Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

FOCUS

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Focus picture
Focus biography
Of all the groups in the 1970s that combined elements of rock and classical music, FOCUS is, without a doubt, the most notable Dutch group widely known outside the Netherlands. This band has created excitement all over the world during the past few years with their unique sound and musical approach. The two main musicians in the band were flutist/keyboardist/singer Thjis Van LEER and guitarist Jan AKKERMAN. They played a stylishly inventive rock with flutes, keyboards & dazzling guitar, defining the Dutch prog sound. An inspiration to FINCH, TRACE & numerous others. In 1978, the group finally split up, without making too much noise.

Best albums are "Moving Waves" (1972), "3" (1973), "Live at the Rainbow" (1973), and "Hamburger Concerto" (1974). "Waves" and "3" represent the best of the band's earlier intensely progressive period with plenty of sidelong tracks and healthly extended solos. Most will agree that "Live at the Rainbow" and "Hamburger Concerto" (last good album) were their best, moving into a period of more pure classical and jazz influence.

"Focus 8" marks the return of Thjis Van LEER in the true nature of music: tuneful, memorable and a little bit rocky when they want to be. This album contains everything you might want from a FOCUS album ... plenty of flute and keyboards from Thijs, tasty guitar playing from Jan DUMÉE and even some yodeling vocals. Perhaps in summary, the band could have veered a little from the safety of the FOCUS blueprint but "Focus 9" may yet further develop their own voice. No doubt about it, we'll have to count on FOCUS in the new millennium to all of the true Progressive Rock lovers.

Focus official website

FOCUS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


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

FOCUS forum topics / tours, shows & news


FOCUS forum topics Create a topic now
FOCUS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

FOCUS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all FOCUS videos (9) | Search and add more videos to FOCUS

Buy FOCUS Music


Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$8.37
$6.23 (used)
Moving WavesMoving Waves
Import · Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$8.45
$6.53 (used)
X [Deluxe Edition]X [Deluxe Edition]
Plastic Head 2012
Audio CD$7.66
$4.60 (used)
Golden Years of Dutch Pop MusicGolden Years of Dutch Pop Music
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$30.38
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$8.45
$8.44 (used)
Mother FocusMother Focus
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$8.48
$8.47 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$8.48
$7.99 (used)
Ship of MemoriesShip of Memories
Import · Remastered
Imports 2001
Audio CD$8.73
$8.74 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
FOCUS HIGHLIGHT VINTAGE ORIGINAL ADVERT 1969 - 10" X 7" USD $8.68 Buy It Now 1h 33m
Suzanne Farrin: Corpo di Terra (CD, Nov-2012, New Focus) USD $7.59 Buy It Now 1h 36m
lot 23 Vintage 8 Track tape Cartridge Assorted springsteen 10cc focus 3 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2h 20m
The Peter King Quartet - Focus LP UK issue from 1983 on KPM Music KPM 1307 USD $6.08 [2 bids]
2h 21m
FOCUS [REMASTER] NEW CD USD $12.04 Buy It Now 2h 25m
Rock 45 Focus - Zero In July / Zero In July (Instrumental) On Emi USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Torus by Sub Focus (CD, Sep-2013, Casablanca) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 53m
Focus - Moving Waves - Blue Horizon 2931-002 - LP Vinyl Record USD $14.76 Buy It Now 3h 10m
Focus Edition: 24h - Sweet Dreams Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Focus Edition: 24h - Night Beats Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Focus Edition: 24h - Love Beats Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Focus Edition: 24h - Good Morning Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Jacques Loussier - Focus On Jacques Loussier - Decca 2-LP Vinyl Record USD $14.76 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Focus in Concert! USD $49.00 [0 bids]
USD $69.00 Buy It Now
3h 59m
THE SPINNERS / MARTIN CARTHY / THE CORRIES Focus on Folk VINYL LP FREE UK POST USD $15.35 Buy It Now 4h
Mitchell Gaynor M.D.-Crystal Sonic Clear Focus CD NEW USD $16.71 Buy It Now 4h 3m
FOCUS - Hamburger Concerto ~1974 GATEFOLD VINYL LP POLYDOR RECORDS 2442124 UK USD $8.68 [0 bids]
4h 9m
FOCUS LOT OF 14 LPS DIE CUT FOCUS 3 MOVING WAVES MOTHER RAINBOW IMPORT HOCUS USD $20.51 [6 bids]
4h 22m
FOCUS ( TURNER,BUDDY )-BAD BODY CD5 Maxi NEW USD $12.24 Buy It Now 5h 19m
Ennio Morricone/Dulce Pontes: Focus (New CD) USD $18.81 Buy It Now 5h 20m
1972 THE MONKEES RE-FOCUS RECORD ALBUM RARE BELL STEREO BELL6081 VG++/VG++ CLEAN USD $10.00 [0 bids]
USD $15.00 Buy It Now
6h 2m
* New Focus Ariana Grande Keyring / Keychain ** AUS STOCK USD $3.19 Buy It Now 6h 6m
MOTHER FOCUS VG+ . ATCO RECORDS USD $4.95 Buy It Now 6h 8m
SUBLIMINAL DISTRACTION AID-FOCUS STOP BEING DISTRACTED-BRAINWAVE TRAINING AUDIO USD $15.50 Buy It Now 6h 22m
FOCUS Focus Con Proby PJ PROBY 1978 HARVEST CLASSIC PROG ROCK LP n.mint g340 USD $17.50 Buy It Now 6h 35m
FOCUS Moving Waves EMS80882 LP Dg5464 USD $0.99 [1 bids]
6h 52m
2 SUBLIMINAL FOCUS CONCENTRATION AID-HUMAN BRAIN POWER-BRAINWAVE MIND TECHNOLOGY USD $21.99 Buy It Now 7h 49m
WMYQ-FM NM- Mayfield War Climax Mountain Sylvia Gallery Melanie Mountain Focus USD $17.16 Buy It Now 7h 58m
Focus - Focus 8 [CD New] USD $16.28 Buy It Now 8h 2m
Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age MUSIC CD USD $8.99 Buy It Now 8h 13m
FOCUS HAMBURGER CONCERTO RECORD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 8h 16m
Focus 8 - Focus (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.67 Buy It Now 8h 20m
DELTA HEAVY Reborn 12" NEW VINYL Ram June Miller Wilkinson Sub Focus Skrillex USD $15.99 Buy It Now 9h 29m
SENSATE FOCUS 5 12" NEW VINYL Mark Fell SND USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Slow Focus by Fuck Buttons (Audio CD) USD $18.39 Buy It Now 10h 34m
DOUG PARKINSON IN FOCUS Jukebox Vinyl 45 1969 - HAIR / WITHOUT YOU Ex cond. USD $11.34 Buy It Now 10h 44m
C.S. Lewis at War Christian Drama Focus on the Family (CD) NEW Case Cracked USD $19.79 Buy It Now 11h 4m
Wake Up by Out of Focus (CD, Oct-2010, Esoteric Reco... USD $15.85 Buy It Now 11h 46m
Latanza Waters - Sing Sing Sing - Focus - 1998 #217491 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 12h 15m
E-Smoove - SHE - Focus - 2001 #70904 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 12h 15m
Union State - Out To Getcha - Focus - 1999 #80166 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 12h 15m
E-Smoove - Baby Gets Hi - Focus - 2000 #120732 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 12h 15m
LP-FOCUS-AT THE RAINBOW -LP- LP-FOCUS-AT THE RAINBOW -LP- USD $31.02 Buy It Now 12h 26m
Focus - Hamburger Concerto - 2442 124 - LP Record #focus USD $21.71 Buy It Now 12h 51m
Focus:Mediterranean Grooves (No Date CD Album) 20 Trax. Mediterranean Music/Easy USD $3.62 Buy It Now 13h 18m
FOCUS At The Rainbow EMS-40197 JAPAN LP w/OBI 074az26 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 13h 53m
FOCUS Moving Waves EMS-50130 JAPAN LP w/OBI 082az22 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 13h 54m
FOCUS~FOCUS~BRILLIANT TWELVE TRACK POLYDOR LP FEATURING HOCUS POCUS USD $14.47 Buy It Now 14h 25m
FOCUS Focus 1974 UK Vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION same self titled best of USD $18.45 Buy It Now 14h 32m
FOCUS - HOCUS POCUS RARE YUGO PRESS 7"PS ON UNIQUE RTB LABEL 1973 JAN AKKERMAN USD $19.99 Buy It Now 14h 39m
FOCUS - HOCUS POCUS RARE YUGO PRESS 7"PS ON UNIQUE RTB LABEL 1973 JAN AKKERMAN USD $24.99 Buy It Now 14h 39m
Focus 0602498840337 by Stan Getz, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $15.08 Buy It Now 15h 15m
SECRET OYSTER - STRAIGHT TO THE KRANKENHAUS (CD) burnin red ivanhoe focus alquin USD $14.41 Buy It Now 15h 35m
Serie Focus USD $3.99 Buy It Now 17h 27m
Focus - Moving Waves - Blue Horizon 2931-002 LP Vinyl Record USD $11.07 Buy It Now 17h 29m
DEMRICK AND CALI CLEVE-LOSING FOCUS (DIG)-CD NEW USD $19.49 Buy It Now 18h 28m
FOCUS In And Out Of Focus L.P. (1973) Sire SAS7404 USA Pressing USD $17.38 Buy It Now 18h 36m
FOCUS "IN AND OUT OF FOCUS" - SEALED VINYL 12" RECORD, 33 RPM LP USD $39.99 Buy It Now 18h 40m
FOCUS - SYLVIA 7" VINYL USD $5.78 Buy It Now 19h 30m
Blur, Music That Brings Focus by Blur Gospel Top Gospel Artist USD $5.00 Buy It Now 19h 39m
high focus activate lucid thinking cassette tape #60 USD $1.99 Buy It Now 20h
Focus Level - Boogie Endless New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $17.86 Buy It Now 20h 5m
MATT DEIGHTON "Villager" CD UK Import on Focus 1995 NEW SEALED Guitar w / OASIS USD $6.00 Buy It Now 20h 26m
Focus/Hamburger Concerto/1974 Polydor Gatefold LP/EX USD $11.57 Buy It Now 21h 26m
Sub Focus / Wickaman, Future Bound & J Majik **DUBPLATE/ACETATE** DnB Jungle USD $21.73 [0 bids]
21h 41m
Sub Focus ?- Special Place **DUBPLATE/ACETATE** DnB Jungle USD $21.73 [0 bids]
21h 50m
Focus On Gene Autry Gene Autry Vinyl Record USD $17.31 Buy It Now 21h 52m
Focus-Zero In July / Zero In July-45rpm-1986-VG+ USD $1.49 Buy It Now 21h 53m
OUT OF FOCUS - OUT OF FOCUS - NEW USD $31.85 Buy It Now 21h 54m
OUT OF FOCUS - WAKE UP - NEW USD $31.27 Buy It Now 21h 54m
FOCUS - "JAN AKKERMAN & THIJS VAN LEER" (RARE!!) (MADE IN WEST GERMANY) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 22h 2m
Focus Focus 3 LP 2 Record Set Die Cut Sleeve Sire SAS3901 Prog Rock USD $9.99 Buy It Now 22h 3m
Focus Harem Scarem 45 Progressive Art Rock Promo USD $6.99 Buy It Now 22h 6m
Endless Boogie Focus Level 2LP Vinyl with insert. Mint new copy rare LP. USD $97.00 Buy It Now 22h 15m
FOCUS MOTHER FOCUS CASSETTE TAPE 1975 RED PAPER LABEL POLYDOR UK USD $21.71 Buy It Now 22h 26m
De La Soul Breakadawn / En Focus 12" Big Life 1993 USD $13.02 Buy It Now 22h 37m
Mother Focus - Focus - ATCO PROMO unplayed NM USD $17.88 Buy It Now 22h 39m
FOCUS - SYLVIA 7" VINYL USD $5.78 Buy It Now 23h 26m
FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE * NEW CD USD $15.05 Buy It Now 23h 27m
FOCUS "AT THE RAINBOW" (LIVE) RARE 8-TRACK TAPE CARTRIDGE USD $7.81 Buy It Now 23h 34m
IN FOCUS [MICHAEL KARN] NEW CD USD $17.43 Buy It Now 23h 35m
FOCUS [ARTHUR BLYTHE] [1 DISC] NEW CD USD $16.67 Buy It Now 23h 37m
FOCUS [THA MYTH] [1 DISC] NEW CD USD $13.92 Buy It Now 23h 38m
FOCUS-LIVE AT THE RAINBOW psych rock vinyl LP USD $5.98 Buy It Now 1 day
F*** Buttons Slow Focus 2xLP vinyl record indie sealed 180 gram stars of the lid USD $24.95 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS * [HOLLY STARR] NEW CD USD $11.59 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT FOCUS [602537996025] NEW CD USD $29.73 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS FEATURES 10TH ANNIVERSARY - BEST OF NEW CD USD $21.26 Buy It Now 1 day
Apiary - Lost in Focus (2006) CD NEW/SEALED SPEEDYPOST USD $3.58 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS-HAMBURGER CONCERTO CD NEW USD $27.24 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS-HOCUS POCUS/BEST OF CD NEW USD $25.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS-MOVING WAVES CD NEW USD $24.74 Buy It Now 1 day
MAGNITUDE 9 Reality In Focus CD 2001 Prog - Power METAL Symphony X Brand New USD $7.82 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS - HAMBURGER CONCERTO LP RECORD VINYL.GATEFOLD SLEEVE. USD $1.43 [0 bids]
1 day
Focus Edition: 24h - After Work Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus Edition: 24h - Sunday Chill Audio CD USD $23.17 Buy It Now 1 day
Jan Akkerman Tabernnakel LP VG+ Vinyl Focus "Atco Yellow Label" USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS Japan MINI LP CD x 7 titles + PROMO BOX +OBI set!! USD $199.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Jan Akkerman ?- Passion CD..Japan..w/OBI..RRCY-11119..Focus..RARE USD $42.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus, 0602498840337, Stan Getz USD $13.06 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 shows & tickets


FOCUS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

FOCUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FOCUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.46 | 226 ratings
In And Out Of Focus
1970
4.06 | 554 ratings
Moving Waves [also released as: Focus II]
1971
3.74 | 375 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 813 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.62 | 153 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.12 | 118 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.49 | 70 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.52 | 53 ratings
Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer
1985
3.70 | 104 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.08 | 74 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.47 | 93 ratings
X
2012
3.44 | 42 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014

FOCUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 102 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.31 | 16 ratings
Live at the BBC
1996
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live in America
2003
2.93 | 5 ratings
Live Legends - The Greatest Hits of Focus
2004
2.67 | 14 ratings
Focus The Greatest Hits
2004

FOCUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.06 | 19 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.98 | 23 ratings
Live In America
2003
4.02 | 12 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
4.75 | 4 ratings
Live in England
2009

FOCUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Masters of Rock 1971 - 1973
1974
4.34 | 4 ratings
The Story of Focus
1974
4.15 | 4 ratings
Focus - Special Polydor
1975
4.94 | 12 ratings
Dutch Masters 1969 - 1973
1975
4.00 | 2 ratings
Focus on Focus 1970 - 1978
1979
4.33 | 3 ratings
House of the King
1983
2.57 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits of Focus
1984
3.53 | 57 ratings
Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
1994

FOCUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 8 ratings
Hocus Pocus / Janis
1971
2.60 | 6 ratings
Sylvia
1972
3.07 | 5 ratings
Harem Scarem
1974
3.14 | 5 ratings
House Of The King / O Avondrood
1976
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Europe
2009

FOCUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.62 | 153 ratings

BUY
Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another review for an album from 1975.

A more accessible album from FOCUS in comparison to their previous albums. After their very good and more elaborated (in Progressive Rock Music terms) "Hamburger Concerto" album from 1974, it seems that by 1975 the band was taking things more easily musically speaking, and they decided to record a more "light" album, which in comparison to their next album ("Focus con Proby") still sounds like a FOCUS's album, maybe more thanks to Jan Akkerman's presence on guitars, in his last album appearance with the band in the seventies. The band took a more Pop Rock direction, still with some Prog Rock music inlfuences, but also adding a bit of Jazz-Rock and Funky Music influences. Humor is still present in "Mother Focus" and "I Need a Bathroom". But mainly with three songs written by Bert Ruiter the Funky / Jazz-Rock / Pop comercial musical influences are more present in this album ("Soft Vanilla", "Hard Vanilla" and "Tropic Bird").

The most "Progresive Rock" songs in this album are "Focus IV", "Someone's Crying . . . What?", "All Together . . . Oh, That!", "No Hang Ups", "My Sweetheart" and "Father Bach". All sounding like "Light Prog" but still a bit "Progresssive".

FOCUS as a band was going to explore more the Jazz/ Rock Fusion musical influences with their next album, titled as "Con Proby". Apparently, Akkerman didn't like the new musical direction that the band was trying to have for their next album. So, he left the band (or was fired), and then, with two new guitarists and a new drummer the band recorded the "Con Proby" album (with lead singer P.J. Proby) in 1977, sounding like their lost most of their original musical identity. But some of the first steps towards that Jazz/ Rock Fusion / Funky musical styles were taken in this "Mother Focus" album in 1975, but still having some of the "old" FOCUS's Prog Rock musical style of their previous albums.

This is not a bad album, but also it is not one of their best albums. A 2.5 stars rating from me for this album.

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
 Focus Con Proby by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.49 | 70 ratings

BUY
Focus Con Proby
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A "strange" album from FOCUS. "Strange" because it is really a Jazz-Rock album from a band called FOCUS. An album which has very little in common to other albums of the band. It is also "strange" because it was done in collaboration on five of the nine tracks with American lead singer P.J. Proby. I really don't know who had the idea to record this very atypical FOCUS album in 1977. It is not a bad album, and in fact all the musicians played very well in this album, but it is a very different album from FOCUS.

The only thing that I knew about P.J. Proby was his 1965 single with "That Means a Lot" on the A-Side (Produced by George Martin), a song that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote, and THE BEATLES tried to record a proper version of this song in 1965, never been satisfied with their versions of this song, and the song was not released until 1996 in their "Anthology 2" album. So, knowing that Proby really is a Pop Rock singer with a long career, for me it is "strange" to see him appear in this album, and more in a Jazz-Rock album in musical style. He appears singing in five of the nine songs in this album (and curiously, all five written mostly by Thijs van Leer in collaboration with Rosalie van Leer, who maybe wrote the lyrics): "Wingless", "Eddy", "Brother", "Tokyo Rose" and "How Long". Proby sings very well in the Jazz-Rock oriented songs, even adding some Soul and Blues influences in his vocals.

The rest of the songs (with some songwriting collaborations from then new guitarists Eef Albers and Philip Catherine, and also from Bert Ruiter, and sometimes with Thijs van Leer) are very typical Jazz-Rock instrumental pieces similar to others from other artists from the same musical genre from the mid to late seventies (JEAN- LUC PONTY, JEFF BECK, BRUFORD, etc.). So, they don't sound very related to the "old" Prog Rock musical style from FOCUS. Maybe Thijs van Leer and Bert Ruiter wanted to play this kind of music, but maybe the change of musical style was "drastic". The new guitarists are very good. The same can be said about drummer Steve Smith (who also played with JEAN-LUC PONTY during that period of time, before joining JOURNEY in 1978, in an also "drastic" change in musical style). I still think that he is a very good drummer but his style is more for the Jazz- Rock style than for the Pop Rock style of JOURNEY.

Well. This is not a bad album. But it seems to me that FOCUS really was losing their "focus" in their musical direction, looking for new musical styles without finding them to really feel themselves satisfied. Maybe by 1977, with Prog Rock losing some of its popularity, they really didn't know what to do. In fact, the band split after this album for several years.

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
 In And Out Of Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.46 | 226 ratings

BUY
In And Out Of Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This first FOCUS's album is a bit different from their other albums. It seems to me that the main "focus" of this first line-up of the band was to compose and to record more proper songs with lyrics than to "focus" on instrumental music and improvisations like in other albums. So, in this album there are more songs with lyrics than in other albums, sounding like the band was more oriented to sing songs with proper lyrics than to only sing wordless vocals like in other albums. They also used more lead and backing vocals than in other albums. (Their "Focus con Proby" album was also a "songs with lyrics " oriented album, but that album was more a collaboration with lead singer P.J. Proby than a proper FOCUS's album, I think). Thijs van Leer also plays a bit of trumpet in this album, a thing that never happened again with the band.

The album also has some sixties's Pop Rock influences, also sounding to me like being influenced a bit by the early PINK FLOYD's sound ("Focus", "Black Beauty", "Happy Nightmares (Mescaline)", "Why Dream"), with some Psychedelic influences, and also some influences from the early JETHRO TULL's musical style, particularly with Thijs van Leer's flute playing in some instrumental songs ("Anonymous", "House of the King"). There are also some Jazz music influences. But some traces from their very characteristic musical style are present in some songs ("Anonymous", "House of the King"). All the musicians played very well, and in fact this first line-up of the band was very good. Unfortunately, Jan Akkerman apparently was not very happy with this line-up and he left the band after this first album, forming a new band, and also forcing van Leer to split the first line-up of FOCUS to join Akkerman's band and to also name it FOCUS. That second line-up of the band recorded their very good "Moving Waves" album in 1971, which is one of their best albums, in my opinion.

