Light as a Feather

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For 1979 album, see Azymuth.
Light as a Feather
Studio album by Return to Forever
Released 1973
Recorded 8 October and 15 October 1972 at I.B.C. Sound Recording Studios, London, England
Genre Jazz fusion
Length 45:28
Label Polydor
Producer Chick Corea
Return to Forever chronology
Return to Forever
Light as a Feather
Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 4/5 stars[3]

Light as a Feather (1973) is the second studio album of fusion band Return to Forever, led by pianist Chick Corea.


The first track is Corea's song, "You're Everything". Corea has stated that this is his favorite among the vocal songs he has written.[citation needed] The track begins with Flora Purim singing verses slowly, the rest of the band joining in later to create a light groove. The short solo is played by Joe Farrell on flute. The second track is the title track, Stanley Clarke's first major composition and the only track on the album not written by Corea. "Captain Marvel", a fast Latin piece, that provided the name for Stan Getz's album released in the same year. Airto Moreira plays percussion and Purim sings without words during the song's main riff.

The B-side begins with a song called "500 Miles High". Corea has stated that the title of the song does not refer to drug experience but to a "spirit flying high".[citation needed] The track is followed by "Children's Song", one of many "Children's Songs" Corea has written. They are all short pieces with minimalistic melody. The percussion plays a tick-tock pattern that resembles the sound of a clock.

The album ends with Corea's famous jazz standard, "Spain", which was inspired by, and whose introduction was literally taken from, Joaquín Rodrigo's famous Concierto de Aranjuez.


The second and last album by the first line-up of Return to Forever was recorded in the same year as their first album Return to Forever (1972) but eight months later. The style of the music remains mostly the same though vocal tracks have now a bit larger role than on the first album. This album has equal classic status among the listeners of electric jazz music as the first album. This time the recording company is Polydor (under which most of later Return to Forever albums are released) and Corea himself has produced the album - though this has not led in any essential change in sound. To point out some minor changes, it is notable that this time Stanley Clarke plays only an acoustic bass. Since the debut album was not released in the USA before 1975, this was the first Return to Forever album for many listeners.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Light as a Feather won the 1972 Playboy Jazz Album of the year and has been selected by many magazines and polls as one of the greatest jazz records ever recorded. For many years this record has been listed on the magazine Harry Pearson-The Absolute Sound super disc list and also listed for years on the Stereophile Magazine list of "Records to Die For." It is also featured in Tom Moon's 1,000 Albums to Hear Before You Die.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Corea with lyrics by Neville Potter, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "You're Everything"   5:11
2. "Light as a Feather" (composed by Clarke, lyrics by Purim) 10:57
3. "Captain Marvel"   4:53
4. "500 Miles High"   9:07
5. "Children's Song"   2:47
6. "Spain"   9:51


Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1973 Billboard Jazz Albums 6[5]


  1. ^ Nastos, Michael G. "Light as a Feather - Chick Corea | AllMusic". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Campbell, Hernan M. (19 September 2012). "Review: Return to Forever - Light as a Feather | Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 50. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  4. ^ Moon, Tom. "Light as a Feather | 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die". Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Light as a Feather - Chick Corea,Return to Forever | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 27 October 2013.