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FOCUS

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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Focus biography
Of all the groups in the 1970s that combined elements of rock and classical music, FOCUS is, without a doubt, the most notable Dutch group widely known outside the Netherlands. This band has created excitement all over the world during the past few years with their unique sound and musical approach. The two main musicians in the band were flutist/keyboardist/singer Thjis Van LEER and guitarist Jan AKKERMAN. They played a stylishly inventive rock with flutes, keyboards & dazzling guitar, defining the Dutch prog sound. An inspiration to FINCH, TRACE & numerous others. In 1978, the group finally split up, without making too much noise.

Best albums are "Moving Waves" (1972), "3" (1973), "Live at the Rainbow" (1973), and "Hamburger Concerto" (1974). "Waves" and "3" represent the best of the band's earlier intensely progressive period with plenty of sidelong tracks and healthly extended solos. Most will agree that "Live at the Rainbow" and "Hamburger Concerto" (last good album) were their best, moving into a period of more pure classical and jazz influence.

"Focus 8" marks the return of Thjis Van LEER in the true nature of music: tuneful, memorable and a little bit rocky when they want to be. This album contains everything you might want from a FOCUS album ... plenty of flute and keyboards from Thijs, tasty guitar playing from Jan DUMÉE and even some yodeling vocals. Perhaps in summary, the band could have veered a little from the safety of the FOCUS blueprint but "Focus 9" may yet further develop their own voice. No doubt about it, we'll have to count on FOCUS in the new millennium to all of the true Progressive Rock lovers.

