Mahavishnu Orchestra: All in the Family


All in the Family


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Inner Worlds (Columbia CK 52923)

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John McLaughlin (guitar, guitar synthesizer), Stu Goldberg (keyboards), Ralphe Armstrong (bass), Narada Michael Walden (drums).

Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: Le Chateau Herouville, France, July-August 1975


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

"All in the Family" was the first cut on Mahavishnu's Inner Worlds. It was an auspicious introduction of John McLaughlin's brand new guitar synthesizer. No one had ever heard anything like it before. It was difficult to play this early invention because there was a noticeable delay between attack and result. McLaughlin had to play the music ahead of its time! Despite that issue, McLaughlin and the band kick some serious ass on this number. Narada Michael Walden's aggressive African-influenced drumming serves as introduction. He is soon joined by Ralphe Armstrong's rolling bassline and strategically placed Stu Goldberg electric piano chords. Then we hear the clarion call of McLaughlin's new axe. What a sound! It was not from this planet. He switches back and forth between it and his straight electric. In effect, he calls and responds to himself. Goldberg matches him in unison from time to time, then takes a devilish organ solo. All the while Walden and Armstrong continue keeping up the frenetic pace. Goldberg and McLaughlin later climb the proverbial scale ladder to blast this baby into the outer worlds. This song portended well for the rest of the album, but it turned out the new technology's best use was on "All in the Family."

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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