Today's been a work day — the kind of work day accompanied by lots of music — and this Mahavishnu Orchestra song came on:
Every time this song pops up on my playlist I stop and think "Holy hell, I forgot how much ass this song kicks!" I remember first being introduced to it when I was 16 or 17 and how it launched me into what I thought was a love-affair with jazz fusion (Similar how opening up that article on Wikipedia is kicking off what will surely be a love-affair with how freaking rad Miles Davis looked through most of his career. Hell yeah.). True musical historians will quibble, but in my mind the genre pretty much begins, peaks and should've probably ended with that one song. Pretty much everything else done in that genres name is shit (I'm being unduly harsh. The real problem with that genre is it draws excellent musicians content to write terrible songs in the pursuit of technical wankery. You have to be a truly special instrumentalist, I think, to get me to look past that... Even then, I'm not so sure. I love Bireli, but compare the energy of that performance with this.).
The other thing I think about whenever this song comes on is how it must've seemingly come out of nowhere in 1971. That might explain why they opened for the Eagles, of all bands... But maybe that has more to do with how crazy the 70s were (If you read the rest of that interview with John McLaughlin he talks about opening for George Carlin, James Taylor and the The Who, albeit with Lifetime. Those are some adventurous pairings!).
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