Mahavishnu Orchestra: In My Life
In My Life
Inner Worlds (Columbia CK 52923)
Composed by John McLaughlin & Narada Michael Walden.
Recorded: Le Chateau Herouville, France, July-August 1975
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
As are the other vocal numbers on Inner Worlds, "In My Life" was a huge surprise. Its vocal sections are as close to pop music as the band ever got. Not everyone appreciated that. I would include myself in that crowd. There is no denying the song is good. Even the vocals have meaning. Walden does a fine job interpreting them. We also get to hear John McLaughlin and keyboard player Stu Goldberg sing backing vocals! The opening acoustic guitar arpeggio is one of the more thrilling McLaughlin ever played. Bassist Armstrong effectively provides the electric anchor for this otherwise acoustic and claimed drummer-less performance. (I hear a gentle drumbeat coming from someplace. There must be an error in the credits.) McLaughlin slays with his 12-string solo. This is all great stuff held back somewhat by intrusive vocals. At least that is the way most fusion fans viewed this music. They still didn't view the new Mahavishnu Orchestra, now a power quartet, as a sellout. That was because the spiritual lyrics and fusion instrumental sections still prevented "In My Life" from being heard on the radio. It made you wonder, though. What then was the purpose of the new direction? Maybe it was just to take a new direction.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky