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The Complete Jan Akkerman / 26CD box

Massive 26CD box set • Great price in France

The Complete Jan Akkerman is a new 26 CD box set which brings together all the studio albums (and more) of Dutch guitar legend Jan Akkerman, who found international success with the band Focus.

The creative guitarist is well known for his individualistic style, combining rock, jazz, blues, and baroque into his solo projects. This 26-disc set includes the solo studio long-players, his most important live recordings and a CD of rare and previously unreleased tracks.

The booklet includes a biography, some unpublished photos and an album-to-album breakdown, featuring full credits (including never-before-published facts about who played what on specific albums) and Jan’s own memories about the 23 studio and live albums, taken from recent interviews with Jan.

In terms of mastering, these have come from the best available sources, including analog two-track tapes, digital safety copies, and the odd DAT tape (for the rarities disc). Where master tapes have disappeared or been untraceable, then “a few” needle drops have been used. Everything has been remastered “carefully” to maintain dynamic range, and some are even flat transfers because they didn’t need enhancing in any way.

You can pre-order for about £100 in the UK, which isn’t exactly a rip-off for the number of discs, but on the other hand, you can pick it up for around £65 via Amazon France (€72).

The Complete Jan Akkerman box set will be released on 20 July 2018.

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Jan Akkerman

The Complete Jan Akkerman

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 71.19
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 89.99
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 92.12
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 61.99
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 80.37
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 100.61
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 134.25
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 89.99
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Focus

Hocus Pocus Box

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 32.69
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 36.98
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 39.12
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 37.99
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 41.3
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 51.8
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 52.04
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 36.99
Currency:

CD 1 – TALENT FOR SALE
1. Bags Groove 2.42
2. Revival Of The Cat 2.53
3. Moonbeam 3.06
4. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 3.24
5. On The Green Light 2.54
6. What'd I Say 2.37
7. Slim Jenkin’s Place 3.20
8. Hineimatov 3.19
9. Green Onions 3.16
10. Ode To Billy Joe 5.30
11. Comin' Home Baby 2.23

CD 2 – PROFILE
1. Fresh Air (Must Be My Land – Wresting To Get Out – Back Again – The Fight – Fresh Air, Blue Notes For
Listening – Water And Skies Are Telling Me – Happy Gabriël?) 19.53
2. Kemps Jig 1.32
3. Etude 1.30
4. Blue Boy 2.23
5. Andante Sostenuto 4.07
6. Maybe Just A Dream 2.34
7. Minstrel / Farmers Dance 1.43
8. Stick 3.37

CD 3 – TABERNAKEL
1. Britannia by John Dowland 3.56
2. Coranto For Mrs. Murcott by Francis Pilkington 1.27
3. The Earl Of Derby, His Galliard by John Dowland 1.57
4. House Of The King 2.23
5. A Galliard by Anthonie Holborne 2.11
6. A Galliard by John Dowland 1.33
7. A Pavan by Thomas Morley 3.06
8. Jaweh 3.22
9. A Fantasy by Laurencini of Rome 3.20
10. Lammy (I Am – Asleep, Half Asleep, Awake – She Is, Lammy – We Are, The Last Will And Testament – Amen)
14.05

CD 4 – JAN AKKERMAN & KAZ LUX: ELI / TRANSPARENTAL
ELI:
1. Eli 4.24
2. Guardian Angel 4.54
3. Tranquillizer 4.15
4. Can’t Fake A Good Time 5.20
5. There He Still Goes 3.43
6. Strindberg 3.07
7. Wings Of Strings 3.17
8. Naked Actress 5.43
9. Fairytale 3.45
TRANSPARENTAL:
10. Inspiration 6.08
11. Apocalypso 6.15
12. Concentrate, Don’t Hesitate 6.43
13. Transparental 1.10
14. I Don’t Take It Much Longer 3.52
15. Marsha 5.03
16. You’re Not The Type 5.57
17. The Party Is Over 4.28

