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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.

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Buy FOCUS Music


Moving WavesMoving Waves
Import · Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$7.85
$7.80 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$8.10
$8.00 (used)
Hocus Pocus / Best of FocusHocus Pocus / Best of Focus
Import
Music on Vinyl Nl 2013
Vinyl$22.04
$146.99 (used)
Ship of MemoriesShip of Memories
Import · Remastered
Imports 2001
Audio CD$7.64
$7.72 (used)
At The RainbowAt The Rainbow
Red Bullet 2004
Audio CD$18.74
$69.10 (used)
Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$9.65
$6.98 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$7.66
$7.65 (used)
Live in EnglandLive in England
Import
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$10.49
$10.48 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Focus - In And Out Of Focus - Vinyl LP - Excellent Condition USD $16.05 Buy It Now 35m 5s
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS/THINK ALL. FOCUS ONE non JPN USD $25.00 Buy It Now 39m 26s
Blue Fire by Jessica Williams (Piano) (CD, Mar-2000, Jazz Focus) new and sealed USD $18.00 Buy It Now 40m 38s
STAN GETZ / EDDIE SAUTER - FOCUS - VERVE LP - STEREO PRESSING USD $12.95 Buy It Now 46m 30s
Stan Getz Plays Eddie Sauter Focus & Mickey One 2 LP Metro 1965 VG+ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Focus On The Family Radio Theatre: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe Audio CD USD $22.99 Buy It Now 1h 12m
In the Key of Monk by Jessica Williams (Piano) (CD, Mar-1999, Jazz Focus) USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1h 19m
ARIANA GRANDE-FOCUS-JAPAN ONLY CD BOOKLET Ltd/Ed E25 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 20m
Intuition by Jessica Williams (Piano) (CD, Jun-1997, Jazz Focus) New and sealed USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1h 31m
45 RECORD SYLVIA FOCUS PROMO USD $3.73 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Jazz Focus Records 1994-1995 Music CD USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
7' FOCUS BLACK BEAUTY/HOUSE OF THE KING PROGRESSIVE ROCK FRENCH PRESS SIRE 10650 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Focus, Chris Christian, New USD $7.98 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Broadcast - & the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (2009) CD USD $6.16 [0 bids]
1h 55m
Focus-Focus 4 Life CD NEW USD $17.30 Buy It Now 2h 13m
ED SCISSORS & LAMPLIGHTER: TTIW - High Focus CD 2016 USD $3.69 [0 bids]
2h 18m
Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (Audio CD) USD $17.36 Buy It Now 2h 18m
GEORGE DUKE Snapshot FOCUS TRACKS 4 Trk SAMPLER 1992 PROMO DJ CD single USA USD $18.99 Buy It Now 2h 20m
MOTHER FOCUS VG+ . ATCO RECORDS USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 48m
3 LP Lot FOCUS Dutch Masters, Moving Waves, Hamburger Concerto prog rock USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2h 48m
FOCUS HOCUS POCUS POLYDOR RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE RECORD - DUTCH ROCK USD $4.31 [0 bids]
2h 49m
FOCUS SYLVIA POLYDOR RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE RECORD - DUTCH ROCK USD $4.31 [0 bids]
2h 49m
LIST 3 GERMAN SINGLE SOLD SEPARATELY FEYENOORD KAMPIOEN HANSSE FOCUS HOCUS JANIS USD $33.00 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, Focus on P.J.B.E. Argo ZRDL 1001 lp USD $3.09 [0 bids]
3h
Pink Floyd - Focus CD - Made In Italy USD $24.95 [0 bids]
3h 7m
FOCUS - MOTHER FOCUS - 1975 - 8-TRACK CASSETTE TAPE - A8TC-117 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 34m
Focus on the Family (4) Audio Cassettes Boxed Series "Straight From The Heart" USD $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 44m
Earl Hines,Focus 335,"The Real Earl Hines",US,LP,stereo,rare pressing,Mint- USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3h 45m
LOVE BATTERY OUT OF FOCUS 12 INCH SINGLE 301 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 5m
FOCUS - Hamburger Concerto - 1974 UK 5-track LP USD $22.21 Buy It Now 4h 9m
FOCUS Sylvia rare promo 45rpm Sire SAA-708 Prog Rock VG+ Demo vinyl record USD $5.00 Buy It Now 4h 18m
