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FOCUS

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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Focus picture
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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FOCUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy FOCUS Music


Hocus Pocus BoxHocus Pocus Box
Box set
Red Bullet 2017
$39.14
$45.50 (used)
Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$9.81
$8.13 (used)
Moving WavesMoving Waves
Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
$10.20
$9.67 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$9.96
$9.43 (used)
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Reissued
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
$10.03
$8.32 (used)
In & Out of FocusIn & Out of Focus
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$9.56
$11.85 (used)
Mother FocusMother Focus
Remastered
RED BULLET 2001
$9.75
$9.00 (used)
Ship of MemoriesShip of Memories
Remastered
IMPORTS 2001
$11.99
$20.21 (used)
XX
Eastworld Records 2012
$14.89
$9.19 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Ted Heath ?- Focus On Ted Heath Decca ?- FOS 29/30 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, USD $2.03 Buy It Now
Music For The Mozart Effect, Volume 4, Focus & Clarity USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Focus: Mother Focus LP USD $7.20 Buy It Now
Massimiliano Pagliara - Focus For Infinity [CD] USD $16.98 Buy It Now
FOCUS - At Rainbow - CD - Original Recording Remastered Live - **Excellent** USD $20.49 Buy It Now
MICK JAGGER ROLLING STONES OUT OF FOCUS 2 VERSIONS RARE USA PROMO CD SINGLE USD $4.19 [0 bids]
FOCUS - Moving Waves - LP Blue Horizon label - 2931-002 USD $7.00 [0 bids]
FOCUS : FOCUS 3 Double Album Vinyl LP 33rpm 12" US Pressing Excellent USD $16.83 Buy It Now
Focus - Cynic Compact Disc USD $15.87 Buy It Now
RICK LAIRD Soft Focus Joe Henderson Tom Grant Ron Steen Muse LP USD $19.97 Buy It Now
Brainbox S/t - 1969 Imperial Jan Akkerman Focus USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Out of Focus Wake Up German prog psych cd USD $16.99 Buy It Now
FOCUS ON P.J.B.E. PHILIP JONES BRASS ENSEMBLE-LONDON RECORDS-LDR5 71100-CASSETTE USD $6.99 Buy It Now
BLUE CHEER - SUMMERTIME BLUES / OUT OF FOCUS - PHILIPS - 40516 USD $1.39 [0 bids]
RAY CHARLES - Focus On Ray Charles (UK 24 Tk 1975 Double LP) USD $12.61 Buy It Now
Lot Of 30 Vintage 8 Track Tapes John Mayall Bay City Rollers Robin Trower Focus USD $29.99 [0 bids]
FOCUS 8 Track Tape Live At The Rainbow 1973 Vintage Rock Hocus Pocus RTM/SIRE USD $13.95 Buy It Now
FOCUS - Live At Bbc - CD - Live - **Excellent Condition** USD $25.95 Buy It Now
Focus 3 Double Vinyl Polydor UK 1st Pressing USD $70.12 Buy It Now
neil diamond focus on neil diamond music cassette RARE fast dispatch USD $22.42 Buy It Now
FOCUS - Sylvia - 1972 UK 7" vinyl Juke Box single USD $12.61 Buy It Now
LINDISFARNE SPLIT FOCUS ETC VINTAGE 1970s NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS March 31 1973 NME* USD $14.01 Buy It Now
NEW Slightly Out of Focus (Audio CD) USD $16.08 Buy It Now
Massimiliano Pagliara-Focus For Infinity (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $12.96 Buy It Now
Focus Live at The Rainbow LP EX+-NM Vinyl USD $11.99 Buy It Now
FOCUS "Ship Of Memories" EX/EX RARE 1976 JAPAN original 1st edition USD $25.00 Buy It Now
Focus - Live at The Rainbow plus free UK postage USD $20.47 Buy It Now
STAN GETZ - FOCUS - VERVE 8412 - MONO LP - COMPOSED & ARRANGED BY EDDIE SAUTER USD $14.95 Buy It Now
FOCUS Sylvia 7" VINYL US Sire 1972 Re-Issue B/W Love Remembered (Saa708) USD $5.88 Buy It Now
MOTHER EARTH (ACID JAZZ) To War CD UK Focus 1995 3 Track B/W Be Selected USD $5.88 Buy It Now
FOCUS - LIVE IN ROTTERDAM & TEXEL 1971 DUTCH PROG ROCK w/ CLASSICAL ELEMENTS CD USD $21.95 Buy It Now
Stan Getz-Focus-Verve 8412-MONO USD $19.99 Buy It Now
LP/GF Focus At The Rainbow MP23488 POLYDOR Japan Vinyl USD $9.50 [6 bids]
Sylvia - Focus - 1972 USD $4.21 [0 bids]
4 Track Reel To Reel Tape/Focus Stan Getz/Eddie Sauter7 1/2 IPS USD $19.95 [1 bids]
RARE 1972 BRAINBOX PARTS dutch PROG x FOCUS lp harvest import vinyl scarce WOW! USD $125.00 Buy It Now
Focus - Zero In July / same on both sides 45 NM 1986 PROMO USD $3.49 Buy It Now
Chet Atkins Hi-Fi In Focus LP sealed vinyl reissue USD $34.98 Buy It Now
GUIDED BY VOICES - SURGICAL FOCUS - 7" W/ SPINNER COVER USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5m 1s
STAN GETZ / EDDIE SAUTER Focus V6 8412 LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ GF USD $24.95 Buy It Now 5m 8s
STAN GETZ "FOCUS" LP 1961 STEREO VERVE V-8412 GATEFOLD JACKET USD $19.95 Buy It Now 30m 27s
SUB FOCUS MOSAIC 35"X25" INCH WALL POSTER EDM DUBSTEP USD $11.20 Buy It Now 37m 50s
Pennie Sempell - Love Songs for Our Children: Focus on Relationship [New CD] USD $17.12 Buy It Now 1h 26m
PROMO WHITE LABEL / FOCUS MOTHER FOCUS USD $69.99 Buy It Now 1h 44m
FOCUS hamburger concerto ( rock ) - PROMO - USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 47m
JAN AKKERMAN LIVE , EX FOCUS, LP, GERMANY USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Yes, Focus, Utopia, Ambrosia, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Gary Wright, Emerson CD USD $2.99 [0 bids]
2h 12m
Focus 3 LP's Instant Collection NM or as described USD $15.00 [0 bids]
2h 18m
Cynic - Focus CD 1993 Roadrunner ORG PRESS Atheist Monstrosity Nocturnus USD $4.99 [0 bids]
2h 28m
BrainSync High Focus: Activate Lucid Thinking Gamma Beta Brainwave Therapy USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $6.49 Buy It Now
2h 31m
FOCUS MASTERS OF ROCK 1973 IMPERIAL 5C054-25130 EXCELLENT+ DUTCH PRESSING EX+/EX USD $13.87 Buy It Now 2h 35m
GRACIE FIELDS - FOCUS ON - DECCA LABEL - 2 LP SET - U.K. PRESSING - 1977 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 3h 22m
Pennie Sempell - Love Songs for Our Children: Focus on Relationship [New CD] USD $20.77 Buy It Now 3h 58m
JAN AKKERMAN tabernakel FOCUS LP JAPAN WARNER PIONEER P-8415A PROMO WHITE LABEL USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Focus Music Library / FCD 156 - Rock Of Ages - MINT USD $2.80 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Focus Music Library / FCD 190 - Guitar Bands - MINT USD $2.80 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Focus Music Library / FCD 161 - Cowboy Country - MINT USD $2.80 Buy It Now 5h 17m
THROBBING GRISTLE - Assume Power Focus - CD USD $11.00 Buy It Now 5h 50m
Focus-Golden Oldies CD NEW USD $20.85 Buy It Now 7h 9m
Neil Diamond-Focus On Neil Diamond-FOS M 7/8-Double-Vinyl-Lp-Record-Album-1970s USD $21.03 Buy It Now 9h 26m
Krakota X Urbandawn-Focus Shift Ep VINYL LP NEW USD $17.32 Buy It Now 9h 30m
COLLARD-NEVEN, JEAN-PHILIPPE-Out of Focus CD NEW USD $16.34 Buy It Now 9h 30m
Stan Getz-Focus Vinyl / 12" Album NEW USD $20.78 Buy It Now 9h 30m
Focus Cool Velvet Getz Stan CD NEW USD $13.95 Buy It Now 9h 31m
