“went up Trev’s – borrowed Ummug. + In+Out of Focus”
… and it was the second part of today’s entry that proved my ‘issue’ was not with Focus but with that particularly bad pressed vinyl.
“In & Out of Focus” was Focus’ debut album, originally released at the very start of the seventies. Several decades on there’s not a whole lot I can personally recommend from this album – it was never in my pantheon of “great Focus albums” – but the cut “House of the King” (which I seem to recall was used as theme music for a TV show – maybe a holiday programme?) certainly gave a taster of what the band were about, or more readily, what they would become. Prog-rock innovators.
Focus were formed by Thijs Van Leer, a classically-trained keyboardist & flautist from Holland. Alongside him – at least in the “recognised-as-classic” Focus line-up – were drummer Pierre Van Der Linden, bassist Cyril Havermans and the stylings of a certain Jan Akkerman, who, from that day to this, has always been considered one of the world’s best & technically-gifted guitarists.
I suspect I will have more to discuss about Focus in future diary posts. I’ll bet you can’t wait?!
Ummug refers to Pink Floyd’s 1969 album “Ummagumma”. This was a double album, one LP of which was a live set, the second featuring studio compositions by each of the (then) four members of the band.
This album has never been particularly considered a “good one”, even the band members themselves admitting it comes across as a bit of a “desperate release”. The live portion is very badly recorded (I can’t imagine I kept that half very long at all – it was/is very muddy and, at times, terribly incoherent) whilst the studio contributions are certainly nothing to write home about….
Except for one which I am going to highlight here, but ONLY because 36 years later I still recall it’s title with alarming precision….
“Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict”
… a peculiar composition consisting of little more than animal sound effects combined with Roger Waters’ synthesized voice looping and and out of itself in a vaguely gaelic manner. If you’ve never heard it before judge it for yourself!