Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Focus Masters from the Vaults album cover
3.90 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

Write a review

Buy FOCUS Music
from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hocus Pocus
2. House of the King
3. Focus I
4. Hamburger Concerto
5. Cathedral de Strasbourg
6. Sneezing Bull
7. Angel Wings
8. Anonymous II
9. Eruption
10. Focus II
11. Sylvia

Line-up / Musicians

- Band line-up could not be verified at this time.

Releases information

CD, Europe, Germany - Classic Rock Productions (CRP1112)

Thanks to TCat for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy FOCUS Masters from the Vaults Music

FOCUS Masters from the Vaults ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (50%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FOCUS Masters from the Vaults reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 628

"Masters From The Vaults" is a compilation album of Focus. This is a compilation album that covers the first years of the band in the 70's, the years that belong to their golden era. "Masters From The Vaults" includes tracks from their first four studio albums, "Focus Plays Focus" aka "In And Out Of Focus", "Focus II" aka "Moving Waves", "Focus 3" and "Hamburger Concerto". So, it has tracks that belong to their best and most progressive phase. "Masters From The Vaults" has also two interesting tracks, "Sneezing Bull" and "Angel Wings" recorded after Akkerman have left Focus.

"Masters From The Vaults" was released in 2003 and has eleven tracks. "Hocus Pocus" is from "Moving Waves". This is a legendary track from the band with astonishing intensity and, at the same time, we may 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 free from all tensions and stress after a day's work. This always was one of my favourite progressive tracks from them. "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 exciting and it's very refreshing. It's a classic from Focus where we can see compositional mastery, creative experimentalism and instrumental virtuosity. "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 on that album and it's another classic gem of the band. It's an astonishing track with about 10 minutes with great improvisations that moves constantly between guitar, keyboards and flute. This is Focus at their best and represents the progressivity and the quality of their music and how great they can be. "Hamburger Concerto" is from "Hamburger Concerto". It's divided into six parts. This is an epic suite with about 20 minutes long. This theme is one of the most accomplished pieces of Focus, in terms of construction. It has an incredible mix of styles and genres turning it in one of the best progressive pieces ever. "La Cathedral De Strasbourg" is also from "Hamburger Concerto". It's a beautiful piece with calm voices and with church organ and bells. This is an incredible beautiful track. It evokes perfectly well the grandeur and majesty of the Gothic Cathedral of Strasbourg. "Sneezing Bull" is from "Focus Con Proby". It's an energetic excellent track with a great flute work that becomes its key attraction. As far as I'm concerned, this is easily just as good as anything Focus ever made. It reminds me the earlier Focus' albums. But, this time, it has intense flavours of jazz-rock fusion. "Angel Wings" is a non-album's track. It was recorded in 1976 and broadcast on Radio 1 in the BBC Concert Series and was released on their live album "Live At The BBC" in 2004. The album was recorded just weeks after Jan Akkerman had left the band, and a new guitarist, Philip Catherine had been brought in. It has a strong hard driven guitar lines and a killer drum work. This is a jazz/fusion classic piece. "Anonymous II" is from "Focus 3". This is a piece divided into two parts, the part one and the conclusion. This is a lengthy piece with an excellent instrumental performance. It's, essentially, an improvised track, but that seems to me most enjoyable and interesting played live than in the studio. "Eruption" is from "Moving Waves". It's divided into fifteen parts and is the magnum opus and the best piece on that album. This is a magnificent piece with great moments that reminds me the classical Baroque music, in some parts. This is entirely an instrumental long suite with about 12 minutes and where the music flows continuously. It has several themes that come and goes and where some of them develop through some musical improvisations. "Eruption" is a track full of virtuosity and a perfect example how to make great progressive symphonic music with a high quality level. "Focus II" is also 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. "Sylvia" is from "Focus 3". It's a classic from Focus. It's a melodic song conducted by the electric guitar of Jan Akkerman and with some great performances by all other band's members in the supporting role. It's basically a flurry of sounds all meticulously connected. This is a memorable catchy song with an emotive melody where the song is all built around it.

Conclusion: "Masters Form The Vaults" is probably one of the best and one of the most complete compilation albums of Focus that covers their best and most progressive phase. It has tracks from the first four studio albums of Focus, "In And Out Of Focus" from 1970, "Moving Waves" from 1971, "Focus 3" from 1973 and "Hamburger Concerto" from 1974. Thus, some of their best and most progressive tracks are present here. I can't see any weak track on it. But, above all, it has the two tracks written by Philip Catherine, the guitarist that replaced Jan Akkerman soon as he left Focus. The two tracks are both great, a really nice surprise. "Masters Form The Vaults" is a great starting point for newbies with Focus.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of FOCUS "Masters from the Vaults"

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


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

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.