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Astral Pocus
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Author:  benhall.1 [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Astral Pocus

I'm just going to copy and paste my Facebook post:

I have just discovered that the baroque sounding yodelling in the track 'Hocus Pocus' by Dutch band Focus, recorded and released in 1971 is essentially the same as the riff in the middle of Yes' Astral Traveller, recorded and released in 1970. Who'd have thought it?

:)

Author:  An Draighean [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Hmmm ... I had both of those records; the connection never occurred to me. I no longer have a turntable, but I have that Yes album on my itunes - not the Focus one though.

Perhaps Thijs van Leer was a Yes fan?

Author:  benhall.1 [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

An Draighean wrote:
Hmmm ... I had both of those records; the connection never occurred to me. I no longer have a turntable, but I have that Yes album on my itunes - not the Focus one though.

Perhaps Thijs van Leer was a Yes fan?

I think he must have been.

Both songs (f you can call Hocus Pocus a song, since it has no words) are on YouTube in their original forms.

Author:  oleorezinator [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Close but no cigarillo.
Same rhythm. Different melody.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

oleorezinator wrote:
Close but no cigarillo.
Same rhythm. Different melody.

I disagree. It's not just the same rhythm. The harmony is identical. And, whilst the Yes one deals in triads, the Focus one omits the bottom note of the triad, but is otherwise, at least at times (since the Yes one is varied) identical melodically as well.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

oleorezinator wrote:
Close but no cigarillo.
Same rhythm. Different melody.

That was my first take. But on further listen, in both cases the basic motion/contour of the riffs (what I like to call "topography") comes out pretty close to identical, other details aside. It's a structural thing, and close enough for me to agree with Ben. But is the Focus version consciously derivative of the Yes version? I'd need it straight from the horse's mouth on that one; structure like that is catchy enough, but it's pretty generic-sounding, too. At least to me, anyway.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Nanohedron wrote:
That was my first take. But on further listen, in both cases the basic motion/contour of the riffs (what I like to call "topography") comes out pretty close to identical, other details aside. It's a structural thing, and close enough for me to agree with Ben. But is the Focus version consciously derivative of the Yes version? I'd need it straight from the horse's mouth on that one; structure like that is catchy enough, but it's pretty generic-sounding, too. At least to me, anyway.

I agree that it may well not have been a deliberate copy. Personally, I reckon it was. But that's pure speculation on my part. Astral Traveller became a very well-known and very widely known track amongst people who were into that sort of music very quickly indeed. I can well remember that, essentially, as soon as Time and a Word came out, we all just rushed out to buy it. Pretty much everyone I knew had it. Shows the sort of company I kept.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

benhall.1 wrote:
Pretty much everyone I knew had it. Shows the sort of company I kept.

Not to make assumptions about about your crowd, but around here, for some reason there was this popular conception of Yes as being aimed at consumers of recreational fungi. Seems a bit overly specific, but whatever.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Nanohedron wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Pretty much everyone I knew had it. Shows the sort of company I kept.

Not to make assumptions about about your crowd, but around here, for some reason there was this popular conception of Yes as being aimed at consumers of recreational fungi. Seems a bit overly specific, but whatever.

That does seem a bit specific. At the time that Yes were releasing their seminal albums, I wasn't into magic mushrooms at all, or any sort of drugs, except that, at 13/14 as I was at the time, I was already smoking and drinking. Actually, I only tried magic mushrooms once, years later, when I was at college. I always think that that one experience (which was a deeply distressing experience) saved me from getting into dangerous drugs like acid and speed - I certainly didn't want that experience ever again, and that's a fact. So I never experimented, as a lot of my friends of the time did, with such harder drugs.

Yes were geniuses - absolute virtuosos, in a completely different class from Focus, for instance - and I love listening to their stuff even to this day. But, looking at it rationally, it's seriously overblown stuff. The lyrics are so ludicrously hippy, it's as if they were deliberately caricaturing hippydom ... but they weren't. They meant it. The music is way over the top, too, especially after Wakeman joined - a total genius, but such OTT, overblown, overdramatic stuff. I loved it then, and I still do.

Author:  kkrell [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Eh, they're no Gentle Giant.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

kkrell wrote:
Eh, they're no Gentle Giant.

I never got into Gentle Giant, although Kites - by precursor band Simon Dupree and the Big Sound - remains one of my top five favourite pop songs of all time.

Author:  kkrell [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

benhall.1 wrote:
kkrell wrote:
Eh, they're no Gentle Giant.

I never got into Gentle Giant, although Kites - by precursor band Simon Dupree and the Big Sound - remains one of my top five favourite pop songs of all time.

Not my favorite of theirs.

I guess Elton John (Reggie Dwight) did alright off on his own.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

benhall.1 wrote:
Yes were geniuses - absolute virtuosos, in a completely different class from Focus, for instance - and I love listening to their stuff even to this day. But, looking at it rationally, it's seriously overblown stuff. The lyrics are so ludicrously hippy, it's as if they were deliberately caricaturing hippydom ... but they weren't. They meant it. The music is way over the top, too, especially after Wakeman joined - a total genius, but such OTT, overblown, overdramatic stuff. I loved it then, and I still do.

I was a huge fan, myself. I got into them some time after Time and a Word, but lost interest with Tormato. Used to wear a tank top with that trippy Yes logo on it; one day a fellow came up, looked at me, and said "NO!". I suppose that was to have been expected.

Author:  oleorezinator [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

Hocus Pocus vocal line
Transpose up 1 octave in converter
X: 1
T: hocus
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: C
EcEE DBDD CACC B,GB,B, A,FA,A, G,EG,G, ^F,2 ^D2E4

Astral Traveller
Rock/church organ
Measures 97 - 106.
http://musicnoteslib.com/file/8085/Yes- ... veller.pdf

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Astral Pocus

oleorezinator wrote:

Doubleplus :boggle: .

But to me the differences aren't the point. The overall framing, or skeletal structure, if you will, seems to my ear to be fundamentally the same in both, the rest being filler.

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