Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1973-75)

- Jaap van Eik -- vocals, bass, guitar 

- Pierre van der Linden -- drums, percussion

- Rick van der Linden (RIP 2006) -- keyboards, synthesizers, voice 


  line up 2 (1975-76)

- Jaap van Eik -- vocals, bass, guitar 

- Rick van der Linden (RIP 2006) -- keyboards, synthesizers, voice

- Ian Mosley -- drums, percussion (replaced Pierre van der Linden)


  supporting musicians:

- Coen Hoedeman -- assorted monkeys

- Darryl Way: acoustic and electric violins


  line up 3 (1976)

- Coor Dekker -- bass (replaced Jaap van Eijk 

- Peter de Leeuwe -- drums, percussion (replaced Ian Mosley)

- Hetti Smith -- vocals





After Tea (Pierre van der Linden)

- Brainbox (Pierre van der Linden)

- Cuby and the Blizzards (Jaap van Eik)

- Ekseption (Rick van der Linden, Cor Dekker)

- Galaxy Lin 

- Focus (Pierre Van Der Linden)

- Rick van der Linden (solo efforts)

- Marrillion  (Ian Mosley)

- The Moans (Jaap van Eik)

- The Tee Set (Pierre van der Linden)

- ZZ and the Maskers (Pierre van der Linden)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Trace

Company: Sire

Catalog: SASD-7514

Year: 1974

Country/State: Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small cut out notch lower edge; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5174

Price: $15.00


Kicked out of the band Ekseption, in 1973 former frontman/keyboardist Rick van der Linden decided to form his own band.  Recruiting drummer Pierre van der Linden who had just left Focus (unhappy with the band's musical direction) and ex-Cuby & the Blizzards multi-instrumentalist Jaap van Eik, the trio adopted the name Trace and promptly found themselves signed by Philips (which happened to be Focus' label).  Sire Records acquired US distribution rights


Anyone into Ekseption, or Focus would probably find 1974's self-produced "Trace" enjoyable.  Like those other groups, this largely instrumental set offered up a mixture of classical (lots of Bach) and progressive influences. Rick van der Linden was responsible for writing most of the material, his Hammond B3 organ dominating the collection (his synthesizer moves far less impressive).  While fans seem to rave over Rick's moves, his domination of the proceedings effectively left the other two members stuck in the shadows, though 'Gare le Corbeau' provided Eijk with a bass solo, while 'The Last Past was essentially an extended (and unnecessary) Pierre van der Linden drum solo. While nothing here was particularly original or mesmerizing all of the performances were technically impressive, with parts of the opener 'Gaillarde' (borrowing heavily from Bach's 'Italian Concerto in F Major', the extended 'Progression' suite and the opening section of 'Final Trace' (recalling something out of the Procol Harum cannon, standing as the creative highpoints. Elsewhere, while their English was occasionally fractured, the song-by-song descriptions found on the inner sleeve were interesting.  As an example, the curiously titled 'The Death of Ace' was a reflection of the group's original name choice, while the weird sound found at the end of 'The Escape of the Piper' reflected a set of bagpipes hooked up to a vacuum cleaner.  Certainly enjoyable, but not the five star masterpiece many fans would have you believe.


"Trace" track listing:
(side 1) 

1.) Gaillarde (instrumental)

     a) Gaillarde   (J.S. Bach) - 6:22
     b) Gare le corbeau   (Jan van Eik) - 2:04
     c) Gaillarde   (J.S. Bach) - 4:36

2.) The Death of Ace (instrumental)   (E. Grieg) - 5:15

3.) The Escape of the Piper (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 3:13

4.) Once (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 4:13


(side 2)
1.) Progression (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 12:00

     a) A Memory   (traditional) - 1:40
     b) The Lost Past   (Rick van der Linden) - 3:26
     c) A Memory   (traditional) - 1:40

2.) Final Trace (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 3:52



For true fans, there's also a pre-LP single: 'Progression' b/w 'Tabu' (Philips catalog number 6012 452).   The single's mildly interesting, if for no other reason than the opening section essentially stole the melody from Carole King's 'I Feel the Earth Move'.





