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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 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

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Buy FOCUS Music


Moving WavesMoving Waves
Import · Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$9.20
$11.81 (used)
Live in EnglandLive in England
Import
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$11.36
$11.36 (used)
Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.13
$7.15 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.08
$9.14 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$10.27
$9.64 (used)
In Concert 1973In Concert 1973
Import
On The Air
Audio CD$19.95
Live In Rotterdam And Texel 1971Live In Rotterdam And Texel 1971
Import
On The Air
Audio CD$19.89
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Focus On - Mantovani - Album Cassette Tape, Used Very Good USD $3.22 Buy It Now 1h 32m
Out of Focus-same German prog psych cd USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Out Of Focus - Wake Up (NEW CD) USD $14.65 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Kari Kimmel - Out of Focus [New CD] USD $16.82 Buy It Now 2h
Joe Budden- Focus- CD Single USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 4m
The Real Earl Hines Recorded Live In Concert, Focus Records FM 335, 1965, JAZZ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 5m
Kari Kimmel - Out of Focus [New CD] USD $16.43 Buy It Now 2h 17m
FOCUS FOCUS 3 1972 POLYDOR 2344 038/039 A//1 B//3 A//1 B//1 EXCELLENT UK 1ST USD $18.56 Buy It Now 3h
Jeff Herriott: Stone Tapestry (CD, Feb-2017, New Focus) USD $12.20 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Golden Oldies by Focus *New CD* USD $11.09 Buy It Now 3h 15m
JAN AKKERMAN Oil In The Family LP Germany Focus No Doubt About It Family Reprise USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Focus - Picture - Original & Rare - Approx 4'' X 5'' - Free P & P USD $5.48 Buy It Now 3h 46m
FOCUS 3 III Sire 1972 Thijs Van Leer Jan Akkerman Prog Round Goes The Gossip USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4h 6m
MANHATTAN FOCUS-S/T-JAPAN CD C75 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
Focus - Cynic Compact Disc USD $14.81 Buy It Now 4h 38m
RICK LAIRD Soft Focus Joe Henderson Tom Grant Ron Steen Muse LP USD $19.97 Buy It Now 4h 39m
Shay Jones - Inside Out 12" Focus Records Test Pressing 1994 USD $3.70 Buy It Now 5h 4m
[SOUL/JAZZ]~NM LP~STAN GETZ~Focus~[EDDIE SAUTER~HERSHY KAY]~[1978~VERVE REISSUE] USD $9.90 Buy It Now 5h 27m
Focus - Moving Waves - Vinyl LP UK 1971 USD $16.70 [0 bids]
5h 30m
The Monkees Re-Focus, Bell 6081 Stereo 1972 USD $17.00 [0 bids]
5h 30m
[SOUL/JAZZ]~EXC LP~STAN GETZ~Focus~[EDDIE SAUTER~HERSHY KAY]~[1961~VERVE STEREO] USD $9.90 Buy It Now 5h 33m
WONDERAMA "PADRE PIO: THE STIGMATIST OUT OF FOCUS/GOLD/OUT OF FOCUS" AJAX 014 7" USD $3.97 Buy It Now 5h 53m
In And Out Of Focus. FOCUS. CD New USD $2.99 [0 bids]
6h 7m
FOCUS Hamburger Concert CD USD $0.99 [0 bids]
6h 7m
FOCUS III CD USD $11.99 [0 bids]
6h 7m
FOCUS - Sylvia - 1972 UK 7" vinyl Juke Box single USD $11.59 Buy It Now 6h 12m
NEW Slightly Out of Focus (Audio CD) USD $14.12 Buy It Now 6h 16m
FOCUS, IN AND OUT OF, LP 1973 US SIRE RECORDS SAS 7404 - A1/B1 - VG USD $10.30 Buy It Now 6h 31m
FOCUS MOVING WAVES LP UK ORIGINAL LP. USD $2.19 [2 bids]
6h 40m
BLUE CHEER "Summer Time Blues / Out Of Focus" 45RPM Vinyl Phillips 40516 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6h 40m
Focus - Live at The Rainbow plus free UK postage USD $18.83 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Focus on Kenneth McKellar - Decca 2LP Set - FOS 19/20 USD $6.45 [0 bids]
