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 140

Archive number: 140
Title: Two-part Intervention
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 5
Genre: Acoustic guitar
Studio: Unknown
Length: 1:21
Composer: Menno Gootjes
Musicians: Menno Gootjes – Guitar
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: Menno plays his guitar

Track by track 139

Archive number: 139
Title: Victoria
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 4
Genre: Prog Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium (Mixed at B-Spot Studio; mastered at Tube Mastering)
Length: 5:28
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars, Vocals; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Bram Bol/Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2012/2017
Alternative recording: This is an edit from the version on Focus X
Notes: See Track by track 128

Track by track 138

Archive number: 138
Title: Riverdance
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 3
Genre: Drums
Studio: Unknown
Length: 4:45
Composer: Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Marlies Helder
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version: The same track is on Drum Poetry
Notes: This is a drum piece from Pierre van der Linden

Track by track 137

Archive number: 137
Title: Song for Eva
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 2
Genre: Jazz Rock
Studio: Unknown
Length: 9:31
Composer: Thijs van Leer/Lord Byron 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer - Piano, Organ , Voice, Menno Gootjes - Guitars, Udo Pannekeet - Bass, Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version: Introspection 4
Eva is Thijs's oldest daughter and he wrote this song for her. It was used as the theme (using the original version) to a 1978 Dutch TV drama called Exit 7.
We begin with piano and Thijs speaks the Byron poem below supported by the band. After about a minute the guitar leads with a repeated slow yearning strain that carries the main theme. This continues until 4:05 when a more jazzy guitar leads another passage, increasingly complex. This eventually blends back into something like the previous theme, which is repeated from 7:17. In the last 50 seconds the whole thing winds down in the manner that the section began at 4:05 but coming to a close this time.
Words (Lord Byron)

They say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past,
And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless:
They rose the first - they set the last;

And all that Memory loves the most 
Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost
Hath melted into Memory.

Alas! it is delusion all:
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.

Lord Byron (from Wikipedia) - George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (1788–1824), known simply as Lord Byron, was a British peer, who was a poet and politician. He was one of the leading figures of the  Romantic Movement and is regarded as one of the greatest British poets. He remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular. This poem is from the latter source.
He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in Venice, Ravenna and Pisa. During his stay in Italy he frequently visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Later in life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire and died of disease leading a campaign during that war, for which the Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Siege of Missolonghi.
His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as a foundational figure in the field of computer programming, based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly Elizabeth Medora Leigh.


Track by track 136

Archive number: 136 
Title: Nature is our Friend 
Main Album: The Focus Family Album 
Track number: 1 
Genre: Solo instrumental 
Studio: Unknown 
Length: 3:14 
Composer: Thijs van Leer 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – 1989 Muramatsu Flute 
Producer: Geert Scheigrond 
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond 
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings 
Date of recording/release: 2017 
Thijs apparently wanders in the woods playing his flute with background nature sounds

Track by track 135

Archive number: 135
Title: Crossroads
Main Album: Focus X 
Track number: 10
Genre: Jazz Rock with vocal 
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium 
Length: 5:38
Composer: van Leer, Peters
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Piano, organ, flute, vocal; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums; Berenice van Leer - vocal 
Producer: Bobby Jacobs 
Label: Eastworld Recordings
Date of recording/release: November, 2012
Alternative version: This is a version of Brazil Love

The track begins with rhythmic drums. After five seconds the bass and jazz piano come in then electric guitar. A piano trill at 34 seconds announces a rising choral and guitar part. Then at 1:05 a new driving guitar theme begins and is joined by the flute from 1:44 to 2:13. We then revert to the choral and guitar theme - the guitar perhaps a little wilder. At 2:28 the flute is back, though further back in the mix. At 2:40 to 3:44 van Leer comes in with a spoken style vocal (see below). The vocal continues until the flute and other instruments come back to the fore, the guitar leading latterly. At 4:17 the guitar announces the final part, a brief drum break until 4:43 when the bass adds its own contribution, which goes in until the fade. Apparently there was more but it had to be cut.

I don't want to know just how I feel
Cannot bear to know just how I feel - crossroads ahead
I don't want to think in terms of tears
There's no time to lose you're here
At the crossroads we part.
Love is far ahead and far behind. - the crossroads are here.

How can we still look back at the past, it doesn't last
We cannot change the good and bad times we remember
Here we meet and here we part my friend
And I will love you 'til the end ...
Just like the tide that keep on rolling.