Mahavishnu Orchestra, "Smile of the Beyond" (1974)
By 1974, the scope of Martin's production had grown to vast proportions – and there's no better proof than Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Smile of the Beyond." For fourth album Apocalypse, the jazz fusion group was backed by no musicians less grand then the London Symphony Orchestra. On the standout track "Smile of the Beyond," keyboardist Gayle Moran delivers a soaring, transcendental vocal while Martin's production pares down the LSO to a whisper – that is, until Jon McLaughlin leaps in with a frenzied yet pristine firestorm of soloing. In his book All You Need Is Ears, Martin himself called it "one of the best records I have ever made." J.H.