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.

.

.

20100220

Track by track 102

Archive number: 102
Title: De Ti O De Mi
Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 5
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 06' 22”
Composer: Bobby Jacobs
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ; Jan Dumee – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Bert Smaak - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond & Focus
Engineer: Geert Scheijgrond & Dick Kemper
Label: Musea/Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: A limited run of 500 of the album appeared in August 2002 to be followed by a general release on CD later that year. Also later on Paras and JVC Victor
Alternative version: None
Notes: We begin with a dark bass riff backed by drums then organ (from about 00:26). At 00:46 an electric guitar takes up the lead with a yearning jazz melody that when eventually about to build at 01:21 reverts to the sparse bass riff. At 01:39 drums re-introduce the organ and a cleaner electric guitar sound and (from 02:01) the jazz guitar melody. It builds a little more this time until panning out with an organ backed development leading to a caesura at 02:59 and 03:00. For the remainder of the track the guitar-led melody is allowed to develop further, this time eventually taking off to some extent, though still meandering a little and later getting quite earnest. The section eventually begins to fade at 05:55 and ends around 06' 22”.

20100219

Track by track 101

Archive number: 101
Title: Hurkey Turkey
Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 4
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 4' 07”
Composer: T Van Der Kaaij, Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Voices; Jan Dumee – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Bert Smaak - Drums; Geert Scheigrond - Additional guitars.
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond & Focus
Engineer: Geert Scheijgrond & Dick Kemper
Label: Musea/Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: A limited run of 500 of the album appeared in August 2002 to be followed by a general release on CD later that year. Also later on Paras and JVC Victor
Alternative version: None
Notes: The studio version of Hurkey Turkey starts very distinctively with 8 slightly odd notes on electric guitars followed by a longer ninth one that also features a crash cymbal (00:00-00:08). We then get another two and one then one and one twice and the drums crash in before one of two main themes starts at 00:15 - a bassy riff thing. This is played several times with Van Leer's voice in the background and Dumee going up and down the fretboard. At 01:00 there is a slight change of pace announced by the guitar which then takes up more of a lead with the other contrasting theme. This ends at 01:32 when the first theme returns led this time by the Hammond organ (01:33-02:03). We then go back to the guitar-led second theme (02:04-02:34) before the original theme returns with Van Leer's voice more prominent at first. This section slows down around 02:44 and from 02:51-03:12 we have a 'scat' section where Van Leer's voice is multi-tracked over just drums, one voice providing a jazzy “danga danga danga dang dumdiddy” style and the other a rather crazy turkey voice! The band then come back, with the guitar getting pretty wild and ending with a fade around 04:07.

Track by track 100

Archive number: 100
Title: Fretless Love
Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 3
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 6'05”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Flute, Voice; Jan Dumee – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Bert Smaak - Drums, Timpani
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond & Focus
Engineer: Geert Scheijgrond & Dick Kemper
Label: Musea/Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: A limited run of 500 of the album appeared in August 2002 to be followed by a general release on CD later that year. Also later on Paras and JVC Victor
Alternative version: None
Notes: The track begins in quiet and relaxed style with acoustic guitar (possibly synthesised) and a beautiful and melodic flute, backed by the Hammond (from 00:24). At 00:46 we move to a new yearning electric guitar-led section with Hammond and rhythm section. This itself is succeeded (at 01:30) by a funky guitar and organ part (with Van Leer's voice giving oompahs at first - again possibly synthesised) and led by a hard blown flute. This is in turn is repeated and developed (from 02:19). Another break in tempo comes at 03:08 and we go into a section led by melodic flute but backed by the band with a riffing style and a distinct underlying guitar motif. Another break comes at 04:09 with a timpani marked halt (almost a caesura). We then return to the yearning electric guitar of the second section but slightly more staccato, until 04:50 where it all gets pretty funky again, this time with a heavier bass and more earnest guitar work from Dumee. This then head relentlessly for the fade, volume disappearing around 06:05”

Track by track 99

Archive number: 99
Title: Tamara's move (Allegro-adagio-allegro)Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 2
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 5' 14”
Composer: Jan Dumee
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Flute, synthesisers, hanclaps; Jan Dumee –Guitars including Spanish guitar, Vocal; Guitar; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Bert Smaak - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond & Focus
Engineer: Geert Scheijgrond & Dick Kemper
Label: Musea/Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: A limited run of 500 of the album appeared in August 2002 to be followed by a general release on CD later that year. Also later on Paras and JVC Victor
Alternative version: None
Notes: The piece is in three sections – allegro, adagio, allegro. The first allegro section is from 00:00-02:12. It begins with double tracked acoustic guitars (00:00-00:07) soon accompanied by the rhythm section, which includes a distinctive synthesised mouth tom tom sound at certain points (00:08-00:00:18). The flute (multi-tracked at certain points) then takes up the lead in joyful style as far as 02:12, with a note held around 01:08 and handclaps from both speakers from 01:36.
The adagio section (02:13-03:34) has two parts. First, a mournful organ and synthesiser backed vocal section that ends at 02:49 with a timpani sound. The words are indistinct but appear to be
Don't let a thing respond,
No breath for you too.
Just signs of trying to forget you,
To exorcise you.
Leave me in your thoughts
But don't you miss the sight.
A drum roll immediately follows (02:50-02:57) and we are into a rather grand instrumental version of the same tune led by guitar with organ that ends at 03:34.
The third section is the flute-led allegro again. The handclaps begin at 04:03, the mouth tom toms are therre and the Spanish guitar has a much more prominent role from 04:24.