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FOCUS

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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Focus picture
Focus biography
Founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1969 - Disbanded in 1978 - Reunited 1985, 1990, 1999 - Reformed in 2002

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.

FOCUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy FOCUS Music


Moving Waves [Vinyl]Moving Waves [Vinyl]
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$20.92
$8.53 (used)
Hocus Pocus BoxHocus Pocus Box
Box set
Red Bullet 2017
$39.12
$45.50 (used)
Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$8.90
$12.17 (used)
Mother FocusMother Focus
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$9.73
$9.00 (used)
Ship of MemoriesShip of Memories
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$10.50
$8.03 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$10.93
$11.02 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Reissued
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
$12.21
$10.94 (used)
In & Out of FocusIn & Out of Focus
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$10.83
$7.64 (used)
Live In Rotterdam And Texel 1971Live In Rotterdam And Texel 1971
On The Air
$19.80
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CYRIL HAVERMANS Out of Focus LP 70s FOLK SSW RECORD STILL SEALED ORIGINAL 1973 USD $11.97 Buy It Now
Sappo - Inside Out/Out Of Focus 12" Frontline Records 2002 USD $6.58 Buy It Now
FOCUS 3 JAPAN CD VICP-61532 2001 OBI USD $49.40 Buy It Now
Sub Focus - Sub Focus Self Titled - CD Slipcase - 2009 - RAMMLP13CD USD $6.57 [0 bids]
FOCUS - BOOST YOURE CONCENTARATION AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON EU CD A-36804 USD $5.97 Buy It Now
JAN AKKERMAN same self title FOCUS LP JAPAN WARNER PIONEER ATLANTIC P-10491A OBI USD $29.99 Buy It Now
In and Out of Focus by Focus (Vinyl, Jul-2011, Music on Vinyl) USD $63.93 Buy It Now
FOCUS Moving Waves original 1971 Blue Horizon lp Dutch prog Jan Akkerman fusion USD $6.99 [0 bids]
Super Session P2 12526 USA 2LP 1974 Ten Years After Steppenwolf Mountain Focus USD $11.83 Buy It Now
Focus Hamburger Concerto Japan CD USD $35.00 Buy It Now
Euan Stevenson Konrad Wiszniewski - New Focus On Song (NEW CD) USD $15.78 Buy It Now
FOCUS IN AND OUT OF FOCUS ULTRA RARE NEW ZEALAND CASSETTE TAPE! USD $15.66 Buy It Now
FOCUS HAMBURGER ... ORIGINAL MAGAZINE PRESS ADVERT SIZE 11" X 15" 20/7 USD $6.57 Buy It Now 15m 47s
Focus - 2001-Original Movie Soundtrack- CD USD $35.55 Buy It Now 41m 15s
@ CD MAGNITUDE 9 - REALITY IN FOCUS / INSIDEOUT MUSIC 2000 / PROGMETAL USA USD $9.99 Buy It Now 41m 49s
FOCUS 3 1972 (Vinyl Double LP) USD $11.78 Buy It Now 42m 21s
Steven Halpern ?- Soft Focus Extended Play 90 Min. Cassette USD $12.00 Buy It Now 59m 58s
FOCUS At The Rainbow ORIGINAL 1973 UK CASSETTE TAPE Paper Labels USD $3.93 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Focus Sylvia / House Of The King 7" Single EX Vinyl Record 2001 422 USD $3.95 Buy It Now 1h 29m
Focus Live At The Rainbow LP Sire SAS-7408 1973 VG+ USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1h 45m
FOCUS (VINYL LP) SHIP OF MEMORIES [US 1ST SIRE ALBUM 1977 **PROG ROCK**] EX USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Stan Getz - Focus - Stan Getz CD IIVG The Fast Free Shipping USD $7.15 Buy It Now 2h 45m
FOCUS - THE FOCUS FAMILY ALBUM - NEW CD COMPILATION USD $19.72 Buy It Now 2h 51m
