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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20100302

Track by track 105

Archive number: 105
Title: Brother
Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 9
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 05' 33”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer, Roselie Peters/Van Leer
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: Several including
Notes: This is an instrumental version of a Focus track that first appeared on Focus Con Proby with P J Proby singing. It begins with the beautiful, classically informed (from Brahms?) but now bluesified, introduction this time on Hammond organ (00:00-00:59) and slightly extended. A drum beat (01:00) brings the band in with the slow march led this time by Dumee's electric guitar (01:01-01:56) and, for the chorus, Van Leer's flute and organ (01:57- 02:26). The pattern is repeated (02:27-03:21 and 03:22-03:56). A final Dumee-led section wrings a good deal of emotion out of the tune before a dramatic end (03:57-05:20) that ends with a 13 second quotation from Eruption to conclude.

Track by track 104

Archive number: 103
Title: Sto Ces Raditi Ostatac Zivota?
Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 7
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 05' 23”
Composer: Jan Dumee
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Flute, Hammond organ, Voices; Jan Dumee – Guitars, inc Acoustic, Voices; 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 title is Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian and means something like What will you do with the rest of your life? The title is presumably a comment on the recent politics of the region, which has known great upheaval. If so, this would be a second political or protest song for Focus (Sugar Isalnd back at the beginning being the first). The opening introduction features flute and acoustic guitar which ends with the sound of tom toms (synthesised?) (00:00-00:30). The drums then introduce a further melodic introduction (00:31-01:23) featuring the band on acoustic guitar, organ, bass and drums with distant vocal backing of a scat variety. A flute is heard near the end of this. From 01:24 the electric guitar gives some strong notes to lead the organ, some flute coming in too (with a distinctive guitar sound briefly at 02:38-02:42). This goes on rising pretty much (though not really progressing much) until 04:16. A voice comes in at 04:17, 18 as the guitar grows more passionate. From 05:10 a fade begins featuring acoustic guitar that ends with just the voice at 05:23.

Track by track 103

Archive number: 103
Title: Focus 8Main Album: Focus 8
Track number: 6
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Peptide Studio, Vuren
Length: 06' 13”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, synthesiser; 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 title track begins with drums, then a rhythmic piano with bass and drums (00:00-00:08). An electric guitar then picks out a descending tune over the band (00:09-00:38). The main heroic guitar led theme kicks in for the first time at 00:39. Backed by piano, timpani and band, it is played several times altogether. At 01:09 there is something of a change of pace and at 01:20 something of a ritartando or slowing down only to pick up again after almost pausing at 01:21, 22. The main theme comes in a second time (01:23-02:00), closing this time with a more staccato slowing down until a piano bridge at 02:12-14. A third assault on the main theme follows (02:15-02:42). This also breaks down at 02:43-48 before a fourth round and break down (02:49-02:42/43-47). The fifth attempt follows from 02:48. This goes on until an organ dominated dip ending at 03:46. The guitar then soars more and the piano is almost lost as we head for the home strait and a final timpani/piano driven assault from 04:31 followed by a descent echoing the earlier guitar led theme with strong Hammond chords at times. The band end in unison around 06:13.