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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 329 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I mostly do not like debut albums from great bands of the late sixties / early seventies (being prog or not). Little jewels to talk about. Very few were the exceptions IMO. Crimson of course, Heep, and ELP. Would Focus be any different ?

This Focus album holds the worse and the best.

The worse being those silly, folkish tunes like "Focus...(Vocal)", "Black Beauty" and "Happy Nightmare". The same could have applied to "Sugar Island" if, all of a sudden, the song wouldn't have turned into a similar-sounded Tull song. Aqualung oriented. Gosh ! This album was released a year BEFORE "Aqualung"! Superb flute playing (but Thijs is of course a master. Probably the best one in the genre).

Things are also on the good side with "Anonymus". A wild instrumental, somewhat jazzy.

I discovered the band at the tender age of almost twelve. Thanks to their appearance on a Dutch TV show (Belgium was a pioneer in cable TV), I was looking at every week. And of course, they performed "House Of The King". I fell in love with "House..." and purchased the single. It was bw with the extremely poor "Black Beauty". "House" was not featured on the original vinyl album.

The best number of this album is without any doubt "Focus" (instrumental). It starts with a brilliant and very slow mood. Sublime melody : keys and guitar. You will have the impression to listen to Latimer and the early Camel. Gosh ! This album was released FOUR years before "Snow Goose" ! The song gets real wild at half time. Precursory to "Hocus Pocus" in a way. Fabulous.

It is a pity that some extremely poor tracks are featured here. This album is extremely avant-guarde for the era. Creative, different.

Three stars. So, the answer to the initial question might well be : yes.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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