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Birds

Company: Sire

Catalog: SAS-7504

Year: 1975

Country/State: Holland/UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 834

Price: $20.00


By the time Trace got around to releasing their second album, the group had undergone a personnel shift with original drummer Pierre van der Linden replaced by Ian Mosley.  To my ears it didn't make a huge amount of difference since Trace's focus had always been on  Rick van der Linden's arsenal of keyboards and synthesizers (by my count he used 13 separate instruments on the LP) and to a much lesser degree Jaap van Eik bass and guitar and bass.  That said, 1975's "Birds" was far stronger and more enjoyable than the debut.  Mind you,  classically-inspired progressive efforts such as 'Bouree' and 'Opus 1065' weren't going to appeal to a wide segment of the rock audience., but there's a group of folks out there that will find this wonderful. 


back cover photo


"Birds" track listing:
(side 1) 

1.) King Bird (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 4:06

I guess because my expectations for this one were so low, the opening instrumental 'King Bird' was actually a pleasant surprise.  Yeah, the bells and church organ make it a tad over-the-top, but when Ian Mosley's drums and the rock instrumentation kicked in, the song took on a certain classically-influenced elegance.   rating:*** stars

2.) First Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:31

Nice piano and harpsichord interlude ...   rating: *** stars

     i.) Sculpture Bird (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 2:29 

With one of the album's best melodies and some wonderful keyboard and synthesizer work from Rick van der Linden, 'Sculpture Bird' was about as funky as these guys were going to get.  rating: **** stars

3.) Second Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:15

     i.) Preacher Bird    (Rick van der Linden) - 2:10

Perhaps the album's biggest surprise, Jaap van Eik's vocal wasn't horrible.  In fact, couple with a Bach-tinged melody, this one was surprisingly memorable.   rating: **** stars

4.) Third Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:27

And from this point on it's just too friggin' hard to keep up with the rest of side one's fragmented lineup.  Suffice it to say, the rest of the side features more of the group's mix of classical themes mixed with occasional snippets of rock and progressive influence.   Somehow it turns out to be far more enjoyable and relaxing than it had the right to be ...  best of the rest of side two was the Bach-influenced closer 'Reflection'.   rating:  **** stars

5.) Birdcorps (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:52

6.) Firecorps (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:43

7.) Birdcorps (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden)- 0:12

     i.) Mail Bird  (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden)- 0:29

     ii.) Fourth Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) 1:54

     iii.) Soul Bird (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 1:41

     iv.) Mail Bird (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden)- 1:41

     v.) Sculptor Bird (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 1:29

     vi.) Second Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:14

     vii.) Preacher Bird    (Rick van der Linden) -2:16

     viii.) Last Avenue (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:12

     viiii.) Kind Bird (instrumental)     (Rick van der Linden- 1:20

     x.) Reflection (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 1:09


For anyone interested, YouTube has an extended live performance of material from side one. The material was seemingly recorded for a MaY 1977 appearance on German television.   Worth pointing out,, the live line-up was a four-piece with Hans Jacobse helping out on  keyboards.   Looking a bit like a stoned Duane Allman, van der Linden was wearing the bright bejeweled orange jacket.  Jacobse was in the white satin, while Mosley and van Eik looked pretty bored throughout the proceedings:


(side 2)
1.) Bourree
(instrumental)    (J.S. Bach) - 2:26

Based on Bach's 'English Suite No 2 In A Minor, fifth part', 'Bourree' mixed  the original classical melody with rock orchestration.   The focus remained on van der Linden's arsenal of keyboards and synthesizers, though I have to admit Coen Hoedeman's monkey sounds remained a total mystery to me.  I'll also admit I'm a sucker for this kind of ...  rating: ***** stars
2.) Snuff  (instrumental)   (Rick van der Linden) - 2:24

'Snuff' was the album's most rock-like composition, with van der Linden's Uriah Heep-styled Hammond moves grabbing the spotlight, but this time out  van Eik was given an opportunity to showcase his impressive bass chops.  rating: **** stars
3.) In a Mist (instrumental)    (Bix Beiderbecke - W.H. Challis) - 1:12

Opening up with van der Linden on piano, 'In a Mist' featured a melody that incorporated jazz and ragtime elements.   Different and mildly engaging ....  rating: *** stars
4.) Opus 1065 (instrumental)    (J.S. Bach) - 7:44

Another Bach adaptation, 'Opus 1065' was credited to ;Concerto for Four Pianos'. The second part of the song shifted the spotlight to Way, the result briefly sounding like a forlorn Gypsy ballad., before returning to the original Bach melody, and finally shifting the focus to van Eik's driving bass.   rating: *** stars
5.) Penny (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 2:42

'Penny' offered up a pretty piano based melody that sounded a bit like an incidental film soundtrack for a '70s porn flick - broken hearted woman walking down a rainy street.   rating: *** stars
6.) Trixie-Dixie (instrumental)    (Rick van der Linden) - 0:22

Continuing their we-can-play-anything assault, 'Trixie-Dixie' found the band diving into what sounded like supper club jazz.   Kind of a disappointing way to close out the album.  rating: ** stars


The album was followed by another non-LP single:

- 1975's 'Birds" b/w 'Tabu' (Philips catalog number 6012 504)