Focus official website

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Buy FOCUS Music


Hocus Pocus: Best ofHocus Pocus: Best of
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$10.11
$8.72 (used)
Moving WavesMoving Waves
Capitol 1991
Audio CD$45.99
$2.49 (used)
In Concert 1973In Concert 1973
Import
On The Air
Audio CD$26.99
Hamburger ConcertoHamburger Concerto
Import
MSI:RED BULLET 2001
Audio CD$10.14
$24.64 (used)
Focus 3Focus 3
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$10.26
$10.26 (used)
Golden OldiesGolden Oldies
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$12.50
$17.58 (used)
Live at the RainbowLive at the Rainbow
Import · Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
Audio CD$10.05
$13.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Stat Quo 2009 The Great Depression, DJ Pain, Dubz, Focus, Aktual, LYRiKZ, ALT GA US $1.99 [0 bids]
38m 55s
ARTHUR BLYTHE - FOCUS NEW CD US $22.66 Buy It Now 46m 3s
FOCUS at the rainbow EX/EX JAPAN EMS-40197 | 13-1216-051 US $24.99 Buy It Now 54m 25s
Focus On Phase 4 Stereo (4212) Decca (1968) BPS 1 - 12" LP VG(+)/VG(+) US $13.30 Buy It Now 1h 51m
PLANET splitting the humidity LP 12 track (focuslp6) uk focus 1995 US $8.31 Buy It Now 3h 11m
FOCUS - FOCUS 9: NEW SKIN (IMPORT) NEW CD US $43.64 Buy It Now 4h 14m
IMPROVE CONCENTRATION & FOCUS SELF HYPNOSIS CD US $4.98 Buy It Now 4h 16m
RONNIE ALDRICH focus on LP 24 track phase 4 stereo double in gatefold sleeve (fo US $8.31 Buy It Now 4h 38m
FOCUS - HOCUS POCUS / BEST OF FOCUS (180GM) NEW VINYL US $51.54 Buy It Now 5h 15m
FOCUS-HOUSE OF THE KING 7" SINGLE CHEAP US $6.64 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Sizzla Stay Focus CD Reggae Music Album Brand New US $16.63 Buy It Now 5h 37m
FOCUS Hocus Pocus Best Of Double 180G Vinyl LP NEW & SEALED Music On Vinyl US $39.87 Buy It Now 6h 18m
DIANA ROSS BOOK,'A LEGEND IN FOCUS' BY SHARON DAVIS, HARDBACK US $16.63 Buy It Now 6h 23m
MANHATTAN FOCUS-S/T-JAPAN CD C75 US $20.50 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Tommy Steele Focus On 2 Vinyl LP Original UK Press Decca FOS. 22 Pop Idol US $17.99 Buy It Now 6h 54m
Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus NEW 2 x LP US $24.72 Buy It Now 7h 32m
Focus 3 [VINYL] * NEW * Free Priority Shipping US $35.83 Buy It Now 7h 50m
Focus/Cool Velvet by Stan Getz (Sax) (CD, Jun-2012, Poll Winners Records) US $13.74 Buy It Now 7h 51m
Hocus Pocus/Best of Focus [2LP vinyl] * NEW * Free Priority Shipping US $35.83 Buy It Now 7h 51m
LES MISERABLES 3 CDs MUSIC Victor Hugo Radio Theatre Focus On The Family Les Mis US $19.96 Buy It Now 8h 49m
FOCUS: FOCUS 3 [SYLVIA,ANONYMOUS TWO++]RE-ISSUE OF THE CLASSIC 1973 LP US $11.99 Buy It Now 8h 55m
JOHN BARRY Focus: Scoort - Volume 1 (Patrick Duynslaegher) Belgium CD 2003 RARE! US $35.00 Buy It Now 9h
Focus On The Family - Love Must Be Tough 3 CD Set US $23.23 Buy It Now 9h
MAX BYGRAVES focus on UK decca label UK Double vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION US $18.71 Buy It Now 10h 12m
The Royal Marines(2x12" Vinyl LP Gatefold)Focus On-Decca-FOS 61/2-UK-VG+/NM US $15.99 Buy It Now 10h 33m
Focus on Phase 4 Stereo (1968 Decca LP. BPS 1) Easy, Lounge, Exotica US $9.97 Buy It Now 10h 34m
ALTERED FOCUS Big Chunk 'O' Sumpthin 1997 MOTEL JUNIORS RECORDS Ultra Rare Rock US $6.39 Buy It Now 11h 2m
Jan Akkerman The noise of art - 1990 IRS / Focus US $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 4m
(PROG LP) FOCUS - LIVE AT THE RAINBOW US $8.00 Buy It Now 11h 12m
MICK JAGGER Out of Focus 4 track remix cd single OOP rolling stones VG US $4.00 Buy It Now 11h 17m
CYNIC focus CD 1993 1st press US $12.99 [0 bids]
11h 41m
OUT OF FOCUS - OUT OF FOCUS - NEW CD US $17.96 Buy It Now 12h 56m
K-Tel's Fantastic - 1973 - 12" Vinyl - Dawn, Elton John, Lobo, Focus, Blue Mink US $6.00 [0 bids]
13h 7m
Focus 3 Double LP US $4.00 [0 bids]
13h 26m
The Focus, Absurd Minds, Good Import US $11.24 Buy It Now 13h 45m
FOCUS - MOVING WAVES [REMASTER] - NEW CD US $18.64 Buy It Now 13h 56m
LP-Jan Akkerman Profile 1972 prog rock Sire SAS 7407 (guitarists from Focus) US $4.00 [0 bids]
13h 59m
Turn Back Time [VINYL] Sub Focus Vinyl US $13.73 Buy It Now 14h
Rock Unplayed NM! 45 FOCUS Sylvia on Sire US $5.00 Buy It Now 14h 59m
Focus - Focus 3 - Audio Cassette US $6.58 Buy It Now 15h 2m
Focus "Moving Waves" 1972 Sire Records LP US $9.99 [0 bids]
15h 8m
Focus - In and Out of Focus US 8 Track SIRE M 8147-7404 US $5.99 Buy It Now 15h 16m
SOULS OF MISCHIEF Focus 2x LP NEW VINYL Hiero Opio Pep Love Tajai A-Plus US $12.99 Buy It Now 15h 34m
STAN GETZ**FOCUS (DOWNLOAD/180 GRAM/LIMITED ED/REMASTERED)**VINYL US $17.95 Buy It Now 15h 34m
FOCUS / SEVES / SALINAS / CARLOS / ELKIND / ROJAS - BARRO Y MAIZ NEW CD US $21.51 Buy It Now 15h 53m
AUTO FOCUS-David Johansen/ANGELO BADALAMENTI/Spirit/Cd US $10.29 Buy It Now 16h 5m
FOCUS The Best Of 1986 HOLLAND CD issue US $25.00 Buy It Now 16h 13m
GUIDED BY VOICES 1999 Surgical Focus 7" 45 unplayed Psychedelic rotating sleeve US $7.99 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
16h 15m
Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues / Out of Focus - Vinyl 45' Pic.sleeve / Hard Rock US $6.29 Buy It Now 16h 22m
