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2 stars Picked this up for Ł7.99 at HMV. Appeared to be a top notch, good value compilation featuring a lot of their best work. Unfortunately, it is a bargain basement live album which appears to be from two different eras of the band. CD1 appears to be the classic 70s incarnation of the band featuring Jan, Thijs etc and is an average quality recording from TV/Live appearances. Not the best live recording (See Live at the Rainbow) but an interesting addition for collector's. CD2 sounds a lot better quality wise, but also sounds like Karaoke Focus- Don't know where Van Leer found these guys (the guitarist is really, I mean REALLY, rubbish) but he should have left them there. Like I said, interesting..........
Report this review (#63861)
Posted Monday, January 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I must say I was dissapointed when I first played this - I was expecting a compilation of studio recordings. However after the initial surprise I find the CD1 is fantastic -Jan and Thijs do know how to do the business. Yes it is different to At The Rainbow - but then again, who would want it the same? CD 2 is a later live recording in the states. Guitarist Jan Boolay(spelling?) is actually rather good. Bass playerBobby Jakobbs (spelling?) gets it together with drummer. Full band line ups are given in track 5 and track 8. I think the new line up is very tallented, I'd like to see and hear them -I went to the Rainbow when the live album was recorded - I think this album is just as good.
Report this review (#68289)
Posted Saturday, February 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is one of a budget series of CDs (mine cost Ł2.99) and I've seen other prog bands such as Yes in the same collection. You can tell it's a budget series as there's absolutely no information about the origin of the tracks on the inside or outside of the CD. The CD booklet just contains a track listing and photographs, so before playing the CD you have no idea if it's a studio or live recording. As it turns out, it's a double live CD featuring most of their well-known tracks such as Hocus Pocus, House of the King, Sylvia and Hamburger Concerto. As I'm not a Focus expert I don't know when or where these tracks were recorded or the line-up (although the members are mentioned on one of the tracks on CD2, Van Leer is the only name I recognised).

The sound quality is reasonably good and at least the band improvise rather than just reproduce the studio recordings. Overall it's not a bad CD for the price but not really worth any more unless you're a Focus completist, however the people concerned should be locked up for producing a CD with no information on it.

Report this review (#126588)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2007 | Review Permalink

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