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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 945 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It appears that I am in a small minority who think that this is not the best Focus album. Very good, certainly, but I'd prefer to listen to Moving Waves anyday though I'd concede that this is an improvement on Focus 3. The band had undergone a gradual change of rhythm section since Moving Waves, Burt Ruiter having first come in for Cyril Havermans and ex Stone the Crows Drummer Colin Allen then having taken over from Pierre van der Linden. But these two, good though they are, are only support for the astonishing talents of master keyboard player/flautist This van Leer and guitarist extraordinaire Jan Akkerman. Van Leer contributes what vocals there are, mostly yodels and sounds which fit the music well. The band has a strong classical influence throughout, as on the lute driven Delitae Musicae, but they can rock in thoroughly modern style when they want, as on Birth and the epic second side where great solos abound. The only track that stops this album getting 5 stars is La Cathedrale de Strasbourg, which I find rather dull despite van Leer's astonishing range of vocalisations. Harem Scarem is good and bears some resemblence to Hocus Pocus but falls a bit short of that track's brilliance. However, an essential album for any serious collection. (By the way, my vinyl LP (bought shortly after release) does not have Early Birth on it. This was found on a compilation album (Focus) released by Polydor in 1975. It is not good enough to be on Hamburger Concerto since it was a trial version of the track)
Tony Fisher | 4/5 |


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