This album, as a whole, sounds a bit dated, maybe because the production of the sound of the album still sounds "very Sixties". But their next album, "Moving Waves", has a much better sound and production. Anyway, this album is very good. It was a very good start for a very good band like FOCUS.

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
 Hocus Pocus / Janis by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
3.39 | 8 ratings

BUY
Hocus Pocus / Janis
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Side One of this single has the edited version of "Hocus Pocus", FOCUS's most known song, which was a Hit in several countries in Europe and in the U.S. With a mixture of Heavy Rock guitar parts played by Jan Akkerman and very good drums played by Pierre van der Linden, with some humor by Thijs van Leer, with him playing organ, harmonium, flute, singing without lyrics, yodelling, whistling, and even laughing. I still laugh when I watch to some videos of the band playing this song live, because van Leer was making funny faces and sounds during the part of the song on which he sings and makes his yodelling. A funny song, which in this single edit really lacks some of the best moments. But anyway, it is also a good edited version. There was, at least in the U.S., a single which had this edit on Side One, but on Side Two it had an even faster version of this song, also shorter in lenght in comparison to the original studio version which appears in their "Moving Waves" album from 1971, and also with some Funky music arrangements. The band in concert and on TV appearances tended to play "Hocus Pocus" in a similar way to the faster version, just playing the song and having a lot of fun, and with some of the members of the band almost laughing while seeing and listening to van Leer.

In 2010 there was a brief "revival" for "Hocus Pocus" in the popularity charts in some countries, thanks to its brief appearance on a TV ad. The TV ad was for some sport shoes. The TV ad became very popular and the song too, for a brief period of time.

In the Side Two there is "Janis", which also is a song from their "Moving Waves" album. It is a song with acoustic and electric guitars, several flutes, plus drums and bass, all played with very good arrangements.

For me, their "Moving Waves" album is a very good album. Maybe their best album. And these two songs are very good representatives from that album.

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
 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.44 | 42 ratings

BUY
Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Now, let me say that I wasn't expecting ANYTHING when I received this CD. To be honest I was indeed expecting something: a bad something!

I usually don't like re-recorded albums and most of the time I see no point in a band doing it in studio, if you want to record the actual state of your band after changing in its line-up do a live record...

Also, for Focus to do it I can see only ONE explanation: that the band cannot reissue their classic albums because of some issue, that would explain why to go to the studio to do new versions of such classic songs.

Now, having said that let me go to the main topic which is: is this a good record or not?!?

The overall answer is YES!

Focus managed to print in the new versions something very hard for a band to do: maintain the original feel and yet bringing something new to the versions.

In general if you ever saw the band live in the last 10 years or so there's no surprises here. Also if you own one of their live CDs/DVDs of the same period you also know this versions. But, as I said, Focus managed to re-record this songs and give them a new and fresh look but keeping everything that made the originals classics. That's something.

Following leader Thijs van Leer (Hammond, keyboards, flute, vocals) are Pierre van Der Linden (drums) - also from the golden period - , the long time bassist Bobby Jacobs and the new axeman Menno Gootjes. Is nice to see also Jan Dumée doing the screaming vocals part on the classic Hocus Pocus cause he also marked the story of the band when the returned to the stages some 15 years ago.

Overall a great re-recording album. But if you're too `puritan` just skip it.

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
 X by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.47 | 93 ratings

BUY
X
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars `X' is the tenth album to appear under the banner of the vintage Dutch prog legends name Focus, and fans can rest assured there's plenty of reliable and comfortably well performed predominantly instrumental rock on offer here. Jan Akkerman may be absent, but vintage members Thijs van Leer (flute, keyboards), and drummer Pierre van Der Linden more than hold the fort, and they're very ably backed up by bass player Bobbee Jacobs (a member since the first Focus comeback work in 2002) and Menno Gutjess on guitars. They help bring an energetic fire to the album and to the original duo, and they're more than accomplished musicians that can hold their own with the older fellas. There's not too much that is exactly surprising about the album, as many of the themes that show up sound very close to some of those original melodies and themes on their 70's albums, but it's kind of nice to know what you're getting into right from the start, and it's exceptionally well played.