CD 5 – JAN AKKERMAN
1. Crackers 4.18

2. Angel Watch 9.50
3. Pavane 5.31
4. Streetwalker 6.59
5. Skydancer 5.12
6. Floatin’ 5.13
7. Gate To Europe 3.01

CD 6 – TONY SCOTT featuring JAN AKKERMAN: PRISM
1. Silmarillion 11.56
2. The Offering 11.02
3. Blues Blues Blues And Then Some More Blues 11.02
4. Under The Bo Tree 12.02

CD 7 – JAN AKKERMAN & CLAUS OGERMAN: ARANJUEZ
1. Adagio from 'Concierto de Aranjuez' 5.54
2. Nightwings 4.49
3. Mondinha (Preludio) 5.04
4. Españoleta 5.32
5. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte 6.44
6. Love Remembered 3.34
7. The Seed Of God (from ‘Magdalena’) 5.37
8. Bachinanas Brasileiras No.5 5.44

CD 8 – LIVE
1. Transitory 2.06
2. Skydancer 8.33
3. Pavane 7.15
4. Crackers 6.50
5. Tommy 3.36
6. Azimuth 6.08

CD 9 – JAN AKKERMAN 3
1. Stingray (Get Up With That) 5.49
2. Wait And See 4.55
3. She’s So Divine 3.49
4. Funk Me 5.56
5. This Is The One 6.00
6. Nightprayer 5.45
7. Time Out Of Mind 1.19

CD 10 – OIL IN THE FAMILY
1. Oil In The Family 6.22
2. Formula N-One 9.37
3. Disc-O-Asis 7.05
4. No Doubt About It 5.42
5. Family Reprise 1.03
6. Blue In The Shadow 3.52

CD 11 – PLEASURE POINT
1. Valdez 4.10
2. Heavy Pleasure 8.42
3. Cool In The Shadow 7.01
4. Visions Of Blue 9.50
5. C.S. 3.53
6. Bird Island 7.01
BONUS TRACKS (1998):
7. Atlantean Dew 5.02
8. Laurie’s Dance 1.36
9. Angel Blue 2.42
10. Halfway 4.01
11. 35 Seconds 0.34
12. Waterfalls Of Eden 1.00
13. Desiderata 1.48
14. Terra Pax?! 1.08
15. Guilty By Association 0.33
16. Communion & Procession 2.17
17. Near Odessa 1.14
18. Anne Mia 2.58

CD 12 – IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
1. Old Tennis Shoes 11.27
2. Come Closer 8.41
3. Funkology (Baby Start – One Way – Free) 11.35
4. It Could Happen To You (Free Together) 5.25

CD 13 – CAN’T STAND NOISE
1. Piétons 7.58
2. Everything Must Change 6.26
3. Back To The Factory 7.52
4. Journey (A Real Elegant Gipsy) 4.28
5. Heavy Treasure 8.55
6. Just Because 5.35
7. Who Knows 1.15
BONUS TRACKS (1994):
8. Crackers 9.38
9. Burger’s Blues (Intro) 3.18
10. Prima Donna 5.19
11. Sketches Of Pleasure 11.12

CD 14 – FROM THE BASEMENT
1. Headbanger 6.28
2. All Along The Watchtower 14.14
3. Dark Rose 2.55
4. Wallenberg (Dedicated To Raoul Wallenberg) 6.09
5. From The Basement 8.22
6. P.C.B. Chicken 6.36
7. Status Quo 2.56
BONUS TRACKS (1998):
‘The Love Is Uneven Suite’
8. a) She Let Me Do What I Want 0.39
9. b) Blues From The Tews 0.46
10. c) Cherubim & Sepharim 1.48
11. d) She Can’t Say Don’t 3.01
12. e) Part 1 – Took Her To Locronan 0.39
13. f) Part 2 – Then Rollright Stones (The Tews) 6.56
14. g) No More Parking 2.44
15. When I Was A Cocktail In A Waitress Bar 4.30
16. Ellington’s Way 3.26

