Thijs van Leer – Introspection (1972)

FrontCover1Thijs van Leer (* March 31, 1948 – Amsterdam, Netherlands) is a Dutch musician, singer and composer, best known for heading the Dutch progressive rock band, Focus, as primary vocalist, Hammond organ player, and flautist. He went on to release many solo albums which were also classical music and jazz based. His main instruments are flute and different types of organs. He also sings, yodels and whistles.

Thijs van Leer received his first flute at the age of eleven from his father, a classical flautist. He studied History of Art at Amsterdam University; after when he began studying flute and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. He received a degree for flute from Geneva Conservatoire and also studied piano, orchestration (with Rogier van Otterloo) and organ (with Anthon van der Horst).

While still at school, van Leer led a jazz group on piano. He went on to play the flute and sing with the Shaffy cabaret group. In 1969 he joined Martijn Dresden (bass) and Hans Cleuver (drums) to form a trio that covered songs by Traffic and backed other Dutch musicians, as well as playing their own material. Later in the year guitarist Jan Akkerman joined, completing the initial line-up of Focus. They released several albums in the early 1970’s.

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Thijs van Leer headed Focus through several line-up changes, and by 1977 he was the only remaining original member. The group disbanded in 1978. In 1985, van Leer briefly reunited with Jan Akkerman to make Focus 1985. In 2002, van Leer created a new Focus line-up, which has since released the albums Focus 8 and Focus 9 / New Skin. A British tour was undertaken in spring 2006. He also appeared as a guest musician on the album, Into the Electric Castle, by Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s musical project Ayreon.

In 2008 Explore Multimedia released van Leer’s first solo album in nearly a decade, The Home Concert. The album featured recordings made in his living room as he played material for Focus 9. The album is exclusively available via the internet, and at concerts. (bach-cantatas.com)

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And here´s his first solo-album:

The Focus-flutist released a series of albums consisting of lush and romantic classical music, and this was the very first one. Van Leer’s flute is backed up by a whole orchestra and sometimes also the wordless vocal-harmonies of Letty De Jong. The material on the album includes classical stuff like Fauré’s “Pavane, Op. 50” and excerpts from Bach’s “Mass in B Minor” and “St. Matthew Passion”.

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There are also symphonic versions of “Focus I” and “Focus II” here, and both versions prove what beautiful compositions these really are. The title-track is partly based in Albinio’s well-known “Adagio” but the theme itself sounds slightly re-written. There’s also a short baroque piece here credited to arranger and conductor Rogier Van Otterloo. At it’s best; the album is very beautiful, atmospheric and relaxing music. But just don’t expect it to sound like the energetic progressive rock that Van Leer did in Focus. (by Andrew)

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Thijs van Leer made an album with ‘light’ classical tunes…and orchestrated by Rogier Van Otterloo.
The album made him a respectful musician not only by the rockers but also with them who hated rock.A very professional and successful album ,indeed. The album was in the charts (Be) for over a year.
‘Focus’ fans would give him credit for this one….but soon part 2,part 3…. followed…the originality vanished….and the real classical flute lovers would be rather buy a James Galway record. (by beestie)

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Personnel:
Thijs van Leer ( flute)
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Letty de Jong (vocals)
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unknown orchestra conducted by Rogier van Otterloo

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Tracklist:
01. Pavane, Op. 50 (Fauré) 5.54
02. Rondo (v.Otterloo) 3.08
03. Agnus Dei (Bach) 5.03
04. Focus I (v.Leer) 4.10
05. Erbarme dich (Bach) 7.31
06. Focus II (v.Leer) 4.27
07. Introspection (v.Otterloo) 5.38

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Rogier van Otterloo

Whitesnake – Trouble (1978)

FrontCover1Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band’s commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.

The band’s 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two major US hits, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love”, reaching number one and two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went 8 times platinum in the US, and the band’s success saw them nominated for the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Group.[4] Slip of the Tongue (1989) was also a success, reaching the top 10 in the UK and the US, and received a platinum US certification. The band split up shortly after this release, but had a reunion in 1994, and released a one-off studio album, Restless Heart (1997).

Whitesnake officially reformed in 2002 and have been touring together since, releasing four albums, Good to Be Bad (2008), Forevermore (2011), The Purple Album (2015) and Flesh & Blood (2019). In 2005, Whitesnake were named the 85th greatest hard rock band of all time by VH1.

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Trouble is the first studio album from British hard rock band Whitesnake, led by former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale. It reached No. 50 on the UK Albums Chart when it was released in October 1978. This followed the 4 track EP Snakebite, later available in the US as an import album from continental Europe.

This is also the first Whitesnake album to feature Coverdale’s former bandmate in Deep Purple, Jon Lord.

The album was recorded at Central Recorders Studio in London during the summer of 1978. Martin Birch produced the album, which was recorded and mixed in ten days.

According to Coverdale, one of the reasons the album was called “Trouble”, was that his first child was born during the album’s recording. (by wikipedia)

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Trouble was Whitesnake’s first “real” album, setting the template for virtually all of the band’s ensuing career, pre-1987 American sellout. (Snakebite, released earlier that year, was split between David Coverdale solo sessions and actual group recordings.) This was a group made up of seasoned veterans after all, and they knew exactly what it was they wanted: edgy hard rock based on R&B. They also knew who was boss: Coverdale, who after enduring a minority stake in the mighty Deep Purple, was now clearly established as top dog and de facto leader of the new outfit. (When he relinquishes lead vocal duties to guitarist Bernie Marsden on “Free Flight,” it’s because he wants to.) And what a slick, powerful outfit it was, too, with guitarists Marsden and Micky Moody compensating whatever visual shortcomings they may have had with their rock-solid six-string partnership, and former Purple organist Jon Lord holding it all together in the back.

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“Take Me with You”‘s nonstop boogie and persistent slide guitar hook sets things into motion on a frenetic note, but it’s the next song, “Love to Keep You Warm,” which earns its stripes as a bona fide Whitesnake classic, largely due to its seductive, deliberate strut. In retrospect, concert fave “Lie Down (A Modern Day Love Song)” is a tad too simplistic and has not aged well at all, but the pairing of “Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)” and “The Time Is Right for Love” provides an amazingly succinct look back (the first is built upon a very Purple-esque stop-start riff) and ahead (the second introduces a cool melodic recipe which would characterize the band’s later-day sound). The title track represents the album’s high-water mark, its rollicking blues shuffle declaring it a worthy successor to Coverdale’s original tour de force with Purple, “Mistreated.” A few unexpected oddities throw the album off-balance here and there, not least of which the instrumental jam “Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick” and an unexpected, stuttering cover of the Beatles’ “Daytripper,” but all things considered, it is easy to understand why Trouble turned out to be the first step in a long, and very successful career. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
David Coverdale (vocals)
Dave Dowle (drums)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Bernie Marsden (guitar, vocals on 09., background vocals)
Micky Moody (guitar, background vocals)
Neil Murray (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Take Me With You (David Coverdale/Moody) 4.48
02. Love To Keep You Warm (Coverdale) 3-46
03. Lie Down (A Modern Love Song) (Coverdale/Moody) 3.16
04. Day Tripper (Lennon/McCartney) 3.48
05. Nighthawk (Vampire Blues) (Coverdale/Marsden) 3.39
06. The Time Is Right For Love (Coverdale/Moody/Marsden) 3.29
07. Trouble (Coverdale/Marsden) 4.49
08. Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick (Moody) 3.27
09. Free Flight (Coverdale/Marsden) 4.06
10. Don’t Mess With Me (Coverdale/Moody/Marsden/Murray/Lord/Dowle) 3.18

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