Focus – Live At The Rainbow

18 Mar

Focus - Live At The Rainbow CB041 frontLink

Released in 1973 and only available in quad format on… yes Virginia you guessed it the old Q8 cartridge. This example was provided by ‘rockysquirrrel’. We should be thankful for Rocky’s contributions who has contributing several tapes that are offered here on the blog. We all benefit from his generosity.

It should be noted that we discover yet another Q8 that has misaligned channels from the factory. While listening it became apparent that something was amiss. The entire sound-scape was turned 90° to the left. A quick twist of 90° to the right provided a fix. Back in 1973 the only way to achieve such a fix was to rearrange your patch cords. Unless you were in your automobile which this format was primarily intended. It was things such as this that would have put off the consumer for quad back in day don’t you think. Never the less here we are now and if you have an opinion or comment concerning what you do or don’t hear please feel welcome to share it. Enjoy CB


Release: CB041

Source: Q8



11 Responses to “Focus – Live At The Rainbow”

  1. Owen Smith March 28, 2015 at 17:44 #

    This is brilliant, I was grinning like a mad thing during Hocus Pokus, what a track! Those clanging angular guitar sounds, bravura live yodelling, extended in places, and the general enegry and excitement of the entire track. The rest of the set is more of a warm up to Hocus Pokus, it’s not entirely in the same style and without Hocus Pokus I think the rest of the tracks here would feel they were missing a climax to the set. But they’s still good tracks.

    The sung band intros don’t work for me, I couldn’t work out a single name from what he said. Nice idea, didn’t work in practice.

    The quad mix is fairly static as joerand says, but still effective. And it gives all the instruments space, there is no difficulty hearing what each is doing or the nuances of their sound.

    The only Q8 foible on show here is tape hiss, but it never spoils the fun. Frequency range is good with no loss of top end, and wow and flutter is absent. A good tape and a nice transfer from the Captain.

  2. joeerand March 26, 2015 at 18:08 #

    a response to sacdtodvda – the audience is solidly in the rear, and the drums are solidly in the front, but the rest of the band is spread throughout the room (organ mostly in the rear). The guitar sounds particularly realistic with this image…I think it sounds much better than on the CD.

    • sacdtodvda March 28, 2015 at 22:39 #

      Thanks, Joe. I shall partake after all.

  3. Owen Smith March 25, 2015 at 13:33 #

    Am I right in thinking this has live yodelling? I really need a good dose of live yodelling.

    • captainbeyond55 March 26, 2015 at 10:47 #

      You are correct sir and not to be missed is the singing introduction of the band members. That has got to be a first and most likely a last too. Very unique,

  4. gjwAudio March 23, 2015 at 18:29 #

    Three Cheers for The Captain… Huzzah, HuZZAH, HUZZAH !!!

    Thank you so much for this Time-Trip back to ’73-’74, when this album was a vital part of the soundtrack to my teenage adventures.

    Amongst a close group of friends, one was able to regularly borrow the family four-door to shepherd us about from place to place (a monstrous Buick Le Sabre with V8 rocket for an engine)… AND… we had 3 8-track tapes at our disposal: “Genesis – Live at The Rainbow”, “A Clockwork Orange OST”, and this release, “Focus – Live At The Rainbow” (albeit in stereo only).

    These three titles were freely rotated – blasted way beyond safe exposure levels !! – as we would make our way from home to bar/party and all stops in between. How many times did we “go nuts” at the climax of the Hocus Pokus encore… if I only had a dollar… 🙂

    I just CAN’T WAIT to hear this on my surround rig (…sadly STILL out of service), and so in the meantime, will relive the Mad Days via foobar2000 and the serviceable 2.1 PC setup.

    I type these words now with a stupid huge grin from hearing the opening angular chords of Hocus Pokus 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thank you CB so much for this (and of course to OD for supporting your archive work). Must find a pint somewhere and tip it to you both !!

  5. joeerand March 23, 2015 at 06:35 #

    From the Mojo review of a CD release: For ’70s bands, the live album was as obligatory as the shouts of “Wally”. Hence this 1972 document of Amsterdam hairies Focus at the now defunct Finsbury Park Rainbow. The Focus sound, dominated by Thijs Van Leer’s frowzy organ and goofy scat singing, can irk now but there’s still something engaging about how the band juggled bright, poppy melodies with furiously complex jazz improvisations. It was a crowd-pleasing set including the Eruption suite and the hits Hous Pocus and Sylvia, but the real star is guitarist Jan Akkerman. Technically breathtaking and wildly original, his style encompasses funk, jazz, hard rock and early music – amateur guitarists will go slack-jawed at the solos, which sound like a cardsharp rifling through a new deck. Still, a negligible item.

  6. joeerand March 21, 2015 at 17:11 #

    At the time of this recording, the readers of Melody Maker (a hugely popular music mag) voted guitarist Jan Akkerman “Best Guitarist In The World”, in front of Clapton, Jeff Beck, Santana, etc. Shortly afterwards, he left the band to pursue more jazz-oriented material, and rarely tours outside of Europe. But he was and is extraordinary. I’m looking forward to hearing this Q8, because the “Moving Waves” title had such good response on this forum. Thank you so much!

  7. quadro2013 March 20, 2015 at 20:17 #

    Focus is one of my favourite bands since many, many years.
    Thank you for this recording!
    You make me so happy!

  8. sacdtodvda March 20, 2015 at 10:49 #

    What’s the mix like? Band in fronts, audience & ambience in rears?

  9. prefabfan March 19, 2015 at 03:34 #

    When CDs were new and there were no Jan Akkerman CDs here in Los Angeles, i went to every store in Amsterdam buying 20+ Jan Akkerman CDs. And there on a telephone pole a piece of paper “Tonight at the Melkweig, thus Vsn lier, Candy Fulfer and Jan Akkerman”. Great night of music

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