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.
A household name since the early '70s, John McLaughlin was an innovative fusion guitarist when he led the Mahavishnu Orchestra and continued living up to his reputation as a phenomenal and consistently inquisitive player through the years. He started on guitar when he was 11 and was initially inspired by blues and swing players. John McLaughlin worked with David Bowie, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, and others in the 1960s and played free jazz with Gunter Hampel for six months. His first album was a classic (1969's Extrapolation) and was followed by an obscurity for the Dawns label with John Surman, a quintet set with Larry Young (Devotion), and My Goals Beyond in 1970 which was half acoustic solos and half jams involving Indian musicians.