Mahavishnu Orchestra Apocalypse  

George Martin, the famous producer of the Beatles, produced this recording which featured the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by a young Michael Tilson Thomas. Martin has stated in interviews he considers this album to be one of the greatest he's ever produced and to this day says he and McLaughlin "got along like a house on fire" because McLaughlin was a truly brilliant and knowledgeable musician. Who are we to argue with George?

McLaughlin's compositional skills stand out on Apocalypse. (After all, by late 1974, when this album was released, we all knew he could play)! Jean Luc Ponty made his violinic debut with Mahavishnu Orchestra on this album and truly added to McLaughlin's inspired compositions. The low-light of Apocalypse is the misinformed "Smile of the Beyond". (Shorten the tune and deep-six the vocals).

The rest of the album is pure unadulterated bliss. (Wasn't that a Chinmoy poem)?

Apparently, to play this music live with a symphony orchestra was a technical nightmare. McLaughlin occasionally speaks upon the technical requirements of the day and in particular an unpleasant but eventually pleasing experience with the America's Buffalo Symphony Orchestra.

Walter Kolosky

Walter Kolosky is a jazz fan and founder of who lives in Braintree, MA, USA


1. Power of Love - (4:18)
2. Vision Is a Naked Sword - (14:18)
3. Smile of the Beyond - (8:00)
4. Wings of Karma - (6:06)
5. Hymn to Him - (19:19)

John McLaughlin - electric guitars, vocals
Jean-Luc Ponty - electric violin,

electric baritone violin
Gayle Moran - keyboards, vocals
Ralphe Armstrong - bass,
electric bass guitar, vocals
Michael Walden - drums, percussion, vocals
Carol Shive - violin, vocals
Marsha Westbrook - viola
Philip Hirschi - cello, vocals
The London Symphony Orchestra
led by Hugh Beau
Michael Tilson Thomas - piano (1.), conductor
Michael Gibbs - orchestrator

All songs written by John McLaughlin except
lyrics to "Smile Of The Beyond" by Mahalakshmi.

Recorded at AIR Studios, London, March 1974.
Produced by George Martin.

  Sony 467092 (p) 1974