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SHIP OF MEMORIES

Focus

Symphonic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Scraping-the-bottom-of-the-drawers for this release, but there is some fine stuff so much so that the real albums pale out in comparison. This is certainly much stronger than its predecessor Mother Bogus (that was an easy one but I had to say it) but I wish the art work did not refer to it (this warship thing). Since there is material that dates back to the first album , this vimyl always lacked direction.

Although some fine tracks , again Focus shows us how thin on ideas they were by repeating the Focus themes and (respectively at version 3) and the short (single) version of Hocus Pocus. red Sky at Night being the best track on here but there are some fine Akkerman moments on side 2.

I would almost say that this album is for completist but I like Focus enough to award this album that third star.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#22948)
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#22950)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
guibaldin@uol
1 stars This is one of the wrost records I've ever heard from a major Prog group. Total lack of inspiration by sr. Akkerman and song writing is mostly made of crap. The guitar and the whole atmosphere sound poppy and wow, this album is BORING. "Focus V" is probably the wrost song ever to carry the band's name. The tittle track shows how uninspired drummers can be as song writters. The whole rest is pratically the same. This is one that you'll return to the shop after listening for the first time. Focus REALLY dissapointed me on this one.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#41881)
Posted Saturday, August 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another underrated album. This one features outtakes and rarities from mostly 1973, one track from the first line-up and a few from the later line-up (Mother Focus). Side one is truly great! First track P's March was intented to be a single and fits fine with the early single "House Of The King". Second one "Can't Believe My Eyes" contains very good guitar-work by Jan Akkerman and Focus V is a smooth track, but very beautiful. One of Focus' best tracks in my opinion. Out of Versuvius turned out later as a passage in "Hamburger Concerto" The music's quality on this record is really good and sometimes I'm surprised they are outtakes. Especially if you like the Focus from 1973 (Focus II & 3) you will appreciate this album.

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Send comments to Robin (BETA) | Report this review (#69067)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The frantic activity of Focus, because of their success in both Britain and the US, had drained the band and recording sessions in mid-1973 failed to produce a new album. Some of this work was later released as Ship Of Memories in 1976. This album was compiled of leftover tracks from that session and other tracks that were lying on the shelves. It has the following tracks:

"P's march". This was recorded during the 1973 sessions. It is one of the better tracks of the album with the typical Akkerman violin sound. It was supposed to be the next single. "Can't believe my eyes". This was also recorded during the 1973 sessions. It is not very structured, it is more a sort of jam. "Focus V". Also recorded in 1973. This is part V in the Focus series, it sounds very mellow "Out of Vesuvius". As a sequel to Eruption, Thijs van Leer was working on a piece called Vesuvius. This track is a part from that work. Later Vesuvius was rewritten and recorded as Hamburger Concerto. This is a good track with excellent guitarplaying by Akkerman. "Glider". This was later rewritten and recorded as Mother Focus, and appeared on the album with the same name. "Red sky at night". Every year in The Netherlands a week is dedicated to books. In 1976 an album was released where pop/rock musicians wrote and played the music, while the lyrics were written by an author. On this album Focus worked together with poet Jules Deelder, this track was Avondrood. Translated it means Red Sky At Night and the version without vocals can be heard on Ship Of Memories "Spoke the Lord Creator". This track is from the early days when Hans Cleuver and Martin Dresden were still members of the band. It was recorded during the sessions of On And Out Of Focus. "Crackers". This track was later rerecorded by Jan Akkerman and appeared on his selftitled solo album released in 1976. It's a funky track. "Ship of memories". Is the only track that Pierre van der Linden has written for Focus. It's just drums and keyboard. Hocus Pocus. This is the single version that was released in the US. It is a rerecording of the track that appeared on Focus II / Moving Waves.

Although there are some great tracks, this is merely an album for the Focus fan.

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Send comments to Agemo (BETA) | Report this review (#75466)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another minor release in Focus' first era.

This is a kind of Tull's "Living in the past", which is a studio album but it's really a bunch of outtakes and b-sides and, then, it's in general catalogued as a compilation. The main difference is because "Living...." was released, in fact, as a compilation. But this is not the case of Ship of Memories, which is also a bunch of b-sides (moreover, there is a re-released version of a song from Mother Focus) released along the previous years, and finally appearing as a studio album in 1976.

Let's analize the songs here:

Low notes: 'Can't believe my eyes' & 'Out of Vesuvius' has nothing interesting to offer, musically speaking. They're such mini-jam sessions, led by Akkerman's crazy guitar attacks. Of course the solos are impressive, like always, but no more. Maybe you can also be dissapointed with Focus V, which is an extremely bland and smooth number, and with the title track, a very short number with good drums, but a little lack of inspiration in the melody. Not to be taken seriously, really.

