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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.

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Buy FOCUS Music


Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$9.66
$5.69 (used)
Moving WavesMoving Waves
Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
$12.22
$7.22 (used)
Hocus Pocus BoxHocus Pocus Box
Box set
Red Bullet 2017
$39.12
$45.50 (used)
Ship of MemoriesShip of Memories
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$10.31
$10.36 (used)
 In Concert 1973 In Concert 1973
On The Air
$19.95
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Reissued
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
$12.22
$7.79 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Focus "Live at the Rainbow" LP USD $4.95 [1 bids]
FOCUS=HOCUS POCUS (GERMAN) P/C EX USD $2.17 [2 bids]
Hamburger Concerto Focus Vinyl Record USD $20.21 Buy It Now
Focus - Mother Focus - Germany - Focus CD R7VG The Fast Free Shipping USD $9.98 Buy It Now
Focus - Hamburger Concerto - LP Record / Vinyl - Pre-owned - Fair Condition USD $9.50 Buy It Now
FOCUS - MOVING WAVES LP RECORD HOCUS POCUS VG+ ORIGINAL PROG ALBUM USD $4.95 [0 bids]
Focus ?- Hocus Pocus , 7" Yellow Vinyl Limited ,Record Store Day 2016 RSD USD $34.99 Buy It Now
Focus by Holly Starr (CD, 2012, Save the City) - A139 USD $6.31 Buy It Now
Unknown Artist : Marantha! Music Presents Focus on the Fa CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Focus - At The Rainbow [POLYDOR PAPER LABEL] - cassette USD $6.32 Buy It Now
Focus Live At The Rainbow LP US SAS 7408 VG+ USD $4.75 Buy It Now
(FT607) Focus 22 Feat Amanda Lyons, Champs EP - 2010 DJ CD USD $3.79 Buy It Now
Essential Hits 160 CD Radio Edit Chart Music Disc ft Charli XCX 'Focus' USD $15.20 Buy It Now
Demrick & Cali Cleve - Losing Focus (CD Used Like New) Explicit Version USD $12.58 Buy It Now
Focus Sylvia 7" vinyl single record UK 2001-422 POLYDOR 1972 USD $8.86 Buy It Now
FOCUS - GOLDEN OLDIES NEW VINYL RECORD USD $25.82 Buy It Now 21s
Lee Scott Butter Fly 2 X LP VINYL High Focus Records 2015 NEW USD $63.33 Buy It Now 5m 16s
Ennio Morricone & Dulcepontes - Focus - Pop Vocal USD $24.12 Buy It Now 15m 38s
Thijs Van Leer - Introspection 3 Netherlands 1977 LP CBS Records (Focus) USD $6.32 Buy It Now 15m 59s
Hocus Pocus-Best Of - Focus (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.70 Buy It Now 17m 55s
ALTERED FOCUS Big Chunk 'O' Sumpthin 1997 MOTEL JUNIORS RECORDS Ultra Rare Rock USD $1.75 Buy It Now 18m 30s
BIRTH OF JOY-HYPER FOCUS (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.99 Buy It Now 24m 5s
NEW Slow Focus (Audio CD) USD $18.74 Buy It Now 59m 20s
Focus - "Hocus Pocus 2" / "House Of The King" 7" IMPORT Single USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 6m
FOCUS - X (DIGIBOOK CD EDITION) CD NEW+ USD $28.36 Buy It Now 1h 16m
FOCUS 'Hocus Pocus 2' 1972 German 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $12.66 Buy It Now 1h 24m
FOCUS 'Sylvia / Love Remembered' 1973 Yugoslavian 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $13.92 Buy It Now 1h 29m
FOCUS - Live On Air SW0015CD EU Import Rare! USD $50.00 Buy It Now 1h 52m
WINSTON SLADE - FOCUS rare Holographic Art cd (Southern Tracks Records) 1997 NEW USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2h 21m
VIDEO-AVENTURES - CAMERA (IN FOCUS) CAMERA (AL RIPARO) NEW VINYL RECORD USD $24.78 Buy It Now 2h 31m
Rock Promo 45 Focus - Harem Scarem / Harem Scarem On Atco USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2h 34m
YUSSEF KAMAAL - BLACK FOCUS CD NEW+ USD $25.08 Buy It Now 2h 40m