Up-tempo opener `Father Bachus', virtually a remake of `Hocus Pocus', barrels along at a cracking pace. Punchy drumming, huffing flute and the rapid-fire nimble electric guitar runs are all in place, and it has a nice acoustic outro, but the "Ladies and Gentleman, we proudly present..." announcement is a bit goofy - still shows the band has a sense of humour I suppose! There's lightly jazzy strolling on `Focus 10', a tasteful variety of themes playing with restraint and dignity from all the band, and it's instantly recognisable as Focus. `Victoria' is romantic prog in the grand Camel tradition, driven by stirring electric guitar and victorious piano, but with a few playful moments in the second half thanks to some singing flute. `Amok in Kindergarten' is a late night jazz mood-setter, with spiralling piano and lurking bass sliding around the background of this twisting and sophisticated piece. There's lots of power on the relentless charging rocker `All Hens on Deck', with constantly purring bass, some ragged Steve Howe-flavoured guitar mangling and even a quick spot of classic silly Focus style scat-vocalizing!

Disappointingly it's when the band tries to shake up their formula the results become a little more uneven. The successful streak the album was on becomes a little derailed on the overlong vocal piece `Le Tango'. While there's a nice raspiness to Thijs' voice, and there's a welcome hint of unease to the flamenco guitar and restrained Hammond, the lyrics in the verses repeat too many times. `Hoeratio' is a welcome return to the classical and symphonic pieces the band does so well, with an added near ambience to the soothing guitar strains, but an intrusive scratchy narration over the top hurts it. Thankfully, Menno's scorching extended electric guitar solo in the final minutes and some unleashing drumming lift it briefly again...sigh, if only the band had kept it as an instrumental. `Talk of the Clown', the absolute highlight of the disc, is a sublime medieval madrigal flavoured acoustic folk ditty, and `Message Magic' takes flight with more rising electric guitar romance. Sadly, closer `X Roads' is ruined by another unnecessary mid-track narration. It's a percussion, snarling electric guitar and glistening electric piano driven jazz/fusion workout that still manages grand symphonic themes (and Bobbee gets a flashy ballistic bass solo in the final minute), but the above mentioned voice-over ruins it.

Make no mistake - this often sounds exactly like many other Focus albums, and the band certainly don't want to scare off existing followers with a radical change in sound. Fans can safely add this album to their Focus collection, as it's often simply `more of the same', if well played and professional `more of the same'. It has to be said, if the band had only reconsidered the silly narrations on two of the tracks and kept them instrumental, I feel this album could have earned another star altogether. But most of the time, it's pleasant, undemanding, very well performed and a perfect background or undistracting listen that makes `X' a decent addition to the Focus discography that fans should find much to enjoy about.

Three 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
 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.44 | 42 ratings

BUY
Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Not all olden and golden

The horrible name 'Golden Oldies' might suggest that this is a compilation album, but in fact it is an album of re-recorded versions of tunes from throughout the band's career. As such it is a lot less interesting than an album of brand new material and it is indeed appropriate to wonder why they felt the need to do this at all. The re-makes of tracks from more recent albums like Aya-Yuppie-Hippie-Yee originally from 2006's Focus 9 and Neurotika and Brother from 2002's Focus 8 are particularly questionable as these are neither olden nor golden. In my opinion these would better have been left out in favour of more classic Focus tunes.

Not surprisingly they open with their biggest hit Hocus Pocus which is still fun to listen to, but this new version does not add anything of value to the original but instead takes away some of its original charm. The best part of this album is definitely tracks three through six: House Of The King, Focus 1, Sylvia and a medley of Focus 3 & 2. These lovely classic Focus tunes sound very good here and make Golden Oldies worth a listen for Focus fans. However, this is also something of a lost opportunity as they could have included several more.