FUCK BUTTONS - SLOW FOCUS [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD US $7.34 Buy It Now 16h 51m
Focus-Hamburger Concerto 12" 1974 Atco Records 1st U.S. Press SD 36-100 EX/M US $11.99 Buy It Now 17h 49m
Focus on Stanley Black - Decca 2 LP set US $23.14 Buy It Now 19h 7m
WONDERAMA PADRE PIO: THE STIGMATIST OUT OF FOCUS B/W GOLD 7" 45 EP '90S PUNK US $1.48 Buy It Now 19h 45m
DARK TRANQUILLITY - Focus Shift - Rare CD Single Century Media US $4.99 Buy It Now 20h 29m
Focus On Your Child, Audio Journal, 0-7 yeas old, 10 CDs total! US $5.00 Buy It Now 21h 16m
Hemi-Sync® Music CD - REMEMBRANCE - Improves Focus & Concentration (ADD / ADHD) US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.49 Buy It Now
21h 30m
Focus (1978 Harvest LP ST-11721 SEALED) Focus Con Proby featuring PJ Proby US $18.28 Buy It Now 21h 43m
Various ELECTRIC SEVENTIES Cassette Tape JCI 1986 Black Sabbath Mountain Focus US $6.95 Buy It Now 21h 48m
Lot of (3) PROG LPs focus (waves) STEVE HACKETT (SPECTRAL) wishbone ash (rub) US $5.99 [1 bids]
21h 58m
FOCUS MOTHER FOCUS JAN AKKERMAN JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW K2 HD REMASTER VICP-63668 US $23.99 Buy It Now 21h 58m
JAN AKKERMAN Tabernakel LP Atco 1973 Prog Fusion Classical Rock FOCUS US $14.95 Buy It Now 22h
Focus (1978 Harvest Stereo LP ST-11721 STILL SEALED PJ Proby) Focus Con Proby US $19.28 Buy It Now 22h 6m
Lost in Focus by Apiary (CD, May-2006, Metal Blade) US $0.99 Buy It Now 22h 8m
TYS VAN LEER (FOCUS) - "Nice To Have Met You" LP 1978 1st US WL PROMO w/INSERT US $23.88 Buy It Now 22h 20m
Hemi-Sync® Concentration Binaural Beats - INDIGO for QUANTUM FOCUS US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.49 Buy It Now
22h 34m
Vintage Album - FOCUS - Moving Waters SAS 7401 Sire Records US $6.99 Buy It Now 22h 37m
FOCUS/hamburger concerto/1974 lp US $15.99 Buy It Now 23h 33m
INDIGO for QUANTUM FOCUS - Music Hemi-Sync® concentration binaural beats CD US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.49 Buy It Now
23h 34m
Focus on Argy, Argy, New US $4.15 Buy It Now 23h 42m
Marc Cary Focus CD signed US $6.99 [0 bids]
23h 56m
FOCUS mother focus VG/M- JAPAN EMS-50115 | 14-0617-045 US $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Quartet - Jazz Focus-65 - Bulgarian US $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ILLUMINATION for PEAK PERFORMANCE Sharpen Your Focus - Hemi-Sync® Binaural Beats US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.49 Buy It Now
1 day
PHYLLIS EMERT Focus on the Feeling LP Rare Private Jazz US $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
De la Soul Breakadawn / En Focus Rare 6 Track CD EP US $12.65 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS 'Mother Focus' LP US $9.31 [0 bids]
1 day
INTERFACE - DESTINATION FOCUS NEW CD US $13.51 Buy It Now 1 day
ALAN PRICE, FOCUS ON ALAN PRICE, 2xLP 1979 UK EX-/EX/VG+ DECCA FOS 65 GATEFOLD/S US $13.65 Buy It Now 1 day
SENSATE FOCUS - SENSATE FOCUS 5 NEW VINYL US $20.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus Danse, New Music US $15.17 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS FOCUS 3 Double Album Fold Out Polydor 2612 024 US $10.00 [0 bids]
1 day
STAN GETZ (SAX) - FOCUS/COOL VELVET - NEW CD US $10.73 Buy It Now 1 day
BLUE CHEER - Summertime Blues / Out Of Focus - 45 RPM US $1.25 [0 bids]
US $2.25 Buy It Now
1 day
FOCUS - MOTHER FOCUS (IMPORT) NEW CD US $60.43 Buy It Now 1 day
Judicial Tyranny Focus On The Family Cd US $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Focus/Thirteen Ways - Ways Thirteen New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $15.41 Buy It Now 1 day
Stan Getz - Focus CD 1984 US $7.47 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS Greatest Hits Of Focus 1984 Dutch/UK vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION US $24.95 Buy It Now 1 day
JOE HENDERSON - SOFT FOCUS (IMPORT) NEW CD US $55.09 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraut Rock FOCUS Hamburger Concerto NM SD36-100 ORIG EB697 US $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STAN GETZ-FOCUS-JAPAN CD B75 US $15.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus Harem Scarem / Early Birth Italy Import 45 With Picture Sleeve US $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JAN AKKERMAN (FOCUS) & KAZ LUX - ELI NEW SEALED 180 GRAM AUDIOPHILE LP 2013 US $44.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Lost Souls Can't Stop Us Now 2002 Focus Recordings Industrial, Deep House US $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FOCUS FEATURES 10TH ANNIVERSARY - BEST OF / SOUNDTRACK NEW CD US $23.80 Buy It Now 1 day
John Williams Focus CD NEW SEALED Soundtrack Jaws/The Fury/Superman/Dracula+ US $8.31 Buy It Now 1 day
FUCK BUTTONS - SLOW FOCUS NEW CD US $18.46 Buy It Now 1 day
Out Of Focus - Four Letter Monday Afternoon (NEW CD) US $22.87 Buy It Now 1 day
Focus On Gracie Fields Double LP Still Sealed From England Decca US $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Optimindzation Vol. 2 Creative Focus & Innovative mind Low Beta Brain Waves New US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $9.99 Buy It Now
1 day