Focus Hamburger Concerto USA Cassette Tape Slipcase USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Focus - Moving Waves - Blue Horizon 2931-002 - LP Vinyl Record USD $8.91 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Ship of Memories by Focus RARE JAPAN OBI SEALED MINI CD USD $101.99 Buy It Now 4h 58m
Mother Focus by Focus RARE JAPAN SEALED OBI REPLICA CD USD $101.99 Buy It Now 5h 5m
at the Rainbow by Focus RARE JAPAN OBI SEALED MINI CD USD $84.99 Buy It Now 5h 8m
FOCUS ~ MOTHER FOCUS ~ 2302 036 ~ EX+/EX- ~ 1975 UK 1ST PRESS VINYL LP JAZZ ROCK USD $13.56 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Embodied Learning: Focus on Breathing Audio CD USD $105.88 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Focus ?- Moving Waves Prog Rock LP 1971 Blue Horizon 2931-002 UK Vinyl USD $12.34 [0 bids]
5h 44m
Focus On Jacques Loussier 2LP Gat Jacques Loussier USD $9.86 Buy It Now 6h 30m
5 CDs SUBLIMINAL BRAIN POWER GENIUS MIND TRAINING MEMORY CONCENTRATION FOCUS AID USD $47.00 Buy It Now 7h 23m
2 CD SUBLIMINAL ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ADD ADHD FOCUS AID BRAINWAVE TRAINING USD $26.00 Buy It Now 7h 24m
SUBLIMINAL HYPNOSIS IMPROVE CONCENTRATION CD-FOCUS BETTER ATTENTION AWARNESS AID USD $15.50 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Guided By Voices 45 & Unique Picture Sleeve-SURGICAL FOCUS/FLY INTO ASHES USD $50.00 [0 bids]
7h 58m
FOCUS "Moving Waves" BLUE HORIZON IMPORT LP 2931 002 VG+ / VG++ RARE ISSUE USD $10.00 [0 bids]
8h
THREE HITS (MATT MATHEWS) "JUST ONE OF THE GUYS/SHARP FOCUS"-1984, DON DIXON USD $15.00 [0 bids]
USD $19.50 Buy It Now
8h
USED (LN) Music For The Mozart Effect, Volume 4, Focus & Clarity (2000) (Audio C USD $21.90 Buy It Now 8h 5m
DR.STEVE G JONES Clinical Hypnotherapist CONCENTRATION & FOCUS SELF HYPNOSIS CD USD $17.99 Buy It Now 8h 24m
Focus: Californopia Tour 1999 by Various Artists (CD, Mar-2000, Cen Records) USD $3.30 Buy It Now 8h 38m
ASHANTI ONLY U + DON'T LET THEM + FOCUS 12" VINYL RECORD PROMO ??NEW?? RARE USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Focus 3 Double Album Vintage 8 Track Tape Stereo Music Cartridge Cassette USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 7m
Private Issue Strange Christian Rock LP COMING INTO FOCUS Byron Peden USD $29.00 [1 bids]
9h 8m
FOCUS/MOVING WAVES JPN MP2311 USD $18.00 Buy It Now 10h 12m
X - Focus (CD Used Very Good) Deluxe ED. USD $17.77 Buy It Now 10h 15m
FOCUS: Dutch Masters LP (small tag residue on cover) Rock & Pop USD $10.00 Buy It Now 10h 32m
FOCUS/AT THE RAINBOW JPN MP2348 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 10h 48m
FOCUS- MOVING WAVES- SIRE RECORDS INC LP USD $6.50 Buy It Now 11h 8m
Focus "3" 8-Track Tape 1972 Sire USD $1.00 Buy It Now 11h 20m
SUB FOCUS Turn It Around 12" NEW VINYL Ram Kele Okereke TC USD $17.99 Buy It Now 11h 47m
Cynic- Focus CD [2004] with bonus tracks USD $7.99 Buy It Now 11h 50m
REAL EARL HINES Focus LP Live in Concert 64 Abdul Malik USD $29.00 Buy It Now 11h 53m
Focus - In And Out Of Focus [Remaster] (CD, Feb-2001, Red Bullet Dutch Import) USD $15.99 [0 bids]
USD $20.99 Buy It Now
12h 52m
NEW Music for Healing at Speed of Sound 2: Focus (Audio CD) USD $17.36 Buy It Now 13h 38m
ANIMATION-KINIRO NO CORDA: BLUE SKY FOCUS ON SHISEIKAN KOKO-JAPAN CD G88 USD $28.99 Buy It Now 13h 39m
FOCUS (LP) SAME [HOLLAND 1983 IMPERIAL FAME VINYL COMPILATION "PROG ROCK"]EX USD $20.00 Buy It Now 13h 48m
Mike Bass / Codex - Yes I Am / In Focus 12" VG+ CDX 001 Germany Vinyl Record USD $18.00 Buy It Now 13h 52m
Focus on the Eastmen Majestic Recordings ....Record Album USD $3.00 Buy It Now 14h 8m
FOCUS, MOVING WAVES, 1971 UK 12"x33rpm LP RECORD ALBUM near mint condition USD $11.35 Buy It Now 14h 14m
Prog Psych LP FOCUS "In And Out of Focus" NEAR MINT Holland Press Imperial LP! USD $50.00 Buy It Now 14h 48m
Focus LP 1st CLP 1577 (Stan Getz / Eddie Sauter - 1962) (ID:14766) USD $24.06 Buy It Now 14h 56m
Out Of Focus Mick Jagger CD single (CD5 / 5") UK A7332CD ATLANTIC 1993 USD $11.71 Buy It Now 14h 57m
Hamburger Concerto Focus Japanese vinyl LP album record EMS-81016 EMI 1977 USD $53.01 Buy It Now 15h 15m
Focus Mother Focus UK vinyl LP album record 2302036 POLYDOR 1973 USD $35.73 Buy It Now 15h 15m
28 rock 7" singles joblot toto, nick straker montrose focus USD $1.22 [0 bids]
15h 19m
Focus Focus UK vinyl LP album record 2384070 POLYDOR 1974 USD $23.39 Buy It Now 15h 26m
