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.

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20080530

Track by track 48b Avondrood


Archive number: 48b
Title: Avondrood
Main Album: Zing je moerstaal (a compilation). It also appeared with House of the King as a single in 1976.
Track number: 10 (of 12)
Genre: Progressive Rock Vocal
Studio: Decca Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (later Studio 55)
Length: 5' 48"
Composer: Thijs van Leer, Jules Deelder
Musicians: Jan Akkerman - Electric guitars, Vocals; Thijs van Leer – Vocals, Bass Moog, Hammond organ, Mellotrons, Piano, Electric Piano, Wind machine; David Kemper - Drums
Producer: Focus
Engineer: Mike Butcher or Eric Prestidge?
Label: LP – EMI, Harvest, Sire CD – EMI-Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet, JVC
Date of recording/release: 1975. Released 1976 (LP)
Alternative version: The instrumental version (Red sky at night [48a])
Notes: Avondrood consists of the backing track Red Sky at Night with chiefly van Leer, but also Akkerman, singing over it. The words are

O avondrood
vlammengloed
O bloedbad in het westen

O late roos
lege doos
O stoffelijke resten

O medemensch
moederschoot
O onvervulde wensen

O bete broodskind
des doods
O verte

[O evening glow, glow of flames, O massacre in the west
O late rose, empty box, O mortal remains
O fellow-man, mother's lap, O unfulfilled desires
O bite of bread, child of death, O distance]

A note on Zing je moerstaal
Zing je moerstaal (Sing your mother tongue) was a compilation album. The cover shows a Dutch symbol, the frog with the wooden shoes, sitting in a singing mouth with a pen in his hand: the combination of music and poetry. In the word "moers" you can see the colours of the Dutch national flag: red, white and blue. The album was released in Holland by CPNB (Commissie voor de Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek - Commission for the Collective Propaganda of the Dutch Book) on the occasion of the Week of books 1976. On the album various Dutch pop musicians (Focus, Kayak, Maggie MacNeal, Fungus, Bots, Robert Long, etc) recorded works by different Dutch authors (Jules Deelder, Harry Mulisch, Theun de Winter, Wim de Vries, Bert Schierbeek, Simon Carmiggelt, etc). Focus knew of the works of the writer and poet Jules Deelder (from Rotterdam) before this recording was done. "Avondrood" was taken from his poetry collection De zwarte jager (The black hunter). It was chosen because of its regular structure and its positive sometimes unusual perspective.

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