Between 1970 and 1976, Jan was a member of 'Focus", the
band that became popular all over the world. During the Focus-years, Jan released two solo albums. In 1972,
'Profile' was released, which featured one side of heavy progressive rock called 'Fresh Air' with the help
of his Focus-band mates drummer Pierre van der Linden and bass player Bert Ruiter. Side two of 'Profile' was
mostly acoustic, with Jan playing the alto-lute on a couple of tracks. His third album 'Tabernakel' was
recorded in the US with the help of the well-known arranger George Flynn. A logical follow-up to 'Profile',
Jan again played the lute, alongside keyboards, guitars and his electric sitar. Both 'Profile' and 'Tabernakel'
were very successful outside the Netherlands.
During rehearsals for a UK tour with Focus in March 1976, Jan Akkerman left that band. Teaming up again with
musicians like Pierre van der Linden and Kaz Lux, Jan recorded 'Eli'. Based on a story that Kaz wrote, with
tracks like 'Tranquillizer' and the driving 'Can't Fake a Good Time' proved that Akkerman made progression
since the Brainbox-days. Musicians like Jasper van 't Hof and Rick van der Linden were also very important
for the sound that made 'Eli' so unique. The follow-up, Jan's self-titled album, was recorded in the same
period as 'Eli', but is completely instrumental. Most of the tracks were recorded during the same sessions
of the 'Eli' album recordings in 1976. His band featured Joachim Kühn on keyboards, Cees van der Laarse on
bass and Bruno Castelucci on drums. The percussionist was Neppie Noya. Compared to 'Eli', this album
contained more solo-guitar playing and put him in the spotlights with tracks like 'Crackers', 'Pavane' and 'Skydancer'.
All tracks featured the Michael Gibbs Orchestra in the orchestral background.