CD 15 – HEARTWARE
1. My Pleasure 8.54
2. Just Because, So! 5.00
3. Lost & Found 7.08
4. Heartware 6.50
5. Winterborn, Lyric 5.07
6. Lonely Street Of Dreams 5.48
7. Firenze 2.54
BONUS TRACKS (1998):
8. Apollo’s Mask 0.50
9. Dancing In Chains (not S.M.) 4.48
10. Dompteuse Du Serpent 0.27
11. Fire From Heaven 2.44
12. Almost Dawn 1.55
13. Agony & Ecstasy 3.16
14. Akkermani 1.42
15. Luxemburger 4.20

CD 16 – THE NOISE OF ART
1. Trojan Horse 3.55
2. You Can’t Keep A Bad Man Up 3.06
3. Bonnaville 4.33
4. Shame On You 6.44
5. Having Fun 3.55
6. Prima Donna 5.27
7. Prelude: Friends Always 5.18
8. Akkerman’s Sombrero 7.10
9. My Pleasure 6.40
10. Quiet Storm 2.42

CD 17 – PUCCINI’S CAFE
1. Burger’s Blues 4.28
2. Your Eyes In The Whiskey 6.30
3. Spanish Roads 2.06
4. Key To The Highway 5.37
5. It Comes & Goes 2.54
6. Albatross 4.26
7. Blue Train 6.21
8. Love Is Uneven 8.56
9. Puccini’s Cafe 5.45

CD 18 – BLUES HEARTS
1. Wake Up! 3.24
2. Blues Route '94 5.45
3. Milestones 7.06
4. Red Pool House Blues 3.02
5. No Gossip 3.45
6. Virgin Mary 5.16
7. Traffic Jam 3.39
8. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 7.37
9. Soft Focus 4.19

CD 19 – FOCUS IN TIME
1. Home Voyage (Intro – Where Would I Be – I’ll Make It Up To You – Extro) 8.13
2. Saudade 5.22
3. Nail The Snake 3.39
4. Après Un Rêve 3.54
5. Am I Losing You 6.24
6. Wildflower 3.58
7. On The Table 3.28
8. Elegy 4.55
9. Laurie Anne 2.13
10. Leading Me There 3.22
11. I'll Find My Own Way Home 2.35

CD 20 – 10.000 CLOWNS ON A RAINY DAY (2CD)

CD1:

1. Intro (10.000 Clowns) 4.57
2. Puccini’s Cafe 6.29
3. Skydancer 8.20
4. Eruptions (Orpheo – Questions Answers – Distant Drums – Pupilla – Tommy – Answers Questions – The
New Bridge – Orpheo) 12.09
5. Focus 2 4.47
6. Pre Madonna 6.04
7. Virgin Mary 6.19
8. Soft Focus 4.11
9. Pedestrians (Miss En Scene – Nico’s Delight – J’s 2000 Flight – Stealth – Hocus Pocus) 10.13
10. No Hang Ups 6.53

CD2:

1. On The Table (Sylvia – Under The Table – Spanish Wood – Antonio (drum solo) – Leaving The Church
Before Singin’ – Manuel (bass solo) – On The Table – Sylvia’s Grandmother) 17.35
2. Am I Losing You 6.42
3. Wake Up 3.52
4. Focus 3 6.21
5. Weedstalker 9.36
6. Akkerstones 8.03
7. Pool House 6.57
8. Quiet Storm 2.37

CD 22 – PASSION
1. Suite 1 (David’s Harp Song – Wildflower – Across The Bridge – In Amorata – Always – David’s Harp Song)
12.18
2. Suite 2 (Monkey – Sweethearts – Close Enough – Central Park – Ab-so-rocking-lutely – D.Jan.Go – Mary) 10.53
3. Mon Amour 3.06
4. Tranquillizer 5.51
5. Classic Gaz / Gate To Europe 4.16
6. Fellini’s Restaurant 3.34
7. Passion 1.24
8. Countess of Pembrooks Paradise 1.52
9. Muy Linda 2.09
10. The Knight Of The Lute 4.07
11. Whispering / Liebestraum 2.44

