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FOCUS

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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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 DUM╔E 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.

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Buy FOCUS Music


Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.96
$8.56 (used)
Golden OldiesGolden Oldies
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$11.96
$17.58 (used)
Live at the RainbowLive at the Rainbow
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$10.01
$13.25 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$9.86
$24.53 (used)
XX
Import
Eastworld Records 2012
Audio CD$8.38
$6.01 (used)
Moving WavesMoving Waves
Import · Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$9.88
$13.99 (used)
In & Out of FocusIn & Out of Focus
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.96
$24.40 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.95
$10.26 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Chuck Wayne Tapestry US LP Focus FM333 MONO VG++/NM US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 8m
Lost in Focus by Apiary (CD, May-2006, Metal Blade) US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 3m
Focus Focus LP 2384 070 VG/EX UK US $15.51 Buy It Now 2h 49m
Sub Focus X-ray 12" RAMM54P VG/EX UK Pic Picture Disc US $22.82 Buy It Now 3h 26m
Judicial Tyranny Focus On The Family Cd US $4.99 [0 bids]
4h 2m
Brutus Big Fat Boogie / Out Of Focus 7'' single LIMITED FACTORY SEALED RAREST ! US $14.99 [0 bids]
4h 15m
Brutus Big Fat Boogie / Out Of Focus 7'' single LIMITED FACTORY SEALED RAREST ! US $14.99 [0 bids]
4h 15m
DOUBLE LP Fields, Gracie "Focus On Gracie Fields" DECCA FOS 37/8 Now Is The Hour US $9.95 Buy It Now 4h 18m
Sub Focus / Torus CD NEW SEALED US $21.99 Buy It Now 4h 32m
FOCUS - The Best Of Focus (Hocus Pocus) (reissue) - 180 gram vinyl 2xLP US $40.27 Buy It Now 4h 40m
FOCUS At The Rainbow 180gm Vinyl LP NEW & SEALED US $33.13 Buy It Now 4h 42m
Focus on Ronnie Aldrich & His Two Pianos London Festival Orch & Chorus LP x 2 US $9.96 Buy It Now 5h 20m
Sizzla - Stay Focus CD 2004 Reggae VP Records US $4.97 Buy It Now 5h 42m
FOCUS album HAMBURGER CONCERTO US $8.00 Buy It Now 5h 55m
Focus Mother Focus Vinyl LP US $7.00 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
5h 57m
OUT OF FOCUS - WAKE UP CD ~ NEW & SEALED US $13.27 Buy It Now 6h 2m
FOCUS - Focus 3 SCARCE ORIG UK 2659016 Polydor 1973 EX++ DOUBLE LP US $29.06 Buy It Now 6h 34m
Focus At the Rainbow Japan Rare LP BLACK OBI INSERT US $19.99 [0 bids]
7h 22m
Jan Akkerman,Profile,First pressing. Best known as guitarist from Focus,LP US $27.39 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Focus - Ship of Memories (1976) 24HR POST!! US $14.93 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Blue Cheer,Summertime Blues,(BF 1646),b/w Out Of Focus,Company Sleeve,7" US $26.56 Buy It Now 7h 35m
LOT TWO FOCUS SEALED 8 TRACKS SHIP OF MEMORIES IN AND OUT OF FOCUS US $12.95 [0 bids]
7h 56m
Focus on Brazilian Music Grooves (CD, Jun-2001, Bmg) US $6.30 Buy It Now 8h 2m
1978 JAZZ ROCK Tys Van Leer Nice To Have Met You, Focus PROMO WHITE LABEL VG++ @ US $3.99 Buy It Now 8h 37m
SENSATE FOCUS - Sensate Focus 2.5 - 12" US $21.57 Buy It Now 8h 43m
Stat Quo 2009 The Great Depression, DJ Pain, Dubz, Focus, Aktual, LYRiKZ, ALT GA US $1.99 [0 bids]
