This Dutch Quartet revolutionized the rock world in the early 70's in large part due to the unparalleled talents of Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer. The first gentleman is a guitarist extraordinaire, both on acoustic or electric, as well as a world class master of the medieval luth. Thijs on the other hand, is an accomplished ivory tickler (harpsichord, piano and mostly Hammond organ) as well as a master flutist. Previous albums, Moving Waves and 3 were steeped in the extensive "Jazz-Jam" style, long riveting tracks loaded with blistering fretwork and towering interplay with flute and organ.
Why this album remains a treasure 30 years later? Hamburger Concerto is the crowning achievement of Focus' career, as subsequent albums clearly lack the sizzle and fire of this masterpiece. From the opening renaissance intro "Delitiae Musicae", the listener is in for one hell of a ride, a musical journey of epic proportions, with a mature sound and an obvious search for perfection. "La Cathedrale de Strasbourg" is warmly enchanting. The side long Hamburger suite is a divine slab of first rate prog-rock. Check out the sheer thunder and passion of Akkerman's guitar on "Birth", arguably one of the finest 10 solos ever recorded. If you do not own this jewel, I suggest to return to your country album collection and stay there! Your punishment is deserved and you have been warned.
01. Delitae Musicae
02. Harem Scarem
03. La Cathédrale de Strasbourg
05. Hamburger Concerto: a) Starter; b) Rare; c) Medium I; d) Medium II; e) Well Done; f) One For The Road.
06. Early Birth
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