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Birds of Fire is the second studio album by American jazz fusion band the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It was released on January 3, 1973 by Columbia Records and is the last studio album released by the original band line-up before it dissolved.

Birds of Fire
MahavishnuOrchestraBirdsOfFirealbumcover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 3, 1973
RecordedAugust 1972
StudioCBS Studios, New York
Trident Studios, London
GenreJazz fusion, progressive rock
Length39:53
LabelColumbia
ProducerMahavishnu Orchestra
Mahavishnu Orchestra chronology
The Inner Mounting Flame
(1971)
Birds of Fire
(1973)
Between Nothingness & Eternity
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[4]
Sputnikmusic5/5[3]

As with the group's previous album, The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire consists solely of compositions by John McLaughlin. These include the track "Miles Beyond (Miles Davis)", which McLaughlin dedicated to his friend and former bandleader.

In addition to the standard 2-channel stereo album there was also a 4-channel quadraphonic version released during the 1970s. This appeared on LP in the SQ matrix format.

A remastered version of the album was released on CD in 2000 by Sony Music Entertainment. It features a new set of liner notes by JazzTimes critic Bill Milkowski, as well as photographs of the band. In 2015 the album was re-issued on Super Audio CD by Audio Fidelity containing both the stereo and quad mixes.

The back cover of the album features the poem "Revelation" by Sri Chinmoy.

Contents

ReceptionEdit

Reviewing the album for All About Jazz in 2002, Walter Kolosky said of the title track:

"Birds of Fire," which opens up the album, is a fusion classic. John McLaughlin scares the hell out of his guitar with his melodic convulsions. If you ever want to frighten a musical neophyte, turn your stereo up really loud and play the cover tune - it's guaranteed to send him or her fleeing.[5]

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by John McLaughlin.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Birds of Fire"5:50
2."Miles Beyond" (dedicated to Miles Davis)4:47
3."Celestial Terrestrial Commuters"2:54
4."Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love"0:24
5."Thousand Island Park"3:23
6."Hope"1:59
Side two
No.TitleLength
7."One Word"9:57
8."Sanctuary"5:05
9."Open Country Joy"3:56
10."Resolution"2:09

PersonnelEdit

MusiciansEdit

TechnicalEdit

  • Ken Scott, Jim Green – audio engineer
  • Ashok (Chris Poisson) – album design
  • Nathan Weiss – Management
  • Pranavananda – photography

ChartsEdit

Album Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 15[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ginell, Richard S.. Birds of Fire at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 2, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  3. ^ Fisher, Tyler. "Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds of Fire (album review 3) | Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  4. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 135. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  5. ^ Kolosky, Walter. "Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds of Fire". All About Jazz. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Birds of Fire - Mahavishnu Orchestra | Awards | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014.

External linksEdit