Romantic Warrior

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Romantic Warrior
Studio album by
RecordedFebruary 1976
StudioCaribou Ranch
(Nederland, Colorado, US)
ProducerChick Corea
Return to Forever chronology
No Mystery
Romantic Warrior
Chick Corea chronology
The Leprechaun
Romantic Warrior
My Spanish Heart

Romantic Warrior is the sixth studio album by the American jazz fusion band Return to Forever, released in 1976 by Columbia Records. After releasing their previous album, No Mystery (1975), their fourth for Polydor Records, the group moved to Columbia and retreated to Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colorado to record their next album. It was also their first to be credited solely to Return to Forever, removing the "featuring Chick Corea" tag. The album is more avant-garde and less funky than No Mystery, and remains the band's highest selling album with over 500,000 copies sold in the US.



The album was recorded in a ranch located near the town of Nederland, Colorado (pictured in 2005)

Romantic Warrior was recorded in February 1976 at Caribou Ranch, located near Nederland, Colorado.


Chick Corea contributed the longest compositions while the other members each composed one piece. The opener, "Medieval Overture", with its distinctive melodic motifs, sets the mood for the rest of the album. Lenny White's "Sorceress" starts with a funky riff and is distinguished by Corea's synthesizers. The title track, "The Romantic Warrior", is fully acoustic. It has a long intro, which is followed by a short theme consisting of one riff. Each group member, excluding White, plays a long solo. An extended outro follows, during which fast unison patterns are heard.

On side two, Al Di Meola's song, "Majestic Dance", relies on rock riffs and distorted lead guitar sound, and features fast harpsichord-like synth figures. Clarke's "The Magician" is a complex composition, featuring playful melodies, and rapid unison lines. The last track of the album is Corea's "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant", the longest song on the album. It has a more conventional melody as a main theme, but follows the style of previous tracks. Notable is the intense keyboard solo showcasing Corea.

After this album Corea decided that the group's time had come to an end and he continued with a new Return to Forever line-up with Clarke. Corea dedicated the album to the founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideD+ [2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[3]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[4]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann praised Romantic Warrior as "the sound of a mature band at the top of its game, which may help explain why it was Return to Forever's most popular album, eventually certified as a gold record, and the last by this assemblage."[1] In another retrospective review for Sputnikmusic, Brendan Schroer argued that the "true magic of the collective’s work was in how these musicians could work off each other and make something both emotionally resonant and musically abstruse" and opined that "Romantic Warrior plays out as a wonderful - if slightly flawed - melding of incredible technical feats and inner-band chemistry".[5]

Noted rock-fusion-despising critic Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic about the record. In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), he called it "jazz-rock's answer to Emerson, Lake & Palmer--the worst of both worlds"; and Corea's compositions "pompous", faux classical; while deriding certain members of his group's playing as being on display "in all their dazzling vacuity".[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1976 Billboard 200 35 [6]
1976 Billboard Jazz Albums 3 [6]
1976 Billboard R&B Albums 23 [6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Medieval Overture"Chick Corea5:14
2."Sorceress"Lenny White7:34
3."The Romantic Warrior"Corea10:52
Side two
4."Majestic Dance"Al Di Meola5:01
5."The Magician"Stanley Clarke5:29
6."Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant (Parts I and II)"Corea11:26
Total length:45:28


Return to Forever


  • Chick Corea – producer
  • Al Di Meola – assistant producer
  • Stanley Clarke – assistant producer
  • Lenny White – assistant producer
  • Dennis MacKay – recording engineer, remixing
  • Tom Likes – assistant engineer
  • Wilson McLean – cover art
  • Gerard Huerta – logo


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, W. (2011). "Return to Forever Romantic Warrior (1976) album review | AllMusic". Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 50. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 1208. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  5. ^ a b Schroer, Brendan (2021). "Return to Forever Romantic Warrior (1976) album review | Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "Return to Forever Romantic Warrior (1976) album review | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 27 October 2013.

External links[edit]