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Focus Focus - Special Polydor album cover
3.50 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Hocus Pocus
2. Focus
3. Round Goes the Gossip
4. Love Remembered
5. House of the King

Side B
6. Early Birth
7. Focus II
8. Carnival Fugue
9. Janis
10. Elspeth of Nottingham
11. Tommy
12. Sylvia

Tracks on New Zealand 1975 LP (Polydor - 2383 354):
Side A
1. Hocus Pocus (3:18)
2. Focus (9:45)
3. House of the King (2:23)
4. Moving Waves (2:30)
5. Sylvia (3:32)

Side B
6. Focus II (4:00)
7. Love Remembered (2:49)
8. Carnival Fugue (5:59)
9. Focus III (5:59)
10. Hocus Pocus (3:25)

Total Time 43:40

Line-up / Musicians

See line-ups of respective albums

Releases information

Quote from rear cover: This album features arguably the finest tracks from their first three albums - "In and Out of Focus", "Moving Waves" and "Focus III".

Featured a rare track called "Early Birth" which was recorded during the "Hamburger Concerto" sessions and at the time was released as the B-side of the single "Harem Scarem".

LP Polydor - 2384 070 (1975, UK)
LP Polydor - 2383 354 (1975, France)
LP Contour - 2870 487 (1975, Australia)
MC Polydor - 3192 211 (1975, UK)

LP Polydor - 2488 296 (1975, New Zealand, 10 tracks, different track list)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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FOCUS Focus - Special Polydor ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FOCUS Focus - Special Polydor reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 612

"Focus - Special Polydor" is a compilation album of Focus. This is one of the many compilation albums released by the band during the career of the group in the 70's. So, "Focus - Special Polydor" has only tracks that belong to that musical period of Focus and that includes tracks from their first three studio albums, "Focus Plays Focus" aka "In And Out Of Focus", "Focus II" aka "Moving Waves" and "Focus 3". That means that we are talking about tracks that belong to some of their best studio albums. We are talking about albums that belong to their best and most prog phase. "Focus ? Special Polydor" has also a non-album's track, "Early Birth", which wasn't released on their original studio albums.

"Focus - Special Polydor" was released in 1975 and has twelve tracks. "Hocus Pocus" is from "Moving Waves". This is an extraordinary track, a legendary track from the band with intensity perfectly astonishing and, at the same time, we may also say that it has some beautiful insanity on it. It's a track that soon we heard it, soon we sing it, and that, in the end, we remain completely free from all tensions and stress after a day's work. This always was one of my favourite progressive tracks ever. "Focus (Instrumental)" is from "In And Out Of Focus". It's a revisiting of the peaceful opener track of that album "Focus (Vocal)". This track is the best and the most progressive song on that album and it's another classic gem of the band. It's an astonishing track with about 10 minutes with incredible improvisations that moves constantly between guitar, keyboards and flute. This is Focus at their best and represents perfectly the progressivity and the quality of their music and how great they can be. "Round Goes The Gossip" is from "Focus 3". This is a well humoured song with a curious and strange consecutive repetition of the title song, by Thijs van Leer, as if it was a lyric. It's catchy, a kind of a jazz-fusion song with nice instrumentation. "Love Remembered" is also from "Focus 3". It's a simple short and beautiful song. It's a relaxing song with a soft tune and a nice pastoral and bucolic melody. Basically, it's a song with acoustic guitar, flute and keyboards, with bass and drums on the back. "House Of The King" is from "In And Out Of Focus". This is a legendary track. It shows the compositional abilities of Jan Akkerman and the harmony between the flute of Thijs van Leer and the acoustic guitar of Jan Akkerman. Despite be short, it's an exciting and refreshing moment. "Early Birth" is a non album's track. It was only released as a bonus track on the CD release of "Hamburger Concerto". It was the B side of their single "Harem Scarem". This is a beautiful, short, simple and nice instrumental piece. "Focus II" is from "Moving Waves". It's an interesting and melodic piece dominated by the guitar of Jan Akkerman. This is a song that continues the Focus' series, with good song writing and great musical performance by all band's members, as is usual. It has a fantastic interplay between all band's members. This is one of the best examples of their unusual style. "Carnival Fugue" is from "Focus 3". It has varied musical sections. It begins in a calm and relaxing way that grows all over the theme. This is a jazzy oriented song with good instrumental playing in the line of their traditional style. "Janis" is from "Moving Waves". It's a soft track, despite it's a Jan Akkerman's song. The lead is taken by the magic flute of Thijs van Leer, perfectly supported by the other band's members. This is a very simple song but the melody and harmonies are so perfect and catchy that makes of it, somehow, a memorable song. Like some other reviewers, this is also a song that reminds me my good old and beloved band, Camel. "Elspeth Of Nottingham" is from "Focus 3". It's a beautiful medieval madrigal well performed by classical guitar and flute. I always loved the medieval music, and so, this song is a blessing for my senses. This is another great track with high quality. "Tommy" is from "Moving Waves". It's a small excerpt of their multi-part suite "Eruption", which is divided into many several parts. "Eruption" is a real progressive masterpiece with great organ sounds, tons of drums, very melodic bass and straightforward hard rock electric guitars. There are some intensely floating Mellotron and backing vocal parts. "Tommy" is probably the most known excerpt, a logical choice for a single. "Sylvia" is also from "Focus 3". It's a classic from Focus. It's a melodic song conducted by the electric guitar of Jan Akkerman and with great performances by all other band's members, in the supporting role. This is a very catchy song with an emotive and beautiful melody.

Conclusion: "Focus - Special Polydor" is very similar to other four compilation albums of Focus, "Masters Of Rock 1971 - 1973" from 1974, "The Greatest Rock Sensation" also from 1974, "Dutch Masters 1969 ? 1973" from 1975 and "House Of The King" from 1983. As happened with all those compilation albums it has only tracks that belong to their first three studio albums "In And Out Of Focus" from 1970, "Moving Waves" from 1971 and "Focus 3" from 1973, three of the albums that belong to their golden era, only missing tracks from "Hamburger Concerto" also of that era. And, as happened with "The Greatest Rock Sensation", "Focus - Special Polydor" has also the same special non-album's track, "Early Birth". So, we can really say that "Focus - Special Polydor" is a good compilation album released by the group.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars This, to me, is the ultimate Focus "best of" collection. The LP has a bright yellow colour with a nice pic from the "Hamburger Concerto" line up. Side 1 starts of with the excellent "Hocus Pocus" followed to the instrumental first "Focus". Now this is a great track, moving from tranquil to a gran ... (read more)

Report this review (#397484) | Posted by Lieven Van Paemel | Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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