CLP 1577 Stan Getz Focus USD $25.34 Buy It Now 2h 45m
STRONG,JEFF-FOCUS & ATTENTION PROGRAM: TRAIN YOUR BRAIN FOR CD NEW USD $91.53 Buy It Now 2h 55m
FOCUS Con Proby LP 1963 Harvest Records VG+ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 57m
PROMO JAN AKKERMAN AND KAZ LUX Eli LP Focus Finch Brainbox Prog Rock / Atlantic USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Outer Core Losing Focus U.S. cd sealed USD $7.95 Buy It Now 3h 39m
FOCUS Hamburger Concerto LP USD $17.74 Buy It Now 3h 42m
HOLLY STARR - FOCUS * USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.14 Buy It Now 4h 7m
PERFECT ZEBRAS - TOUCHING MY HEART AGAIN 7" 45 RPM VINYL FOCUS RECORDS USD $1.97 [0 bids]
4h 12m
FOCUS ON PHASE 4 &TOTAL SOUND LP'S USD $11.39 Buy It Now 4h 20m
VARIOUS-FOCUS FEATURES 10TH ANNIVERSARY - BEST OF / O.S.T. CD NEW USD $18.42 Buy It Now 4h 58m
FOCUS Hamburger Concerto SD 36 100 LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG++ USD $7.49 Buy It Now 5h 16m
1973 EXC RARE Focus (2) Hocus Pocus / Hocus Pocus II SAA-704 Sire 45 USD $2.96 Buy It Now 5h 28m
Drum and Bass 777 12" Dubplate-Clipz-Kung Fu/Baron-Squelch (Sub Focus Remix) USD $44.34 Buy It Now 5h 29m
Focus - Live In America (USA) (CD) USD $25.33 Buy It Now 5h 53m
For Your Consideration: Focus: Best Original Score FYC PROMO Music CD Mark Adler USD $139.49 Buy It Now 6h
SELF HYPNOSIS CD TO INCREASE CONCENTRATION & FOCUS USD $3.41 Buy It Now 6h 16m
2 Jazz Lps-Stan Getz-Focus & Gerry Mulligan-Jeru-both play VG+ USD $4.99 [0 bids]
6h 28m
JAN AKKERMAN & THIJS VAN LEER Focus SEALED NEW lp HYPE 1985 824 524-1 Prog Rock USD $23.89 Buy It Now 6h 35m
Out Of Focus - Wake Up! GER LP 1971 Kuckuk Original! Krautrock Prog Psych /4* USD $282.57 Buy It Now 6h 39m
RAMPAGE 2017-WORLD BIGGEST D&B/DUBSTEP FESTIVAL (NOISIA, SUB FOCUS,.) 2 CD NEW+ USD $28.36 Buy It Now 6h 43m
Focus Moving Waves LP Record Album Sire SAS-7401 Hocus Pocus Jan Akerman USD $6.00 [0 bids]
USD $12.00 Buy It Now
6h 45m
Getz, Stan : Focus CD USD $6.49 Buy It Now 6h 47m
BLUE CHEER - Summertime Blues / Out Of Focus - 7" 45RPM Vinyl Record - EX USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 17m
FOCUS Mother Focus mini LP CD Japan,sealed,prog, 20bit K2 mastering USD $25.00 Buy It Now 7h 22m
FOCUS Ship of Memories mini LP CD Japan,sealed,prog, 20bit K2 mastering USD $25.00 Buy It Now 7h 23m
Sealed FOCUS SHIP OF MEMORIES 8-TRACK Tape Sealed No Reserve USD $5.95 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Smashing Pumpkins - Out Of Focus CD USD $8.00 [0 bids]
7h 36m
Out Of Focus LP Not Too Late SEALED Krautrock Sireena 4006 Jazz Psych USD $19.95 [0 bids]
7h 37m
Endless Boogie Focus Level Vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $33.21 Buy It Now 7h 41m
FOCUS-HOCUS POCUS/BEST OF CD NEW USD $18.06 Buy It Now 7h 47m
Out Of Focus LP Wake Up! KRAUTROCK 1991 German Reissue Kuckuck 11006-1 NM USD $34.95 [0 bids]
7h 52m
NOVA MILLENIUM JOHN DENON + CO FOCUS LABEL RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $6.03 Buy It Now 8h 30m
STEP BACK IN TIME FOCUS MUSIC RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $6.03 Buy It Now 8h 30m
PROMOS WITH A STING FOCUS MUSIC RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $6.03 Buy It Now 8h 30m
FOCUS RNB CHART BUSTERS W MALE FEMALE VOCALS RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC USD $5.88 Buy It Now 8h 31m
LATIN GROOVES FOCUS MUSIC RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.26 Buy It Now 8h 31m
FOCUS THE FASHION COLLECTION 3 RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.88 Buy It Now 8h 31m
FOCUS ON THE 90S 90S PASTICHE RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC USD $5.88 Buy It Now 8h 31m
