1971 COUNTDOWN: #29 — #26

#29  FOCUS — Moving Waves

The second album from the Dutch progressive rock band contained their surprise hit “Hocus Pocus”. Who knew yodelling could be cool? The side-long “Eruption” suite is a highlight in the Focus catalogue and the album is consistently inventive and entertaining as the music dances between Jan Ackerman’s mercurial guitar and Thijs van Leer’s flute (and organ). Wonderful stuff. [Highlight: “Eruption”. Released October 1971]

#28  DR JOHN — The Sun, Moon & Herbs

A fabulous and under-rated Dr John album, recorded in the UK with a collection of serious players. Most prominent is Eric Clapton (and a couple of Derek & The Dominos colleagues). The story of how Mac Rebenack’s three LP concept album became a single disc is fascinating. The 2021 RSD re-issue with two further records of music salvaged from the sessions is revelatory and hugely entertaining. (Feature article at Discrepancy if you are interested). Tom Waits fans should have a listen to hear where big Tom copped a big serve of his gumbo shaman style. Highlights: “Black John The Conqueror; “Craney Crow”. [Released August 1971]

#27  MILES DAVIS — Jack Johnson

Complex, electric jazz-rock from Miles. Two sides, two tracks. Stunning. Full VC review here. [Released February 1971]

#26  THE DOORS — L.A. Woman

Although I have thawed in my attitude to The Doors over the past decade, I still hear them as an above average bar band with a few classic singles. Never went for that mystic poet schtick of Jimbo’s. Having said that, this is their second most successful album (after the debut) largely due to “Riders On The Storm” being a worldwide hit. I’m not sure why it is this high in my 1971 list. Possibly appeasement of Doors fans. Highlights: “Love Her Madly”; “Riders Of The Storm”.  [Released April 1971]

40 comments

  1. I don’t think Ive heard any of these four, despite knowing other records by all four. The more you find out about music, the more you realise it’s never ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true. So many albums, even when you make the time!

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  2. As a somewhat fan of the Doors, I thank you. Love Her Madly and LA Woman are two of my faves. I made the poor souls in my spin class ride to LA Woman every three or four weeks. You’ve got a lot of ground to cover in the few remaining weeks of 1971.

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    1. Sorry, I know this is 2021. You know what I meant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know exactly what you mean. It’s the 1971/2021 sliding door. 🙂

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    2. I can easily imagine the title track being a good driving or cycling song.
      (When I read this, my brain inserted a period before “Woman” in the third sentence. The thought flashed, that Jeff is a hard task master.)

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      1. Having ridden from the east coast to the west coast before I can attest that it takes longer than an hour.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Suspected as much. I dusted off the bike last week and managed a kilometre. Just the one. Perhaps I won’t sign up for your class just yet.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I had to give that up a few years ago. Somethings up with my throat. I can’t shout out the instructions any more. Plus, I’m getting old.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Yeah. Time’s a bastard.

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  3. Big big BIG fan of Focus, so most pleased to see them appear here . . . I featured them early and prominently in my “Fave Songs by Fave Bands” series, here:

    https://jericsmith.com/2021/01/20/favorite-songs-by-favorite-artists-series-two-7-focus/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That Dutch yodel song is quite weird, yet brilliant, and probably the only Focus tune I’ve heard to date – never got much into prog rock. I’m going to check out “Eruption”

    I think The Doors had a cool sound, and I like a good number of their tunes. “Riders On the Storm” is one of my favorites.

    That Dr. John album sounds intriguing as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is without doubt a European sensibility to the music of Focus; a little training in ‘Classical’ music certainly helps things along!
      I really love ‘Sun Moon and Herbs’. Worth a try, Christian!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I’ll check out ‘Sun Moon and Herbs’. ‘Eruption’ does sound intriguing as well, based on listening to the first 6 minutes!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s great! I’m listening right now! 🙂

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  5. LA Woman is high on the list because it is a strong album, I’d say, nevermind the fans. And Miles! So good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Focus and this is my favourite of theirs. Hamburger Concerto creeping up on it with each listen though… Particularly love Le Clochard, a very classy and beautiful sounding piece. Just bought a big box of Jan Akkerman’s solo stuff too and I’m enjoying everything I’ve heard so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, now that is very interesting. That’s the huge CD set? I’ve been eyeing that off for months. Thoughts?

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      1. It’s amazing value. I’ve only listened to about 5 of the albums so far and enjoyed them all. It’s very eclectic. I got the similar Focus box set least year and it’s brilliant.

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        1. The almost-cube with the 2 DVDs? Yeah, I sprang for that too. Excellent extra material, really worthwhile. I think you might have just nudged me towards a pre-Christmas order!

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          1. Yes that’s the one. With the BBC stuff and all that. Brilliant set. Go on treat yourself! It’s worth it for the early albums anyway. I also bought the VDGG box recently too and I’m enjoying that as well.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I sprang for VDGG too, Scott. What a lot of music in that box… reckon it’ll take me a couple of years to get through it.
              Are you a King Crimson fan? Their archival boxes are MONSTERS. I now have three. Sigh.

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            2. I drew the line at the KC sets. I have most of their albums and quite a bit of their live stuff but I think that’s all I need. I like boxes where I can hoover up lots of albums and get some extras. I’m not so fussed about demos and all that kinda stuff. It tends to gather dust.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. No, the demo and ‘alt’ stuff is often a ‘listen once then file’ affair. The KC boxes, however, are primarily live shows. Lots of them. I find them very enjoyable, but far from essential.

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            4. Maybe just too much KC for my level of interest! I’m sure for hardcore Crims those sets are the business! I don’t listen to them enough these days to go that deep.

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            5. Fair enough too. I’m a Crimso tragic for sure.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. A great band to be tragic for though. I dunno, the live albums I’ve got are brilliant… Epitaph, Nightwatch, Absent Lovers especially. Just never felt like I needed more than that. Maybe I do!

              Liked by 1 person

            7. No, you don’t. 😂

              Liked by 1 person

            8. 26 CDs. Bloody heck.

              Liked by 1 person

            9. That’ll keep you busy! I think I’ve listened to about six of them so far hehe

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            10. Add in the VDGG box and a couple of KC’s and I’ll need to retire just to keep up with the listening.
              PS. The one with Tony Scott was new and really interesting.

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            11. That’s the one I’ve got lined up next.

              Liked by 1 person

            12. Great. Tell me what you think. I’ve already enjoyed Profile and Tabernakle. The latter I know from vinyl, but the former I’d fogotten. The first side is stunning.

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            13. I loved both of those. Enjoyed the bed guitar one too… forget what it was called. The Kaz Lux ones were good… a bit odd. Every album seems to be really different from the previous. Adventurous stuff and it’s getting me into musical waters that are quite unfamiliar for me. The fusion jazz side of things especially.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. The variety is striking, isn’t it? The family are in bed so I popped on the Klaus Ogerman orchestral one (not something that will happen often, I suspect). Might have to knock up a mid-week VC post on the box and copy in our dialogue!

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            15. Sounds good! I’m intrigued by the Ogerman one. Is the guitar acoustic? I love stuff like Le Clochard so always on the lookout for that kind of thing

              Liked by 1 person

            16. It’s all electric guitar, Scott. A very mellow tone that (not being a guitar expert) reminds me of that hybrid guitar that Wes Montgomery (and others) used – not solid body but with proper pickups. MOR, but very tasteful. Playing it again this morning!

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Pretty solid foursome.

    Liked by 1 person

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