The Inner Mounting Flame

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The Inner Mounting Flame
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 3, 1971[1][2]
RecordedAugust 14, 1971[3]
StudioCBS Studios (New York City)
ProducerJohn McLaughlin
Mahavishnu Orchestra chronology
The Inner Mounting Flame
Birds of Fire
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA[6]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[8]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[9]

The Inner Mounting Flame is the debut studio album by American jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra, recorded in August 1971 and released later that year by Columbia Records. After their formation, the group performed several debut gigs before they entered the studio to record their first album featuring all original material written by guitarist John McLaughlin.

Release and reception[edit]

The Inner Mounting Flame was released in 1971.[10] Reviewing the album for JazzTimes in 1998, Bill Milkowski said:

One is struck by the grandiose reach of the quintet that dared to call itself an orchestra. Pieces like "Meeting of the Spirits" and the fragile, acoustic "A Lotus on Irish Streams" are like classically-inspired suites in miniature. But it was numbers like "Noonward Race", "Vital Transformation" and especially "Awakening", fueled by Cobham’s smoldering intensity on the kit and McLaughlin’s raging, distortion-soaked guitar lines, that really grabbed rock crowds. More ethereal pieces like "The Dance of Maya", with its odd time signatures and arpeggios, and the haunting "You Know, You Know", a drum feature for Cobham, helped to create a kind of mystique about the Mahavishnu Orchestra that was wholly unprecedented for its time.[10]

In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Richard S. Ginell wrote that The Inner Mounting Flame "is the album that made John McLaughlin a semi-household name, a furious, high-energy, yet rigorously conceived meeting of virtuosos that, for all intents and purposes, defined the fusion of jazz and rock a year after Miles Davis' Bitches Brew breakthrough".[5]

Later releases[edit]

A remastered version of the album, on CD, was released in 1998 by Sony Music Entertainment. It features a facsimile of the LP front cover, a new set of liner notes by Bob Belden, and many photographs of the band. The Inner Mounting Flame was included in 2011 as part of The Complete Columbia Albums Collection box set, along with the other albums by the first line-up of the band, including The Lost Trident Sessions. This version includes a version of "The Noonward Race" recorded live at the Mar y Sol Pop Festival 3 April 1972. That version was previously available on the compilation album Mar Y Sol: The First International Puerto Rico Pop Festival, but the version included in the box set is two minutes longer.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by John McLaughlin.

Side one
1."Meeting of the Spirits"6:52
3."The Noonward Race"6:28
4."A Lotus on Irish Streams"5:39
Side two
1."Vital Transformation"6:16
2."The Dance of Maya"7:17
3."You Know You Know"5:07
2011 remaster bonus track
9."Noonward Race (live)"15:03


Mahavishnu Orchestra[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Don Puluse – engineer



Billboard (United States)[11]

Year Chart Position
1972 Jazz Albums 11
1972 Pop Albums 89


  1. ^ Billboard December 11, 1971
  2. ^ "The Inner Mounting Flame". Amazon Music. Amazon. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  3. ^ Smith, Chris (2009). 101 Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 89.
  4. ^ "The Inner Mounting Flame von Mahavishnu Orchestra bei Amazon Music –". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b The Inner Mounting Flame at AllMusic
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 2, 2019 – via
  7. ^ "Review: Mahavishnu Orchestra – The Inner Mounting Flame – Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  8. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. pp. 135. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  9. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 922. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  10. ^ a b Milkowski, Bill. "Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Mounting Flame". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  11. ^ "The Inner Mounting Flame – Mahavishnu Orchestra,John McLaughlin | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 1 January 2014.

External links[edit]