8h 43m
Focus,Focus,Matrix A//2 & B//2,LP US $11.61 Buy It Now 8h 55m
Focus,Focus 3,Double album,LP US $11.61 Buy It Now 8h 56m
LP Focus Moving Waves. Sire SAS 7401. Record Near Mint condition. US $14.50 Buy It Now 9h 11m
FOCUS SHIP OF MEMORIES RARE OOP JAPAN MINI-LP K2HD-CD US $22.99 Buy It Now 9h 39m
HOUSE AUDIO WAV AIFF SAMPLING SOUND SYSTEM CD IN FOCUS EAST/WEST NM US $4.99 [0 bids]
9h 52m
APIARY : LOST IN FOCUS CD (2007) US $3.28 Buy It Now 9h 57m
STAN GETZ-FOCUS-JAPAN CD B75 US $15.99 Buy It Now 10h 10m
Bobbi Rogers-Tommy Wolf Can Really Hang You Up The Most-Focus 337 US $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 15m
Focus - Moving Waves 1972 USA Orig. VG+/E US $2.99 [0 bids]
10h 25m
Hollows Hill Sound 60010-2 Throbbing Gristle ASSUME POWER FOCUS CD 1997 US $2.99 [0 bids]
10h 43m
JAN AKKERMAN (of Focus) - Can't Stand Noise (In-Akustik GmbH - Germany, 1994) N US $19.99 [0 bids]
11h
Focus Harem Scarem Early Birth 7 1974 Spain Rare Prog Rock US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $25.00 Buy It Now
11h 14m
BOBBI ROGERS Tommy Wolf Can Really Hang You Up The Most FOCUS JAZZ VOCAL NM/MINT US $21.25 Buy It Now 11h 21m
Wood, Greg , Audio CD, Focus Surrender Experience Understand US $7.52 Buy It Now 11h 27m
FOCUS MOTHER FOCUS LP 1976 EXC US $16.59 Buy It Now 11h 45m
STAN GETZ -Focus on STAN GETZ - Steamer/Focus - 2x LPs -VERVE-NM-1956/57 US $9.95 [0 bids]
12h 10m
Out of focus Four letter mjnday afternoon Vinyl 2LP N\Mint Germany 2009 US $69.00 Buy It Now 12h 11m
lp WILL GLAHE focus on , double album FOS 11/12 US $5.81 Buy It Now 12h 16m
FAFA DE BELEM - FOCUS CD US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 23m
Folk LP: "Focus On Folk" The Spinners, Martin Carthy + US $14.95 Buy It Now 12h 41m
FOCUS~FOCUS~RARE 1974 U.K. POLYDOR LP~SYLVIA~HOCUS POCUS~JANIS~TOMMY.... US $16.61 Buy It Now 12h 54m
Mantovani - Focus On - Decca - FOS3/4 (2 x LP) US $1.64 Buy It Now 13h 4m
Mantovani - Focus On - FOS3/4 (2 x LP) US $1.64 Buy It Now 13h 4m
LP FOCUS - FOCUS (POLYDOR) 1974 UK ORIGINAL ISSUE ALBUM, EX-/EX US $8.30 [0 bids]
13h 27m
FOCUS FOCUS 3 1972 POLYDOR 2344-038/9 A//1 B//3 A//1 B//1 EXCELLENT+ CONDITION US $6.63 [0 bids]
13h 44m
Kari Kimmel-Out Of Focus CD NEW US $16.90 Buy It Now 14h
Moira Anderson - Focus On - Decca - FOS41/2 .. (2 x LP) US $9.95 Buy It Now 14h 14m
FOCUS-"FOCUS CON PROBY" 1978 ISSUE LP-NEAR MINT VINYL IN SHRINK-P.J. PROBY US $7.99 [0 bids]
14h 31m
HOLLY STARR - FOCUS NEW CD US $15.11 Buy It Now 14h 37m
FOCUS at the rainbow Japan mini lp CD JAN AKKERMAN K2HD SEALED US $13.99 [0 bids]
14h 42m
FOCUS ship of memories JAPAN mini lp SHM CD THIJS VAN LEER JAN AKKERMAN SEALED US $22.99 [0 bids]
14h 42m
FOCUS moving waves PROMO EMPTY BOX Japan mini lp cd US $39.99 [3 bids]
14h 42m
MICHAEL KARN - IN FOCUS [MICHAEL KARN] - NEW CD US $12.55 Buy It Now 15h 8m
FOCUS - AT THE RAINBOW - UK CASSETTE TAPE WITH PAPER LABELS US $9.95 Buy It Now 15h 9m
Focus - Focus 8 [CD New] US $16.24 Buy It Now 15h 9m
Focus III 2 LP, Vinyl, Record. Focus 3. German Import US $15.00 Buy It Now 15h 43m
BLUE CHEER Summertime Blues + Out Of Focus 45 US orig Philips 40516 US $11.98 Buy It Now 15h 47m
Steven Halpern Soft Focus US $8.99 Buy It Now 16h 3m
FOCUS - Hamburger Concerto - 1974 UK 5-track LP US $33.20 Buy It Now 16h 23m
Lost in Focus by Apiary (CD, May-2006, Metal Blade) US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $2.99 Buy It Now
