Header

FOCUS 8

Focus

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Focus Focus 8 album cover
3.72 | 96 ratings | 12 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy FOCUS Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rock & Rio (3:27)
2. Tamara's Move (5:17)
3. Fretless Love (6:08)
4. Hurkey Turkey (4:15)
5. De Ti O De Mi (6:30)
6. Focus 8 (6:19)
7. Sto Ce Raditi Zwota (5:26)
8. Neurotika (3:47)
9. Brother (5:39)
10. Blizu Tebe (6:38)
11. Flower Shines (5:41)

Total Time: 59:07

Lyrics

Search FOCUS Focus 8 lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search FOCUS Focus 8 tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Jan Dumée / guitars, vocals
- Bobby Jacobs / bass
- Thijs van Leer / Hammond organ, flute, vocals
- Bert Smaak / drums

Releases information

Cd. Musea FGBG 4472.AR

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
Edit this entry

FOCUS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy FOCUS Focus 8 Music


Moving WavesMoving Waves
Import · Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$9.58
$12.00 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.66
$14.99 (used)
Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.62
$10.95 (used)
Live at the RainbowLive at the Rainbow
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.82
$13.09 (used)
Golden OldiesGolden Oldies
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$11.60
$17.37 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$9.53
$15.85 (used)
Best of Focus: Hocus PocusBest of Focus: Hocus Pocus
Import
CAPITOL/EMI/SBK/CHRYSALIS
Audio CD$27.74
$9.03 (used)
XX
Import
Eastworld Records 2012
Audio CD$7.93
$9.03 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
FOCUS Hair LP PSYCH PROG HIPPIE ROCK Brainbox DUTCH LP psychedelic progressive US $30.65 [0 bids]
44m 6s
Brainwave Symphony Energize & Focus - Dr Jeffrey Thompson US $9.45 Buy It Now 48m 30s
1978 2xLP: Focus On Gene Autry :Pre-1956 Recordings : London FOSU45/46 NM/VG+ US $3.87 [0 bids]
57m 58s
IMPROVE CONCENTRATION & FOCUS SELF HYPNOSIS CD US $4.82 Buy It Now 1h 2m
FOCUS - FOCUS 9: NEW SKIN (IMPORT) NEW CD US $41.17 Buy It Now 1h 22m
ALQUIN - WHEELCHAIR GROUPIE (CD1999)golden earring focus tasavallan presidentti US $6.37 Buy It Now 1h 45m
[LP] Davis, Goodman,Tschaikovsky Klavierkonzert, Warschauer (Focus) {MINT} US $14.09 Buy It Now 2h 5m
Original Hits of 60s &n70s- Slade/Focus/Bobby Hebb/Merseys etc + FREE UK POST US $17.10 Buy It Now 2h 13m
FOCUS~'HAMB.CONCERTO'~LP~SIGNED in AUSTRALIA,1975,by JAN AKKERMAN+THIJS VAN LEER US $65.88 [0 bids]
2h 15m
FOCUS-HOUSE OF THE KING 7" SINGLE CHEAP US $4.82 Buy It Now 2h 21m
FOCUS Hocus Pocus Best Of Double 180G Vinyl LP NEW & SEALED Music On Vinyl US $38.63 Buy It Now 3h 4m
DIANA ROSS BOOK,'A LEGEND IN FOCUS' BY SHARON DAVIS, HARDBACK US $16.11 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Tommy Steele Focus On 2 Vinyl LP Original UK Press Decca FOS. 22 Pop Idol US $17.99 Buy It Now 3h 40m
Music for Healing at Speed of Sound 2: Focus, Alex Doman, Don Campbell, US $14.26 Buy It Now 4h
Magnitude 9 - Reality in Focus MICP-10222 CD Japan +OBI US $9.80 Buy It Now 4h 9m
Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus NEW 2 x LP US $23.95 Buy It Now 4h 19m
Focus/Cool Velvet by Stan Getz (Sax) (CD, Jun-2012, Poll Winners Records) US $14.34 Buy It Now 4h 37m
LES MISERABLES 3 CDs MUSIC Victor Hugo Radio Theatre Focus On The Family Les Mis US $24.95 Buy It Now 5h 35m
FOCUS: FOCUS 3 [SYLVIA,ANONYMOUS TWO++]RE-ISSUE OF THE CLASSIC 1973 LP US $11.99 Buy It Now 5h 41m
CYNIC - "FOCUS" (2004 REMASTERED EXPANDED EDITION W/ 6 BONUS TRACKS!!) US $8.99 Buy It Now 6h 9m
MAX BYGRAVES focus on UK decca label UK Double vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION US $18.13 Buy It Now 6h 58m