CD 23 – C.U.
1. See You 7.59
2. In Between The Sheets 6.18
3. I'm In The Mood 5.43
4. Dance The Blues Away 7.56
5. Cottonbay 10.07
6. Kloenk 5.57
7. Blowing 4.48
8. Slow Man 6.30
9. Urbanstring 4.54

CD 24 – MINOR DETAILS
1. Free Wheeling 4.28
2. Big Sir 3.58
3. Dinner Time 4.44
4. Love Train 5.11
5. Blind Baby 6.24
6. Minor Details 8.00
7. Joy 8.52
8. Fernando’s Minibar 5.07
9. Kharmah Chantalah 4.59
10. Searching for Angela 5.45
11. As Long as You're Near 4.40
12. San Frisky 4.25
13. The Arrogant Frogs 5.27
14. Mena Muria 4.00

CD 25 – MY FOCUS
For this CD Jan Akkerman selected his personal favorite Focus tracks, with some early (pre-Focus) works added.
JOHNNY AND HIS CELLAR ROCKERS
1. Exodus 2.08
2. Melody in F Rock 2.46
THE HUNTERS
3. Russian Spy And I 2.40
BRAINBOX
4. Down Man 2.37
5. Summertime 4.22
FOCUS
6. House Of The King 2.21
7. Le Clochard 2.00
8. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! 13.57
9. Love Remembered 2.49
10. Elspeth Of Nottingham 2.58
11. Hocus Pocus (Live) 8.06
12. Out Of Vesuvius 5.49
13. Hamburger Concerto (Starter – Rare – Medium I – Medium II – Well Done – One For The Road) 20.18

CD 26 – AKKERARCHIVES
1. Crackers – demo 5.39
2. Angel Watch – demo 11.18
3. Azimuth – demo 9.18
4. Stingray (Get Up With That) – demo 6.32
5. A Family In The Oil 3.11
6. Come Closer – demo 6.30
7. General Buckshot & The Blues Waffe 4.03
8. Yoyo Working 3.05
9. Song For The Millennium 3.21
10. Plaisir d’Amour 5.07
11. Anonymous 4 Blues 6.46
12. She’s Gone 3.04
13. Payin’ For It Now 10.13
Produced, compiled and mastered by Jan Akkerman and Wouter Bessels, May 2018

40 responses to The Complete Jan Akkerman / 26CD box

  1. Alex Panowko says:

    very cool box a comprehensive discography of the top of the heap guitarist

  2. Kauwgompie says:

    Im not so familiar with Jan Akkerman but I bought the box and it is simply fantastic. I highly recommend it!!! Ordered it from Amazon France.

  3. CJL says:

    Hi Wouter. If you’re reading this, do you know why the box set doesn’t appear to be available from any Amazon outlet in Europe/US/Canada? It was supposedly released yesterday (20th). I ordered my copy from Amazon France but there’s no sign of it being in stock or being dispatched. Cheers.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi,

      Seriously, I am not the right person to ask questions about the distribution/stocking of the box set at online retailers. Best thing to do is directly contact the retailer and explain/ask what you would like to know.

      The box set has been released yesterday in The Netherlands. I can imagine (purely a guess from the limited information I have about the distribution) that copies from abroad retailers will be dispatched somewhere next week.

  4. Colin Harper says:

    I mentioned this 2017 compilation, the 2CD Akkerman installment in ‘The Golden Years of Dutch Pop Music’ series, before. Well, it arrived today (after one getting lost in the post a month ago) and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who’s maybe tempted by the ‘Complete…’ box set but unfamiliar or less familiar with Jan’s music outside of Focus.