Stan Getz, Luiz Bonfß - Focus [New Vinyl] Spain - Import USD $16.13 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Focus - Sylvia / House Of The King - Polydor 2001-422 Ex Condition USD $5.20 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Focus by Ned Otter (CD Jazz Sax, 1988) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Focus ?- At The Rainbow Polydor Record?s 2442 118 Trifold UK Vinyl LP Album USD $19.45 [0 bids]
3h 36m
Adventures in Odyssey 15 Minutes Chickfila Focus on the Family CD Sealed USD $6.00 Buy It Now 3h 38m
Focus Ariana Grande CD JP USD $20.03 Buy It Now 3h 57m
FOCUS - HAREM SCAREM - 7" SINGLE (1974) USD $5.25 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Focus - Sylvia 7" - 2001-422 - VG USD $5.91 Buy It Now 4h 19m
FOCUS 'meet the band' 1972 UK ARTICLE / clipping USD $13.09 Buy It Now 4h 21m
FOCUS : CUTTINGS COLLECTION -adverts interviews- USD $8.55 Buy It Now 4h 27m
BILLY MITCHELL/JOHN BOLIVAR "In Focus" NEW SEALED JAZZ CD USD $1.99 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Focus - Hocus Focus / Janis - Polydor / 7 Inch Single USD $1.32 [0 bids]
5h 43m
Hamburger Concerto Focus Vinyl Record USD $20.99 Buy It Now 5h 43m
Focus - Mother Focus - Germany - Focus CD R7VG The Fast Free Shipping USD $8.98 Buy It Now 5h 48m
Focus - Hamburger Concerto - LP Record / Vinyl - Pre-owned - Fair Condition USD $9.87 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Hocus Pocus: Best of Focus [12 inch Analog] Focus LP Record USD $59.11 Buy It Now 6h 17m
4 tickets for 1970's Greats FOCUS at Holmfirth Picturedrome, NOVEMBER 25th 2018. USD $78.94 Buy It Now 6h 19m
Focus by Holly Starr (CD, 2012, Save the City) - A139 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 38m
Unknown Artist : Marantha! Music Presents Focus on the Fa CD USD $4.34 Buy It Now 6h 47m
Focus Live At The Rainbow LP US SAS 7408 VG+ USD $4.75 Buy It Now 7h
(FT607) Focus 22 Feat Amanda Lyons, Champs EP - 2010 DJ CD USD $3.93 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Essential Hits 160 CD Radio Edit Chart Music Disc ft Charli XCX 'Focus' USD $15.79 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Demrick & Cali Cleve - Losing Focus (CD Used Like New) Explicit Version USD $12.70 Buy It Now 7h 57m
FOCUS ?- Focus 3 (LP record polydor USD $6.57 [0 bids]
7h 59m
Focus - Hamburger Concerto UK LP 1st Press 1974 Polydor USD $6.57 [0 bids]
7h 59m
Focus Sylvia 7" vinyl single record UK 2001-422 POLYDOR 1972 USD $9.20 Buy It Now 8h
FOCUS HAMBURGER CONCERTO ORIG 1974 UK GATE FOLD LP POLY 2442 124 ,rock.PROG USD $6.57 [0 bids]
8h 2m
FOCUS - GOLDEN OLDIES NEW VINYL RECORD USD $25.82 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Ennio Morricone & Dulcepontes - Focus - Pop Vocal USD $24.12 Buy It Now 8h 53m
ALTERED FOCUS Big Chunk 'O' Sumpthin 1997 MOTEL JUNIORS RECORDS Ultra Rare Rock USD $2.00 Buy It Now 8h 56m
BBR 8105 - 10 INCH - FROM TEN TILL ONE - FOCUS ON RONNIE CARROLL - BILL McGUFFIE USD $6.58 [0 bids]
9h 6m
Focus Hamburger Concerto 8 Track Cassette USD $6.58 [0 bids]
9h 18m
Focus, Focus 3, Polydor 2659 016 double lp prog rock USD $6.58 [0 bids]
9h 29m
NEW Slow Focus (Audio CD) USD $20.60 Buy It Now 9h 36m
Sub Focus - Torus (2013) - A Fine CD USD $3.93 Buy It Now 9h 41m
Focus - "Hocus Pocus 2" / "House Of The King" 7" IMPORT Single USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 44m
FOCUS, MOVING WAVES,1971, EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $13.14 [0 bids]
9h 47m
FOCUS - X (DIGIBOOK CD EDITION) CD NEW+ USD $28.36 Buy It Now 9h 53m
FOCUS - Live On Air SW0015CD EU Import Rare! USD $50.00 Buy It Now 10h 29m
WINSTON SLADE - FOCUS rare Holographic Art cd (Southern Tracks Records) 1997 NEW USD $2.99 Buy It Now 10h 58m