More places to buy FOCUS music online Buy FOCUS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for FOCUS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

FOCUS shows & tickets


  • 2 Days Prog + 1 on 5 Sep 2014
  • focus: the ultimate mix between rock and classical music on 12 Sep 2014
  • FOCUS at Cosmopolite, Oslo on 20 Sep 2014
  • FOCUS at Poppodium Romein, Leeuwarden on 11 Oct 2014
  • Focus on 16 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at Ansbacher Kammerspiele, Ansbach on 23 Oct 2014
  • Akcent + FOCUS + Classic + more at Hala TS "Wisla", Kraków on 24 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at Musiktheater Piano, Dortmund on 24 Oct 2014
  • FOCUS at The Ferry, Glasgow on 20 Nov 2014
  • Focus on 22 Nov 2014

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)

3.43 | 196 ratings
In And Out Of Focus
1970
4.05 | 476 ratings
Moving Waves
1972
3.72 | 318 ratings
3
1973
4.24 | 694 ratings
Hamburger Concerto
1974
2.63 | 133 ratings
Mother Focus
1975
3.12 | 107 ratings
Ship Of Memories
1976
2.52 | 57 ratings
Focus Con Proby
1978
3.54 | 48 ratings
Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer
1985
3.69 | 101 ratings
Focus 8
2002
3.07 | 64 ratings
Focus 9 / New Skin
2006
3.51 | 78 ratings
X
2012
3.69 | 43 ratings
Golden Oldies
2014

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

3.44 | 90 ratings
Live At The Rainbow
1973
3.33 | 13 ratings
Live at the BBC
1996
4.00 | 12 ratings
Live in America
2003
3.08 | 4 ratings
Live Legends - The Greatest Hits of Focus
2004
2.70 | 13 ratings
Focus The Greatest Hits
2004

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

4.06 | 18 ratings
Masters From The Vault
2002
3.93 | 23 ratings
Live In America
2003
4.02 | 12 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
4.75 | 4 ratings
Live in England
2009

FOCUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Masters of Rock 1971 - 1973
1974
4.34 | 4 ratings
The Story of Focus
1974
4.15 | 4 ratings
Focus - Special Polydor
1975
4.76 | 14 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
2.54 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits of Focus
1984
3.53 | 52 ratings
Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus
1994

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

2.50 | 5 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
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Europe
2009

FOCUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mother Focus by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.63 | 133 ratings

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Mother Focus
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

3 stars Soft Vanilla for sure, but I love this album in the same way I love Rubber Riff by Soft Machine and Blitz by Thirsty Moon. It's transitional fluff probably in part to keep with the times and in part because this monster four piece ran out of useful ideas. Akkerman is restrained, the music is a mishmash of background music like the kind you'd hear in an elevator or grocery store. It is tasteful and has a place in my collection as background music, a curiosity I pull out sometimes when I'm washing my car. Serious prog fans should check out previous releases, Focus is a great band. This is not a great album, but All Together....Oh That! is a superb, awesome instrumental that features pedal steel and terrific piano and wouldn't be out of place on a Flying Burrito Brothers album. That song is worth the price of the album for me. It's gorgeous, if you have a chance listen to it

