Once again I fell for Holland’s finest prog rock export.
Focus at the Rainbow was, as the name suggests, a recording of a live performance by the band at the Rainbow Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park.
The sleeve was another of those die-cut affairs that were all the rage at the time, cardboard flaps opening left and right to eventually reveal…..um, actually I can’t remember!
It may have been the first live album I ever bought.
If it was, then it kicked off a lifelong disinterest in live recordings. Unlike many other music fans, I have never really embraced the notion of “in concert’ albums and in all my years of buying records or CD’s I have amassed just the merest (one) handful of them to listen to.
This may be surprising to some of my readers. I just reckon live versions of songs are never anywhere near as good as studio originals, no matter how much ‘energy’ is exhibited. Plus there’s that whole “audience joining in” rubbish which has never struck me as listenable.
I know I’m in a minority with this point of view. On the upside however I have never, ever had to invest in dodgy bootleg recordings of my favourite artists – something which a lot of my ‘musical’ friends feel is necessary to their collections.
So, in 1974 I bought “At the Rainbow” and I’ll bet it wasn’t played more than a half a dozen times before I got rid of it.