Where Have I Known You Before

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Where Have I Known You Before
Studio album by Return to Forever
Released September 1974
Recorded July–August 1974
Studio Record Plant Studios, New York City
Genre Jazz-rock
Length 41:27
Label Polydor
Producer Chick Corea
Return to Forever chronology
Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
(1973)Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy1973
Where Have I Known You Before
No Mystery
(1975)No Mystery1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide3/5 stars[3]

Where Have I Known You Before is the fourth album by jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever, the second since leader Chick Corea had "revamped" the line-up and moved towards electric instrumentation, playing jazz fusion with clear influences from progressive rock.[4]

Background, instrumentation, compositions[edit]

While the style of music did not change much since the previous album, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), important changes took place in the band's sound and line-up. Chick Corea, for instance, had started to use synthesizers (most notably the Minimoog and ARP Odyssey), developing the distinctive sound he became known for. An equally important change in the band was the replacement of guitarist Bill Connors with the then 20-year-old virtuoso Al Di Meola.[5] Connors left the band before the recording of this album to concentrate on his acoustic solo career. Another, perhaps more important, reason for his departure was his reluctance to travel; he preferred to stay in the San Francisco area. Overall, the band developed a clearer, more focused sound and style. This was due in part to the personnel changes, the implementation of new technology, and new playing techniques, but it was also a product of more careful recording and production in the studio.

Between the album's longer tracks are three of Corea's short piano improvisations that all bear a title that begins "Where Have I...".[6] The first track is Stanley Clarke's "Vulcan Worlds", which features some melodic motifs that would also appear on Clarke's self-titled second solo album Stanley Clarke the same year. The song proved Clarke "one of the fastest and most facile electric bassists around".[6] Each player except for drummer Lenny White takes long solos. The next long track is Lenny White's composition "The Shadow of Lo", a complex piece with many changes in mood. The last track on Side A is Corea's "Beyond the Seventh Galaxy", a sequel to his "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy", the title track from the group's previous album. Side B begins with the collective jam "Earth Juice". Most of Side B is taken up by Corea's 14-minute epic "Song to the Pharaoh Kings", a song notable for its use of the harmonic minor scale.[7] The track has a long keyboard intro, after which Chick Corea is joined by the full band, and an "eastern" theme appears. Each member of the band plays a long solo.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Vulcan Worlds"Stanley Clarke7:51
2."Where Have I Loved You Before"Chick Corea1:02
3."The Shadow of Lo"Lenny White7:32
4."Where Have I Danced with You Before"Corea1:14
5."Beyond the Seventh Galaxy"Corea3:13
Side two
6."Earth Juice"Corea, Clarke, White, Al Di Meola3:46
7."Where Have I Known You Before"Corea2:20
8."Song to the Pharaoh Kings"Corea14:21
Total length:41:27


Return to Forever
  • Shelly Yakus – Engineer
  • Tom Rabstenek – Mastering
  • Herb Dreiwitz – Front cover photography

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard 200 32[8]
1975 Billboard Jazz Albums 5[8]


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Where Have I Known You Before - Return to Forever | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Campbell, Hernan M. (1 November 2012). "Review: Return to Forever - Where Have I Known You Before | Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 50. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  4. ^ Hegarty, Paul; Halliwell, Martin (2011). Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960s. Continuum. p. 134. ISBN 9780826444837. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Cooke, Mervyn; Horn, David (2002). The Cambridge Companion to Jazz. Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge UP. p. 228. ISBN 9780521663885. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Martin, Henry; Waters, Keith (2010). Jazz: The First 100 Years, 3rd ed: The First 100 Years. Cengage. p. 335. ISBN 9781439083338. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Bufe, Charles (1994). An Understandable Guide to Music Theory: The Most Useful Aspects of Theory for Rock, Jazz & Blues Musicians. See Sharp. p. 6. ISBN 9781884365003. 
  8. ^ a b "Where Have I Known You Before - Chick Corea,Return to Forever | Awards | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.