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 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 43 ratings

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Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Focus is a Dutch rock band which is one of many band that with their unique view on music created what today is considered progressive rock. On this page "Golden oldies" is the twelfth album but in their own counting it seems to be their eleventh. "Golden Oldies" from 2014 has a black cover with a golden Focus' sign and the name oldies comes from the fact that this is a re- recording of earlier material such as their main theme "Hocus pocus" and others.

Thijs Van Leer plays organ, flute, vocader and sings, Pierre van der Linden drums, Bobby Jacobs plays bass and Menno Gootjes guitars. The record is very even: from the first second to the last the listener is caught in its world. The play is brilliant, they have done a very good job to make this music and these versions are very talanted.

I could say that every track is my own favourite but there are differencies. "Neurotica's" vivid and unstoppable happy melody makes it a 10/10 by me and the softer "Tommy" is also lovely(9/10). "Sylvia" is a both hard and romantic piece(9/10), "Hocus Pocus" is both hard and high intentioned music and a funny joke(9/10) and all the other get 8/10 from me. "It feels like "Focus 1" and "Focus 3 & 2" are the most experimental and I like them very much as well.

This record is near perfect for me but, I hesitate still. If it had been the first try, if we had never heard these songs, the astonishing feeling perhaps had been bigger, but the fact that these songs are already recorded by this band lowers the rating from five to four stars.

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 Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.54 | 48 ratings

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Focus: Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Well, it is 1/2 of Focus represented here, albeit the dominant half. The support musicians are not at all prominent, except for the programming that has practically taken over the role from an effective rhythm section. Also, "Focus" is the album title here and not the band's name.

Those - like myself - who are fond of "old" Focus will find some very pleasing material here. Some Baroque lines, jazzy rhythms and convincingly heavy runs on the guitars are present here cloaked in a "modern" approach - courtesy of technology. Whilst the bulk of the work is excellent, Akkerman just couldn't help himself. Similar to his latest releases, he had to include one very disco-like track and this one runs for nearly 20 mins! Made easy by looping, drum machine, et al, this is not bad at all, but excessive and wouldn't be missed that much. Some will find it outright horrible and a massive let down.

Nevertheless, Disco aside, it's a great album. The CD version contains the same tracks as the original LP, but some had been extended. This represents of dubious extra value as the "added" material is practically the repetition of the same lines that's already been heard. It leaves me in two minds about the necessity of a few extra mins of the same thing.

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 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 43 ratings

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Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by VintageST (Guy)

5 stars This "Golden Oldies" album is the FOCUS album I had always wanted to have, but didn't exist. All great titles from the Focus history, re-recorded in a perfect way with a perfect line up. Old Focus grandmaster Thijs van Leer is wielding his flute and is taking care of the keyboard parts, once more the most important and most talented Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden is caressing and beating up his drums in a perfect way. As always on the twenty first century albums by Focus there is Bobby Jacobs on bass guitar and with Menno Gootjes Focus have probably found the best guitar-player in their career.

Not only the recordings are new, the arrangements have been refined, adding extra piano parts and doubling rhythm guitars. You get perfect renditions of classics like Focus I, Focus II and Focus III. The flute solo in Focus I is so well recorded and played! Songs like Sylvia and the Jethro Tull-like "House Of The King" have found their definite versions.

Hocus Pocus opens this album in a completely renewed version, although I have to admit that the yodelling has even deteriorated, comparing to the previous recordings. "Tommy" (written by Solution sax-player Tom Barlage) starts with a long complex drum break by Pierre van der Linden and gives us a perfectly performed guitar lead by Menno Gootjes.

21st century songs comprise "Aya Yippie Hippie Yee" (who thought of that stupid title), "Neurotica" and the beautiful masterpiece "Brother" in which Menno makes his guitar weep in a fantastic lead.

This album is recommendable to those who already know Focus and would like to hear all band classics in a modern recording, but it is also a great way to discover this band for those who didn't know the band yet. They will get well-balanced melodic progressive rock by a great band, that started its career in 1970 and is still going strong!