FRIENDS LOVERS AND FAMILY FOCUS EP US $27.41 [0 bids]
7h 17m
SIMPLE SIMON 4 CD Lot Super Star Funky Dog Focus Bitter Taste Of Americana US $9.95 Buy It Now 7h 18m
The Royal Marines(2x12" Vinyl LP Gatefold)Focus On-Decca-FOS 61/2-UK-VG+/NM US $15.99 Buy It Now 7h 19m
Focus on Phase 4 Stereo (1968 Decca LP. BPS 1) Easy, Lounge, Exotica US $9.66 Buy It Now 7h 20m
(PROG LP) FOCUS - LIVE AT THE RAINBOW US $6.40 Buy It Now 7h 58m
Joe Budden Focus Promo 12" Rap Hiphop Def Jam 2002 US $0.99 [0 bids]
8h 14m
CHET ATKINS RCA VICTOR LP LPM-1577 HI-FI IN FOCUS MONO US $12.00 Buy It Now 8h 29m
FOCUS. SYLVIA. plus HOUSE OF THE KING. 1972. US $2.40 [0 bids]
8h 55m
Lost in Focus by Apiary (CD, May-2006, Metal Blade) US $0.99 Buy It Now 9h 8m
FOCUS MOVING WAVES 180gr VINYL LP NEW US $32.25 Buy It Now 9h 25m
Focus - Mother Focus [CD New] US $17.17 Buy It Now 9h 30m
FOCUS FOCUSIII 180gr VINYL 2LP NEW US $38.70 Buy It Now 9h 30m
Kimmel,Kari - Out Of Focus [CD New] US $16.89 Buy It Now 9h 30m
FOCUS HAMBURGER CONCERTO 180gr VINYL LP NEW US $32.25 Buy It Now 9h 34m
OUT OF FOCUS - OUT OF FOCUS - NEW CD US $19.36 Buy It Now 9h 42m
FOCUS hamburger concerto. uk lp 1st press Polydor A1/B1. mint vinyl! US $29.02 Buy It Now 10h 9m
FOCUS-MOVING WAVES LP ORIGINAL USA PRESS SAS-7401 SIRE RECORDS/ROCK US $3.82 [0 bids]
10h 24m
FOCUS - MOVING WAVES [REMASTER] - NEW CD US $20.82 Buy It Now 10h 42m
DON CAMPBELL / ALEX DOMAN - MUSIC FOR HEALING AT SPEED OF SOUND 2: FOCUS NEW CD US $21.01 Buy It Now 11h
KARI KIMMEL - OUT OF FOCUS NEW CD US $23.54 Buy It Now 11h
Rock Unplayed NM! 45 FOCUS Sylvia on Sire US $5.00 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Focus - Focus 3 - Audio Cassette US $6.37 Buy It Now 11h 49m
SUB FOCUS - ROCK IT - 4 track CD single US $3.21 [0 bids]
11h 55m
Focus - In and Out of Focus US 8 Track SIRE M 8147-7404 US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 2m
The Focus, Absurd Minds, Good Import US $10.88 Buy It Now 12h 17m
SOULS OF MISCHIEF Focus 2x LP NEW VINYL Hiero Opio Pep Love Tajai A-Plus US $12.99 Buy It Now 12h 20m
STAN GETZ**FOCUS (DOWNLOAD/180 GRAM/LIMITED ED/REMASTERED)**VINYL US $17.95 Buy It Now 12h 21m
Hot (CD, Oct-2013, New Focus) US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 44m
Focus - Hamburger Concerto UK 1974 Polydor LP US $8.05 [0 bids]
12h 50m
AUTO FOCUS-David Johansen/ANGELO BADALAMENTI/Spirit/Cd US $10.29 Buy It Now 12h 51m
FOCUS The Best Of 1986 HOLLAND CD issue US $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 59m
FOCUS SELF TITLED LP polydor 2384 070 US $13.71 Buy It Now 13h 11m
FUCK BUTTONS - SLOW FOCUS [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD US $7.06 Buy It Now 13h 37m
CYRIL HAVERMANS - CYRIL - FOCUS - MGM 1ST PRESS PROG - EX MINUS US $9.99 Buy It Now 13h 37m
Focus on Hollywood by Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra (CD, Oct-1991, Laserlight) US $1.99 Buy It Now 13h 48m
FOCUS / SEVES / SALINAS / CARLOS / ELKIND / ROJAS - BARRO Y MAIZ NEW CD US $20.29 Buy It Now 13h 54m
MANHATTAN FOCUS-S/T-JAPAN CD C75 US $18.99 Buy It Now 14h 24m
FOCUS - Hocus Pocus / Helen Shapiro - Queen For Tonight 45 rpm Underground NM US $5.80 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Focus-Hamburger Concerto 12" 1974 Atco Records 1st U.S. Press SD 36-100 EX/M US $11.99 Buy It Now 14h 37m
Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues / Out of Focus - Vinyl 7'' Pic.sleeve/ Hard Rock US $5.49 Buy It Now 15h 40m
FOCUS - MOTHER FOCUS NEW CD US $21.38 Buy It Now 15h 51m
Focus on Stanley Black - Decca 2 LP set US $22.42 Buy It Now 15h 53m
WONDERAMA PADRE PIO: THE STIGMATIST OUT OF FOCUS B/W GOLD 7" 45 EP '90S PUNK US $1.98 Buy It Now 16h 31m
2 SUBLIMINAL HYPNOSIS PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY RECALL FOCUS FOCUSING- BRAIN WAVE TECH US $27.99 Buy It Now 16h 37m