7h 24m
RARE 1972 BRAINBOX PARTS dutch PROG x FOCUS lp harvest import vinyl scarce WOW! USD $125.00 Buy It Now 7h 31m
Chet Atkins Hi-Fi in Focus RCA Victor Records 45 RPM USD $2.50 Buy It Now 7h 49m
FOCUS LEVEL [USED CD] USD $13.74 Buy It Now 8h 16m
FOCUS ON PETER MORRISON LP USD $8.60 Buy It Now 8h 22m
Focus - Zero In July / same on both sides 45 NM 1986 PROMO USD $3.49 Buy It Now 8h 46m
BILL HARDMAN & JUNIOR COOK "FOCUS" white promo Muse MR 5259 (1984) USD $10.00 [0 bids]
9h 25m
Focus : Moving Waves (LP EX) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 9h 25m
CYRIL HAVERMANS Cyril LP 1973 MGM orig WLP promo EX+ Focus USD $5.99 Buy It Now 9h 32m
Brainwave Symphony: Beta - Energize & Focus by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, CD, 2003 USD $14.50 Buy It Now 9h 43m
GUIDED BY VOICES - SURGICAL FOCUS - 7" W/ SPINNER COVER USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 44m
STAN GETZ / EDDIE SAUTER Focus V6 8412 LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ GF USD $29.99 Buy It Now 9h 44m
FOCUS MOVING WAVES UK LP with ANALOG SECOND GENERATION tape 2 TRACK 15ips USD $75.00 [0 bids]
10h 2m
SUB FOCUS MOSAIC 35"X25" INCH WALL POSTER EDM DUBSTEP USD $10.30 Buy It Now 10h 17m
Lester Keizer - A Mighty Fortress LP Tennessee Christian Focus Productions 1973 USD $7.41 Buy It Now 10h 22m
Pennie Sempell - Love Songs for Our Children: Focus on Relationship [New CD] USD $14.54 Buy It Now 11h 6m
FOCUS hamburger concerto ( rock ) - PROMO - USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 26m
FOCUS MASTERS OF ROCK 1973 IMPERIAL 5C054-25130 EXCELLENT+ DUTCH PRESSING EX+/EX USD $14.17 Buy It Now 12h 14m
NEW Focus on (Vinyl) USD $41.68 Buy It Now 12h 38m
Blue Cheer 45 Summertime Blues/Out Of Focus (1387) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 12h 41m
GRACIE FIELDS - FOCUS ON - DECCA LABEL - 2 LP SET - U.K. PRESSING - 1977 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 13h
Pennie Sempell - Love Songs for Our Children: Focus on Relationship [New CD] USD $20.68 Buy It Now 13h 38m
BROADCAST &THE FOCUS GROUP-INVESTIGATE WITCH CULTS 12"/MINI-LP VINYL 2015 SEALED USD $24.00 [0 bids]
13h 58m
JAN AKKERMAN tabernakel FOCUS LP JAPAN WARNER PIONEER P-8415A PROMO WHITE LABEL USD $19.99 Buy It Now 14h 27m
Sub Focus - Torus AUSTRALIA CD Sealed NEW Drum n Bass #24-3 USD $2.25 Buy It Now 14h 34m
CHET ATKINS - HI-FI IN FOCUS - 1957 45 rpm Record USD $6.50 Buy It Now 14h 35m
BLUE CHEER:Summertime Blues Out Of Focus France 7" Philips B304.62 PSL RARE OOP USD $25.00 Buy It Now 15h 2m
Focus Moving Waves Original 1971 LP USD $7.09 Buy It Now 15h 39m
3XY TOP 40 MUSIC SURVEY CHART - MAY 30 1975 - FOCUS USD $7.44 [0 bids]
16h 28m
FOCUS Anthology ( Live ) with Bonus Tracks JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $28.00 Buy It Now 16h 34m
CD Japan 2015 Ariana Grande Focus (Single) Limited Edition USD $25.30 Buy It Now 16h 57m
John Wojciechowski - Focus [New CD] USD $13.66 Buy It Now 19h 52m
Focus - Golden Oldies (NEW VINYL LP) USD $25.78 Buy It Now 20h 4m
John Wojciechowski - Focus [New CD] USD $15.01 Buy It Now 20h 17m
KENNETH McKELLAR Focus On 2x vinyl LP USD $7.67 Buy It Now 20h 23m
FOCUS Into My Brain 12" USD $7.67 Buy It Now 20h 23m
FOCUS Sylvia 7" Single USD $3.29 Buy It Now 20h 23m
Endless Boogie - Focus Level (NEW 2 VINYL LP) USD $29.65 Buy It Now 20h 37m
FOCUS HOCUS POCUS/JANIS 1973 PROG UNIQUE EXYU 7" PS USD $14.24 Buy It Now 20h 42m
MANTOVANI Focus On Mantovani Vinyl LP USD $2.57 Buy It Now 21h 47m
QUIRK Soft Focus 12" USD $6.58 Buy It Now 21h 48m