16h 32m
FOCUS Hocus Pocus 7"/45 PORTUGAL PS Dutch Prog Psych Polydor 1972 US $24.04 [0 bids]
US $31.31 Buy It Now
16h 34m
Focus 'Hamburger Concerto' lp US $5.00 Buy It Now 16h 42m
CYNIC "Focus" (RARE 1st USA press)Sadist,Pestilence,Coroner,Death,Atheist,Sadus US $22.99 Buy It Now 16h 56m
Ship of Memories by Focus RARE JAPAN OBI SEALED MINI CD US $119.99 Buy It Now 17h 11m
WONDERAMA "PADRE PIO: THE STIGMATIST OUT OF FOCUS/GOLD/OUT OF FOCUS" AJAX 014 7" US $1.99 Buy It Now 17h 15m
Mother Focus by Focus RARE JAPAN SEALED OBI REPLICA CD US $101.99 Buy It Now 17h 19m
at the Rainbow by Focus RARE JAPAN OBI SEALED MINI CD US $84.99 Buy It Now 17h 22m
Stan Getz FOCUS Composed & Arranged by Eddie Sauter vinyl record US $21.95 [0 bids]
US $30.00 Buy It Now
17h 23m
RICK LAIRD JOE HENDERSON " SOFT FOCUS " # SJP-104 1977 TIMELESS RARE JAZZ US $13.99 Buy It Now 17h 48m
The Real Earl Hines Focus Promo Playgraded US $10.99 Buy It Now 18h 6m
FOCUS - FOCUS AT THE RAINBOW [REMASTER] - NEW CD US $21.09 Buy It Now 18h 10m
FOCUS HAMBURGER CONCERTO VINYL RECORD LP 12" UK PRESS GATEFOLD US $26.18 Buy It Now 18h 16m
Ronnie Aldrich - Focus On - Decca Phase 4 - FOS13/14 ... (2 x LP) US $3.30 Buy It Now 18h 22m
2 SUBLIMINAL HYPNOSIS PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY RECALL FOCUS FOCUSING- BRAIN WAVE TECH US $27.99 Buy It Now 18h 36m
Royal Marines - Focus On - W.Shillitto - Decca - FOS61/2 .. (2 x LP) US $4.97 Buy It Now 18h 53m
Focus "In and Out of" 1970's Psych/Rock LP, VG, Rare Sire-London labels US $19.95 Buy It Now 18h 58m
FOCUS Mother Focus SD36-117 LP Ac3613 US $7.99 [0 bids]
19h 7m
Out Of Focus ?- Wake Up! CD..'70 krautrock / jazz-rock..Kuckuck US $8.99 [0 bids]
19h 18m
MONKEES: Re-focus LP (WLP, v. sl cw) rare Rock & Pop US $40.00 Buy It Now 20h 24m
FOCUS - MOVING WAVES *Britco Radio tele*(UK Import vinyl LP) Original Pressing US $22.00 [0 bids]
20h 31m
FOCUS "MOVING WAVES" // Lp / Rock Hard US $34.99 [0 bids]
20h 44m
FOCUS - X [LIMITED EDITON] - NEW CD US $9.71 Buy It Now 20h 48m
Stanley Black, Will Glahe, Les Paul etc - Focus On Phase 4 Stereo - BPS1 (LP) US $1.64 Buy It Now 20h 50m
FOCUS LIVE AT THE RAINBOW 1973 JAPAN CD OBI 2800yen CP28 1ST PRESS US $49.99 Buy It Now 20h 51m
FOCUS - EITI THE REINBO - NEW CD US $48.58 Buy It Now 21h 41m
Hemi-Sync« Concentration Binaural Beats - INDIGO for QUANTUM FOCUS US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.49 Buy It Now
21h 47m
CANT STAND NOISE JAN AKKERMAN FOCUS INAK GERMAN RELEASE NOT EMI US $8.98 Buy It Now 21h 57m
FUCK BUTTONS - SLOW FOCUS - BONUS TRACK (IMPORT) NEW CD US $43.07 Buy It Now 22h 9m
Marc Cary Focus CD signed US $6.99 [0 bids]
22h 47m
FOCUS mother JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD JAN AKKERMAN SEALED US $26.99 Buy It Now 23h 7m
STAN GETZ ~Focus~ 1978 VERVE #2528 Re-Issue LP / NEAR MINT MINUS VINYL US $12.99 Buy It Now 23h 36m
SUB FOCUS Turn It Around 12" NEW VINYL Ram Kele Okereke TC US $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SOULS OF MISCHIEF 12" Focus Shooting Stars Hieroglyphics vinyl A-Plus S-39249 US $2.99 [0 bids]
US $4.99 Buy It Now
1 day
REAL EARL HINES Focus LP Live in Concert 64 Abdul Malik US $29.00 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy FOCUS music online Buy FOCUS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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FOCUS shows & tickets


