Sunday, August 09, 2009

Focus: Sylvia

In 1973 I became a teenager and acquired the habit of following the singles chart obsessively.

This one reached no. 4 in January of that year and was doubly unusual: it was an instrumental and it was by a Dutch band.

Focus had a second track, Hocus Pocus, lower down the singles chart, which made them even more unusual.

Listening to them today Hocus Pocus is in danger of being silly because of the yodelling and falsetto singing, exciting though the instrumental sounds are exciting. But Sylvia is still wonderful, with a lyrical lead guitar and a Hammond organ in the mix.

The guitarist is Jan Akkerman who in 1973 was voted the greatest guitarist in the world by the readers of Melody Maker.

1 comment:

Tim (Kalyr) said...

Saw Focus at the Cambridge Rock Festival last weekend - Now sadly without Jan Akkerman.

They did play "Silvia". And Hocus Pocus, of course, with Thijs van Leer conducting the audience to sing the falsetto parts.