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Focus - House Of The King / O Avondrood CD (album) cover



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3 stars This single was released to promote a Focus complilation album in March 1976 on the Polydor ( UK ) label. Side one's House Of The King needs really no introduction. A short catchy folky flut- led track that became Focus' second best known piece next to the dazzling Hocus Pocus. It has also appeared in single format twice previously along with Black Beauty and Sylvia as B sides..

Of interest to collectors here is the flip side which was a vocal track entitled O Avondrood ( O Evening Glow ) which featured Dutch vocals . The same moody instrumental track that became Red Sky At Night where a moog sythesizer is subsituted for the bass guitar of Bert Rueiter.This version sans vocals appears on the 1976 Ship Of Memories "outake" album. This version features the overdubbed vocals o0f both Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman eloquently evoking the beauty of a setting sun. So unless you're a fanatical collector I would skip over the bother of trying to locate a copy of this relic. The lyrics were actually taken from a peom by contemporary Dutch poet Jules Deelder and was written for a various artists 2 LP set entitled Zingje Moers Taal celebrating Dutch literature in the spring of 1976.

Hard core collectors or fans only for this one.

Report this review (#646748)
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Red Sky at Night

House of the King was orginally released as a single in 1970, and has since then appeared on numerous other singles and album releases. What is of particular interest on this 1976 single is the B-side, O Avondrood. This song was originally recorded for a Dutch various artists compilation, and constitutes a rare instance of a Focus song with lyrics in the Dutch language. The text is borrowed from the Dutch poet Jules Deelder, and is put to music by Jan Akkerman and Thijs van Leer. Some may recognize the melody from the instrumental version entitled Red Sky at Night, that was included on the Ship of Memories album.

Avondrood, literally "evening red", is the Dutch name for the phenomenon that in English is called afterglow. (The English title of the instrumental version "Red Sky at Night" needs no further explanation). I think that both versions are very beautiful, and fit with the topic, though the instrumental version has more enduring value.

There is a clip on YouTube from TopPop 1976, in which Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman play to the song.

A rarity that will be of interest to serious Focus fans, but most will be satisfied with the more widely available instrumental version

Report this review (#1976442)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2018 | Review Permalink

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