    It strikes me on first listen as nicely mastered – definitely, it’s cohesively mastered – and gathers up most/all of Jan’s solo singles from 1972-93 (including at least two non-album tracks and several single edits) along with a selection of 11 A-sides spanning 1961-73 from his groups Johnny & his Cellar Rockers, the Hunters, Brainbox and Focus. It’s not only a fascinating singles collection but the only Jan Akkerman career-spanning compilation of any sort (bar a single-LP best-of from the 80s) – not including the mighty box set, of course!

    I’d imagine that 90% of those happy to risk a tenner on this 2CD set will go for the box set as a result. The only downside is that the 2CD set’s notes are in Dutch, but it’s only a brief essay. Here’s hoping Wouter has opted for English in his box set booklet… :-)

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Years-Dutch-Jan-Akkerman/dp/B01MXW65MX/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1531585124&sr=8-1&keywords=jan+akkerman+golden+years&linkCode=ll1&tag=superdeluxeed-21&linkId=cb0c2504bc87b673cccb422f27e54e02

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Colin,

      Thanks for the thumbs up for the 2cd set… that was sort of a forerunner of the box set. As you have noticed I didn’t do liner notes for that release – as it was part of the Golden Years of Dutch Pop Music series.

      The box set will contain a 64-page booklet – yes sir: all English, including Jan’s recollections on each of his albums – as he told me the stories earlier this year.

      Best wishes, Wouter

      • Colin Harper says:

        Was there a reason the non-album 1985 Jan & Kaz Lux single ‘A Salty Dog’ wasn’t included in the Golden Years 2CD Wouter? I get that space must have been an issue (both discs being full) but I would have thought that two of the straight album-tracks-as-singles could have been dropped for a non-album single and b-side. Was it a licensing issue? Did Kaz not give permission?

        • Wouter Bessels says:

          Dear Colin,

          Yes, there was ‘a reason’
          Unfortunately I can’t reveal any details, but Kaz does not have anything to do with it, nor there were licensing issues.
          BTW, the single was released in October 1987.

  5. Ian says:

    Back at €77 on amazon.fr as at 07:38 14/7/18 UK time

  6. Mister Stick says:

    Terrific to see the remastering engineer engaged here. Just the kind of conversation that weirdoes like us hope for. Coincidentally visiting the Netherlands at the moment, and JA records are still proudly displayed in many shops. I was happy to see the reasonable price at Amazon.fr, and ordered today. Thanks much, Wouter and Paul.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Thanks, my pleasure. I do engage here in the conversation for a good reason: providing first hand (and correct) information about this release and answering any questions about the background of the production/compiling of the box – and about Jan Akkerman in general.

      Hope you’ll like the box. Enjoy the music :)

      Best wishes, Wouter Bessels

  7. Colin Harper says:

    As you ask, Wouter, I’ll happily post my thoughts when the box arrives! I feel sure they’ll be positive. :-)

    Really, knowing that such a lot of care has gone into a 26CD release (as opposed to a label cobbling things together quickly from whatever sound source is available), the price is amazing – it deserves to sell substantially. I ordered a while back from a Dutch e-retailer, at 79euro, which meant a sterling price of around £80 inc. postage (from memory). But that Amazon France price is extraordinary. Go for it while it’s there, anyone who is even half-interested…

    No one has commented on the design yet – really classy and elegant, in my view. Like the Real Elegant Gipsy himself!

    I’m curious that the two Kaz Lux collaborations ‘Eli’ (1977) and ‘Transparental’ (1980) are on one disc – the only albums to be combined. Was this to keep the number of discs even, or did you (Wouter) or Jan feel that they belonged together artistically?

    And great news that the maestro is working on a new studio album – his first since 2011.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Colin,

      Yes, indeed. While they have a certain different musical angle of approach I have always felt that – in the case of such a box set nd/or anthology – Eli and Transparental should be a one disc.

