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Focus Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] album cover
4.10 | 805 ratings | 81 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hocus Pocus (6:42)
2. Le Clochard (2:01)
3. Janis (3:09)
4. Moving Waves (2:42)
5. Focus II (4:03)
6. Eruption (23:04) :
- a. Orfeus, Answer, Orfeus
- b. Answer, Pupilla, Tommy, Pupilla
- c. Answer, The Bridge
- d. Euridice, Dayglow, Endless Road
- e. Answer, Orfeus, Euridice

Total Time 41:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Thijs van Leer / vocals, Hammond organ, harmonium, Mellotron, soprano & alto flutes, piano
- Jan Akkerman / electric & acoustic guitars, bass
- Cyril Havermans / bass, vocals (6-b)
- Pierre van der Linden / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Dennis Kloeth with Janos Barendsen (photo)

LP Imperial - 5C 054-24385 (1971, Netherlands) Initial edition entitled "Focus II", later abandoned
LP Sire - SAS-7401 (1971, US) With new title "Moving Waves" and new cover art, both adopted from then on
LP Blue Horizon - 2931 002 (1971, UK)
LP Red Bullet - RB 33188 (2009, Netherlands)

CD I.R.S. Records - X2-13060 (1988, US)
CD EMI - CDM 7 48862 2 (1988, Netherlands)
CD Victor - VICP-61531 (2001, Japan) Remastered (?)
CD Victor - VICP-63664 (2006, Japan) Remastered (?)
CD Victor - VICP-64244 (2008, Japan) Remastered (?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FOCUS Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] ratings distribution

(805 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FOCUS Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars This is the first of their classic album and includes Hocus Pocus which is their pinnacle (and also their best known hit) . Almost gone are the vocals of havermans and what remains will be handled much more brilliantly by kb/flautist Tijs van Leer. Jan Akkerman was getting better with each album beit from Focus or his own solo ones. Pierre Vanderlinden also comes in the picture.

So the album starts off at 100 mph with Hocus Pocus and its really fun yoddling. But after that track there is not that much happening on the rest of side 1 except for a reworking of their Focus theme. The title track is back to the horrible vocals of their debut. Le clochard has nothing much going on also.The Eruption suite on the side 2 leaves me bored and I have problems understanding howsome people manage to defend it as there is NOTHING happening over those 20+ mins.

This album came out again with two covers, one horrendously pink and blue named Focus 2 and a second one with ripples in water and their faces over it , still retainig pink and blue overtones , but named Moving Waves. this album is vastly over-rated IMHO and is at best good but non-essential except for Hocus Pocus.

Review by loserboy
4 stars "Moving Waves" is an easy to like classic prog recording. This is my favorite FOCUS release from their repertoire. "Moving Waves" contains some killer prog moments with classical piano and outrageous guitar riffs. "Hocus Pocus" is their signature piece with the famous yodeling of Thijs Van Leer. I love the gooves these guys get into and the presence of the 'ol Mellotron and classic guitar rock gives "Moving Waves" a high ranking on my all time favorite list.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This Netherlandish progressive masterpiece is one of the most hard rock progressive album made during that era: indeed Jan Akkerman's incisive and razor electric guitars are omnipresent: pure hard rock solos a la Led Zeppelin, and barely less timid aggressive riffs. The drums are restless, very complex and fast. The keyboards mostly consist in organ, mellotron, piano and harmonium. The intensely yodeling of Thijs Van Leer on "Hocus Pocus" is LEGENDARY: you are going to want to sing it! "Le clochard" has a beautiful floating mellotron in the background and impressive & relaxing acoustic guitar parts that should impress Steve Hackett himself. The peaceful and rhythmic "Janis" contains mellow flute parts a la Camel. The lead vocals on "Moving Waves" remind me early King Crimson. "Focus 2" is an OUTSTANDING very progressive track: Jan Akkerman "dances" with his melodic electric guitar: it seems that the other instruments follow his partitions, creating very structured and pleasant melodies through rhythm & air changes.

On side 2, the epic "Eruption" is a REAL progressive masterpiece, sometimes comparable to Jethro Tull's "Thick as a brick": the same organ sounds, tons on drums, very melodic bass, straightforward hard rock electric guitars; there are some intensely floating mellotron & backing vocals parts; there is a part which was composed by the Netherlandish fusion band Solution, coming from the "Divergence" album; there is a poignant & melodic piano part, accompanied with electric guitar and flute; the drum solo is absolutely impressive, having a bit the Neil Peart's style.


Review by Dick Heath
3 stars Originally the houseband for the Dutch theatrical production of "Hair", this album introduced the greater European audience to the masterful playing of Jan Akkermann and Thij Van leer, who were to go on to carve separate careers in jazz and jazz rock.

The album was produced by the legendary Mike Vernon and was released through Polydor in the UK but with his Blue Horizon association well displayed. Perhaps Vernon had thought he had discovered another band to follow in the bluesy rock footsteps of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack or (alas, the forgotten) Duster Bennett. However, enthuiasm for British blues had cooled and besides Focus were a jazz-based musicians who used rock rhythms and threw in occasional English lyrics to their songs. An edited version of the novelty song "Hocus Pocus" with yodelling, piano accordion and all, got UK radio play and they were a hit.