This album is hardly essential and if you possess the original studio albums, you really do not need this 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
 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.44 | 42 ratings

BUY
Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I took the liberty to change this album into the compilation category, sorry if someone strongly disagrees with me of its nature. A new line-up led by Thijs Van Leer re-recorded the band's existing material, spanning from the not-so-strong debut and the highly acclaimed album classics of the early seventies to Focus 8 (2002). Therefore the title Golden Oldies not only sounds stupid, it's also partly false. Sadly the leaflet is also very cheap-looking. All in all I see this CD as a missed opportunity for a more noteworthy new release of the premier Dutch prog legend. And I'm quite surprised of the high average rating, unusual for a compilation of no more than an album length. Hopefully I don't sound too critical: it's great that this wonderful band still exists in the first place.

What else starts the CD than their biggest hit 'Hocus Pocus'. With the original version still fresh in my mind, I fail to see any good reason to re-record it (or these oldies in general), except for the way the royalties are dealt. There are no notable differences compared to the originals. In my opinion the excellence of FOCUS relies a lot in the equal creative partnership of Van Leer and the original guitarist Jan Akkerman. As a compilation this one naturally more or less excludes the stuff that Akkerman composed (with the exception of 'House of the King' - I haven't heard the debut completely; maybe Van Leer's composing gifts weren't blooming yet on that album). I have nothing against Menno Gootjes' excellent guitar work here, and it truly cannot be said that the guitar as an instrument would be in a minor role throughout this CD.

Indeed, in the terms of music alone this is a very good listen, and quite handy as an introduction to the band if one happens to need one. But for those who already have the classic albums this is pretty ignorable release, and if a newcomer would want to proceed further in collecting Focus, this may turn out to be a frustrating set to own.

I don't know where 'Aya Yuppie Hippie Yee' originates from, but apart from some deliciously wild flute playing it's one of the weakest tracks. 'Neurotika' and 'Brother' are from Focus 8 (I haven't heard whole studio albums by the Akkerman-less newer line-ups). 'Neurotika' is considerably rockier than the art music influenced classic era, but it is a good, lively track in its own way. 'Brother' comes nearer to the classic Focus sound but I don't like the raw vocals in it. Presumably Van Leer's wife wrote the lyrics? Happily the CD in general is very much instrumentally oriented, as the whole Focus output is.

The appeal of a compilation has a lot to do with the representation (the visual and the informative side), and in that sense "Golden Oldies" leaves a cheapie feel. For the music alone this would be 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
 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.62 | 153 ratings

BUY
Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

3 stars Soft Vanilla for sure, but I love this album in the same way I love Rubber Riff by Soft Machine and Blitz by Thirsty Moon. It's transitional fluff probably in part to keep with the times and in part because this monster four piece ran out of useful ideas. Akkerman is restrained, the music is a mishmash of background music like the kind you'd hear in an elevator or grocery store. It is tasteful and has a place in my collection as background music, a curiosity I pull out sometimes when I'm washing my car. Serious prog fans should check out previous releases, Focus is a great band. This is not a great album, but All Together....Oh That! is a superb, awesome instrumental that features pedal steel and terrific piano and wouldn't be out of place on a Flying Burrito Brothers album. That song is worth the price of the album for me. It's gorgeous, if you have a chance listen to it

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
 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.44 | 42 ratings

BUY
Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Focus is a Dutch rock band which is one of many band that with their unique view on music created what today is considered progressive rock. On this page "Golden oldies" is the twelfth album but in their own counting it seems to be their eleventh. "Golden Oldies" from 2014 has a black cover with a golden Focus' sign and the name oldies comes from the fact that this is a re- recording of earlier material such as their main theme "Hocus pocus" and others.

Thijs Van Leer plays organ, flute, vocader and sings, Pierre van der Linden drums, Bobby Jacobs plays bass and Menno Gootjes guitars. The record is very even: from the first second to the last the listener is caught in its world. The play is brilliant, they have done a very good job to make this music and these versions are very talanted.

I could say that every track is my own favourite but there are differencies. "Neurotica's" vivid and unstoppable happy melody makes it a 10/10 by me and the softer "Tommy" is also lovely(9/10). "Sylvia" is a both hard and romantic piece(9/10), "Hocus Pocus" is both hard and high intentioned music and a funny joke(9/10) and all the other get 8/10 from me. "It feels like "Focus 1" and "Focus 3 & 2" are the most experimental and I like them very much as well.

This record is near perfect for me but, I hesitate still. If it had been the first try, if we had never heard these songs, the astonishing feeling perhaps had been bigger, but the fact that these songs are already recorded by this band lowers the rating from five to 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
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | 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: 1.61 seconds