  • 2 Days Prog + 1 on 5 Sep 2014
  • focus: the ultimate mix between rock and classical music on 12 Sep 2014
  • FOCUS at Cosmopolite, Oslo on 20 Sep 2014
  • FOCUS at Poppodium Romein, Leeuwarden on 11 Oct 2014
  • Focus on 16 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at Ansbacher Kammerspiele, Ansbach on 23 Oct 2014
  • Akcent + FOCUS + Classic + more at Hala TS "Wisla", Krakˇw on 24 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at Musiktheater Piano, Dortmund on 24 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at The Belfast Empire Music Hall, Belfast on 31 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at The Ferry, Glasgow on 20 Nov 2014
  • Focus on 22 Nov 2014

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)

3.43 | 197 ratings
In And Out Of Focus
1970
4.05 | 477 ratings
Moving Waves
1972
3.72 | 321 ratings
3
1973
4.24 | 697 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.63 | 134 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.12 | 108 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.53 | 58 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.54 | 48 ratings
Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer
1985
3.69 | 102 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.07 | 65 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.51 | 80 ratings
X
2012
3.21 | 47 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014

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

3.44 | 91 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.33 | 14 ratings
Live at the BBC
1996
4.00 | 12 ratings
Live in America
2003
3.08 | 4 ratings
Live Legends - The Greatest Hits of Focus
2004
2.70 | 13 ratings
Focus The Greatest Hits
2004

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

4.06 | 18 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.93 | 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 | 3 ratings
Masters of Rock 1971 - 1973
1974
4.34 | 4 ratings
The Story of Focus
1974
4.15 | 4 ratings
Focus - Special Polydor
1975
4.76 | 14 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
2.54 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits of Focus
1984
3.53 | 52 ratings
Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
1994

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

2.50 | 5 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
 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 47 ratings

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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.

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 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 47 ratings

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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.

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 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.63 | 134 ratings

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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

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 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 47 ratings

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Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

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.

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 Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.54 | 48 ratings

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Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Well, it is 1/2 of Focus represented here, albeit the dominant half. The support musicians are not at all prominent, except for the programming that has practically taken over the role from an effective rhythm section. Also, "Focus" is the album title here and not the band's name.

Those - like myself - who are fond of "old" Focus will find some very pleasing material here. Some Baroque lines, jazzy rhythms and convincingly heavy runs on the guitars are present here cloaked in a "modern" approach - courtesy of technology. Whilst the bulk of the work is excellent, Akkerman just couldn't help himself. Similar to his latest releases, he had to include one very disco-like track and this one runs for nearly 20 mins! Made easy by looping, drum machine, et al, this is not bad at all, but excessive and wouldn't be missed that much. Some will find it outright horrible and a massive let down.

Nevertheless, Disco aside, it's a great album. The CD version contains the same tracks as the original LP, but some had been extended. This represents of dubious extra value as the "added" material is practically the repetition of the same lines that's already been heard. It leaves me in two minds about the necessity of a few extra mins of the same thing.