FOCUS focus 3 (original uk pressing) DOUBLE LP EX+/EX 2659 016 prog rock 1972 USD $42.38 Buy It Now 9h 34m
The Focus of Blue Light (CD, Jun-1994, CRI) NM CONDITION * i combine shipping *9 USD $2.97 Buy It Now 9h 46m
John Wojciechowski - Focus [New CD] USD $18.57 Buy It Now 10h 13m
F*** Buttons - Slow Focus (NEW CD) USD $14.36 Buy It Now 10h 15m
John Wojciechowski - Focus [New CD] USD $14.56 Buy It Now 10h 38m
FOCUS HOCUS POCUS/JANIS 1973 PROG UNIQUE EXYU 7" PS USD $13.74 Buy It Now 11h 3m
The Focus, Absurd Minds, Good Import USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11h 37m
FOCUS focus self titled (best of/greatest hits) LP EX+/VG+ 2384 070 prog rock USD $17.68 Buy It Now 11h 51m
FOCUS focus 3 (original uk pressing) DOUBLE LP EX+/EX 2659 016 prog rock 1972 USD $40.46 Buy It Now 11h 55m
Focus on the Family 40th Anniversary CD Collection USD $14.99 Buy It Now 12h 8m
David Whitfield "FOCUS ON DAVID WHITFIELD" 1978 England 2 x 12" Vinyl album USD $7.00 [0 bids]
12h 14m
Stan Getz & Eddie Sauter Focus vinyl LP NEW/SEALED USD $29.16 Buy It Now 12h 15m
Trace Original LP Good Condition Focus USD $2.00 [0 bids]
12h 30m
Focus - Moving Waves - 1971 England - Blue Horizon - 2931-002 - Vinyl LP USD $32.18 Buy It Now 12h 49m
PROMO WHITE LABEL / FOCUS 3 / 2LP WITH OBI USD $99.99 Buy It Now 13h 3m
Sub Focus Torus Small Poster 29.5cm x 20.5cm USD $7.67 Buy It Now 13h 6m
Ray Charles - Focus On Ray Charles FOS U 1/2 UK 1st Press 2LP 1975 London USD $12.61 Buy It Now 13h 24m
music for sleeping and deep relaxation // AMBIENT PIANO MUSIC FOR SLEEP FOCUS USD $5.60 Buy It Now 13h 29m
FOCUS ON FUSION LP USD $21.02 [0 bids]
13h 49m
FOCUS: Hamburger Concerto SIRE Canada '74 Rock Vinyl LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 13h 54m
IVAN LINS - Serie Focus - CD - Original Recording Remastered Import - SEALED/NEW USD $22.95 Buy It Now 13h 59m
BRUCE BARTH - In Focus W/ Steve Wilson / L.nash - CD - Import - *Mint Condition* USD $31.75 Buy It Now 13h 59m
FOCUS Moving Waves LP VINYL 6 Track In Polydor Sleeve. Matrix A1/b1 (2931002) USD $26.49 Buy It Now 14h 6m
FOCUS focus self titled (best of/greatest hits) LP EX+/VG+ 2384 070 prog rock USD $17.49 Buy It Now 14h 7m
DON CAMPBELL - Music For Mozart Effect, Volume 4, Focus & Clarity - 2 CD NEW USD $22.95 Buy It Now 14h 10m
Stan Getz-Eddie Sauter/Focus/Original Deep Groove Mono LP/Verve V-8412/MINT- USD $25.00 Buy It Now 14h 30m
Vintage Focus concert poster Jan 11th 1973 Bradford Original Rare USD $525.86 Buy It Now 14h 44m
Suddenly It's Bruno - by Jack Brownlow (CD, Oct-1999, Jazz Focus) Factory Sealed USD $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 58m
FOCUS Hocus Pocus 2001 CD single US Version RARE HARD TO FIND Import USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15h 32m
FOCUS HOUSE OF THE KING /BLACK BEAUTY 45 PROMO USD $1.05 [1 bids]
15h 43m
MELODY MAKER 1973 FEB 10 FOCUS TEMPTATIONS BST THE WHO USD $23.83 Buy It Now 15h 43m
MELODY MAKER 1973 JUL 7 SLADE WIZZARD FOCUS POP USD $23.83 Buy It Now 15h 44m
FOCUS - Hamburger Concerto [Vinyl LP,1974] USA Import SD 36-100 Prog Rock *EXC USD $13.99 Buy It Now 15h 52m
Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The New Age [VINYL - BR USD $28.59 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Focus Level [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Endless Boogie USD $38.97 Buy It Now 16h 27m
`Wojciechowski, John `-Focus CD NEW USD $16.49 Buy It Now 16h 43m

