Mahavishnu Orchestra: Open Country Joy
Open Country Joy
Birds of Fire (Columbia CK 66081)
Jerry Goodman (violin), Rick Laird (bass guitar), Billy Cobham (drums).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: London and New York, August and September 1972
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
For the first 70 seconds of "Open Country Joy," the MO takes us to a very calm and comfortable place. Goodman is playing a lovely violin. Hammer is on his Rhodes, producing idyllic runs. McLaughlin is playing simple but catchy semi-country licks on the 12-string. Laird and Cobham are helping to keep things light. But, at the 71-second mark, all hell breaks loose. The instruments are turned up to "11." The standard time signature changes to 6/8 and the music quickly reaches terminal velocity. The peacefulness of the meadow has been suddenly overwhelmed by a rogue thunderstorm. Shards of lightning come shooting off the guitar, Moog and violin. The drummer and bassist produce thunderclaps. Sheets of notes fall from the sky. But just as quickly as it came, it is gone. The sun shines through the quickly dissipating clouds. The birds begin to sing again. A rainbow forms as the band leads us back into a state of tranquility.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky