Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.




Track by track 8 Spoke the Lord Creator

Archive number: 8
Title: Spoke the Lord Creator
Main Album: Ship of Memories
Track number: 7
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Sound Techniques Studio, 46a Old Church Street, Chelsea, London SW3
Length: 2' 28”
Composer: Thijs van Leer, Hans Cleuver
Musicians: Jan Akkerman - Electric guitars (Fender telecasters); Thijs van Leer - Hammond organ; Martijn Dresden – Bass; Hans Cleuver – Drums
Producer: Hubert Terheggen (RTM)
Engineer: Jerry Boys
Label: LP – EMI, Harvest, Sire CD – EMI-Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet, JVC
Date of recording/release: Sunday, January 26, 1970. Abandoned and not released until 1977 (LP). CD – 1988, 1993, 2001, 2006.
Alternative version: 1971 single with vocals by Teach-in
Notes: This incomplete (?) track from the In and out of Focus sessions eventually appeared on the “cutting room floor” collection Ship of Memories in 1976. It is perhaps the earliest attempt by Focus at what later became the beginning of Hamburger Concerto, using Haydn's variations on Brahms. The opening 11 seconds of van Leer organ has a classical feel but this gives way to the main theme (00:12-01:33) which involves the whole group, Akkerman leading on a countrified electric guitar (as heard at the end of Focus 1) and leading into screaming guitar (as heard on Why Dream). From 01:34 there is a change and chopped guitar chords predominate in a section with a long fade as the piece fails to gain real momentum.
The track was eventually recorded by Teach-in in 1971 with these lyrics by Eric Cleuver:

Spoke the Lord Creator
"Hear me, I'm the Lord your Maker,
you're my creatures hear me, hear me,
stay for ever near me."
But satanic laughter sounded
and a voice said "No no no!
God is dead, the earth is yours,
live now, there's nothing later.
Go my joy behaviour,
listen, there's no judgement, Saviour"

"There is no solution,
pilgrim, take the road of evolution
but in his creation
find him in man's inspiration"
Then a child its laughter broke,
the press of human vanity,
giving hope wherever voices
cry in desperation.
Hear his voice above, pilgrim,
on your search for love."

Note on Teach-in (from Wikipedia)
Teach-In was a Dutch band, best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 with "Ding-a-Dong". The band was founded in 1969 and broke up in 1980. There were several line up changes. Formed in Enschede, the first line up was Hilda Felix (vocals), Henk Westendorp (vocals), John Snuverink (vocals, guitar), Frans Schaddelee (bass), leader Koos Versteeg (vocals & keys) and Rudi Nijhuis (drums). One of the first songs the group ever recorded (on CBS) was "Spoke the Lord Creator". In 1972, only Koos and Rudi remained, the rest of the band comprised Getty Kaspers (vocals, left 1976), John Gaasbeek (bass, left 1976 also), Chris de Wolde (guitar) and Ard Weeink (also left 1976). New members in 1976 were Hans Nijland (bass, replaced by Nick de Vos 1977), Betty Vermeulen (vocals), Marianne Wolsink (vocals). In 1971 they got their first recording contract with producer and composer Eddy Ouwens (CNR records). In 1974 they had three top 15 hits, after which their Eurovision entry was recorded. They toured Europe for the next two years, but success took its toll and they split up in 1978. In 1979 Ruud Nijhuis and Koos Versteeg reformed the band with two new female singers. After three more hits they split again. In 1997, news came that the original line up (with Getty Kaspers) had re-recorded some of their old hits and had plans to tour. Kaspers vocals can be heard on Rick van der Linden's Cum Laude album. The band reunited to sing "Ding-a-Dong" at a show in Maastricht in 2007.

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