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

FOCUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FOCUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 273 ratings
Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In And Out Of Focus]
1970
4.08 | 639 ratings
Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves]
1971
3.78 | 444 ratings
3
1973
4.25 | 942 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.62 | 188 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.09 | 150 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.49 | 91 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.48 | 69 ratings
Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer: Focus
1985
3.67 | 131 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.09 | 94 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.46 | 116 ratings
X
2012
3.46 | 48 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014
3.65 | 34 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 | 23 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
4.50 | 10 ratings
Live In England
2016

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

4.04 | 23 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.91 | 27 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)

3.39 | 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
 Ship Of Memories by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.09 | 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
2.62 | 188 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 | 91 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.

 3 by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 444 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.
 3 by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 444 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 radio, 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
4.13 | 5 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
3.45 | 122 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 | 639 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!
 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.62 | 188 ratings

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Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another review for an album from 1975.

A more accessible album from FOCUS in comparison to their previous albums. After their very good and more elaborated (in Progressive Rock Music terms) "Hamburger Concerto" album from 1974, it seems that by 1975 the band was taking things more easily musically speaking, and they decided to record a more "light" album, which in comparison to their next album ("Focus con Proby") still sounds like a FOCUS's album, maybe more thanks to Jan Akkerman's presence on guitars, in his last album appearance with the band in the seventies. The band took a more Pop Rock direction, still with some Prog Rock music inlfuences, but also adding a bit of Jazz-Rock and Funky Music influences. Humor is still present in "Mother Focus" and "I Need a Bathroom". But mainly with three songs written by Bert Ruiter the Funky / Jazz-Rock / Pop comercial musical influences are more present in this album ("Soft Vanilla", "Hard Vanilla" and "Tropic Bird").

The most "Progresive Rock" songs in this album are "Focus IV", "Someone's Crying . . . What?", "All Together . . . Oh, That!", "No Hang Ups", "My Sweetheart" and "Father Bach". All sounding like "Light Prog" but still a bit "Progresssive".

FOCUS as a band was going to explore more the Jazz/ Rock Fusion musical influences with their next album, titled as "Con Proby". Apparently, Akkerman didn't like the new musical direction that the band was trying to have for their next album. So, he left the band (or was fired), and then, with two new guitarists and a new drummer the band recorded the "Con Proby" album (with lead singer P.J. Proby) in 1977, sounding like their lost most of their original musical identity. But some of the first steps towards that Jazz/ Rock Fusion / Funky musical styles were taken in this "Mother Focus" album in 1975, but still having some of the "old" FOCUS's Prog Rock musical style of their previous albums.

This is not a bad album, but also it is not one of their best albums. A 2.5 stars rating from me for this album.

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

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