MANTOVANI Focus On UK 2xLP FOS 3/4 USD $8.77 Buy It Now 21h 48m
MOIRA ANDERSON Focus On UK 2x LP USD $10.96 Buy It Now 21h 48m
Stan Getz & Eddie Sauter Focus vinyl LP NEW/SEALED USD $28.27 Buy It Now 21h 54m
Lost in Focus by Apiary~Metal Blade~Sealed Cd / Free USA S&H USD $9.29 Buy It Now 21h 59m
Sensate Focus - Sensate Focus 1.666666666 [New Vinyl] USD $17.30 Buy It Now 22h 3m
Sensate Focus - Sensate Focus 1.666666666 [New Vinyl] USD $16.89 Buy It Now 22h 22m
Focus: Californopia Tour 99 Various Artists MUSIC CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 22h 42m
VARIOUS ARTISTS Focus on Phase 4 Stereo vinyl LP USD $5.48 Buy It Now 22h 43m
VARIOUS ARTISTS (Spinners Martin Carthy Corries) Focus on Folk vinyl LP USD $8.77 Buy It Now 22h 44m
CHET ATKINS Hi-Fi In Focus ORIGINAL MONO LP RCA RECORDS LPM-1557 Vinyl USD $8.93 Buy It Now 22h 46m
CYRIL HAVERMANS "CYRIL" ORIG UK MGM 1973 LP VG+/VG+ FOLK PROG FOCUS USD $2.58 [0 bids]
22h 48m
Nervous / Sub Focus Rmx 12in Vinyl (Fresh - 2006) BBK 017 (ID:14873) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 22h 48m
FOCUS - SYLVIA 7" BELGIAN PICTURE SLEEVE USD $1.26 [0 bids]
22h 59m
Focus - X ( CD 2012 ) NEW / SEALED USD $6.18 Buy It Now 23h 14m
FOCUS ON PHASE 4 STEREO SAMPLER LP * DECCA BPS1 * FREEPOST UK USD $9.01 [0 bids]
23h 31m
Focus - Moving Waves - Vinyl LP- Excellent Condition USD $15.48 Buy It Now 23h 55m
Focus Jazz Quartet, NM, Bulgaria press 1986, Jazz USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $13.99 Buy It Now
1 day
FOCUS In And Out Of CD 8 tracks I.R.S. X2-13059 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
A Jewish Believer's Story CASSETTE Focus on the Family Lon Solomon 1997 Spoken USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus concert poster Jan 11th 1973 Bradford USD $838.24 Buy It Now 1 day
APIARY : LOST IN FOCUS CD (2007)***NEW*** USD $4.64 Buy It Now 1 day
Suddenly It's Bruno - by Jack Brownlow (CD, Oct-1999, Jazz Focus) Factory Sealed USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS 3 - Self Titeld Double LP Set (1972) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus on the 70's - Focus Music Library - FCD 140 USD $1.92 [0 bids]
1 day
MELODY MAKER 1973 FEB 10 FOCUS TEMPTATIONS BST THE WHO USD $21.91 Buy It Now 1 day
MELODY MAKER 1973 JUL 7 SLADE WIZZARD FOCUS POP USD $21.91 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus Vinyl LP Sire Records 1971, SAS-7401, Moving Waves LP EX USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Vol. 2-Best Of Focus - Focus (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.88 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy FOCUS music online Buy FOCUS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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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 | 252 ratings
Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
1970
4.08 | 604 ratings
Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
1971
3.78 | 419 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 883 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.63 | 172 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.14 | 130 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.51 | 76 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.53 | 60 ratings
Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer: Focus
1985
3.71 | 115 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.10 | 80 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.49 | 103 ratings
X
2012
3.50 | 44 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014
3.79 | 24 ratings
Focus and Friends: Focus 8.5 / Beyond The Horizon
2016