VIDEO-AVENTURES - CAMERA (IN FOCUS) CAMERA (AL RIPARO) NEW VINYL RECORD USD $24.81 Buy It Now 11h 9m
Rock Promo 45 Focus - Harem Scarem / Harem Scarem On Atco USD $5.00 Buy It Now 11h 12m
CLP 1577 Stan Getz Focus USD $26.31 Buy It Now 11h 22m
FOCUS Con Proby LP 1963 Harvest Records VG+ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 34m
Focus On Phase 4 Various Classical Stereo-Decca-BPS1-UK-1968-VG+/VG+ USD $3.55 [0 bids]
11h 36m
FOCUS 3 CD JAPAN OBI, K2 HD cd USD $46.05 Buy It Now 11h 48m
Focus - Hamburger Concerto - ATCO RECORDS SD 36-100 - FACTORY SEALED USD $20.00 [0 bids]
12h 4m
THE FOCUS (Folk/World) 'Shades Of Life' Double Vinyl LP Private Pressing - C23 USD $34.21 [3 bids]
12h 8m
Focus - Ship Of Memories - SIRE RECORDS SA 7531 - FACTORY SEALED USD $20.00 [0 bids]
12h 12m
FOCUS "In and Out of Focus" US SIRE lbl 2nd press PROMO LP!! USD $3.33 [0 bids]
USD $5.00 Buy It Now
12h 16m
Outer Core Losing Focus U.S. cd sealed USD $3.18 Buy It Now 12h 17m
FOCUS Hamburger Concerto LP USD $18.42 Buy It Now 12h 20m
HOLLY STARR - FOCUS * USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.08 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Sealed NEW C'EST LA MORT CD, In The Soft Focus Light of I Love You (remixes) USD $14.95 Buy It Now 12h 53m
FOCUS MUSIC LIBRARY FAST AND FURIOUS GROOVES ALBUM CD USD $2.99 Buy It Now 13h 19m
Focus Live at the Rainbow - 33RPM Vinyl LP Record 1973 Sire Records SAS 7408 USD $3.50 Buy It Now 13h 22m
FOCUS 3 III Double LP 1972 Sire Records SAS 3901 Prog Symphonic Rock Vinyl USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13h 23m
VARIOUS-FOCUS FEATURES 10TH ANNIVERSARY - BEST OF / O.S.T. CD NEW USD $18.42 Buy It Now 13h 35m
FOCUS Hamburger Concerto SD 36 100 LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG++ USD $9.99 Buy It Now 13h 54m
PROMO JAN AKKERMAN AND KAZ LUX Eli LP Focus Finch Brainbox Prog Rock / Atlantic USD $20.00 Buy It Now 13h 55m
For Your Consideration: Focus: Best Original Score FYC PROMO Music CD Mark Adler USD $154.99 Buy It Now 14h 39m
BLUE CHEER "Summertime Blues / Out Of Focus" 45rpm Phillips 40516 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 41m
Stay Focus Sizzla CD USD $15.64 Buy It Now 14h 48m
SELF HYPNOSIS CD TO INCREASE CONCENTRATION & FOCUS USD $3.54 Buy It Now 14h 53m
Stan Getz " Focus " with Alan Martin, Gerald Tarack & Norman Carr JAZZ CD USD $9.50 Buy It Now 15h
JAN AKKERMAN & THIJS VAN LEER Focus SEALED NEW lp HYPE 1985 824 524-1 Prog Rock USD $23.89 Buy It Now 15h 13m
Out Of Focus - Wake Up! GER LP 1971 Kuckuk Original! Krautrock Prog Psych /4* USD $282.57 Buy It Now 15h 16m
RAMPAGE 2017-WORLD BIGGEST D&B/DUBSTEP FESTIVAL (NOISIA, SUB FOCUS,.) 2 CD NEW+ USD $28.36 Buy It Now 15h 21m
Getz, Stan : Focus CD USD $6.49 Buy It Now 15h 24m
Lot Of 10 CLASSIC ROCK 70's LP Vinyl Records Albums SANTANA FOCUS ELTON JOHN USD $19.99 [0 bids]
USD $39.99 Buy It Now
15h 37m
Original 1971 Hit "HOCUS POCUS" by Focus - ORIGINAL SIRE 45rpm 7" VG++ USD $5.00 [0 bids]
USD $6.50 Buy It Now
15h 39m
FOCUS Mother Focus mini LP CD Japan,sealed,prog, 20bit K2 mastering USD $25.00 Buy It Now 15h 59m
FOCUS Ship of Memories mini LP CD Japan,sealed,prog, 20bit K2 mastering USD $25.00 Buy It Now 16h
Classic Airwaves the best Focus performing live USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 6m
Sealed FOCUS SHIP OF MEMORIES 8-TRACK Tape Sealed No Reserve USD $5.95 Buy It Now 16h 11m
BLUE CHEER:Summertime Blues 3:43-Out Of Focus 3:52-France 7" Philips B304.62 PSL USD $48.98 Buy It Now 17h 11m
Focus, Live at the Rainbow, Vinyl LP, Recorded Live, London, 1973 USD $450.00 [0 bids]
17h 13m