Focus On Your Child, Audio Journal, 0-7 yeas old, 10 CDs total! US $5.00 Buy It Now 18h 3m
Focus (1978 Harvest LP ST-11721 SEALED) Focus Con Proby featuring PJ Proby US $18.28 Buy It Now 18h 30m
Focus (1978 Harvest Stereo LP ST-11721 STILL SEALED PJ Proby) Focus Con Proby US $19.28 Buy It Now 18h 52m
Lost in Focus by Apiary (CD, May-2006, Metal Blade) US $0.99 Buy It Now 18h 54m
SENSATE FOCUS Sensate Focus 5 (12") SEALED house experimental glitch BURIAL US $9.99 [0 bids]
18h 54m
TYS VAN LEER (FOCUS) - "Nice To Have Met You" LP 1978 1st US WL PROMO w/INSERT US $22.88 Buy It Now 19h 7m
Vintage Album - FOCUS - Moving Waters SAS 7401 Sire Records US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 23m
FOCUS - HAREM SCAREM / BIRTH - EX++ CLOSE TO MINT- + SLEEVE US $6.00 Buy It Now 19h 25m
FOCUS/hamburger concerto/1974 lp US $15.99 Buy It Now 20h 19m
FOCUS mother focus VG/M- JAPAN EMS-50115 | 14-0617-045 US $29.99 Buy It Now 21h 10m
PHYLLIS EMERT Focus on the Feeling LP Rare Private Jazz US $39.99 Buy It Now 21h 53m
FOCUS Greatest Hits Music Cassette Fame Label US $8.07 Buy It Now 22h 9m
FOCUS "AT THE RAINBOW", LP, TRIFOLD DIE-CUT COVER, 1973, RARE! US $19.99 Buy It Now 22h 21m
FOCUS-Focus II - LP-1976 EMI Records Australian re-issue - EMC 2585 US $28.94 Buy It Now 22h 38m
FOCUS 3 original 1972 U.K. 2 lp Dutch prog Jan Akkerman Polydor gatefold US $17.99 [0 bids]
23h 34m
FOCUS "THE BEST OF FOCUS" Japan w/OBI !! US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
FOCUS "AT THE RAINBOW " Japan W/OBI !! US $15.99 [0 bids]
1 day
ALAN PRICE, FOCUS ON ALAN PRICE, 2xLP 1979 UK EX-/EX/VG+ DECCA FOS 65 GATEFOLD/S US $13.23 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS Rock Sensation Music Cassette Karussell Label US $8.07 Buy It Now 1 day
JESSICA WILLIAMS TRIO INVENTIONS JAZZ FOCUS CANADA CD US $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
INTERFACE - DESTINATION FOCUS NEW CD US $12.74 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus Danse, New Music US $15.17 Buy It Now 1 day
STAN GETZ (SAX) - FOCUS/COOL VELVET - NEW CD US $13.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus On Les Reed, Decca 2 LP Set, FOS-25/26 Ex condition Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve US $16.11 Buy It Now 1 day
THIJS VAN LEER (Focus) // BOLERO // CBS CD Popshop US $13.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Moving Waves [LP] by Focus (Vinyl, Feb-2010) US $7.00 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
1 day
BLUE CHEER / SUMMERTIME BLUES/ OUT OF FOCUS US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
FOCUS - MOTHER FOCUS (IMPORT) NEW CD US $57.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus/Thirteen Ways - Ways Thirteen New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $15.41 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS Greatest Hits Of Focus 1984 Dutch/UK vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION US $24.18 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus - Carrigan,Bryan New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping US $20.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraut Rock FOCUS Hamburger Concerto NM SD36-100 ORIG EB697 US $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus*Moving Waves*1972 original vinyl LP*Excellent condition US $7.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Focus Harem Scarem / Early Birth Italy Import 45 With Picture Sleeve US $20.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS MOTHER FOCUS 180grVINYL LP NEW SEALED US $35.47 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy FOCUS music online Buy FOCUS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for FOCUS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

FOCUS Focus 8 ratings distribution


3.72
(96 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

FOCUS Focus 8 reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

I am usually very wary of those bands that reconvene some 20 years later and do a new album. This has given some horrendous results before, even (especially) with prog bands, partly because the new effort is usually half-hearted, but also because the musicians have become "grown-ups" and don't dare being as idealistic or radical than in their 20's. Truth is I did have worries about Focus' eighth album (I waited until I saw them in concert to buy it), but this was without counting the good old Dutch common sense: Thijs knows what made his band a success and was not about to take a chance with this second use of the group's name. If he was to extract every cent out of Focus, the music would have to be very much in the spirit of their first life. So he gathered a few gifted but unknown musicians and set on to record the new album in 03 and had it released on the Musea label with a basic artwork, photos of the Dutch countryside taken in an ancient car.

And indeed the new album sounds a lot like Focus' better albums (such as Moving Waves, 3 or Hamburger Concerto) and it rather hard to criticize that aspect: this is unmistakably a Focus album. But even if the young musicians accompanying Thijs are good/excellent, they are probably a bit shy of stepping in Akkerman's, Ruiter's or VanDerLinden's shoes and the show belongs to Thijs and him alone. To be truthful, I think that those young guys don't come up to the level of their older peers, because in concert the group does six or seven version of the Focus theme, carefully avoiding some absolutely essential other tracks like the Hamburger suite or an Anonymous theme. Sounds like a waste? Or maybe a way to save up/recycle at lesser costs? Or maybe because the level demanded is too high for the accompanying musicians?

Anyway, the album is a good focus album and would've easily fitted after HC or even the spare track compilation of Ship Of Memories. Yes, Thijs is equal to himself (even pulling some weird scatting we are used to), but he's alone, really. Jan Dumée does pull one or two solos like at the end of Hurkey Turkey (even the jokes are recycled in this country) and can actually temporarily make you forget Akkerman or Catherine, but the key word being temporarily. Bassist Jacob's performance is nothing to write home about, but it's not clear how much freedom he was allowed. One of the problems with this album is Smaak's drumming. Not that he's a bad drummer, but his modern "snarey" sound is simply not meeting up his predecessor's standards, and his playing is hardly exciting either. Little wonder Thijs would welcome back PVDL back into the group for the next tours and albums.

The other main issue is that Thijs' inspiration seems on the saving/recycle mode as well. Focus was never a band of over-abundant ideas and the recycling of classical composers' most famous piece was a common thing in The Netherlands (Ekseption, Trace, Solution, Finch.... and Focus), but here there are particularly few new ideas. Outside the usual Focus theme recycling, there are many borrowings, some of them even plundering their own older works.

"Lesser musicianship, recycling of old ideas, little inspiration and lack of energy" you've been reading!! So you're expecting a rather poor album, right? Well not really!! Thijs and Focus' name still operate some kind of magic. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to part with this album (I usually get rid of average albums to avoid cluttering up my shelves) and I guess it means that even though I criticize it heavily, it might just be better than average, and if I keep it around, this means that it is at least a 3.5 stars album. Which isn't so bad for one of those comeback albums that group absent for two decades usually botch up. Nice try, Thijs!! Hopefully the next one...

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#22972) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I find it really had to review Focus at the best of times so I am doing '8' and '9' at the same time!

Both albums are vey much Focus albums.Nothing strays too much from the core style they are famous for.Plenty of pretty guitar melodies and both are well produced.Thijs Van Leer's Hammond gets a good airing as well as various whistling and yodelling! Drumming wise '9' has the great Pierre Van Der Linden involved and he briings much more of the ''oomph'' factor.The drumming on '8' is just solid and uninspired.That said I think the compositions on '8' are just a bit better.Both albums clock in at 60-70 minutes so not much difference there either.

Overall there is isn't too much too dislike on either disc.Focus offer friendlywarm music to be enjoyed with a glass or two of your favourite tipple.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#115417) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 17, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars WHEN FOCUS MEETS SANTANA

A twenty-four years break between their poor last studio album "Focus Con Proby" (and one reunion effort from Akkerman and van Leer in 1985). This is a hell of a break, isn't it ? So, what can we honestly expect ? At this time of their career, it is rather difficult to tell which direction has chosen. Will they revert to their great symphonic sound ? Will they prolonged their jazz adventure ?

When I'm listening to the first two songs, they remind me the good old days. "Rock & Rio" appears like a poor man's "Hocus", without its craziness and frenesy but it is a good attempt of cloning. "Tamara's Move" features very pleasant fluting and some very good guitar work. Actually, Jan (the other one) will be GREAT during the whole of this album. It is full of good rhythm as well. With these two songs, I already have heard more interesting stuff than on their whole "Con Proby" stuff.

The good surprise goes on with a very symphonic "Fretless Love". Great guitar and keyboards during the intro. Things get a bit worse while some jazzy mood takes up the lead; dull in the first stage, the song will evolve again to the beautiful sounds of the intro. A mixed track actually. Brilliant at times, and boring at others.

"Hurkey Turkey" will feature some weird "vocals". The rhythm here is fully Latin-rock. The heavy keys remind me of Gregg Rolie. Do I need to tell to whom the guitar sounds like ? Yes, my friends : Mr. Carlos Santana himself ! I could add the following number to the sweet side of Santanal. Almost normal with such a title, no ? "De Ti O de Mi" is a song a la "Samba Pa' Ti". A great guitar instrumental.

I can hardly believe what I hear. Almost five good tracks in a row ! What a pleasant surprise. Focus at his best. After such a long time. It was well worth the waiting.

Would they perpetrate their excellent tradition and deliver a great "Focus" theme song ? Well, yes and no. "Focus 8" is not as good as most of its predecessors (mostly I, II and III). Not bad but not memorable either. And Focus just goes on with the good (guitar) work with "Sto Ces...". While you have passed the wierd (but short) intro, the same great Santana-like guitar work is to be heard. Another good one.

Some more yodeling of course needed to be present on this album. Just to remind us a little more some of their early repertoire. "Neurotika" shares a crazy beat with a very quite one. You know like "Hocus..." as if the yodeling was not enough. Now, some of you might find that it is a bit too much, all these Carlos-like soli; but when the melodies are so nice and the music so well played, I just say : hats off !

At this time of my review, there is really no need to tell you how the next song sounds like, right ? Just beautiful as well. You could also compare this effort to "Rajaz" from Camel. Actually the only weak number is the closing number. The grotesque "Flower Shower".

I am really pleased to welcome this great come-back album. Why didn't they produce such works during the late mid-seventies ? Anyway, it is so nice to see them back on (good) business. Let's hope they'll keep on like that.

Four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#135797) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 01, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars New album that maintains vintage style .

It's my natural tendency not to take a closer look of band(s) who were very successful in the 70's and then disappeared, all of sudden by virtue of one or two members of original line-up, made another effort in 2000 with new album. I thought, their come back is just merely for commercial reason and take a benefit from the fact that the music industry is now a bit booming by promoting the memorable releases. By no exception is this Focus 8 album. I could not imagine that I would be able to accept the fact on "musical degradation" of old band like Focus who was very successful with songs like "Focus 3", "Sylvia", "Hocus Pocus" (in fact this song was used by global television network as background of TV news), by releasing a new album. So, when I saw this CD at local CD store, I was not interested to get it and, even worse, no intention to search the review of this album on the net!

But then when this year I got a chance to listen this album due to courtesy of my long time prog friend, Hardiansyah Rizal, I'm happy with the fact that this album still maintain the style, the energy and, most importantly, the quality that the band produced in the 70s knowing that only one member of the legendary line-up remains: Thijs Van Leer. Regardless you know the band before or not, you can enjoy this album stand alone and make an imagination that this is the kind of music the band played in the 70s. The only difference is probably the recording quality that this album

What I mean here is that we can compare this with Focus 3, even from the opening track Rock & Rio (3:27) which directly reminds me to the band's 70s nuance. It's the way the band has delivered music so far and it's kicking! If you are not familiar with track by track of Focus legendary albums you might think that this is part of the old albums. Of course, if you can not differentiate vintage and modern recording. The composition is for me quite compact where the musical density quite sounds like complex for normal music buffs, especially on the intertwining roles of keyboard, guitar that overlay the dynamic and tight basslines. I am amazed with this song.

The next track "Tamara's Move (Allegro-Adagio-Allegro)" (5:17), brings the memory back to the 70s because this song is led by flute solo with some break using male vocal line. This kind of music is representing the sound of old Focus especially with the changing style / tempo in the middle, featuring stunning guitar solo. Yes, man, I am really happy enjoying this track and I can say: FOCUS IS BACK! "Fretless Love" (6:08) takes us to a musical break as the song starts mellow with ambient nuance using slow flute work backed with nice acoustic guitar and keyboard. The song moves in crescendo until at approximately minute 1:30 it really takes off into medium tempo music featuring a nice combination of flute, acoustic guitar and organ punches while drums and bass serve as rhythm section.

"Hurkey Turkey" (4:15) starts differently compared with other previous tracks because it uses soft guitar riffs followed music and then guitar provides excellent textures through a sound effect that you can hear clearly with a descent headphone moving from left to right channel. What follows is a short guitar solo, followed with organ and then overlaid by flute. Guitar then takes another solo to lead the song. "De To O de Mi" (6:30) is another excellent track which opens with tight bass lines in slow tempo with drums as beat keeper followed with thin organ line at background. The guitar (electric) then takes the music through its solo that serves as melody line. The song has some symphonic element in the middle of the track through the sounds of organ.

The album title track "Focus 8" (6:19) is another guitar-led instrumental with slow tempo where keyboard, bass and drum serve as rhythm section. Composition-wise this is a bit boring to my ears even though this is not a bad song at all. The music reminds me to the Path Metheny Group and it's probably too mellow for me, "Sto Ces Raditi Ostatac Zivota?" (5:26) starts with an ambient flute-work backed with acoustic guitar fills. The song moves in African style with male chanting at background and acoustic guitar serves as main rhythm section followed with electric guitar that takes the lead melody. The beauty of this song is the insertion of flute sounds in some passages.

"Neurotika" (3:47) brings the music into an "upbeat" tempo and this song shares similar vein with the band old-time hit "Hocus Pocus" in music as well as singing style. It's so interesting to have this song enjoyed after slow tracks. This is not as energetic as "Hocus Pocus" but it has excellent soul as its predecessor. The electric guitar, backed with organ sound, is really stunning especially when the vocal enters at the same time. "Brother" (5:39) brings the music into a dark mellow nuance in the vein of Focus 3 (the song) where it starts in ambient mood through a long sustain organ work. Drums takes the role in inviting the bass guitar and electric guitar to enter the music, maintaining the slow tempo. At approx 1:59 the music moves into higher tone which takes the involvement of flute into the music. It's nice. This is truly a guitar-led music with some insertion of organ and flute as some transition pieces. "Blizu Tébe" (6:38) seems like an extension of previous track where the electric guitar still take the role as melody-maker of the music. It's a nice composition. But, I think it would be much more powerful if the ending part comprises musical passages with faster tempo to conclude the track. This album has "Flower Shower" that serves as a Bonus Track. It's quite strange but fun music.

Overall, I admire Thijs Van Leer who still have the passion and energy to reform the band and making a new album that maintains the quality of old time's albums like Focus 3 or Hamburger Concerto. It's of course an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#168795) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars Yes, you read the name of the band correctly; this is indeed the Focus of "Hocus Pocus" fame. Apparently three guys decided to form a tribute band as a surprise for Thijs Van Leer and he enjoyed what he had heard so much that he decided to join them, and then said that they ought to be called Focus. The result is a new album that shows that even without the likes of Jan Akkerman they can still kick up a storm. It is a long time since I have heard any Focus and this album is the sort that makes the listener wants to go out and grab the back catalogue as soon as possible. It is the opener "Rock & Rio" that sets the stage as the band blast and funk along, with Thijs providing yodels over the top as only he can. It is fun, it grooves and has s life of its own and the band let rip when they can with guitarist Jan Dumée showing that he is quite a find.

It is a mostly instrumental album, with the band on fine form, definitely hearkening back to the good old days. It is of little surprise that Thijs has high regard for his band mates, saying that "they inspire me to explore new horizons and unknown tonalities" Whether they are rocking along or providing a more reflective air this is a very good album indeed. Just don't play the 'bonus cut' as that is banal and shouldn't have been included as it just grates

Originally appeared in Feedback #71, Dec 02

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978653) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars There is a funny story about how this band came into existence - Thjis van Leer heard a Focus cover band one night, and he decided to make them his backing band for his new musical adventure - and this how Focus of the new millenium was born, but unfortunately this same Focus didn't last very long ... (read more)

Report this review (#128036) | Posted by Salviaal | Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Warning! I'm not saying that this release is better than HC or MV; the music is undoubtely very good, but moreover, the fifth star is for the context: how many prog bands sound as fresh as Focus 8 in this new millenium? Mr. Thys is back with too many ideas in his mind. Are there some dull trac ... (read more)

Report this review (#113529) | Posted by sircosick | Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This record was a typical "i want to make a typical Focus record by myself and hire some new up and coming musicians and i know its gonna sound very 80's and uninspiring". It got some ok songs and i like the fact that he still use Hammond and sing in that Jodle-y way. The guitar was not good, ... (read more)

Report this review (#45574) | Posted by Phjodolph | Monday, September 05, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 25 years without hearing from Focus except from some compilations and then here we are presented with Focus 8. Its absolutely wrong to say that the brand name Focus was "used" for comercial advantages. Focus 8 is not about revival of a Dinossaur for the sake of the money. Its about a mans pass ... (read more)

Report this review (#22978) | Posted by | Friday, April 01, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On Focus 8 Thijs van Leer yodels and plays the flute and Hammond as he always has done on previous releases of the band Focus, but contrary to what one might expect, this album is not just a lackluster repeat of past success formulas. Sure, the albums also knows a few weak moments (the song 'F ... (read more)

Report this review (#22977) | Posted by JK2000 | Wednesday, March 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This record is one of those records you put on, when you come home and want to relax. Though the opener (Rock & Rio) is a kind of good fun rocksong (though song is the wrong word, rockyoddel or something like that would do better), there is a overall relaxed, sometimes even romantic tone about ... (read more)

Report this review (#22976) | Posted by artbass | Sunday, August 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ladies and gentlemen...nothing here.. nothing there...nothing up my sleeve....hocus pocus: FOCUS !!! Yes its right, there´s a new Focus in town....and a brilliant one at that !! Grandfather Focus Thijs van Leer attended some event, where "Hocus pocus", pay´d hommage to the Dutch progmasters....aft ... (read more)

Report this review (#22968) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Thursday, November 27, 2003 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of FOCUS "Focus 8"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.49 seconds