High notes: The slow-paced 'Red Sky at Night' is maybe the best track. Among a lot of rocker and funk-oriented pieces in the latest years (at that time), this really sound like a Focus tune... very nice. The other outstanding song is the opening track, with medieval flutes and organ, and slower interludes with guitar; this is such a moody song..... As I said before, there's a re-released track: a rocker version of Mother Focus' self-titled song, 'Glider'. This song is quite better than the original IMO; nice guitar, nice percussion, and the excellent vocal work by Thys is most notorious here on 'Glider'.

The rest of the disc is solid enough. Unfortunately, this fine career was ruined by their next album.

NOTE: try to get it remastered with the bonus track: a faster version of Hocus Pocus, with AMAZING guitar by Jan Akkerman.

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Send comments to sircosick (BETA) | Report this review (#127481)
Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This compilation is not enough appreciated, maybe because it can't truly be called an album, as the tunes here weren't intended to sound out together in this order. It is therefore a compilation spanning many years and not a coherent album, however the quality of the music here is sometimes on par with stuff from "Focus III", in fact it's their most jazzy album except for that one. Even the poppish funk pieces "Gilder" and "Crackers" sound way better than this kind of stuff sounded on "Mother Focus". The album closes out with an insanely fast version of "Hocus Pocus" which should be a nice treat for anyone with patience to sit through the entire thing!

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Send comments to Salviaal (BETA) | Report this review (#128031)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Some out-takes and rarities here.

P´s march A nice up tempo track, in the medieval influence tradition by the band. Not the most original thing to do, but the melody is fine and it has soaring guitar work from Akkerman. 5 stars

Can´t believe my eyes This track is much more jazzy than most of the tracks on here. Great funky bass liness and nice playing from Akkerman again, but it sound sdirectionless after a while and an actual melody would do this one good. The noisy keyboards are especially irritating, even if they mostly stay in the background. 1.5 stars

Focus V A track, that could be called fusion without hesitating. Some fine subtle guitar playing from Akkerman and atmospheric playing from Van Leer, but the melody is sub par and the track seems to otdrag, even if it´s only three minutes long. 1.5 stars

Out of Vesuvius Well played funky influenced jazzrock, but where is the melody? The solos are directionless, even if good from a purely technical point of view. Akkerman´s sound irritates me on this one. Screeeeeching! Van Leer´s solo on electric piano is mindlessas well. 0 stars

Glider. More of the same here. Ok, Akkerman´s guitarplaying is fabulous, but that´s it. Mostly sounds like a jazzier version of classic Yes with a total lack of inspiration. 0 stars

Red sky at night Finally some melody. A guitar dominated track in the vvein of shorter track such as Sylvia. Great vork from both Akkerman and Van Leer. Some fine guitar playing as well as flute. 5 stars

Spoke the Lord creator A nice instrumental that mixes Hammond organ with a countryesque groove. The second half is a pure rocker, though. 3.5 stars

Crackers Oh, Focus goes funky. Now that´s ....eh, uninspired. Nice, but uinspired. 1 star

Ship of memories Drums and barely audible organ. No melody. Ok 0 stars

Overall rating: 2 STARS After all, this is a collection of out-takes and rarities

COLLECTORS/FANS ONLY

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Send comments to Peto (BETA) | Report this review (#132627)
Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars "Ship of Memories" is a compilation of unreleased tracks (mainly form 1973).

I am always reluctant with "unrealeased" material. IMO, most of the time it should have remained so. And there are very few exception to this rule, IMHHO (in my humble and HONEST opinion). I even rank Led Zep and "Physical..." in this category (and believe me, I like them an awful lot). So, let's hear what "Focus" has to propose after their extremely weak "Mother Focus".

The opener is quite strange : two different tempos. One is purely folkish and a bit dull, while the other one features some fabulous guitar work from Jan. "Can't Believe My Eyes" is on the very heavy side of their production. Dull and repetitive. Almost jamming, but we know that they like to do this. At times, the riff reminds me with the one of "Kashmir" from who you know. It should have been titled "Can't Believe My Ears".

A well established tradition comes next with "Focus V". As usual this "Focus" theme is very pleasant. All in harmony and subtlety. A nice symphonic & jazzy song with beautiful guitar and flute. This is exactly what a Focus fan is expecting (at least it is my case). Of course, one might argue that they lack in diversity with these "Focus" songs but at the end of the day Carlos did it over ten times with "Samba Pa' Ti" and I always have found these songs one of the best of each corresponding "Santana" album. and I have the same feeling with "Focus".