      Time wise it was possible too, as both albums clock together at 78 minutes. And as Transparental has never seen an official digital release before (albeit an on-demand release on the shortlived Dutch Fonos outing), this was another reason to have this album ‘future proof’ too.

  8. steve says:

    ordered – I love Jan and a lot of his stuff is like Alan Holdsworth – and his Focus work was great too – shame no signed sets were available. Well at least for us Aussies I could order from JPC.de still and no GST charge :) Will miss the Amazon deals Paul but JPC still delivers :) Ordered this and the Trojan Box

  9. Rik K says:

    Woo-hoo!! Ordered. I’m so looking forward to hearing a lot of JA music that’s new to me, since I only have about 4 of his solo albums. “Tabernakel” and “10000 Clowns” being favourites.

  10. Mark Pollock says:

    Wouter – First, congrat’s & continued success for the fruits of your great labor! I am excited by this GREAT Akkerman catalog, per the track list. I am also curious of your own impressions and any anecdote which you can share, especially when you cracked open the Focus masters in a studio setting(?)… I can only imagine.
    Thank you for your continued involvement and contributions to this project!!
    Best regards, Mark

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Mark,

      I have only used a few 2-track digital safety copies of Focus tracks for the box. No tapes involved (see my other comment below).

      Any anecdotes? Well, with the release coming up I feel that it’s time now for the fans to share their experiences on first hearing cds from the box. :)

  11. marcus says:

    Wow, thank you all and Wouter.
    I am now convinced this is worth getting! I will place an order while the price is right!
    W.B. ….have you mentioned the total combined running time?
    Cheers.

  12. Gary says:

    I’m ashamed to say that Focus and Jan Akkerman in particular have never been on my radar, but how refreshing to have such a collection at such a reasonable price and despite the queries as to the recorded source, it’s great to have the input from Wouter that shows the passion with which this set has been created. A very tempting purchase from someone I’ve rarely heard.

  13. Jake says:

    Colin, it’s interesting you should mention the Focus box set. I just picked that up and found that my original Focus CDs (just had a few) ranked higher on the Dynamic Ranger Meter tool than the new versions. How noticeable that really is to the average person (including myself) is debatable, but it does make one question buying the “new” version of recordings if they’re simply the original recordings with no bonus tracks.

    Despite that, I pre-ordered the Akkerman box a few weeks back and looking forward to getting it. Jan’s work has always seemed to fly a bit under the radar and hopefully his (wait for it….) Profile… will rise with this. (Yeah, that was terrible.)

    However, I do have a number of these albums from way back and their dynamic range ranks fairly high… all in the 12-15 range. I’ll be curious to see how these new versions rank.

    I’d be interested in Wouter’s opinion if tools like that (MAAT’s DRMeter tool in particular) gives us an accurate picture of the dynamic range of a recording.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Jake,

      Remember to listen with your ears, not with your eyes. ;)

      • Jake says:

        > Remember to listen with your ears, not with your eyes. ;)

        Ha! Yes, very true.

        However, on a (financially) serious note, we fans are always being asked to buy the most recent version of something we already own, often on the promise that the sound is better than what came before. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we’d be hard-pressed to tell difference, and other times it’s very clear to someone very familiar with an album that “new” doesn’t equal “better.”

        So I think it’s a fair discussion, especially for products that are asking for a fair chunk of change which is many of the SDE releases that are discussed here.

        As I said, I pre-ordered it obviously not knowing how these new versions will compare to what I already own. I did that because I’m a fan of Akkerman and there are a number of these titles I don’t have any more. Plus, the price is more than fair.

        • Wouter Bessels says:

          Hi Jake,

          I fully get your point!
          Myself, being a fan of several artists who release box sets or reissue older stuff as expanded/remastered sets, I also crave for the best sounding option. Whether it’s an original 80s Target, a blackface or redface from the early days of cd mastering – or even a well remastered version (yes, they do appear from time to time!).
          That’s why some of the albums in the Jan Akkerman box are flat transfers. As there – to my ears wasn’t anything to improve – so there also was reason to screw up anything. You can’t make it better – only worse. And that’s something I really wanted to avoid.

