The startling thing about My Goal's Beyond is that it points the way toward two directions McLaughlin would take in the future – exploring Indian music and the acoustic guitar – and this while he was in the thick of the burgeoning electronic jazz-rock movement. The first half is a John McLaughlin acoustic guitar tour de force, where he thwacks away with his energetic, single-minded intensity on three jazz standards and five originals (including one genuine self-penned classic, "Follow Your Heart") and adds a few percussion effects via overdubbing.
Phil Manzanera had no problem filling his mid-'70s downtime away from Roxy Music. His guitar graced some 20 albums, like John Cale's Fear, Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets, and Nico's The End. This outing from his all-star side group is slicker than his 1976 live debut album, but no less worthwhile; some 16 musicians are credited. The sound is sleek and sophisticated; even lyrics aren't exempt from creative twists, as shown on "Listen Now"'s glistening jazz-pop – which cleverly juxtaposes its title against a bouncy "now, now, listen" chorus.