VintageST

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 Hamburger Concerto  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 694 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars To my ears ''Sylvia'' is among the top 3 tracks ever recorded by Focus and this was also the belief of the audience back in the 70's, as the single climbed on No. 4 of the UK charts, while ''Focus 3'' reached No. 6 in the album charts.What followed was a triumphant first tour in USA and several gigs in the UK, among them a pair of lives at London's Rainbow Theatre in 1973, taped on the live release ''Focus at the Rainbow'' and released again on Imperial and Polydor.According to Thijs van Leer the intense live activity of the band affected the composing quality and the musicians were somewhat empty of ideas around the time.This led to Pierre van der Linden departure, while he was replaced by Colin Allen.The next work of Focus sees the light in 1974, based on ''Variations on a Theme by Haydn'' by Johannes Brahms.The album was recorded at the Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes between January and March 74'.

The symphonic-oriented short intro ''Delitiae Musicae'' will give its place to ''Harem Scarem'', which supposedly played the role of the chart single of the album.Its delicate, symphonic-oriented sound and the furious interplays though were not something close to the likings of the public and, despite its good quality and the intense progressive nature, it failed to attract the audience.''La Cathedrale de Strasbourg'' is a romantic, Classical-influenced piece of delicate Symphonic Rock with wordless voices, jazzy guitar interludes by Akkerman and beautiful piano work by van Leer, resulting an extremely balanced composition of elegant instrumental music.With ''Birth'' Focus revisit some of the aspects of their early days, as this one contains heavy flute-driven parts, light psychedelic tunes and strong organ work.But Focus had musically moved on in this fourth studio album and these premature inspirations are cleverly dressed up with Classical-drenched harsichord textures and virtuosic guitar moves by Akkerman, including some very powerful solos.

The 20-min. title track of the album is yet another great idea, added in the list of epic tracks by Focus.This one contains the distinctive humor of the band, as it is divided in six movements, developing the cooking of a hamburger.''Hamburger Concerto'' comes a mix of organ-driven Symphonic Rock with smooth psychedelic overtones and jazzy-influenced Progressive Rock with light jams on guitars and organ, while in several occasions van Leer's flute really shines through.It lacks some cohesion in the way, but this belongs definitely among the nice epics of the mid-70's, offering diverse atmospheres, ranging from sweet themes with a smooth playing by the band to heavier, technical interplays and solos with a pompous climate, while the chant-like vocals and the sharp and surprising synthesizer solo towards the end are quite intelligent additions.Maybe not masterful, but this is well-executed and very rich instrumental music.

At this point it gets quite clear that Focus is rather impossible to reach the marvelous level of composing as presented on ''Moving waves''.Tensions within the group led eventually to a great album with series of tight interplays, orchestral majesty and calm melodies, which struggle a bit to connect with each other.Even so, this one should belong to the discography of a Prog fan for its sincere, professional and bombastic perfromances.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Moving Waves  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.05 | 476 ratings

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Moving Waves
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Originally released as FOCUS II and re-released under the title MOVING WAVES, this was FOCUS' greatest moment in their entire career. The world went absolutely wild over the lead single 'Hocus Pocus' which even hit the top 10 on the Billboard singles chart. An oddity it was in every way especially in the prog world. This song was a riff-driven proto-metal track that actually predicted the use of 80s metal techniques like using the Hungarian minor scale. The mix of this early hard rock with yodeling sessions is still an eclectic oddity even today. Unfortunately this song is an anomaly in the FOCUS canon as well since the rest of the album sounds absolutely nothing like it.

The next three tracks are average classically inspired tracks that really don't offer much and feel a little hokey since they insinuate grander things to come and kind of fizzle out. The title track is the worst on here with horrible vocals and it kind of reminds me of ELP. I wish they would have skipped this one and added another rocker to usher in the grand finale 'Eruption.'

'Eruption' seems to be equally loved and disliked. I'm on the love-it side. This 23 minute long piece is a hard rock version of the tale of 'Orpheus' and Jacopo Peri's opera 'Euridice'. There are many meanderings and variations of a basic melody that repeat subtly throughout the entire piece. I can understand why some may think this is boring as it is repetitive at times. For me I find the subtle spiraling of variations to be interesting and really love the odd breaks and also the more rocking parts. The transitions are unpredictable and I find the melody very infectious which sustains my interest.

Because this album is so strange with two really strong tracks that take up most of the album time and the fact that the rest of the instrumentals are average with only one track that I truly dislike I think this just squeaks by for me as a 4 star album.