          So I wanted this set to be the cream of the crop: combining the musical content with an optimal audio quality – using the best available sources and carefully remastering those – staying away from overblown and oversensitive loudness-settings/brickwalling/etc., but staying true to the warmth and the character of the original.
          Myself, that is what I find the most important factor when I am buying reissues/box sets. Take for instance the mammoth King Crimson box sets – I think those are excellent examples of extensive content, well mastered/mixed and value for money.

          • Jake says:

            Thanks for your thoughts, Wouter. I appreciate them. I’m also a fan of the Crimson sets… they’ve done a wonderful job with them.

    • Colin Harper says:

      Jake – although I’ve been involved in numerous vintage recording projects, overseeing mastering etc., I don’t have any of that kind of gadgetry at home – none of these range meters you mention. So I can’t comment on that aspect! It just seems to me that since Mike Vernon’s original remastering of the 1970-77 Focus catalogue for CD in the early 1990s – all but one album featuring Jan Akkerman – none of the subsequent CD appearances – on Red Bullet or (it seemed to me from the track timings) the recent box set – attempted any genuinely new mastering, probably just compressed what was there already.

      Amazingly, there is STILL one 70s Focus B-side yet to appear on CD (‘O Avondrood’) – which says a lot about the lack of care the catalogue has had, for whatever reason, in the past 20 years. It’s to my mind the greatest of the 1970s progressive rock catalogues not to have received, in full or in part, a proper ‘modern’ remastering or remixing approach a la Steven Wilson. Anyway… I’ve every confidence from what Wouter says that we’ll be getting the Akkerman solo catalogue in a fresh light!

  14. Ron de Joode says:

    Why do you want a hi-resolution version from a vinylrip? Some mastertapes were lost, i.e. The ‘3’ album….

  15. Colin Harper says:

    I was going to post some of Wouter’s text about mastering and the booklet from a reply to a question on another forum, but I’ll leave it to him and SDE readers!

    The price is fantastic, especially given the new mastering or ‘new’ option to provide flat transfers (as opposed to previous CD masterings). I avoided the recent Focus box set because it appeared to simply gather the previous mastered individual discs (and their errors, such as replicating the odd wrongly placed track ident) and be a cheapo production. Knowing that Wouter and Jan have overseen this solo box is a big plus – we have to accept that while we might have added this or that stray item from various period (see below), what we have here represents in content, sound and presentation what Jan wants.

    The pros far outweigh the cons, for me – although, buyers should be aware of a couple of caveats: the title ‘Complete’ is only accurate if referring to Jan’s core studio catalogue, with the selected additions (as stated in the promo blurb) of his most important two live albums (‘Live’ and ‘10,000 Clowns…’) and a sampling of his Focus and pre-Focus band recordings.

    Hardcore fans might be a tad disappointed that some of Jan’s harder to find collaborations and limited edition live albums aren’t here, nor the mid 70s non-album single ‘A Child’s Fantasy’ or the non-album 90s single ‘Jazzah’. There were also one or two tracks that Jan recorded for V/A compilations around the time of ‘The Noise of Art’, for the same (Miles Copeland) label as that album, including a revamp of ‘Hocus Pocus’ entitled ‘Stealth’. Curios perhaps, but it would have been easy, licensing wise, to have added items owned by the same licensor as the parent albums…

    ‘A Child’s Fantasy’ is available (along with other single edits of various album tracks and other pre-Focus band singles) on the 2CD Jan Akkerman entry in the ‘Golden Years of Dutch Pop Music’ series on Universal (Netherlands), available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Years-Dutch-Jan-Akkerman/dp/B01MXW65MX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531151485&sr=8-1&keywords=jan+akkerman+golden+years

    The bonus tracks added to CDs 11, 13, 14, 15 are non-period bonuses, replicated from the mid-90s standalone releases of those albums.