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 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 47 ratings

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Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by VintageST (Guy)

5 stars This "Golden Oldies" album is the FOCUS album I had always wanted to have, but didn't exist. All great titles from the Focus history, re-recorded in a perfect way with a perfect line up. Old Focus grandmaster Thijs van Leer is wielding his flute and is taking care of the keyboard parts, once more the most important and most talented Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden is caressing and beating up his drums in a perfect way. As always on the twenty first century albums by Focus there is Bobby Jacobs on bass guitar and with Menno Gootjes Focus have probably found the best guitar-player in their career.

Not only the recordings are new, the arrangements have been refined, adding extra piano parts and doubling rhythm guitars. You get perfect renditions of classics like Focus I, Focus II and Focus III. The flute solo in Focus I is so well recorded and played! Songs like Sylvia and the Jethro Tull-like "House Of The King" have found their definite versions.

Hocus Pocus opens this album in a completely renewed version, although I have to admit that the yodelling has even deteriorated, comparing to the previous recordings. "Tommy" (written by Solution sax-player Tom Barlage) starts with a long complex drum break by Pierre van der Linden and gives us a perfectly performed guitar lead by Menno Gootjes.

21st century songs comprise "Aya Yippie Hippie Yee" (who thought of that stupid title), "Neurotica" and the beautiful masterpiece "Brother" in which Menno makes his guitar weep in a fantastic lead.

This album is recommendable to those who already know Focus and would like to hear all band classics in a modern recording, but it is also a great way to discover this band for those who didn't know the band yet. They will get well-balanced melodic progressive rock by a great band, that started its career in 1970 and is still going strong!

VintageST

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 Hamburger Concerto  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 697 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars To my ears ''Sylvia'' is among the top 3 tracks ever recorded by Focus and this was also the belief of the audience back in the 70's, as the single climbed on No. 4 of the UK charts, while ''Focus 3'' reached No. 6 in the album charts.What followed was a triumphant first tour in USA and several gigs in the UK, among them a pair of lives at London's Rainbow Theatre in 1973, taped on the live release ''Focus at the Rainbow'' and released again on Imperial and Polydor.According to Thijs van Leer the intense live activity of the band affected the composing quality and the musicians were somewhat empty of ideas around the time.This led to Pierre van der Linden departure, while he was replaced by Colin Allen.The next work of Focus sees the light in 1974, based on ''Variations on a Theme by Haydn'' by Johannes Brahms.The album was recorded at the Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes between January and March 74'.

The symphonic-oriented short intro ''Delitiae Musicae'' will give its place to ''Harem Scarem'', which supposedly played the role of the chart single of the album.Its delicate, symphonic-oriented sound and the furious interplays though were not something close to the likings of the public and, despite its good quality and the intense progressive nature, it failed to attract the audience.''La Cathedrale de Strasbourg'' is a romantic, Classical-influenced piece of delicate Symphonic Rock with wordless voices, jazzy guitar interludes by Akkerman and beautiful piano work by van Leer, resulting an extremely balanced composition of elegant instrumental music.With ''Birth'' Focus revisit some of the aspects of their early days, as this one contains heavy flute-driven parts, light psychedelic tunes and strong organ work.But Focus had musically moved on in this fourth studio album and these premature inspirations are cleverly dressed up with Classical-drenched harsichord textures and virtuosic guitar moves by Akkerman, including some very powerful solos.

The 20-min. title track of the album is yet another great idea, added in the list of epic tracks by Focus.This one contains the distinctive humor of the band, as it is divided in six movements, developing the cooking of a hamburger.''Hamburger Concerto'' comes a mix of organ-driven Symphonic Rock with smooth psychedelic overtones and jazzy-influenced Progressive Rock with light jams on guitars and organ, while in several occasions van Leer's flute really shines through.It lacks some cohesion in the way, but this belongs definitely among the nice epics of the mid-70's, offering diverse atmospheres, ranging from sweet themes with a smooth playing by the band to heavier, technical interplays and solos with a pompous climate, while the chant-like vocals and the sharp and surprising synthesizer solo towards the end are quite intelligent additions.Maybe not masterful, but this is well-executed and very rich instrumental music.

