Fireworks

Focus - 'Focus X' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/37/6c/98/3352_focusfocusx_1361842137.jpeg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 26, 2013    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
5375   0   1   0   0   0

Artist

Artist

Title

Title

Label

A definite return to form.

The zenith of this Dutch band’s popularity was in the early 1970s, with their first four albums (‘In And Out Of Focus’, ‘Moving Waves’, ‘Focus III’ and ‘Hamburger Concerto’). All sold in vast numbers. Always rather quirky, and with a tendency to include a veritable potpourri of stylistic approaches, their finest hour came either with (it depends upon whom you ask) ‘Hocus Pocus’ which included wild falsetto yodelling over a determined progressive rock jam or ‘Sylvia’ a much more refined and delicately structured instrumental. Indeed, Focus has always been more about instrumental music than “songs”.

However the band’s fortunes began to wane after the fourth album and personnel changes that had dogged the band almost from its inception suggested that Focus had become very un-focused! Their nadir came in 1978 with their seventh album ‘Focus Con Proby’ so called, because for whatever reason the infamous trouser-splitting 60s vocalist P J Proby had joined them. The album bombed (not even Steve Smith, later of Journey could rescue this dismal release, one I am sure he would rather forget!)

Throughout this period, multi-instrumentalist Thijs van Leer (TvL) was the one constant member of Focus, but he called time on his by then rather directionless ensemble. Over 20 years elapsed before the band was firmly re-established (following several short-lived reincarnations), ‘Focus 8’ being released in 2002, ‘Focus 9 (New Skin)’ not appearing until four years later and now the present release another six years down the line. Before hearing a note, I was wondering whether this might be a desperate attempt at recapturing past glories, but I was, perhaps, rather ignoring the band’s more stable personnel in this new millennium.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


‘X’ is once again a mainly instrumental album, with TvL providing vocals where used, except on ‘Birds Fly Over (Le Tango)’ where Ivan Lins guests. Overall, this is an album bristling with virtuoso performances. Van Leer’s flute and Hammond organ permeate many tracks like a rash, while Menno Gootjes’ guitars provide flashes of brilliance, tonal variation, short solos and amazing riffs just as required. The rhythm guys (bassist Bobby Jacobs and drummer Pierre van der Linden) lay down a masterful sheen for their colleagues to embellish. Nowhere is this more pulsating than in album closer ‘Crossroads’, where they also get to play the album out with a short drum solo and bass/drum segment which ends in a fade…Dammit! Album opener ‘Father Baccus’ – a brilliant, driving, rock track – also fades unnecessarily. In between, there is all manner of delightful treats, umpteen with very listenable jazz/rock fusion credentials such as the romantic title track and ‘Amok In Kindergarten’, while other highlights include the idiosyncratic numbers ‘All Hens On Deck’ and ‘Talk Of The Clown’ and ‘Victoria’ with its unexpected progression.

The current formation of Focus comes across as a highly accomplished and cohesive unit and they have produced an album that is on the whole a definite return to form, is refreshing to hear, and is fully deserving of its Roger Dean cover painting.

Paul Jerome Smith

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  May 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 month, 1 week ago
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site