    I’m looking forward to the set. I’ve been playing my (previous) CD copy of the 1993 album ‘Puccini’s Cafe’ a lot in anticipation – a masterpiece.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Colin,

      Thanks for the thumbs up.
      As you state you already have all of Jan’s albums on cd: be prepared that the cds in this box contain the definitive versions.
      You know, some of the earlier issues and/or reissues of Jan’s albums had technical problems, such as incorrect phasing, bad EQ-ing, reversed channels, bad denoising, even brickwalled mastered (something I think is so unrespectful to the original recordings), while some tracks were even missing or were incomplete!
      All of this has been corrected, as I went back to the original tapes and the original releases. An extensive amount of work that took me around six/seven months, but it was a pleasure to do. Jan’s work fully deserve it.

      As I state before, with this box Jan’s solo output is fully future proof.

      • Colin Harper says:

        This all sounds great, Wouter :-)

        I actually don’t have ALL of the albums already – only most of them! I’ve never owned ‘Transparental’, ‘3’ or ‘Oil In The Family’ in any form, and only heard about/heard ‘Prism’ (a lost gem!) very recently. There are two or three others I only have on vinyl. So this is a great opportunity to not only get everything in one place but get it with the maestro’s blessing in terms of the best possible sound…

        One of the great things about Jan is that he didn’t just do his best stuff in the 70s and everything since then has been diminishing returns: in my view, his best albums and best compositions are scattered throughout his catalogue. ‘Can’t Stand Noise (1982) and ‘Puccini’s Cafe (1993) are every bit the classic that ‘Profile’ (1972) is.

        Did you or Jan consider, Wouter, adding ‘Beyond The Horizon’ – the stunning recent studio track currently streamed at Jan’s website and featuring in his recent live shows – to the set somewhere? Or is Jan planning to make it available commercially in some other context?

        • Wouter Bessels says:

          Hi Colin,

          Jan is recording a new album at the moment and I suspect that Beyond The Horizon will be included… so regarding the title of the box set: it’s a ‘near complete Jan Akkerman’ – so to speak ;)

          PS. Regarding the Focus albums. No chance that those will be remixed. Multis are long gone. And as you state, the recent cd-issues all stem from the same source, as the 2-tracks are not in the best condition (anymore… shame).
          My advice – while the Red Bullet box actually is pretty good for its price and format: go for the EMI 1988 cds – those are the ones to go for. Avoid the Japan 24 bit reissues – those are amplified versions of the EMI’s, added with some strange EQ.

  16. Amaury says:

    to Wouter Bessels,
    will there be a Hi-Resolution release? or a BluRay?

  17. Eric says:

    Just to keep the list complete
    Amazon Australia – not available.

  18. Stephen says:

    Hi Wouter,

    I’ve admired Jan’s work in Focus, but have not accessed his solo material. This box seems too good an opportunity to miss, but there is a lot of material! What should I expect to hear?

    Thank you.

    • Wouter Bessels says:

      Hi Stephen,

      A full breakdown of Jan’s official solo discography, including collaborations with Kaz Lux, Tony Scott and Kaz Lux, with his most important live albums added too.
      See above for an updated detailed tracklisting.

      Best wishes,
      Wouter

  19. Wouter Bessels says:

    Hi Paul,

    I have compiled this box, plus have done the carefully remastering of (most) albums from the original tapes and have written the booklet too.
    If there are any (in depth) questions about this release among the readers of SDE, please let me know and I’ll be happy to give answers.

    Best regards,
    Wouter Bessels (author / sound engineer + biographer & archivarist of Jan Akkerman)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Wouter – Excellent stuff. I’m sure SDE readers may well have questions, so I will let them ask directly here. Cheers, Paul

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