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 62

Archive number: 62
Title: Maximum (Live)
Main Album: Live at the BBC
Track number: 3
Genre: Live Funk Instrumental
Venue: New Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LL (now Apollo Victoria)
Length: 13' 58”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Philip Catherine - Electric guitar; Thijs Van Leer – Electric Piano, Mellotron, Hammond organ; Voice; Bert Ruiter – Bass; David Kemper - Drums
Producer: BBC
Engineer: BBC
Label: Hux Records
Date of recording/release: Recorded March 21 1976 but only released (on CD) June 1 2004
Alternative version: A shorter version can be found on Focus Con Proby
Notes: This is a number said to date back to Akkerman days. (Some claim to be able to hear its strains on a much later Akkerman solo album). The band begin together (00:00-00:24) with an introductory groove that is followed by a drum-announced electric piano-led burst (00:25-00:29) and a slower groove (00:30-00:52). Another funkier riff (00:53-01:08) then precedes a similarly slow keyboard-led section (01:09-01:37) ended by the guitar. The guitar then leads us into more funky stuff (01:38-02:10) before the main funky riff breaks in again (02:11-02:17) and another slower meandering section follows (02:18-03:26). Here the mellotron is more prominent. The guitar and keyboard lead off on familiar lines (03:27-03:36) but is then more distinctive and percussive (03:37-03:57). At 03:58 a brand new Bach-influenced keyboard section enters. This is punctuated first by a screaming guitar (at 04:09ff) then Van Leer's screaming voice (04:31ff). At 04:45 we break down with first the more staccato-style guitar then (04:56) the Bach-influenced keyboards. At 05:07 the screaming guitar is backed by distinctive drumming and we move on via screams from the guitar (05:10-05:18) and Van Leer (05:30-05:40) to yet another breakdown (at 05:44). The rises, falls and breaks continue until 07:40-08:27 where there is a decided slowing of pace that eventually picks up in a different vein, led by the guitar (08:28-12:09). Catherine uses pedal effects here and plays some beautiful lines now backed by Van Leer's organ as well as other keyboards. We finally break back into the funky groove again at the end, which alternates with the established tune to the end (12:10-13:49). Applause follows and Van Leer can again be heard – this time saying 'thank you very much' (13:50-13:58)

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