The story of Mahavishnu Orchestra: Devotional, dizzying, and downright revolutionary

Metal Hammer

It was late 1973, and Jeff Beck needed to take shelter from the chill winds blowing around his latest band, the supergroup trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. The guitarist had retreated to his country pile in East Sussex, where he indulged his passion for working on hot rods.

One day, while on his back under one of those mean machines, hammering and spannering and cutting fingers that had already produced some of the most jaw-dropping guitar playing ever heard, he stopped suddenly. His attention had been caught by the music playing on the car radio. It was a sound he’d never heard before: thundering drums powered and underpinned a cacophony of guitar, synthesiser and electric violin. The band had a strange name to match their strange, new sound – Mahavishnu Orchestra.

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