Jazz ("Out Of Vesuvius") and funk ("Glider") will respectively be on the menu. Some short background yodeling during the latter. Let's say that none of these two songs will be remembered as great ones.

My favourite song (and the longest one, almost six minutes) from this album is without any doubt "Red Sky at Night". Symphonic "Focus" just as I like them. Poignant melody and emotional keyboards. A classic "Focus" song after all. The listener will be brought back down to earth with "Spoke The Lord Creator". This is a real bad song. Country type. But it is not the frst time that they are flirting with this genre, unfortunately. Remember ""All Together...Oh That!" on their previous album.

The funky / disco "Crackers" could have remained for the vaults. Press next to reach the title track. This one sounds completely unfinished. Some useless 1'46" of music.

The closing number is better known as "Hocus Pocus Fast Version". It is a short version (not an excerpts) of the song we all know over here (in Europe, I mean). It was released as a single for the US market. It holds more wild moments that anything else (hence the title...). A nice touch to close this average compilation work.

So this work follows the rule. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#135080)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the disaster of the previous album Mother Focus, Akkerman, van Leer and company released this collection of outtakes and unreleased tracks. This is much better record that brings back some of the old FOCUS magic. It is particularly worthy to listen to the nice and playful flute-marked opener P's March and the dark and noisy rendition of fuzz and Mellotron filled Can't Believe My Eyes. There is also quite a few amazing jazz jamming moments in Out of Vesuvius and Crackers and interesting, rather dirty version of Hocus Pocus. The rest is not very much up to the standards of FOCUS and it is plain to see why these had been left over. Ship of Memories is not essential record, but it has a healthy dose of nice music that can mend (at least temporarily) the broken hearts of the fans who had already dismissed the band as passe after the previous failure.

PERSONAL RATING: 2,5/5

P.A. RATING: 3/5

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#164445)
Posted Thursday, March 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One thing I really like about this album is the name of the album. In digital days, this album might be named as Previously Unreleased album or each individual track will be inserted as bonus tracks of remastered series of Focus. Rather the band opted to use "Ship of Memories" which contains previously unreleased songs from their previous albums. This is an instrumental album released by by Sire Records, with materials spanning from 1970, 1973, and 1975. The first four tracks were originally should appear on a follow-up album to Focus III in 1973, but there were disagreements among members of the band about the quality of the material, and finally it was not released as an album. That's why you will find that the musicianship and performance of the band are quite good for all four songs here.

You can find that with the opening track P's March, there is a sense of style similar to the band's debut album In and Out of Focus. There are lots of combined electric guitar work, distinctive style of Akermann and dynamic drumming slated with keyboard / organ work throughout the album. It's typical Focus sounds of the early seventies. But if you meticulously observe each individual track you will find why they were not included in the album. It's not bad at all but it's not measuring up with those of Focus III or "Moving Waves" or "Hamburger Concerto".

Overall, this is a good album especially for those who enjoy instrumental work from Focus.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#184763)
Posted Sunday, October 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although this is primarily a clean-out-the-vaults vehicle for Focus' label at the time, the end result is perhaps Focus' most cohesive and consistent album. Certainly their most melodic.

Focus were, through '75 at least, a melody-driven band. And boy, are beautiful melodies in abundance throughout this album - most notably in Focus V, the fifth in a seemingly endless series of Focus-titled tunes (I think they're up to Focus X, as I write this). As the liner notes point out, the band's twin towers Thijs Van Leer and Jan Akkerman were barely on speaking terms at this point, yet still managed together to create a tune of such remarkable beauty. Perhaps the discordance actually added fuel to the song's power, I don't know. A genuinely moving performance, Focus V remains my favorite tune by the band, and I thank the release of Ship of Memories for making it available.

The fusion elements so prevalent in the band's late '70s years were only just beginning to creep in here, notably on Crackers which Akkerman covered later on one of his early jazz fusion solo albums. Elsewhere, there are many moments of that celebrated classic Focus sound to be heard here without any of the lengthy solo-fueled side-long workouts that dotted the previous chronological album, Focus III.

By 1976, the band was already losing their (sorry) focus with the advent of many more jazz fusion elements, notably much Fender Rhodes, poly synths and the requisite solo noodling that the era sort of demanded. Actually, some of their fusion-esque stuff I'm quite fond of, but it never seemed like a natural progression from their original sound - just too abrupt a transition from one genre to the next. However, the Ship of Memories album very ably demonstrates that trademark Focus sound, with its classic lineup (for the most part), that even their supposed throwaway stuff can justify a release of its own and still stand proudly alongside its more formal releases.

