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 20 Focus 3

Archive number: 20
Title: Focus 3
Main Album: Focus 3
Track number: 5
Genre: Jazz Rock Instrumental
Studio: Olympic Studios 'B', 117 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 9HL
Length: 06' 04"
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Jan Akkerman – Electric guitars (Gibson Les Paul Customs?); Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ; Bert Ruiter - Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums (chiefly using brushes)
Producer: Mike Vernon
Engineer: George Chkiantz
Label: LP – Imperial, Polydor, Sire CD – Capitol, EMI-Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet , JVC Victor
Date of recording/release: July 1972/November 1972, 1975 CD - 1988, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004
Alternative versions: A live version appears on Focus at the Rainbow. Van Leer also rearranged the track for the second Introspection album. Akkerman has featured it in his live act.
Notes: This, the third in the Focus series, begins with just organ (00:00-00:18) mainly repeating the notes B, C#, D, F# ( a much loved sequence). At 00:19 the bass and guitar join the organ. At 00:40 the drums join in and soon the guitar is being 'violined'. This quiet, laid back style continues, repeating the earlier material, until at 02:05 the volume rises and at 02:18 a more swinging and intense style comes in, one often compared with part of Petula Clark's Don't sleep in the subway by Tony Hatch with Jackie Trent. (Cf 00:35-00:50 on that track, where she sings “I’ve heard it all a million times before; take off your coat, my love, and close the door” and 01:44-01:58 where she sings "Goodbye means nothing when it's all for show; so why pretend you've somewhere else to go"). This is repeated, bringing us to 03:10. The band then switch back to the earlier quieter style, 03:11-05:11. This slowly rises, especially from about 05:00, to something of a climax at 05:11. In 05:12-05:41 high notes on the guitar play against the bass and drums in that soaring Focus style to be followed by much lower notes (05:34-05:41). The higher part is then repeated (05:42-06:04) ending on a hanging guitar note ready for the immediate succession of the next track. Once again the feel is very much a live one.

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