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 Hamburger Concerto  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 694 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I recently listened to this album for the first time. I thought that after their "Focus 3" album, with all the excess in that album with a lot of improvisations to fill a two LP set there were not better things to expect from this band. I was wrong. I was curious to listen to this album for years and I finally did it. It is one of best albums that I have listened from them (apart from "Moving Waves" from 1971), but I think that Pierre van der Linden`style in the drums was better for this band, being him a better technically drummer than Colin Allen whose drumming I found more simple in comparison. Van der Linden is a more Jazz-Rock and Progressive Rock oriented drummer, in my opinion. But Allen is a good percussionist too, also providing a variety of percussion instruments than van der Linden didn`t use with the band. This album has a lot of melodies and very good arrangements, most of them very influenced by classical music (in fact, the "Hamburger Concerto" is based in "Variations from a Theme from Haydn by Brahms") , some medieval and folk music and even some religious music. Thijs Van Leer used a lot of keyboard instruments with a lot of very good arrangements, and his humour is also present in some of his vocals, particularly in the "Hamburger Concerto" title song, which also in itself is an humorous title, like a joke in reference to J.S. Bach`s "Brandenburger Concertos". Jan Akkerman also sounds very inspired playing his guitars. So, this album is very Progressive Rock in style, one of the best from this style, wth the band still at their peak and with a lot of creativity powers and enthusiasm. A very recomendable album.

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 Focus Con Proby by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.52 | 57 ratings

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Focus Con Proby
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars I much prefer Focus sin Proby

When contemplating the pros and cons of this 1978 album, it quickly becomes very clear that Proby is indeed one of the major cons. P.J. Proby's smooth and soulful vocals mix with the music of Focus like oil mixes with water. Bringing Proby on board was a mistake. However, despite the absence of Jan Akkerman, there are also pros: the instrumental parts are still 100% Focus(ed) and bear the band's characteristic sound. Indeed, the instrumental tracks and passages found here are very much more interesting and enjoyable than what was present on the previous two Focus releases--Mother Focus and Ship Of Memories.

The instrumental tracks are Orion, Night Flight, Sneezing Bull, and Maximum. These tunes bring to mind Camel and Jethro Tull but most of all classic Focus. This adds up to around 20 minutes of quality music that undoubtedly will appeal to those who like the first four Focus albums. But on the vocal tracks, Focus takes a back seat and becomes the backing band for P.J. Proby and, as I have said, these tracks are considerably less interesting. These bluesy, soulful, jazzy numbers are plodders, and of course they have nothing to do with Prog.

As such, this album is a very mixed bag. It has some strong moments that makes it worthwhile for any Focus fan, but taking everything into consideration it does not stand up to the better Focus albums.

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 Hamburger Concerto  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 694 ratings

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Hamburger Concerto
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Forth album - Hamburger concerto from 1974 is considered by many the absolut peak of their career, here the duo Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer works in a perfect unison. Well, to me Hamburger concerto is in same league with Moving waves, has same musical patters, same attitude and almost same sound. Harem scarem is like Hocus pocus part 2, a very humoristic piece, well performed with catchy arrangements, again the most solid part of the release is in the end of the album with the title track, a 20 min prog bomb. A very worthy album that consolidates the master status they had in those times, both Moving waves and this one are considered among the best prog albums of the first part of the seventies. 4 stars for Hamburger concerto for sure.

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 Moving Waves  by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.05 | 476 ratings

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Moving Waves
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Moving waves, Focus second offer from 1972 is a classic of prog movement from early '70 not only from Holland but in prog generaly speaking. The album is known mainly for Hocus Pocus, one of the well known pieces in history, but the weight of Moving waves is done by Eruption a lenghty 20+ min prog jewel. They had an unique sound and musical approach incorporated rock passages with complicated prog twists, heads of the band the keyboardist and flutist Thjis van Leer and excellent guitarist Jan Akkerman manage to brings some great ideas and in short time Focus was one of the best known prog act from Holland and in Europe in general, in first part of the '70. The flute, the hammond , the guitars , the drums are calculated well performed, with many bright arrangements, quirky and dynamic long instrumental passages, complicated and damn catchy specially in Eruption without doubt one of the best if not the best Focus pieces ever.. To me a 4 star album, while is more then ok to my ears, I was never a big fan of the band but for sure I do appreciate their talent and overall influence in prog world. I think their best work together with Hamburger concerto.

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