(1976) is the sixth studio album of fusion
band Return to Forever
is the band's best selling record reaching eventual sales of 500,000 copies. It was the group's first album made for Columbia Records
, which may have had a positive effect on sales. This is also the first jazz-rock album by Return to Forever that was not recorded at New York
's Record Plant Studios
(instead it was recorded entirely at Caribou Ranch
), as well as the first to be credited solely to Return to Forever, removing the "featuring Chick Corea" moniker. The album is more avant-garde and less funky than the band's previous album, No Mystery
The medieval theme of the album was perhaps inspired by similar themes being used by some leading progressive rock
bands of the time. The album is famous for its technically demanding playing. Fast, unison lines can be heard on many tracks.
Chick Corea contributed the longest compositions and the other members each composed one piece. The first track, Corea's "Medieval Overture", with its distinctive melodic motifs, sets the mood for the rest of the album. Lenny White
's "Sorceress" starts with a funky riff and is distinguished by Corea's synthesizers. The title track is fully acoustic. It has a long intro, which is followed by a short theme consisting of one riff. Each group member (excluding White) plays a long solo. In the end, an extended outro follows, during which fast unison patterns are heard. Al Di......