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

3.44 | 117 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.32 | 20 ratings
Live at the BBC
1996
3.94 | 16 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
4.60 | 5 ratings
Live In Europe
2009
4.09 | 3 ratings
In Concert 1973
2016
4.71 | 7 ratings
Live In England
2016

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

4.07 | 21 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.98 | 25 ratings
Live In America
2003
4.04 | 14 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
4.80 | 5 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
3.54 | 58 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

FOCUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 3 by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 419 ratings

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3
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Most people are introduced to Focus through the Hocus Pocus single, which thanks to its yodelling makes people think of them as, if not an outright novelty group, at least a somewhat comedic lot. The more serious side of Focus, however, gets perhaps its best workout on Focus 3, a double album of instrumental prog with jazzy inflections. Album closer House of the King, borrowed from the debut album to avoid side 4 becoming weirdly short, nicely illustrates how far the band have come from their early days; the piece sounds like an unabashed attempt to riff on the style of early Jethro Tull, whilst the rest of the double album showcases a much more original sound.
 Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus] by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.46 | 252 ratings

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Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This is the inaugural album by this legendary band, in which we may already feel the multiple compositional souls. Tracks are highly diverse in style and mood. Here you'll find the few sung themes in the Focus career, which are very immature in my view, tasteless, lingering between ambient, pop and prog. In other themes we can also appreciate the seed of what later would be the stylistic trademarks of the band, such as in Anonymous, and the opening and closing eponymous tracks. The legendary instrumental mastery of leaders van Leer and Ackerman is still on the way, but not yet. This album has mostly an historical significance, for fans and collectors; it does not have much musical interest. It does not even anticipate how big these guys would become or what they would be doing a few months later.
 Hamburger Concerto by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.25 | 883 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars For those familiar with Focus early production during Thijs van Leer and Ackerman era, this is probably the climax of their musical production. Entirely instrumental as the other albums, it has something that makes this album unique. Although it uses the typical elements of the band, it sounds different to all its predecessors, smoother, more intimate, full of musical subtleties. The band adventures in musical avenues never tried, it is a true compositional work from start to end. The music is cheerful, inspired, evoking, hard to classify, with tunes and motifs that we hadn't heard before, and probably we won't, ever. One of a kind. The smooth air may distract the first time, it has to be played several times to realize that you are enjoying an all-time masterpiece. All tracks are impressive, but you may start by Birth and continue with the Hamburger Concerto. For reviewing, I have listened four times in a row, and I think I'll keep it running the rest of the day. Why wouldn't they keep in the same track, dammit! This is no doubt one of the gems of any genre in the history of music, and one of the reasons why we shouldn't be so generous giving 5s.
 Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.08 | 604 ratings

