Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman - Guitar Special - 1991 - SPH (Sound Projects Holland)

Jan Akkerman is one of the most innovative and influential guitarists of modern times. He was once selected as the world's greatest guitarist by the influential British rock publication, Melody Maker. Often, these accolades are unmerited and artificial, and do not always reflect true ability, but in Jan Akkerman's case, the title was richly deserved. Jan has proved his greatness with bands like the Hunters, Brainbox and the great Focus. Most of his solo works are marvellous works of originality, incredible guitar technique, and cover ever musical genre. As is usual with these kind of albums from Jan, it is easy to hear why Jan Akkerman is regarded as a living legend. He is one of the very few guitarists who can play any style of music equally well, anything from rock and blues to Spanish and classical. As stated before on this blog, the terms, world's greatest guitarist, best guitarist of all time, etc, etc, are "bandied" around a lot. However if we take some of the definitions of great, like "of outstanding significance or importance", "superior in quality or character", "powerful; influential", or "remarkable or out of the ordinary in degree or magnitude or effect", then Jan Akkerman is truly a great guitarist, as all the aforementioned definitions apply to Jan's playing. "Guitar Special" is an eight track compilation comprised of four tracks from Forcefield's "The Talisman", and "To Oz And Back" albums, and four tracks from Jan's "Heartware" album. If you can find this very rare "Guitar Special" album, buy it. If you are a diehard Jan Akkerman fan, you may already have all these tracks. Listen to Jan's "Tabernakel", "Profile", and "Live at Alexander's" albums, and of course Focus' classic "Live At The Rainbow" album. Try and listen To Forcefield's 1990 "Let The Wild Runs Free" album. Search this blog for other Jan Akkerman related releases


1 Rendezvous - Ray Fenwick, Chris Cozens [ from the 1989 album from Forcefield, "Forcefield III - To Oz And Back" ]
2 Lost & Found - Jan Akkerman [ from the 1987 Jan Akkerman album, "Heartware" ]
3 The Talisman - Ray Fenwick [ Arranged by Cozy Powell, from the 1988 album, "Forcefield 2 The Talisman" from Forcefield ]
4 Heartware - Jan Akkerman [ from the 1987 Jan Akkerman album, "Heartware" ]
5 Tokyo - Ray Fenwick, Chris Cozens [ from the 1989 album, from Forcefield, "Forcefield III - To Oz And Back" ]
6 Just Because So - Jan Akkerman [ from the 1987 Jan Akkerman album, "Heartware" ]
7 I Lose Again - Ray Fenwick, J.Mars [ from the 1988 album, "Forcefield 2 The Talisman" from Forcefield ]
8 Winterborn Lyric - Jan Akkerman [ from the 1987 Jan Akkerman album, "Heartware" ]

MUSICIANS [Forcefield's "The Talisman" album]

Ray Fenwick (guitar)
Jan Akkerman (guitar)
Lawrence Cottle (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)

MUSICIANS [Forcefield's "Forcefield 3: To Oz And Back" album]

Graham Bonnet (vocals)
Jan Akkerman (guitars)
Ray Fenwick (guitars)
Mo Foster (bass)
Terry Pack (bass)
Chris Cozens (keyboards)
Cozy Powell (drums)
Johnny Mars (harmonica)

MUSICIANS [Jan Akkerman's "Heartware" album]

Jan Akkerman (guitar, synth., programming)
Michael Peet, Manuel Hugas (bass)
Ton Dijkman (drums, timbales, electronic drums)