FOCUS MUSIC LIBRARY BOLLYWOOD DREAMS RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.26 Buy It Now 8h 31m
MAD MIX LO FI BEATS P CONNER J THOMPSON FOCUS RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.26 Buy It Now 8h 31m
BLUES AND JAZZ GROOVES MICK PARKER + FOCUS LABEL RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.26 Buy It Now 8h 31m
REA LIFE DRAMA FOCUS RARE LIBRARY SOUNDS MUSIC CD USD $5.88 Buy It Now 8h 31m
BLUE CHEER:Summertime Blues 3:43-Out Of Focus 3:52-France 7" Philips B304.62 PSL USD $48.98 Buy It Now 8h 33m
FOCUS Sylvia 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1972 Plastic Label Issue B/W House Of The King USD $3.98 Buy It Now 8h 37m
PERFECT ZEBRAS Running With Zebras 7" VINYL UK Focus 1982 (Fos1) USD $3.98 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Focus - In And Out Of Focus GER LP 1970 Rare Polydor WL Promo /3* USD $56.51 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Jan Akkerman - Focus in Time [New CD] Bonus Track, Japan - Import USD $28.04 Buy It Now 9h 4m
FOCUS 'Harem Scarem' 1974 German 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $11.39 Buy It Now 9h 18m
Jan Akkerman - Focus in Time [New CD] Bonus Track, Japan - Import USD $29.86 Buy It Now 9h 20m
ANNA FISHER-FOCUS-CD-DIGIPAK-FACTORY SEALED-BRAND NEW! USD $4.79 Buy It Now 9h 22m
PERFECT ZEBRAS Touching My Heart Again 12" VINYL UK Focus 1982 2 Track B/W In USD $3.98 Buy It Now 9h 49m
PERFECT ZEBRAS Touching My Heart Again 12" VINYL UK Focus 1982 2 Track With A4 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 9h 49m
FOCUS/BRAINBOX House Of King/Down Man 12" VINYL Netherlands Emi 4 Track EP USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 52m
MOTHER EARTH (ACID JAZZ) Compare Yourself 12" VINYL UK Focus 1996 3 Track USD $3.98 Buy It Now 9h 52m
WILL GLAHE Focus On LP VINYL UK Decca 1975 24 Track Double In Gatefold Sleeve USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 52m
MANTOVANI Focus On DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Decca 1975 24 Track Gatefold Sleeve Has USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 52m
GRACIE FIELDS Focus On DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Decca 24 Track Gatefold Sleeve Has USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 52m
FOCUS Moving Waves LP VINYL Europe Red Bullet 2009 6 Track 180 Gram Reissue USD $16.58 Buy It Now 9h 52m
FOCUS Moving Waves LP VINYL UK Blue Horizon 6 Track In Polydor Sleeve. Matrix USD $21.90 Buy It Now 9h 52m
PERFECT ZEBRAS Mixing With Wildlife 12" VINYL UK Focus 1982 10 Track White USD $25.91 Buy It Now 9h 53m
FOCUS/BRAINBOX House Of King/Man Down 12" VINYL Netherlands Emi 4 Track EP USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 53m
GROUND ZERO Another World 7" VINYL UK Focus 1982 B/W Living The Lie (It001) Pic USD $3.98 Buy It Now 9h 53m
FOLK IN FOCUS Various Artists LP VINYL UK Fontana 1967 12 Track Mono Pressin USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 53m
FOCUS In And Out Of LP VINYL UK Polydor 8 Track Gatefold Sleeve. A1/B2 Matrix. USD $16.58 Buy It Now 9h 53m
VERA LYNN Focus On DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Decca 24 Track In Gatefold Sleeve USD $9.93 Buy It Now 9h 53m
BILLY MITCHELL In Focus LP VINYL Germany Optimism 1988 8 Track Sleeve Has USD $5.31 Buy It Now 9h 56m
FOCUS 3 DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Polydor 1972 9 Track Double With A1/B3 A1/B1 Matrix USD $17.91 Buy It Now 9h 56m
PERFECT ZEBRAS Running With Zebras 7" VINYL UK Focus 1982 B/W Man Or Machine USD $6.32 Buy It Now 9h 56m

