Return to Forever “Romantic Warrior”


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#591 in the series) is Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior

It was May 12th of 1982 when a group of friends and I were driving to the Asia show (at the fabulous Chicago Auditorium) when I plugged in this beauty of a piece into my 8-track player and when it came out of my Jensen Supersonic speakers, having heard it for the first time, they were blown away.

If you never heard of this band you probably heard of the individuals that make up the groups line-up of jazz fusion superstars. This was largely keyboard master Chick Corea’s brainstorm, but to recruit the greatest fusion bassist in Stanley Clarke, guitar virtuoso (especially on the acoustic guitar) Al Di Meola and incredibly strong and fast drummer Lenny White, was quite a feat.

This is an all instrumental record that at the same defines jazz fusion but comes off many times as progressive rock.  Only 6 songs but tons of solo’s that will make you reach for the liner notes and look up who is that playing that part that you have never heard before, but must hear again and again.

The compositions are complex but enjoyable and for 1976, well ahead of their time. This was one of the first CD’s I bought when I was converting my CD/Cassette/8-Track collection and it was issued under a series called Jazz Masters. If you have never heard this, I beseech you to go out and get it.  One of the track titles is, “The Magician” and it could be referring to all these musical geniuses who really pull it off with a great record.  By the way all my buddies went out and get this after their first listen and they all say the same thing. This is one the bet instrumental albums of all time.

— John Driscoll, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Track listing

Side One

  1. “Medieval Overture” (Corea) – 5:14
  2. “Sorceress” (White) – 7:34
  3. “The Romantic Warrior” (Corea) – 10:52
Side Two
  1. “Majestic Dance” (Di Meola) – 5:01
  2. “The Magician” (Clarke) – 5:29
  3. “Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant” (Part I & Part II) (Corea) – 11:26


  • Chick Corea – Keyboards
  • Stanley Clarke – Electric bass, Acoustic bass
  • Lenny White – Drums, Percussion
  • Al Di Meola – Electric guitar, Acoustic guitar


Back to the Cool Album Home Page

Listen to the full Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior below.

Here are some fantastic live renditions of songs from the album. 

LISTEN to Al Di Meola’s KILLER acoustic guitar solo in Paul Simon’s “Allergies!” 

Posted by Larry Carta

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