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Focus - Ship Of Memories CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.16 | 179 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Why the silhouette of the World War II German battleship Bismark was selected for the cover of this Focus retrospect album rather than a graceful tall ship is one of those record company mysteries. Containing snippets and unused material spanning their career up to 1976 when Jan Akkerman called it quits, the listener should expect no more and no less although there are a couple of gems to be heard here. First off, there`s the equally dazzling alternate "fast" version of Hocus Pocus which first appeared on Dutch Masters, a compilation album released on Sire records in 1975. Two pieces, Spoke The Lord Creator and P`s March, although recorded four years apart, reflect the true style of the early Focus. Red Sky At Night is by far the highlight track. With heavy moog synthesizer and soloing by both Van Leer and Akkerman it shows a departure from their more classically influenced style of writing found on the first three Focus studio records. Glider was a track which was obviously reworked into what became the title track for the last focus album featuring Akkerman, Mother Focus which was released in 1975. It has a much faster tempo and very raw sound compared to the latter and featured a drum sequencer rather than a live drummer and it is the prefered version for this reviewer. The rest of the album is Akkerman all the way. Out Of Vesuvius and Can`t Believe My Eyes are essentially studio experiments featuring Akkerman`s excellent fret-work. Crackers and the melow Focus V are definitely the odd ones out, crackers being a funk inspired track which was redone yet again on Akkerman`s self titled 1977 album. The album`s strong points outweigh the weaker moments by far and is a good representation of the band`s development over 6 years through tracks which would otherwise have been committed to the vaults.
Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |


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