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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)

3.48 | 275 ratings
Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
1970
4.09 | 644 ratings
Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
1971
3.78 | 450 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 954 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.69 | 189 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.14 | 150 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.49 | 92 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.48 | 69 ratings
Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer: Focus
1985
3.67 | 132 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.21 | 94 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.46 | 117 ratings
X
2012
3.46 | 48 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014
3.66 | 35 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 | 61 ratings
Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
1994
3.00 | 1 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
 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.

 Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus by FOCUS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.52 | 61 ratings

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Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

3 stars Unlike some prog fans, I actually like compilations if they are done well. Unfortunately, Hocus Pocus Best of Focus is a bit of a wasted opportunity. For starters it includes too many tracks from their first rather average debut album. "House of the King" is admittedly a great Tull-like instrumental and no compilation would be complete without it. But the inclusion of "Anonymous" which is essentially a jam based on the introduction section of "House of the King" wastes valuable playing time especially when so many more essential tracks have been left off the album.The track "Focus" is actually a pleasant track but at nearly ten minutes again takes up too much time in my opinion. The Moving Waves album is well represented with the full version of "Hocus Pocus","Janis", "Focus2"and "Tommy". Particularly annoying though is the fact that the double Focus3 album is only represented by "Sylvia" and "Focus3".I wish the compilation had included the quirky opening track from that album "Round Goes the Gossip" and maybe even "Elspeth of Nottingham" which showcased the more folky side of the group. The Hamburger Concerto, one of the group's strongest albums is only represented by the exciting opening track "Harem Scarem".This is again annoying especially when the somewhat weaker follow album Mother Focus is over represented with three tracks as is their final album, Ship of Memories.And do we really need another version of "Hocus Pocus"? I am still giving this album a solid three stars because there is a lot of enjoyable music on display here but really it could have been a five star one stop shop if a bit more thought had gone into the track selections.The Polydor Special compilation which is only a modest single vinyl album is a far better representation of the group- maybe that album should be re-released on CD.
 Focus Con Proby by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.49 | 92 ratings

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Focus Con Proby
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars When I first saw the cover of this album back in the seventies I had the feeling that Focus would fall in the same trap as several other acts fo that era: a commercial take of an ex great prog band. I did not listen to it at the time. I had enough disillusion with a number of bands at the period (Triumvirat and Camel just to name two) to add another one. Focus with a british one hit wonder singer? Without Jan Akkermann? That could not be good! So it was over 30 years before I had the patience and curiosity to try it.

Looking back, I found that Focus Con Proby was not nearly as bad as I thought. But I guess I┤d be disappointed anyway: it sounds way too different from the Focus I knew and loved. Their sound changed from symphonic prog to a much more jazz rock/fusion direction, thanks largely to Akkermann┤s replacement, the belgium guitarist Philp Catherine. Although some songs are really good, the instrumentals (always Focus strong point) are also the average jazz-rock you would expect from almost everyone in the area (Soft Machine with Allan Holdsworth, Jean Luc Ponty and so on). Only Sneezing Bull is somewhat different, probably because of Van Leer┤s flute playing.

As for P.J. Proby himself, he has a nice voice and does a good job overall, depending on the quality of the songs he sang: the opener Wingless is very good, while Eddy is a boring, throwaway pop tune. Tokyo Rose is a strange mix: sounds like classic Focus tune with added lyrics. Interesting experiment, I guess, but it did not work. Brother is nice and I remember Focus playing it in my hometown during their brazilian tour in 2002. How long is a mediocre tune. And so it goes.

Conclusion: not a total disaster, but too different and inconsistent to be considered a valid statement from this great band. As anyone else at the time Focus tried to do something to get them out of the rut they┤re in but was not successful. If you┤re into jazz rock/fusion maybe you┤ll enjoy the instrumentals. But the uneven quality of the vocal tracks spoil the overall feeling of the album. This one is definitely for collectors and fans only. And not one for the newbies.

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

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