The second incarnation of Chick Corea's influential fusion group released only a single record, the magnificent Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy. Featuring a more rock-oriented approach than the Flora Purim-Joe Farrell band that was responsible for both Return to Forever and Light as a Feather, Corea and old standby Stanley Clarke join forces here with propulsive drummer Lenny White and electric guitarist Bill Connors. Although Connors lacks the sophistication of Al Di Meola, the young guitarist who replaced him, he possesses a deliciously raw sound that keeps Corea's heady compositions firmly grounded. White introduces a funk aspect to the music, replacing Airto's Latin grooves from the first two records. Clarke is as good, wrenching some truly frightening sounds out of his electric basses. This increased emphasis on electric instrumentation, also displayed in Corea's heavy use of synthesizers, is another thing that separates this record from the previous Return to Forever releases. And as good as the band performances are, it is the quality of the compositions that marks Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy as an indispensable disc of '70s fusion. "Captain Senor Mouse," one of Corea's finest fusion compositions, receives an excellent treatment here. Likewise, the two-part "Space Circus" is a fantastic mix of haunting and grooving elements, with some simply incredible solos thrown into the mix. With Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Corea continues his streak of simply timeless fusion albums. The best of the electric RTF albums.