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 119

Archive number: 119
Title: Aya-yuppie-hippie-hee
Main Album: Focus 9 (New Skin)
Track number: 7
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium
Length: 05:15
Composer: Bobby Jacobs and Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, flute, voice, bird whistle; Niels Van Der Steenhoven – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs and Thijs Van Leer
Engineer: Han Nuijten
Label: Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: Summer 2006
Alternative version: None
Notes: A traditional clay bird whistle is heard at the beginning of this track which typically alternates between first a yearning theme on guitar backed by the band (00:00-00:29) and a contrasting rock theme introduced the first time by drums and consisting mainly of a four note riff from the guitar backed firstly by harmonics and organ with some great drumming from Van der Linden (00:30-01:16). When the high soaring guitar returns at 01:15-17 it leads into a twofold repetition of the title – Aya Yuppie Hippie Hee – the vocals having an effect on them (01:18-01:26). We then slip back into the rock theme with the second guitar wailing much more this time (01:27-02:10) before a repeated “Aya Yuppie” section (02:11-02:22) and the rock theme again (02:23-02:44). There is then a break down into a quieter and slower guitar section (02:45-02:54) that gives way to a three note riff (02:55, 56) followed by a jazzy flute-led part (02:57-03:29), Van Leer breaking out vocally at 03:14 and other points, ending with some glossolalic scat. At 03:30 we begin on an increasingly wild guitar-led lead up to first the rock and then the yearning themes which come in at 04:14-04:35 then 04:36-04:59 (listen out for the bird whistle), the whole closing on one more brief rendition of the rock theme with a sudden, decisive and unified stop at 05:12 (the reverb lasting just a few seconds more).

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