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

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)

3.48 | 275 ratings
Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
1970
4.09 | 648 ratings
Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
1971
3.78 | 450 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 955 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.69 | 189 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.14 | 150 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.52 | 95 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.48 | 70 ratings
Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer: Focus
1985
3.67 | 133 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.21 | 96 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.46 | 118 ratings
X
2012
3.46 | 48 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014
3.67 | 36 ratings
Focus and Friends: Focus 8.5 / Beyond The Horizon
2016

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

3.45 | 122 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.32 | 24 ratings
Live at the BBC
1996
3.94 | 18 ratings
Live in America
2003
3.07 | 6 ratings
Live Legends - The Greatest Hits of Focus
2004
2.71 | 15 ratings
Focus The Greatest Hits
2004
4.63 | 8 ratings
Live In Europe
2009
4.13 | 5 ratings
In Concert 1973
2016
4.83 | 10 ratings
Live In England
2016

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

4.04 | 23 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.91 | 28 ratings
Live In America
2003
3.98 | 16 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
4.14 | 7 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
3.52 | 62 ratings
Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Focus Family Album
2017

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
House of the King
1970
3.28 | 10 ratings
Hocus Pocus / Janis
1971
2.75 | 7 ratings
Sylvia
1972
3.05 | 2 ratings
Tommy / Focus II
1972
2.14 | 2 ratings
Hocus Pocus 2
1972
3.06 | 7 ratings
Harem Scarem
1974
2.47 | 6 ratings
House Of The King / O Avondrood
1976

FOCUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 648 ratings

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Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by WFV

3 stars I'm just not feeling it with Focus. I can hear why so many people hold this album in high esteem - Hocus Pocus is a terrific opener, and there are many technically pure symphonic parts, but I'm just not moved. I think Eruption is a rather weak extended track and the rest of the album is ok, some good parts, no great parts in terms of individuality or instrumentation. In my collection this gets two stars but this album produced a sizeable hit in America and really has influenced many listeners and musicians so I'll bump it up to three. More rock songs should use yodeling to spice up their generic vocals.
 Focus Con Proby by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.52 | 95 ratings

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Focus Con Proby
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Have you ever played around with the idea to take a partly imploded progressive rock band with it's prime behind them, add an ageing rock'n'roll crooner and then record a new album? The very idea is interesting and tantalizing. That very thing happened in 1978 when Focus regrouped around Thijs van Leer, added a couple of new members and took on PJ Proby, the rock'n'roll singer, who also brought with him a severe alcohol problem. Anyway, it sounds strange and almost like a forced marriage but it works in parts.