Jan Akkerman was born on Christmas Eve 1946 and first picked up a guitar aged 5. Legend has it that he played accordian aged 3, and was entirely self-taught on the guitar, but in actual fact he took classical guitar lessons, studied at Amsterdam Music Lyceum for 5 years and won a scholarship. His father was a guitarist, and his mother played the accordian. He took a keen interest in group music-making, joining local bands The Friendship Sextet and The Shaking Hearts. In 1961, aged 15, he recorded his first single with his current band, Johnny & The Cellar Rockers, which also featured Pierre Van der Linden. The Cellar Rockers became the Hunters, and the first hit was scored with a cover of "Mr Tambourine Man", but an even bigger hit came from an original song called "The Russian Spy and I", inspired largely by the Shadows, but with a notable guitar solo from Akkerman. During the mid 1960s, Akkerman visited England, where he saw the guitarist Julian Bream performing Mediaeval lute music. This was an inspiration that was never to leave Akkerman. In the late 1960s, he formed Brainbox, with his old friend Van der Linden on drums, who negotiated a signing to Parlophone. During a recording session, Akkerman, who was fond of jamming and session playing, hooked up with the embryo Focus, and was ejected from Brainbox as a result. Brainbox's first (and only) album is regarded as a Dutch Prog Rock classic in some circles. Not to be deterred, he recorded his own material, assisted by his friends from The Hunters; a solo album called "Talents for Sale", and joined Focus for recording the backing music to the musical "Hair", and their debut album "In And Out Of Focus". In 1971, Akkerman's old sparring partner Van der Linden is taken into Focus on drums, and "Moving Waves" is recorded. Despite the international success of this album, Akkerman relentlessly carried on recording his own material with the albums "Profile" and 1974's "Tabernakel", which features Akkerman's playing his newly acquired lute, and carries a Mediaeval flavour. Following "Moving Waves" and "Focus 3", Akkerman was pronounced best International guitarist by Melody Maker, in a poll that put him above Clapton, Beck and Page. In 1978, Akkerman's contract with Atlantic was ended due to the high costs involved with his insistence of hiring full symphony orchestras and low record sales, and Akkerman went off to persue other musical avenues, pausing only to attempt a Focus re-group. The album of this year "3" is an unusually funky album with very little ecelcticism. This didn't work out, so Akkerman carried on working, attempting to reform Focus once again in 1984, producing the rather raw "From the Basement". In 1989 he had a more successful collaboration with Miles Copland resulting in the successful "Noise of Art". His collaborations and various projects from then until now are too numerous to mention one by one, including work with B.B. King, Mike Kenealy, Alan Price, Charlie Byrd and Ice-T, but 1999's "Passion" is particularly notable. On February 16th 2005, Akkerman was awarded with a Golden Harp award at the Harpen Gala, proving that he is still not only going strong, with his favourite annual Dutch and UK tours, but still impressing with his skills. © Prog Archives, All rights reserved


An Anglo-Dutch project featuring ex-FOCUS man Jan Akkerman, the band would attract an enviable array of experienced Rock talent over a series of albums. FORCEFIELD also comprised ex-FANCY vocalist / guitarist Ray Fenwick. Ray had also been a member of the IAN GILLAN band in 1976 and also cut the bizarrely titled 'Keep America Beautiful Get A Haircut' solo album in 1971 (Decca SKL 5090). The FORCEFIELD debut comprised a clutch of re-worked well known Rock standards such as DEEP PURPLE's 'Smoke On The Water', LED ZEPPELIN's 'Whole Lotta Love', THE KINKS 'Set Me Free' and 'You Really Got Me' and CREAM's 'White Room' and 'Sunshine Of Your Love'. The featured musicians included the
WHITESNAKE rhythm section of drummer COZY POWELL and bassist Neil Murray, SERGEANT vocalist PETE PRESCOTT and bass player Mo Foster. A second effort, 1988's 'Forcefield II - The Talisman', had Fenwick joined by JAN AKKERMAN. On vocals would be BLACK SABBATH's TONY MARTIN with Powell back on the drums. Akkerman cut a solo album in 1990 titled 'The Noise Of Art' on IRS Records. The third FORCEFIELD album, 'Let The Wild Run Free', saw ex-RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and ALCATRAZZ vocalist GRAHAM BONNET fronting the band with COZY POWELL maintaining his drum stool. Contributors included keyboardist DON AIREY of RAINBOW, guitarists BERNIE MARSDEN of WHITESNAKE and Mario Parga. The album featured covers of JIMI HENDRIX 'The Wind Cries Mary', THE KINKS 'Who'll Be Next In Line' and BAD COMPANY's 'Can't Get Enough Of Your Love'. In the same year the fourth FORCEFIELD album appeared JAN AKKERMANN cut a solo album, titled 'The Noise Of Art', issued through IRS Records. © Musicdetector Websites 2009 ©


Forcefield was a studio-only project fronted by guitarist Ray Fenwick. Jan Akkerman joined the band on their second and third album. Forcefield released 4 albums, with different musicians, as well as a compilation with unreleased tracks. Great musicians in them: Tony Martin (vocals, from Black Sabbath), Ray Fenwick (guitar), Jan Akkerman (guitar, from Focus), Mo Foster (bass), Laurence Cottle (bass), Nick Magnus (keyboards, from Steve Hackett's band), etc. The first album was recorded in June 1987, and it was produced by Ray Fenwick himself. It contains several covers of classic songs plus a song co-written by Denny Laine with Ray Fenwick and Pete Prescott. There's also a compilation simply called Instrumentals with 5 'previously unreleased tracks' out of 9. With Jan Akkerman, Ray Fenwick, Bernie Marsden, Mario Parga, Don Airey and Cozy Powell. [ from webmasterATfocuscollectionDOTcom ]© http://www.focuscollection.com/