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Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

4 stars 4.5 There are hundreds perfect songs in the history of modern Rock music, but if I had to highlight a bunch, I would choose these five: Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, La Grange by ZZ Top, Hotel California by The Eagles, My Sharona by The Knack, and Hocus Pocus by Focus, included in this album. These are immortal titles that will be played once and again as long as the mankind has ears, and beyond. The popularity of Hocus Pocus is such that made Focus to break in the international scene. It also helped pushing up the ratings of this album in PA. It is an excellent one, but not as much accomplished as the Following #3, for instance. Besides the mentioned one, there is another track, this one yes, deserving the Olympo of Prog, called Eruption, a 23 min making the B-side of the album that contains all the elements of the band, amazing musicianship, great melodies, impressive guitar and Hammond riffs, and surprising innovative tunes that pushed ahead the music of their times. There are a few softers not much of my taste in the A- side by which I didn't give 5 stars.
 3 by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 419 ratings

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3
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars Focus is probably the legendary band more difficult to describe. Instrumental, that one was easy, but their music had many souls. They had a rocker side and a softer melodic ambient weird whatever side. Ackerman and Thijs van Leer are amazing musicians and the rest of the band, Ruiter at the bass and van der Linden at the drums were also incredible, and deploy here some of their more enjoyable pieces. This album contains two of the major hits of the band, and stretching through their schizoid soul, the softy one incarnated by the classic hit Silvia, which begins with some of the best known intro guitar notes in the history of music. The hard prog-rock side comes from the 26 min long Anonymous II, a piece for live concerts including drum and bass solos where the instruments excel. A bunch of Other tracks are also memorable, as Love Remembered, a soft strange blending with flute and Spanish guitar with Mediterranean/Arabian flavors. Carnival Fugue is a smooth delicatessen that begins with 15 seconds to remind, a few piano notes in the front and beautiful guitar motifs interposed as a counterpoint in the background, it then continues mixing baroque and an exquisite instrumental for dancing. Focus III is one of a saga, prelude of their later music for grannies in75's Mother Focus, but still with several interesting melodies and variable tempos. Answers and questions contains a major solo guitar, not to miss, Ackerman is here at his best. This album is a masterpiece of prog, for the musicianship, variety, composition and the memorable tracks.
 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.63 | 172 ratings

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Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This is one of the first albums in my collection; I bought it as a tape back in 76 or 77, before the CDs were released. At that time I hadn't listened much of the band, just about what was being broadcasted in radios, Hocus Pocus, and Silvia. I first thought someone had made a mistake and swapped labels with another band. But they were the real Focus! But completelly freed of their rocker side. How to describe this. It is as if the grandmothers of the band members had asked to write some music (may be that's where the album title comes from). Others would say this is ambient music for supermarkets or elevators. But if you are familiar with their former production, you know they always had a schizoid musical soul. Anyway, this is probably the best supermarket music ever. Don't need to check it all, you may be disappointed, but it contains a jewel: if you want to wake up in the morning in a good mood, just listen to the theme All Together? Oh That! It is pure joy, you'll feel good at least till you get to your workplace.
 3 by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 419 ratings

