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Focus - Live At The Rainbow CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 101 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Not focused enough

After only three studio albums in as many years, Focus released this live album in 1973. In my opinion, the band had yet to reach their artistic peak at this point (which came with 1974's Hamburger Concerto). Had they waited another year or two to record their first live album, they could have made it into a double album featuring tunes from all of their four first albums which are also their best four. This could, for example, have been released in 1975 instead of the uninspired Mother Focus album to keep the Focus brand alive while the band would have had time to regain some new inspiration.

Still, Live At The Rainbow is not a bad live album as it stands. It showcases Focus in the live setting performing some great early numbers. Strangely, some numbers are severely edited for no apparent reason, while others (most notably Hocus Pocus) have been extended beyond reason! I find the album as a whole reasonably enjoyable even if I feel that it could have been much better than it is. It is worth hearing for sure, but it does not hold up well in comparison with many other classic Prog bands' live albums from around the same time.

Live At The Rainbow remains a good addition to any collection that already holds all of the band's four first albums, but it is by no means the ultimate place to start investigating Focus. Start instead with those studio albums.

Good, but not essential

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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