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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 329 ratings

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4 stars Review #132

If we talk about European Progressive Rock from the seventies, probably the most prolific countries were England, Italy, France, and Germany but there were several very interesting bands in other European countries and from the Netherlands, FOCUS is probably the most popular one.

Led by the great musicians Thijs VAN LEER and Jan AKKERMAN, and with Martin DRESDEN and Hans CLEUVER who only participated on this first record of the band, FOCUS started its discography in 1970 with the publication of "In and out of Focus" (aka "Focus plays Focus") which is a collection of brief songs with beautiful symphonic arrangements that reminds a bit of PROCOL HARUM but with the nice touch of Thijs VAN LEER's flute lines that were probably inspired by JETHRO TULL (in later albums VAN LEER got a much more original style of playing). Most of the songs in this record have lyrics (in English), something that in later albums was replaced with larger instrumental songs, so the style of this album is very unique in comparison with the next records of FOCUS.

The instrumental piece called "Focus" is the longest song of the album and includes some of the most discrete but yet precise guitar lines played by Jan AKKERMAN, this song is kind of an introduction to their following records. "Anonymous" is an excellent instrumental track that would have been later re-recorded and expanded in the "Focus 3" record. The tracklist changes its order depending on the version of the album but the songs are the same and only "House of the king" was not included in some editions that only included seven songs.

This is a very nice record.

SONG RATING: Focus (vocal version), 3 Black beauty, 4 Sugar Island, 4 Anonymous, 5 House of the king, 5 Happy nightmare, 4 Why dream, 4 Focus (instrumental version), 5




Uruk_hai | 4/5 |


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