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    Main » 2014 » August » 6 » Focus ~ 1974 ~ Hamburger Concerto
    Focus ~ 1974 ~ Hamburger Concerto
    Focus ~ 1974 ~ Hamburger Concertogenre: prog
    country: netherlands
    audio: lossless (ape, cue, log, scans)
    time: 43'08" size: 288 mb

    From ProgressiveRock :
    At the end of 1973, drummer Pierre van der Linden left Focus to form Trace with his brother Rick. British drummer Colin Allen was flown in as a replacement. It had been over two years since the band’s last album, as studio recordings in 1973 were shelved. So it’s with some relief that Hamburger Concerto offers another installment of classic Focus. The brief "Delitiae Musicae" opens, confirming both Van Leer and Akkerman’s love of early music, something they pursued in contemporaneous solo works. The rocking "Harem Scarem" follows, tongue firmly in cheek. After its protracted intro, "La Cathederale De Strasbourg" swings beautifully with a Wyatt-esque whistle solo from Van Leer. With its trademark Focus melody, "Birth" reprises itself for another round before ending the side. Allen is surefooted throughout, providing a solid bottom to these rockers. Like Moving Waves, the title track spanns the entire second side of the album. Despite the regal intro, Focus remains humorous throughout, delivering their best composition and performance on record. The classical borrowings and instrumental acrobatics are certainly here, but so is a lot of restraint; neither arrangement nor delivery gets tedious. Van Leer’s use of vocalizing (instead of lyrics) on "Medium" is completely effective. There’s an absolute orgy of analog sounds, including a classic Leslie-driven guitar riff from Akkerman opening "Rare" and Van Leer’s saw-toothed ARP lead on the finale "One For The Road". The album was the last charting album for the band, reaching No. 20 in the UK and No. 66 in the US. The Focus story pretty much ends here. Another album, Mother Focus, was recorded piecemeal in 1975 and featured much shorter tracks, but Akkerman’s contribution was minimal. Worth seeking is the compilation Ship Of Memories containing some of the aborted recordings from 1973 and early versions of tracks from Hamburger Concerto. Massive personal changes ensued before a final best-forgotten album with P.J. Proby was released in 1978.

    01. Delitæ Musicæ 1:14
    02. Harem Scarem 5:52
    03. La Cathedrale De Strasbourg 5:00
    04. Birth 7:46
    05. Hamburger Concerto: a. Starter / b. Rare / c. Medium I / d. Medium II / e. We... 20:20
    06. Early Birth 2:55

    Thijs van Leer : vocal, organ, piano, alto, flute, piccolo, harpsichord
    Jan Akkerman : solo, acoustic guitars
    Colin Allen : drums, conga drum, tambourine, castanets, cabasa, woodblock, chinese gong, timpani, handclaps, flexatone, cuica
    Pierre van der Linden : drums

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