At this point it gets quite clear that Focus is rather impossible to reach the marvelous level of composing as presented on ''Moving waves''.Tensions within the group led eventually to a great album with series of tight interplays, orchestral majesty and calm melodies, which struggle a bit to connect with each other.Even so, this one should belong to the discography of a Prog fan for its sincere, professional and bombastic perfromances.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Moving Waves  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.05 | 477 ratings

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Moving Waves
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Originally released as FOCUS II and re-released under the title MOVING WAVES, this was FOCUS' greatest moment in their entire career. The world went absolutely wild over the lead single 'Hocus Pocus' which even hit the top 10 on the Billboard singles chart. An oddity it was in every way especially in the prog world. This song was a riff-driven proto-metal track that actually predicted the use of 80s metal techniques like using the Hungarian minor scale. The mix of this early hard rock with yodeling sessions is still an eclectic oddity even today. Unfortunately this song is an anomaly in the FOCUS canon as well since the rest of the album sounds absolutely nothing like it.

The next three tracks are average classically inspired tracks that really don't offer much and feel a little hokey since they insinuate grander things to come and kind of fizzle out. The title track is the worst on here with horrible vocals and it kind of reminds me of ELP. I wish they would have skipped this one and added another rocker to usher in the grand finale 'Eruption.'

'Eruption' seems to be equally loved and disliked. I'm on the love-it side. This 23 minute long piece is a hard rock version of the tale of 'Orpheus' and Jacopo Peri's opera 'Euridice'. There are many meanderings and variations of a basic melody that repeat subtly throughout the entire piece. I can understand why some may think this is boring as it is repetitive at times. For me I find the subtle spiraling of variations to be interesting and really love the odd breaks and also the more rocking parts. The transitions are unpredictable and I find the melody very infectious which sustains my interest.

Because this album is so strange with two really strong tracks that take up most of the album time and the fact that the rest of the instrumentals are average with only one track that I truly dislike I think this just squeaks by for me as a 4 star album.

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 Hamburger Concerto  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 697 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I recently listened to this album for the first time. I thought that after their "Focus 3" album, with all the excess in that album with a lot of improvisations to fill a two LP set there were not better things to expect from this band. I was wrong. I was curious to listen to this album for years and I finally did it. It is one of best albums that I have listened from them (apart from "Moving Waves" from 1971), but I think that Pierre van der Linden`style in the drums was better for this band, being him a better technically drummer than Colin Allen whose drumming I found more simple in comparison. Van der Linden is a more Jazz-Rock and Progressive Rock oriented drummer, in my opinion. But Allen is a good percussionist too, also providing a variety of percussion instruments than van der Linden didn`t use with the band. This album has a lot of melodies and very good arrangements, most of them very influenced by classical music (in fact, the "Hamburger Concerto" is based in "Variations from a Theme from Haydn by Brahms") , some medieval and folk music and even some religious music. Thijs Van Leer used a lot of keyboard instruments with a lot of very good arrangements, and his humour is also present in some of his vocals, particularly in the "Hamburger Concerto" title song, which also in itself is an humorous title, like a joke in reference to J.S. Bach`s "Brandenburger Concertos". Jan Akkerman also sounds very inspired playing his guitars. So, this album is very Progressive Rock in style, one of the best from this style, wth the band still at their peak and with a lot of creativity powers and enthusiasm. A very recomendable album.

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 Focus Con Proby by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.53 | 58 ratings

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Focus Con Proby
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars I much prefer Focus sin Proby

When contemplating the pros and cons of this 1978 album, it quickly becomes very clear that Proby is indeed one of the major cons. P.J. Proby's smooth and soulful vocals mix with the music of Focus like oil mixes with water. Bringing Proby on board was a mistake. However, despite the absence of Jan Akkerman, there are also pros: the instrumental parts are still 100% Focus(ed) and bear the band's characteristic sound. Indeed, the instrumental tracks and passages found here are very much more interesting and enjoyable than what was present on the previous two Focus releases--Mother Focus and Ship Of Memories.

The instrumental tracks are Orion, Night Flight, Sneezing Bull, and Maximum. These tunes bring to mind Camel and Jethro Tull but most of all classic Focus. This adds up to around 20 minutes of quality music that undoubtedly will appeal to those who like the first four Focus albums. But on the vocal tracks, Focus takes a back seat and becomes the backing band for P.J. Proby and, as I have said, these tracks are considerably less interesting. These bluesy, soulful, jazzy numbers are plodders, and of course they have nothing to do with Prog.

As such, this album is a very mixed bag. It has some strong moments that makes it worthwhile for any Focus fan, but taking everything into consideration it does not stand up to the better Focus albums.

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