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3
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars Back in 1993 I started buying Focus albums. Moving Waves was the first Focus album I ever heard, I won't forget hearing "Hocus Pocus" in 1989 as a teenager (right smack in the era of New Kids on the Block) and being blown away by this song (to be honest, I remembered hearing this song as a small kid, so it wasn't new to me, just that in 1989 it really caught my attention). I often wondered why I never heard any other Focus songs on the radio. When I finally heard Moving Waves, that album blew me away, not just "Hocus Pocus", but the side-length "Eruption". OK, so I now understand, it's mostly instrumental, which radio stations tended to stay away, and the best cut, other than "Hocus Pocus" was too long and maybe not the most radio friendly. I then bought Focus 3, the US pressing on Sire with the die-cut cover (but without the rainbow "Focus 3" effect, it's just simply a rainbow "Focus 3" logo) and I didn't quite liked it as much. This album really proved to me why you never heard any other Focus songs on the albums, but through the years, I can see why I was a bit hard on the album. Perhaps a bit excessive at times, but then it dawned on me, Cream likely did similar things live, but they'd do it in a blues-based manner, which Focus would never do. "Round Goes the Gossip" is the only song with singing, in fact the little bit of Latin is the only singing (other than the phrase "Round Goes the Gossip" being repeated over and over). "Love Remembered", Jan Akkerman's piece is a pretty sappy piece, with acoustic guitar and Thijs van Leer's flute, with something like a Theremin or an Ondes Martenot. "Sylvia" was a minor hit in the States, but apparently a major one in Europe, I have absolutely no recollections of this song on the radio, so obviously it didn't have an impact on FM radio the way of "Hocus Pocus" here in the States. Regardless this song is much more typical Focus than "Hocus Pocus", so while you might want to play "Hocus Pocus" to jog people's memories, "Sylvia" is a song to direct the uninitiated (that is if their reaction was "I remembered Hocus Pocus"). "Carnival Fugue" (I now also own a French pressing on the Az label that amusingly titled it "Carnival Fudge" on the label, but still titled "Carnival Fugue on the cover). starts off with classical piano and jazzy guitar, before going into a rhythm that reminds me of the Beatles' "Do You Wanna Know a Secret". "Focus III" also demonstrates all the best quality of Focus, I really love Jan Akkerman's lead guitar playing and the organ playing. I remembered hearing Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep in the Subway", and I noticed that Focus borrowed from this song! "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" gets more lengthy, with lots of guitar and organ jams, plus a slow organ-dominated piece. But it was the next song that really stuck a craw with me, and that's "Anonymous II". At times I can easily dismiss it as nothing but a wankfest, demonstrated the '70s at its most excess, other times I considered it a great and ingenious jam where each member gets their chance to solo. I really like the Bert Ruiter bass solo that starts off slowly before eventually the rest of the band starts back in and then the whole band jams. It's the Pierre van der Linden drum solo that can seem a bit excessive, but then I'm sure he's getting ideas from Ginger Baker's Cream drum solo on "Toad". Then it dawned on me: I am certain Cream did similar stuff live. Of course, with them the music would be much more blues-based, Ginger Baker would do a drum solo like on "Toad", playing drums like he rides a bicycle (Baker's drumming was influenced by his biking), and I seriously doubt Jack Bruce would dive into a bass solo (he probably knew better), the closest I can think of is Blind Faith's "Do What You Like" (which was basically Cream minus Jack Bruce, and instead Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, formerly of Family). Of course, "Anonymous II" was a sequel to the original off In & Out of Focus (Focus Plays Focus), drawn out nearly three times longer. "Elsbeth of Nottingham" is clearly Jan Akkerman's piece, totally medieval influenced, with lute and recorders. Although "House of the King" has been featured on some pressings of In & Out of Focus (and only released as a single in Holland), it makes a reappearance here on album because some countries didn't have that song on In & Out of Focus. When I first bought Focus 3, I often wondered why "House of the King" seemed so out of place on the album. It's an earlier recording, with Hans Cleuver and Martijn Dresden instead of Bert Ruiter and Pierre van der Linden. Regardless, this is truly a classic, in the Jethro Tull vein, and one of the finest songs of Focus, too bad that didn't get picked up for American FM radio airplay.

So I'm still a bit torn over this album, it's agreed perhaps a bit of baggage could have easily been removed, but make no doubt the amount of great brilliant material included.

