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 26 Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (Live)

Archive number: 26 
Title: Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (Live)
Main Album: Focus at the Rainbow
Track number: 2
Genre: Live Progressive Rock Instrumental
Venue: Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, 232 Seven Sisters Road, N4 3NX (recorded using Pye Studios Mobile Unit and edited from the two performances).
Length: 11' 28”
Composer: Bert Ruiter, Jan Akkerman
Musicians: Jan Akkerman – Electric guitar (Gibson Les Paul Custom); Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, Voice, Flute; Bert Ruiter - Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Mike Vernon
Engineer: Phil Dunne
Label: LP – Polydor, Sire CD – EMI-Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet, JVC Victor Date of recording/release: May 4, 5 1973/October 1973 (May 4 concert televised UK July 1973) CD 1988, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006
Alternative version: The original of this is on Focus 3
Notes: The opening section begins with Ruiter's bass riff alongside guitar, drums, organ and (unlike the original) van Leer's voice. (00:00-00:31). At 00:31 the guitar cuts in to give the bridge (with a little help from the organ) to the point where the Hammond leads (00:41) until replaced again by a jazzy chopped guitar (00:54). The section is brought to a close (01:09) by four decisive chords. This first section is then partly repeated, van Leer's voice sounding a little more manic (01:10-01:43). After the bridge (01:44-01:53) it is the guitar that briefly leads (01:54-02:32) beginning with ascending chords and ending with the thrice-repeated riff or scale. The third section (02:33-03:47) is led, after the slightest caesura, first by the guitar, now in plaintive mood and partly 'violined'. Then (from about 03:10) by the organ (apparently Akkerman's guitar string snapped at 3:02 but he continues on five strings for a while). Just before 03:47 the sombre and mysterious mood is introduced and we come to the lengthy flute-led section (03:47-06:19). The guitar joins in at 05:53 (string replaced) and the flute stops at 06:19, the whole thing then slowing right down until only organ and drums are heard until at 6:40 sparse guitar lines begin to come in. Akkerman, backed by the band, then leads, slowly building things up with some great fretwork, until at 10:29 with a distinctive final riff he leads into the final very slow section and the last long drawn-out chord from the band which then fades (ending at 11:19). Applause follows and the opening organ chord for the next track (Focus 2) is heard.

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