Focus with Proby by the microphone released one album before it all went pear shaped and Focus went into hibernation for the next eight years (counting the Akkerman & van Leer album as a Focus one). The album is much-maligned and treated very poorly. The reviews aren't great and I suppose it is nowadays regarded as a strange footnote in music history and something one really doesn't want to mention when speaking of Focus. I think it is a shame. The album isn't that bad or lacklustre as it seems by many reviews. Is this as good an album as any of those Focus made during the first half of the 70's? No, it isn't but it's just as good as "Mother Focus" or "Ship of memories" (though consisted of studio leftovers) or even better. It is all highly competent, energized and powerful jazz-rock or fusion. It's smoothed off, as most fusion albums of the latter part of the 70's tend to be. The hardrock elements so evident on the first Focus albums are gone but "Focus con Proby" still packs a massive punch at times. Proby adds vocals to five of the nine tracks and his crooner style actually blends nicely with the polished fusion of the album.

The album starts off with the dreamy and atmospheric "Wingless" where Proby does his best to fit in to a musical landscape he is not familiar with. A great opener with a soaring guitar and wonderful melody. "Orion" is instrumental and fine in every respect. I like the drums on this one, a really heavy beat that propells the music. The distorted guitar part over the drums adds a lot of weight. The next song is also an instrumental, "Night flight". A powerful piece that really grooves. One of the highlights.

Proby's up next on the ballad "Eddy", which really is nothing to write home about. A sort of standardized fusion ballad. Not bad, but I'd rather skip it and go into one of the great centrepieces of the album, "Sneezing Bull". As far as I'm concerned this is easily just as good as anything Focus ever made or make, since they do exist still. Really intense with all instruments really pushing themselves to the extreme. It is so tightly performed and perfectly executed it is nigh on being a masterpiece. A great example of late 70's fusion that kicks ass like a mule. Top stuff.

"Brother" is yet again a vocal track and a ballad. There are sometimes vocal similarities to Arthur Browns "Chisholm in my bosom" but I guess it's just a coincidence. It is good track and by far better than "Eddy", which is sort of pointless. "Tokyo rose" starts off with gentle flute and melody before going into a more rocking mode where Proby tells a cock and bull story about someone called Tokyo Rose. A slight classical element adds a certain extra to this one.

"Maximum" is one of the other true highlights of this album. Instrumental jazz-rock of the highest pedigree. This is great fusion. Sometimes fusion can be, in my opinion, a bit too noodling and slick, focusing on something else than to rock out but that is not the case here. There are many shifts and turns here worthy of a listen. The longest track and maybe the best. If one track from this album was to be included on a "Best of..." I'd vote for this one.

And then the album comes to the end and the Proby-era Focus bids farewell with a track that sounds like the theme tune for "Love boat". It starts off promising and keeps on being promising for 30 seconds before going cheezy. It's not all bad but it is certainly not a great track.

Overall I think that this album has alot to offer for those into Focus or enjoy well played fusion. I'll admit that I approached this album with an entused lack of anticipation (if that makes sense). I really did not expect much from it but I was wrong. A great album in it's own right and proves that the notion that one member of a group doesn't make up the whole band. Akkerman leaving was a shame but the music on "Focus con Proby" shows that van Leer & Co. managed to put forth a slice of (sometimes) great and inspired jazz-rock. Not an essential buy but an interesting piece of work that really could do with a little appreciation. The sung tracks are the least good, with only "Wingless" being a great one, but the instrumentals are all very enjoyable and exciting pieces. So, to summon up I'd give this album three stars but emphasize that the instrumental tracks are all worthy of four stars.