An easy four stars.

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Send comments to Steven in Atlanta (BETA) | Report this review (#194412)
Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Focus - Ship of Memories (1976)

On this album, somehow hidden to most fans of the band, Focus found some new ways to express it's more then capable musicianship. With Thijs van Leer on organs, keyboards and flute and no less then Jan Akkerman on the electric guitar some sensation can be suspected. On bass we have the professional Bert Ruiter and during the album we get to listen to three different drummers, among who Pierre van der Linden of the original Focus line-up.

Somehow the word spread that 'Ship of Memories' is an album full of leftovers from other records, but I must say the material sounds as if recorded in the same period. The style and sound is consistent. Having that said, the album does have a different approach then most other Focus records. There are very few vocals by Van Leer and there's more fusion to be found. The compositions are shorter and the sound is very full and well developed. There are little influences from classical music and the sound is rooted in heavy jazz rock. Somehow most compositions have distinctive atmospheres and it's apparent that on some tracks Jan Akkerman plays particularly psychedelic, fierce and confronting. I myself can't imagine any of these compositions being 'leftovers', because most of them are simply brilliant. Perhaps they weren't suitable for other albums because of the distinctive atmospheres that are less accessible then the symphonic styled tracks of Focus.

'P's March' is an opening track with two face; the folksy parts with flute (that perhaps sound a bit too optimistic) and the darker parts with brilliant guitar screams by Akkerman. Non of his solo's are melodic, but they somehow cut through metal. 'Can't believe my Eyes' is a heavy, dark psychedelic fusion track ? one of my favorites! The style is very distinctive; a bit troubling and exciting. The chords progressions are very original and the solo's of Akkerman psychedelic and confronting. The way he interprets these chords schemes without thinking to much about harmony, but instead focusing on the dark atmosphere is really a prove of artistic brilliance. It sure took me a while to understand this track though. 'Focus V' is another instrumental with a slower pace and a more clean style. The melodies sound intimate, yet again distinctive. 'Out of Vesuvius' is a great vehicle for very professional fusion jamming with lot's of great solo's of both Akkerman and Van Leer. Just listen to the thickness of the sound!

On side two 'Glider' is a great compositions with a funky fusion main theme and a symphonic/progressive refrain with some nice psychedelic screams by Van Leer. Great track. 'Red Sky at Night' is a composition that has some drama to it, which is very attractive for listeners of progressive rock. The emotional solo's of Akkerman really touch something whilst the impressive chords and especially moog bass by Van Leer make this a unique track. The flute parts are really welcome and it's good to see how the song be send into folky directions. Very catchy this one. 'Spoke the Lord Creator' is an optimistic track with some traces of classical music. This is perhaps the only track that really would have worked well on the debut or Moving Waves. Jan Akkerman's 'Crackers' (a track he would also record on self-titled album and play live frequently) is not a very attractive track because it's a pure fusion track with that let's dance vibe. 'Ship of Memories' turns out to be a short atmospheric impression by Pierre van der Linden. The opening has some nice drums and the hormonium piece that soon follows sound nostalgic, but not too professional.