 In Concert 1973 by FOCUS album cover Live, 2016
4.09 | 3 ratings

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In Concert 1973
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally we have a good sounding live recording of the classic Focus line-up; Van Leer, Akkerman, de Ruiter, Van der Linden. Focus in Concert 1973 sounds better then At the Rainbow and has a more interesting tracklist as well. Showing both their heavy rock side (Anonymous, Hocus Pocus, Sylvia) and their ability to play fine melodic tunes like Focus I, II and III. The recording sound is a bit rough, yet full of detail and spaciousness. A real live recording. Sometimes cleaning up takes away the liveliness. Perhaps Akkerman isn't the king of tone, but boy does he play like a fanatic and it does cut through the mix nicely. This is same year he was named best guitar player in the world.

The first three sides (track 1-7) are from the Partis Theater, London, January 1973. The opening track, Anonymous II is perhaps the most interesting track. In 23 minutes the band shows us what it's all about: combining classical music and jazz in a hard rock atmosphere of excitement and fierce playing. On this first side of the record you can hear all members of the band excelling on their instrument, showing why this was definitely one the best bands ever to come out of the Netherlands. The dynamics of this recording are great and the band jams more subtle and soulful then it would do in later years. On the second side the band plays some of its more melodic songs with Akkerman interpreting his timings freely, thus creating an interesting listening experience for those who have listened to the albums often. Answers? Questions! drags on a bit with its moody improvisations, but the atmosphere has a nice sophistication to it. Side three is a bit more exciting with a great version of Hocus Pocus. Such energy! Thijs van Leer's showmanship really shows here.

The fourth side (track 8-10) has live television studio recordings, Londen, December 1972. The quality of these recordings is significantly less good. The band does play very well on Eruption and Hocus Pocus. Perhaps interesting as an archival release, I myself wil mainly listen to the first three sides of this 2LP edition.

Conclusion. This is the best Focus live record of the classic line-up I know of and I can warmly recommend it to fans of the band and fans of great lively concert recordings. Much better then Live at the Rainbow. Four and a halve stars. Don't miss it!

 Live At The Rainbow by FOCUS album cover Live, 1973
3.44 | 117 ratings

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Live At The Rainbow
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Master of Sensation

2 stars I agree with some of the other reviewers on this site when it comes to this album. While it is true that the band technically performs very well, this recording somewhat lacks the energy required to keep one interested in a live album which is essential since otherwise we are listening to the same tunes we have already heard on studio albums. Perhaps it was different if one actually saw them live but from the evidence of this record Focus are not one of the bands im kicking myself for never having seen live.

As I said energy is somewhat lacking and aside from Hocus Pocus this seems to be the intent as Focus usually were a more laidback band, expressing and developing themes in a very classical manner. While this occassionally worked for them on studio albums it doesnt make for a scintillating live experience. Not much new and exciting is added to the pieces here, although Eruption is more bareable now as we only have 8 minutes rather than the interminable 20 odd minutes on Moving Waves. The two focus pieces are competently played but are carbon copies of the studio recordings. Im falling asleep by the end of side 1. Hocus Pocus wakes me up but this extended live version shows what little material for development there is in this song and actually makes me dislike it by the time it ends. And then if that's not bad enough it resurfaces again after a good rendition of Sylvia. Perhaps im being too harsh on this album but Focus were never the most exciting band and this does nothing to change my opinions. However this is good as background music or for relaxing to.

Also the recording quality here is not too great, but this could be down to the fact ive only heard this via secondhand vinyl. However another reviewer remarked that the sound was 'muted' and this is exactly how I would describe it so I guess getting a new copy wouldn't help.

For established fans only.

 Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.08 | 604 ratings

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Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album is a beautiful masterpiece. After their decent debut album, Focus were up for something really special. Although the cover of this album I find quite repelling, music that sits inside is out of this world. I really like the way that Jan Akkerman's singing guitar goes with Thijs Van Leer's lush, skilled organ playing. This is showcased perfectly on "Eruption", which is probably a highlight of the album - a 23-minute multimovement suite, an essential prog track. This album is very varied. At times presenting a pastoral, church-like moods, sometimes blessing the listener with a heavy rock-out like on "Hocus Pocus". Overall, this album is a work of art and should definitely find itself in a collection of every self-respecting prog nut!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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