume and highs are not cranked to the point of insanity. Well done! The liner notes include a history of RTF, each band member provides some insights, and there are some cool photos. Highly recommended, and I hope they film some of the 2008 shows and release a DVD.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Les Moore on May 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
If you've heard the original tracks this blows them away. The new technology and standards really show up on this recording. The dynamic range is awesome and needs to be heard to be appreciated. We have the original recordings and put them up against the newly remastered/remixed ones here and that's where you can really tell the difference. And the price is unbelievable. To get this much great music for this priced is too good to pass up. See if you don't agree.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on May 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
As part of Return To Forever's ambitious 2008 World Tour, this 20-track, 2-CD set featuring music from the band's legendary catalog has been issued on Concord Records.

The selections are from Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), Where Have I Known You Before (1974), No Mystery (1975) and Romantic Warrior (1976). The original master tapes are remixed and remastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mick Guzauski.

An impressive booklet includes an array of photographs and recollections from each band member. This definitive collection is more than two hours of classic fusion from a band which was in the forefront of a revolution of sound and creativity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Borger on November 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I owned the first two Return To Forever albums on vinyl back in the seventies when they first were released. I remember them as excellent and worth hearing. Like many people, I sold off my vinyl albums and switched to CDs when the technology went that direction. The Return to Forever music went into my rear view mirror until I bought this Anthology set.

The music sounds better than ever thanks to improved production of sound via the cleaned up sound via digital work. I was blown away by the better sound immediately. The crisp and clear quality of the music sounds like a brand new recording compared to the old vinyl albums played on the old needle-based technology. The quality of the sound is startling.

The music stands up to time and then some. This is some of the best original music of the original fusion wave. The intensity of the music makes your hair stand on end. Chick Corea and the other RTF members were dead serious and in their intent and ultimately effective in their delivery of intellectually stimulating and hard-hitting visceral sounds that really take your spirit and mind on a great ride. This is some of the best fusion jazz ever made, and some of the best fusion jazz you will ever hear.

I cannot consider the music of Chic Corea and Return to Forever without thinking of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. When I compare the two, Return to Forever is intellectual first and viscreal second, although the music is wonderful. Mahavishnu Orchestra is pure visceral and emotional fire that just rocks and drives along with an unbelievable intensity. The intensity is there with Return to Forever, but set to simmer rather than blaze.

If you love jazz from the original fusion era, you will love the Return to Forever Anthology.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dazedcat on September 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
They may have not been the first fusion band to use the electric guitar as a lead instrument, but I think it's safe to say RTF was the best fusion band to come out of the post-Miles 70's era. Mahavishnu was great, but they never had the ensemble playing approach that RTF had. You can clearly hear it on this anthology. The solos are fierce, but they fit the concept of the song and not the other way around. One of the best things about this anthology (besides the price which is crazy) is that their two greatest albums are found on here in their entirety.

The remixing and the remastering is hard to fault, although as another reviewer pointed out the familiar studio enhanced ending to "Vulcan Worlds" is missing. Something as little as that can be jarring after you've heard the tune a certain way for over thirty years. However, I've never heard the remainder of the Polydor songs ever sound as good as what's found on here. You can hear Lenny White in all his power and swing like never before. For what it's worth, I prefer the Romantic Warrior album mix found on this collection too......and I never thought I'd be saying that when I first listened to it. It sounds more live and immediate here than on any other previous versions.

Opinions vary and those are mine. You really can't do much better than this for a comprehensive, sonically brilliant collection of the electric Return to Forever. They really were the best of the best.

I only hope that their re-union success this year leads to more music, either new or from Chicks' archives.
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