Emergency! (album)

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Studio album by The Tony Williams Lifetime
Released 1969
October 28, 1997 (reissue)
Genre Fusion
Length 70:24
Label Polydor/PolyGram Records
849 068

Verve/PolyGram Records
539 117 (1997 reissue)
The Tony Williams Lifetime chronology
Turn It Over
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]

Emergency! is a double album by The Tony Williams Lifetime. Released in 1969, it was the group's first album and one of the first significant jazz fusion recordings.[2] It has commonly been regarded as a pioneering, influential, and original album in the jazz, rock, and fusion genres.[3] It was issued on CD first by Polydor featuring a drastically altered digital remix and then later in remastered form featuring the original vinyl mix by Verve. A later CD edition (also using the original vinyl mix) was issued in the UK by Esoteric Records.

In the album, the band experiments with a wide range of genres, including funk, psychedelic rock, hard bop, blues and free jazz. Williams can also be heard singing on the record, on the songs "Beyond Games," "Where," "Via the Spectrum Road," and "Sangria for Three." It was during John McLaughlin's tenure with the band that Williams introduced the young guitarist to Miles Davis, who was conducting his own fusion explorations at the time. This introduction led to McLaughlin playing on some of Davis's most acclaimed and influential albums, including In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, and On the Corner. Davis had a particular influence on the band, as Williams had played in his "Second Great Quintet" with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock, and Larry Young would go on to record on Bitches Brew.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Emergency" (Williams) – 9:35
  2. "Beyond Games" (Williams) – 8:17
Side two
  1. "Where" (McLaughlin) – 12:10
  2. "Vashkar" (Carla Bley) – 4:59
Side three
  1. "Via the Spectrum Road" (McLaughlin, Williams) – 7:49
  2. "Spectrum" (McLaughlin) – 8:50
Side four
  1. "Sangria for Three" (Williams) – 13:07
  2. "Something Spiritual" (Dave Herman) – 5:37



  • Elaine Gongora – Cover Design
  • James Isaacs – Liner Notes
  • Monte Kay – Producer
  • Jack Lewis – Producer
  • Sid Maurer – Art Direction, Photography
  • Joseph M. Palmaccio – Digital Mastering, Editing
  • Gene Radice – Engineer, Mixing
  • Paul Ramey – Reissue Producer
  • Phil Schaap – Liner Notes, Remastering, Restoration
  • Richard Seidel – Reissue Producer


External links[edit]