Focus On Tommy Steele 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) UK FOS21/2 DECCA 1977 USD $17.59 Buy It Now 15h 26m
ANIMATION-KINIRO NO CORDA: BLUE SKY FOCUS ON JINNAN KOKO-JAPAN CD G88 USD $28.99 Buy It Now 15h 27m
Various-Jazz Focus On Jazz vinyl LP album record UK 6436032 PHILIPS 1975 USD $19.69 Buy It Now 15h 45m
Focus In Concert UK tour programme TOUR PROGRAMME 1976 USD $59.80 Buy It Now 15h 50m
Focus Focus 3 USA 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) 2344-039 POLYDOR 1972 USD $42.27 Buy It Now 16h 6m
Focus Sylvia UK 7" vinyl single record 2001-422 POLYDOR 1972 USD $13.52 Buy It Now 16h 6m
Cynic Focus - 1st vinyl LP album record Dutch RR9169-1 ROADRUNNER 1991 USD $220.88 Buy It Now 16h 7m
Focus Focus 3 Dutch CD album (CDLP) RB66.189 RED BULLET 2001 USD $21.59 Buy It Now 16h 7m
JAN AKKERMAN & KAZ LUX Eli JAPAN Mini LP CD 1976 Focus Solo POCE-1115 Trace USD $29.50 Buy It Now 16h 59m
FOCUS Mother Focus VICP-63668 CD JAPAN NEW USD $93.24 Buy It Now 17h 11m
JAPAN LP FOCUS AT THE RAINBOW EMS-40197 TOSHIBA EMI OBI INSERT USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 36m
FOCUS / BILL WYMAN D/SIDED 1974 NME Trade Advert Poster Size USD $11.10 Buy It Now 17h 39m
CD Apiary - Lost In Focus / METAL BLADE RECORDS 2006 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 55m
Mantovani Focus On Double Vinyl LP Decca label FOS3/4 (Ex) USD $9.86 Buy It Now 17h 56m
Cassettes Focus On the Family When God Doesn't Make Sense James Dobson Faith USD $5.24 Buy It Now 18h 2m
Richard Carrick: Stone Guitars (CD, Jul-2014, New Focus Recordings) USD $6.10 Buy It Now 18h 5m
CUTTING/ ADVERT : 18/5/74PMM25 FOCUS HAMBURG CONCERTO ALBUM & TOUR 15X12 USD $14.81 Buy It Now 18h 34m
KUCKUCK "SiebenSiebzig" NM 1971 VA LP Kraut Prog IHRE KINDER / OUT OF FOCUS USD $29.99 Buy It Now 19h
Factory SEALED 8 Track Stereo Tape FOCUS Hamburger Concerto, 1974 Atco Label USD $7.95 Buy It Now 19h 7m
RARE PHYLLIS EMERT JAZZ PIANIST LP - FOCUS ON THE FEELING - FREE SHIPPING ! USD $13.99 Buy It Now 19h 40m
13/10/73PN21 FOCUS : FOCUS LIVE AT THE RAINBOW ALBUM ADVERT 15X11" USD $13.58 Buy It Now 20h 13m
FOCUS - Greatest Hits / Cassette Album Tape / 43 USD $8.63 Buy It Now 20h 28m
SEALED CD Laidback Luke Focus 2015 Mixmash Records USD $11.77 Buy It Now 20h 33m
FOCUS ON FUSION NEW CD USD $17.74 Buy It Now 20h 45m
Music CD "FOCUS ON HOLLYWOOD" / Miami Vice / Top Gun / Rambo / +++ USD $4.50 Buy It Now 21h 6m

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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 | 250 ratings
Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
1970
4.07 | 599 ratings
Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
1971
3.78 | 414 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 869 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.63 | 170 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.14 | 128 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 | 114 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.10 | 80 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.49 | 104 ratings
X
2012
3.50 | 44 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014
3.95 | 20 ratings
Focus and Friends: Focus 8.5 / Beyond The Horizon
2016

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

3.43 | 115 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.32 | 19 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
4.75 | 4 ratings
Live In Europe
2009
4.09 | 3 ratings
In Concert 1973
2016
4.67 | 6 ratings
Live In England
2016

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

4.07 | 21 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.95 | 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 | 414 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 | 250 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 | 869 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
4.07 | 599 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 | 414 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 | 170 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 | 414 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
3.43 | 115 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
4.07 | 599 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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