 House Of The King / O Avondrood by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
2.47 | 6 ratings

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House Of The King / O Avondrood
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Red Sky at Night

House of the King was orginally released as a single in 1970, and has since then appeared on numerous other singles and album releases. What is of particular interest on this 1976 single is the B-side, O Avondrood. This song was originally recorded for a Dutch various artists compilation, and constitutes a rare instance of a Focus song with lyrics in the Dutch language. The text is borrowed from the Dutch poet Jules Deelder, and is put to music by Jan Akkerman and Thijs van Leer. Some may recognize the melody from the instrumental version entitled Red Sky at Night, that was included on the Ship of Memories album.

Avondrood, literally "evening red", is the Dutch name for the phenomenon that in English is called afterglow. (The English title of the instrumental version "Red Sky at Night" needs no further explanation). I think that both versions are very beautiful, and fit with the topic, though the instrumental version has more enduring value.

There is a clip on YouTube from TopPop 1976, in which Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman play to the song.

A rarity that will be of interest to serious Focus fans, but most will be satisfied with the more widely available instrumental version

 Harem Scarem by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
3.06 | 7 ratings

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Harem Scarem
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Aperitif

Taken from the band's masterpiece album Hamburger Concerto, Harem Scarem was edited for release as a single to promote the album. While the album version is almost six minutes in running time, this single version is only three minutes and 20 seconds. Yet, it does not feel truncated or butchered to me.

The B-side is an early version of Birth from the same album, appropriatele called "Early Birth". The latter has since been included as a bonus track on the 2001 CD reissue of Hamburger Concerto, but it was originally only available on this single. It fits well together with the rest of the album, and as such this single gives a small pre-taste of what that album is like.

A nice single, but hardly essential (unlike the album, which is a must have)

 Hocus Pocus 2 by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
2.14 | 2 ratings

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Hocus Pocus 2
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars The Punk version

Hocus Pocus 2 is a different version of Hocus Pocus. This version was never included on any album, but was released as a single in some territories with House of the King on the B-side. In America, Hocus Pocus 2 was released as the B-side to Hocus Pocus (the single edit of the "normal" version).

The "sequel" starts out quite differently with just drums and bass, before the familiar guitar riff enters. It is played faster than the original version, and comes off a bit rawer; Punkish almost.

A bit of a curiosity, this rare version may be interesting for hardcore fans and collectors. But the novelty wears off quickly, and it certainly does not stand up to comparisons with the original single version of Hocus Pocus.

 Tommy / Focus II by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Tommy / Focus II
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Introduced by Pupilla"

Tommy (Introduced by Pupilla) is an excerpt from Eruption. The latter occupies the whole second side of the Moving Waves album. It was hardly an obvious choice for a single, but it actually works rather well outside of its original context. It is not as memorable as other songs that Focus put out as singles (like House of the King, Sylvia, etc.), but it is nonetheless a decent piece. Tommy later appeared on the compilation album Hocus Pocus: Best of Focus in this edited form.

The B-side of the single (or is this considered a "double A-side"?) is Focus II, also taken from Moving Waves. This is an excellent track, and much stronger than Tommy.

Since most people will probably already have the Moving Waves album, this single offers little over and above what you already have. Though, it is somewhat interesting for a big Focus fan like me to hear the single edits.

 Hocus Pocus / Janis by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
3.28 | 10 ratings

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Hocus Pocus / Janis
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Sometimes less is more

An edited version of Hocus Pocus was released as a single to support the band's second album, Moving Waves (originally called Focus II). While the album version is almost seven minutes long, the single version is just over three minutes in length. Normally, I despise single edits, as they tend to butcher a great song, and in almost all cases it goes horribly wrong. Hocus Pocus is a rare exception, and I think that nothing of value is lost in this shorter version of the song. To the contrary, I actually think that the longer album version is overlong and repeats itself too many times, making this edited single version preferable over the album version.

