Live (Return to Forever album)

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ReturnToForever Live 1LP.jpg
Live album by Return to Forever
Released 1977
Recorded 21 May 1977
Genre Jazz-rock
Length 49:12 (LP)
168.11 (4LP/3CD)
151:46 (2CD)
Label Columbia
Producer Return to Forever
Return to Forever chronology
Best of Return to Forever
(1980)Best of Return to Forever1980
Alternative covers
Live 2-CD cover (1992, US).
Live 2-CD cover (1992, US).
Live: The Complete Concert 2-CD cover (2000, US).
Live: The Complete Concert 2-CD cover (2000, US).
The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (2011) 5-CD boxed set cover
The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (2011) 5-CD boxed set cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Live is the final album by fusion band Return to Forever. It was recorded live at the Palladium in New York City on May 20 and 21 1977 as part of the Musicmagic tour to support the album of the same name. This was the only tour to feature the Musicmagic (1977) lineup, which included original members Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Joe Farrell, along with newly added member, Chick Corea's wife, Gayle Moran on vocals, piano and organ, and a six-piece horn section.

Originally released as a single LP, the album was re-issued in 1978 as a 4-LP set called Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert, which contained the full concert as heard by those who attended, including extended sections of dialogue and audience applause.

Release history[edit]

The original release was a single LP with a cover featuring Picasso's Three Musicians. A greatly expanded version of the album was released in 1978 on 4 LPs as Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert,, showcasing the entire two-hour-and-forty-minute concert. This Complete Concert release features a plain dark blue cover with a stylized "RTF" logo and contains the entireties of pieces that had been edited down for the original one LP release, including a version of "Spanish Fantasy"; the intro to which was previously released in edited form as "Chick's Piano". Also included are spoken introductions to songs by Clarke, including one in which he is heckled by the audience for announcing the concert's final piece.

Different versions of The Complete Concert have been re-issued on CD - in both 2 CD and 3-CD sets. A Japanese 3 CD version, released in 1993, contains the complete recording exactly as found on the original 4 LP version, retaining "The Endless Night" and "Musicmagic" as two separate parts each. Corea's introduction of the musicians is appended to the end of "The Endless Night (part 2)". The first US (2) CD version was released by Columbia Legacy (C2K 47479) in 1992 with the stylized RTF logo on a red background titled simply, Return to Forever Live, and was subsequently reissued with a blue cover in 2000 (468923 2) titled, Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert. Both of these US CD releases contain the edited versions of "The Musician" and "So Long Mickey Mouse" that were on the original single LP, while removing both the four-minute introduction of the musicians by Corea after "The Endless Night" and several extended passages of audience noise. "Chick's Piano Solo" and "Spanish Fantasy" are combined into one track, as are the two parts of "The Endless Night" and "Musicmagic". Track times differ between the 1992 and 2000 reissues, due to track intros appearing appended either before the song itself, or after the previous song; below, the 1992 times are used. Both versions have been digitally remastered directly from the original master tapes to restore the low frequencies which were rolled off on the vinyl version to minimise tracking problems.[citation needed]

In June, 2011, Columbia (Sony) released a 5-CD boxed set, Return to Forever, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection which includes the entire 1977 Live, The Complete Concert recording on 3 CDs together with 1976's Romantic Warrior and 1977's Musicmagic.[2] The 3-CD version Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert, 3-Record Set was released in Japan in September 2011 as a Blue-Spec CD limited boxset reproducing the original Japanese 1978 LP boxset. However, this 2011 reissue features "The Endless Night" and "Musicmagic" as one track each, instead of the original splits and fades of each song.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Chick Corea, except where noted.


Left disc
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "So Long Mickey Mouse" Stanley Clarke 6:53
2. "The Musician"   7:03
3. "Chick's Piano"   4:35
4. "Musicmagic" Corea, Gayle Moran 6:29
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Moorish Warrior and Spanish Princess" Clarke 6:39
2. "Come Rain or Come Shine" Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer 3:19
3. "The Endless Night (part I)" Corea, Moran 8:00
4. "The Endless Night (part II)" Corea, Moran 7:14

Live: The Complete Concert - original vinyl pressing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Opening '77"   7:07
2. "The Endless Night (part 1)" Corea, Gayle Moran 12:14
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Endless Night (part 2)" Corea, Gayle Moran 8:19
2. "Introduction of Musicians"   3:44
3. "The Musician"   14:03
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Introduction / Hello Again" Clarke 7:41
2. "So Long Mickey Mouse" Clarke 11:01
3. "Musicmagic (part 1)" Corea, Moran 3:46
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Musicmagic (part 2) / Applause" Corea, Moran 23:45
Side five
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Introduction / Come Rain or Come Shine / Fine and Dandy" Mercer, Arlen; Kay Swift, James Warburg 3:55
2. "Serenade"   15:01
Side six
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Moorish Warrior and Spanish Princess" Clarke 19:30
Side seven
No. Title Length
1. "Introduction / Chick's Piano Solo" 17:05
Side eight
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Spanish Fantasy"   11:20
2. "On Green Dolphin Street" Bronisław Kaper, Ned Washington 9:21

Live: The Complete Concert - 3 Record Set (Japan)[edit]

Live: The Complete Concert (US)[edit]

Live: The Complete Concert - 3 CD Set (Japan 2011 reissue)[edit]


Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1978 Billboard 200 155[3]
1978 Billboard Jazz Albums 12[3]


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Live [2 CD] - Return to Forever | AllMusic". Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Doug Payne Review of Return to Forever - The Complete Columbia Albums Collection
  3. ^ a b "Live: Complete Concert - Return to Forever | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  • Columbia 35281 (1 LP)
  • Columbia C4X 35350 (4 LPs)
  • Columbia/Legacy C2K 47479 (2 CDs)
  • Columbia 468923 2 (2 CDs)
  • Sony Records (J) SRCS 7142 2
  • Sony Records (J) SICP-20305~7