January 13, 2011

Brainbox - Further evidence Yes had a big influence on the Prog-rock scene

When tonight's album came out, a friend of mine put it on the turntable and didn't tell me who it was. Within a few seconds I was convinced it was a track off a new as-yet unreleased Yes album. My friend broadly grinned and handed me the album jacket. Like everybody else he played it for, I was fooled. I was only marginally familiar with Brainbox, really only knowing they had a reputation as a Dutch Psych band who got started in 1968 but didn't make that much in the way of an impression in the States. They were reasonably big in Europe. But this was something else. The psych element was gone and it was replaced by an almost note for note copy of the Yes style, even down to the vocals.

Brainbox still isn't all that familiar with people, but once you tell them their guitarist Jan Akkerman would found Focus only a few months after this album came out, it begins to sound different.

Tonight's track, A Face starts off that last album. Parts didn't sell very well and was only moderately available, since the band broke up shortly after its release. It signaled a dramatic direction change for the band, and it would have been interesting to see where they would eventually go with it had either the album sold well or they just stuck with it. But that wasn't going to happen and the energy soon shifted to Focus and their first album out of the gate was a worldwide smash featuring the hit single "Hocus Pocus" (I was never a fan of the yodeling that was a signature of that track, but I will admit it was catchy).

If you aren't familiar with this group or this track, don't feel left out. Several million probably feel the same way.

But you can still pretend it's an unreleased Yes track.

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