Thursday, July 14, 2016

Focus - 1973 - Live At The Rainbow

Live At The Rainbow

01. Focus III (3:54)
02. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (11:38)
03. Focus II (4:27)
04. Eruption: (8:29)
 a) Orfeus
 b) Answer
 c) Orfeus
 d) Answer
 e) Pupilla
 f) Tommy
 g) Pupilla
05. Hocus Pocus (8:29)
06. Sylvia (2:48)
07. Hocus Pocus (reprise) (2:47)

- Jan Akkerman / guitars
- Bert Ruiter / bass, backing vocals
- Pierre van der Linden / drums
- Thijs van Leer / keyboards, flute, vocals

If you could only have one Focus album, this would be it.
The opening section of Answers Questions is pure magic and illustrates perfectly Akkerman's prowess as both a rythm player and a soloist in the space of a few bars. It still excites me as much now as it did when I first heard it at the age of about 15. Later, he occasionally loses the plot slightly, but this is because he takes risks.

Eruption has much more life than the studio version which sounds rather detached, OK they get out of step for a brief moment, but who cares? The prolonged guitar solo leading up to Hocus Pocus is sublime, if only the could have recorded the whole piece like this.

Hocus Pocus is remarkable both for is exuberance, and van Leer's introduction of the band, possibly the only example of recitative in progressive rock!

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