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 55

Archive number: 55
Title: Focus IV
Main Album: Mother Focus
Track number: 7
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Decca Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (later Studio 55)
Length: 3' 54”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Jan Akkerman - Electric guitars; Thijs Van Leer – Piano, Mellotron, Synthesiser; Bert Ruiter – Bass; David Kemper - Drums
Producer: Hubert Terheggen/Focus
Engineer: Eric Prestidge
Label: LP – Polydor, Atco, Philips, EMI
Date of recording/release: Recorded 1975, released October 1975. LP – 1975, 1977, CD - 1988
Alternative version: A variation on the track was later recorded by Akkerman as Soft Focus (on Blues Hearts).
Notes: Perhaps the most quintessentially Focus track on the Mother Focus album this fifth use of the Focus title (the previous attempt was not issued until 1977 and so is called Focus V) showcases both Akkerman and Van Leer. Van Leer begins with a somewhat lengthy introduction first on classically oriented piano and flute (00:00-00:21) then on piano accompanied by bass (00:22-00:46). Akkerman comes in next with a rich lead guitar backed by drums, bass and piano, which comes to something of a climax (00:47-01:37) before the guitar leads again (01:38-01:55). A bird-like piano and flute section breaks in next then flies with a mellotron backing but reverting to piano at the break down (01:56-02:28). Next it is the turn of Akkerman's guitar to lead again but with plenty of piano backing (02:29-02:52). A rather egregious and harsh synthesiser break twice cuts in then (02:53-02:57/03:06-03:21) separated by the aspiring piano-backed flute (02:58-03:05) – conflict and resolution is a big theme in Van Leer's writing. The final guitar-led section brings us nearly to the end (03:22-00:3:31). The final notes feature an again classically styled piano, this time alone (03:32-03:54).

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