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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 640 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Focus' "Moving Waves" is an undeniable classic for 2 reasons. The first is the obvious as it boasts arguably the finest and most popular composition, the almighty Hocus Pocus. The second reason is it boasts one very epic symphonic suite on side 2 the beauty and majesty of Eruption. The other songs kind of blend into the background but everything is played to virtuoso perfection with the likes of the incomparable flute and keys of Thijs van Leer on organ, Harmonium, Mellotron, soprano and alto flute, piano, and my favourite guitarist for Focus, legendary Jan Akkerman, joined by Cyril Havermanns on bass, and the powerhouse percussion of their best drummer Pierre van der Linden. It is great to hear these legends in full flight and of course it is always wonderful music.

Hocus Pocus is quintessential of course and made the group mega stars, and continues to appear on compilations galore. The riff is quirky, the flute is dynamic and the vocals are? well put it this way, it is off the planet when Thijs begins his prog yodelling spree. Hilarious, endearing and unforgettable, and definitely worth seeing in a live performance, as manic as Ian Anderson, these flute players are all delightfully insane. After this glorious start the album spirals into a few less memorable tracks such as Le Clochard, Janis, and Moving Waves, capped off by very nice musicianship on Focus II. My cassette just ran out so it is time to turn over to side 2; don't you just love the old cassette tapes?

The flip side is Eruption, a 23 minute exploration of light and dark shades with flute, Hammond, drums and bass going at it like knives, and it ends with a beautiful relaxing texture of flute and ambience. It is a great album, though "Hamburger Concerto" appeals more to me personally. There is no denying that Focus were capable of some incredible sounds back in the golden 70s era of prog.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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