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Focus - Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus CD (album) cover

HOCUS POCUS: THE BEST OF FOCUS

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 61 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This was the album that convinced me to give the band's debut album a try!

I don't recall the exact details of how I got this compilation album but my guess is that the album was located in a bargain bin before my hand reached out and grabbed it. Even if I rarely listen to compilation albums, this is one of those rare occasions where a collection like this would actually work. The reason for this has to do with this record's complete disregard for the band's lengthier compositions. Although many might consider this a crime against Focus, I don't happen to mind it all that much. You see, I've never considered any Focus epics to be as consistent as their other shorter performances, even though Hamburger Concerto does come close.

What we get here is close to the collection that I would expect to hear from a Focus compilation. The only major track that I miss is Round Goes The Gossip, from Focus 3, and even though Birth is another absent favorite of mine I just don't see that track outside of the complete Hamburger Concerto album experience. The biggest highlight for me here is the complete collection of the first four band-titled tracks, plus the fact that the release is compiled in a chronological order. Another great discovery for me were the three tracks from the debut album which I originally thoughtlessly assumed to be one of the band's weaker releases. How wrong I was about this assumption and even if that album is not conveyed properly here, it was clearly enough to get my attention!

I'm not suggesting that this compilation album is the best introduction to Focus, but if you've been previously burned by any of their studio albums then feel free to give it ago! Maybe you're just like me and will actually happen to prefer the band's shorter material over the 20+ minute epics.

***** star songs: Hocus Pocus (6:43) Anonymus (6:36) House Of The King (2:53) Focus II (4:05) Sylvia (3:34) Focus III (6:09) Harem Scarem (5:54)

**** star songs: Focus (Instrumental) (9:50) Janis (3:11) Tommy (Eruption) (3:27) Mother Focus (3:07) Focus IV (4:02) Bennie Helder (3:33) Glider (4:41) Red Sky At Night (5:49) Hocus Pocus (US Single Version) (3:25)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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