The B-side here is Janis, a lovely instrumental taken from the Moving Waves album. The two sides of this single showcase two different sides of Focus very well, making it a very good advertisement for the band and for the Moving Waves album in particular.

A worthy single

 House of the King by FOCUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
3.00 | 2 ratings

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House of the King
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A classic!

Penned by Jan Akkerman and clocking in at under three minutes, the instrumental House of the King was released as a single and became a surprise hit for the band. The melody is driven by Thijs van Leer's wonderful flute.

The tune was not originally inlcuded on any album, but was later added on to some editions of the band's debut album. The track has also been included on many compilations.

Different versions of the single exist. The original version had Black Beauty as its B-side, while another version had Focus (Vocal), both taken from the debut album Focus Plays Focus (later re-named In and Out of Focus). House of the King has itself appeared as a B-side on other singles by the band.

There can be no doubt that progressive Rock is an album genre, but there are some cases where a tune stands equally well (or even better) on its own as in the context of other songs, and House of the King is one of those cases.

 Ship Of Memories by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.14 | 150 ratings

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Ship Of Memories
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Like Led Zeppelin Coda, this is not a "real" studio album, but a collection of unreleased tracks from this famous dutch band. After the disaster that was their latest LP (Mother Focus) and the departure of guitarist Jan Akkerman, it was clear the band needed to have something to fulfill contractual obligations until they could get someone to replace him and come up with newer material. So Ship Of memories was the obvious solution: tracks rejected for their previous records put together in one place. Of course the quality of the songs vary wildly and the album has absolutely no coherency or even flow. To be fair, there are a couple of very good songs: the opener PS March is one of them, and Focus V is another: both have fine melodies, tasteful arrangements and great trademark guitar solos by Akkerman. But those are the exception to the rule. Most of the tracks are only average, butthere are also some hideous stuff like the funky Crackers and the jazz rock/disco Glider. The title track is not even a song: it┤s just some musical noises put together in less than 2 minutes, a real turd.

Although this is not a total loss, saved partially because of Akkerman┤s beautiful guitar licks even on the worst tracks, and this is somewhat better than Mother Focus, Ship Of Memories is typically the case of release to satisfy only the hardcore fans and collectors. Focus doubtless lost their focus (pun intended) around 1975 and was one of the first great prog acts to lost its way during the mid to late 70┤s. Unfortunately they would not be alone, but that┤s another story. I can recommend this album to the ones that have and love their earlier works up and including Hamburger concerto and want to have it all, even a bunch of previous rejected material.

 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.69 | 189 ratings

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Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars At the time I did not have this album and for a long period I also did not know why the great guitarist Jan Akkerman left the band. Now listening to other Focus I can understand: after the glorious Hamburger Concerto, this was a major blow. Lots of prog bands were stuck in a rut one time or another during their career, but clearly Focus was one of the first. It seems that This Van Leer├?┬┤s jazz/rock leanings and Bert Ruiter├?┬┤s love for funk music gained the upper hand here over their previous symphonic sound. I understand that the guitarist was losing ground after the departure of Pierre Van Der Linden (who also wanted to remain in the classic symphonic sounds of old) and now it showed. In any case, Mother Focus is proof that the band (or part of it) wanted to try other things. The results were dismal, however: longe jazz, funk and soul tracks, a little jazz/rock fusion too, but everything way below anything they had created before. Only two tracks here justify their former glories: Focus IV and No Hang Ups, both still inspired (but not much) and bearing all Focus trademark sound: beautiful guitar solos, nice organ background, excellent flute interventions.

But there are truly awful tracks too, like I Need A Bathroom (fitting title!) and the pseudo funk My Sweetheart. Overall the feeling remains of a great group who just menage to release a mediocre album to fulfill their contractual obligations, for the LP lacks any real direction, inspiration or energy. A real let down after the fine Hamburger Concerto. And the end of an era for this classic band. Now I truly understand and have to agree that it was better for Akkerman to leave the band then to stay aboard, if that meant another album like this one.

Rating: two good songs to justify a 2 star rating. For collectors, completionists and hardcore fans, only.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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