Conclusion. This is my favorite Focus album, albeit a bit non-Focus-like. The distinctive atmospheres, the great use of fusion styles (which I find hard to find elsewhere!), the artistic bravery of Jan Akkerman (some of his best solo's), professional performance and great recording make this album a real winner. I can image fans of Focus being disappointed after first spin, but most of them will grow into it. For fans of the progressive fusion style this is the most attractive Focus album. Furthermore I would recommend repeated listening before making judging on this album. Somehow, after years of little replay this record started to fascinate me. I'm going to reward this one with the big 4,5 stars rating. Overlooked and underrated in my humble opinion.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#204174)
Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 3 2/3 stars, really - Focus' "Ship of Memories"is a collection of old takes and leftovers that this Dutch band released as a means to deal with the ultimate crisis of its classic line-up (Jan Akkerman's departure) while keeping up with the recording contract. The "Mother Focus" album had been an almost total disaster in artistic terms, showing a band that used to be grandiose until recently ("Hamburger Concerto" had been an amazing follow-up to the "Focus III" and live albums) going down as a muzak ensemble. This Focus had evidently fallen far out of focus. This album was not designed to show sings of improvement or further decay, but it actually happened to be a very good late testament for the Akkerman and Van der Linden days. In fact, most of the material comes from the time between the live album's release and the "hamburger Concerto" sessions. While in America prog, Kansas was elaborating one of its finest compositions ever with the linkage and rearrangement of various leftovers ('Magnum Opus'), Focus revealed that it could deliver pretty good ideas that didn't have much to envy those tracks that ultimately had made it for the first 5 studio efforts. One must really reconsider the traditional meaning of the word leftover in this kind of situations, even though the sound production quality is irregular throughout the album. 'P'S march' kicks off the album alternating an adapted joyful classical piece and a slow jazz-rock portion, combining light spirit and melancholy in a typically Focus kind of way. 'Can't Believe My Eyes' is a jazz-rock jam that exposes some of the most dynamic playing by Akkerman: despite not being too fast, it is energetic and it rocks big time. On the other side of things, 'Focus V' states a very reflective mood, based on eerie mellotron/organ layers and ethereal guitar phrases: the latter's controlled dynamics fits well the flute solo that appears somewhere in the middle. A lovely piece, indeed, it is a crime that it should be kept in the dark until this album was released. 'Out of Vesuvius' goes to a similar territory to that of track 2, if a bit funkier: some cadences may remind us of the 4th section from the 'Hamburger Concerto' suite. The album's second half starts with 'Glider', which basically is the original demo of what eventually became 'Mother Focus'. Unlike the insipid final result, 'Glider' happens to be a ballsy, effective exercise on rock-meets-funky, with a pleasant use of jazzy disco elements. There is also a funny entry of a rhythm machine, which joined with the extra percussion seems to flirt with the disco thing. But this is no 'Invisible Touch' or 'No Reply at All', this is a great piece of humorous, catchy rock: the added flavors provided by Akkerman's solos and Van Leer's multiple keyboard inputs are properly fuelled by the rhythm duo. 'Red Sky at Night' is a majestic exhibition of progressive romanticism: shifting things from the classy frivolity of 'Glider', this piece states a portrait of reflectiveness through its well-construed melodic development. The flute solo is pure Van Leer magic. 'Spoke the Lord Creator' is closer to the Focus that recorded the debut album, a bit naďve yet catchy and proficiently performed. 'Crackers' displays a sort of strength that was sorely missing in "Mother Focus", while its framework remains similar to most of the tracks that were included in it. The namesake closer is a brief, experimental piece performed by a van der Linden doubling on drum kit (a ceremonious roll) and harmonium (soft chord progressions): the idea of a ship setting out to sea is well portrayed here. Surprisingly good, this album outdoes the preceding and follow-up efforts that Focus came out with in the wake of its career. Unlike the current resurrection era, way back then, the leadership of Van Leer alone wasn't enough.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#204297)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars Luckily, I didn't pay to much for this album. I have the Sire LP version, and I picked it up at a used record store. It appears to be in pristine condition, but the sound throughout it is muddy.

The album opens with P's March a mix of fusion and medieval sounds. Can't Believe My Eyes is primarilay a vehicle for a bluesy Jan Akkerman solo. The grungy guitar then gives way to Focus V, a slow, light fusion song by Thijs van Leer. Side 1 closes with Out Of Vesuvius, another bluesy jam, that doesn't quite erupt.

Glider, a funky guitar piece with a little fusion, opens the second side. It has a heft helping of cheese, but Akkerman's guitar saves it. Red Sky At Night a slow piano driven ballad, is also assisted by Akkeman's adept guitar. Spoke The Lord Creator, the worst titled song on the album, doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a keyboard prog song, or country rock. This version of Crackers which fared better on an Akkerman solo album I've heard, has some nice fusion sections, but the arrangement wanders much too close to disco. And the title track, Pierre van der Linden' Ship Of Memories starts out like it may be a grand voyage, but just sinks.

There is very little prog on this album, compared to the better known focus albums. But with Akkerman and van Leer together, it's not completely uninteresting.

2.5 stars, rounded down (sorry).

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#419374)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars Back to the mother ship

By the mid-70's Focus had already run out of steam which was clearly evidenced by the poor Mother Focus. This was followed by the present album which consists of a collection of recordings left over from earlier years. As such, it is almost per definition primarily interesting for fans and collectors. Ship Of Memories merits a couple of listens by the Focus fan, but it is certainly not an album that I will return to on further occasions (except perhaps to hear the flute-driven P's March, the most memorable track here).

Those who enjoyed the band's four first albums (this reviewer included) might find this a decent addition to their collections, but it is by no means up to par with any of those classic albums (or with the band's more recent studio albums for that matter). The style is 100% Focus, but the quality of the material is somewhat lower. While definitely preferable over the previous Mother Focus, Ship Of Memories is still one of Focus' weaker moments.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#948198)
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 | Review Permalink

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