This album will appeal to jazz rock fans and to those who like excellently played solos. It should also be used to remind fans where Jan Akkerman start from before now being one of Europe's premier guitarists. However, it is one of those albums that bought on the day of its release in the UK, I can't say it has come down from the shelf that regularly in the last decade. Once seen live circa 1973, Focus were one of the few bands that had me leaving a gig well before it was finished - an interminable dull drum solo did it to me and perhaps a degree of sameyness in many tunes (but that was the British drummer not the original ).

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Focus' second release 'Moving Waves' signifies an undoubtful symptom that the band has already conquered their own musical maturity. No question about van Leer's and Akkerman combined (and competitive) genius in terms of writing and performing are more polished and more ambicious as well... but the main factor of this evolution is the entry of drummer extraordinaire Pierre van der Linden, whose mastery in precise and powerful capacity to handle demanding time signatures is only equalled by his ability to influence effectively on the melodic aspect of the tracks with his cleverly administered rolls and other percussive tricks. His work therefore becomes the anchor that sustains the flow of the main writers' efforts and performances. 'Hocus Pocus' is a notable example of energetic rock infected with exhalarating humour: no wonder it went on to become one of Focus' most celebrated and emblematic tunes (I'm sure there's myriads of us prog-heads that every now and then do that catchy yodelling, at least mentally). But it is melancholy and reflectiveness that get hold on most of the rest of the material - the classically oriented trend of 'Le Clocharde', the half-contained sadnesss of 'Janis', and the ethereal mood of the title track consecutively show us the most overtly elegant side of Focus' music. That same sense of elegance goes on in 'Focus II', a classy exercise in jazz fusion, still infused with the general ambience of melancholy displayed in tracks 2-4, yet enriched with a copule of well crafted high-spirited interludes. And then... the intense suite 'Eruption' covers the last 23 minutes of the album, making endless transitions from languid grace (the Orfeus parts) to pompous fire (the Answers parts) to slow blues (Pupilla/Tommy) to red hot excitement (The Bridge) to serene beauty (the Euridice parts) to impending doom (Dayglow)... and let's not forget the stunning drum solo, performed by a van der Linden that feels more like a "force of nature" than an actual person. All in all, 'Eruption' is a superbly conceptually organized piece of music that closes the album with grandeur and class. Ive got nothing else to say - 5 stars!!
Review by Philo
4 stars

As a progressive rock outfit my first fear was that Focus might tend to over play the situation and border on that prog trend by wallowing in self saturated pomposity. But hailing form the Netherlands I'm sure these Dutch geezers had more than a few tokes of the herbal delights on offer in Amsterdam which helps in relaxing the mood, yet giving the tunes what they need and not simply elevate themselves to full blown planet ego trips. "Hocus Pocus" is the so called center piece of the album and sure enough, it's a rip roaring rock fest of guitars played at a menacing pace and volume but the album is far more deep and interesting than that. I have always had an inept fear of yodelling, and when I first heard there was yodelling on this track I stood back in shock and tried to aviod it as much as I could. But once I purchased Moving Waves I had to overcome that fear and I have to say its not that bad, strange yes, but I could certainly deal with it, aided by Jan Akkerman's awesome guitar throwing shapes and that steaming flute piece near the end make "Hocus Pocus" a spectacular opener and my stereo was so loud I thought the neighbours might freak out a little. It's not every day you get to hear yodelling and a flute solo in a hard driving rock song. They were in for a treat but they would never see it like that. But every once in a while the dust must be shaken form those 100WATT speakers whether they like it or not.

As the years have passed I seemed to have somewhat mellowed. Time was when I would have expected a band to continue in the relentless vein of "Hocus Pocus" for an album's duration regardless of how could it would even appear to be. But after been assaulted by that opener we are then taken off to a completely different but still fitting plane, in line with the album title, with the sublime and beautifully melodic tone of "Le Clochard", built with some sweet classical influenced guitar playing and aided by some obligatory mellotron which sounds so graceful for the whole 1 minute and 55 seconds. "Janis" moves more waves with an uplifting flute flurry spitting up and down and a meticulously played sympathetic bass, by now I'd completely forgotten about the raging intro, I was completely mesmerized and satisfied by the bands merits with these compositions and I was not even half way through. Until I heard the vocals on "Moving Waves", which gatecrashed my semi-stoned mood, albeit for a very short while before one of the albums highlights "Focus II" which closes side 1. It's a stunning piece and it's where Focus move toward jazz fusion territory, Theijs Van Leer joining Akkerman as another fine composer on this album. Jeff Beck must have taken his cue from this album for his fusion album Blow By Blow, there are more than a few similarities on this track and with some of the work Beck did with Blow By Blow a few years later.

Flipping over to the B side (do not try this with CDs) I was psyching myself up for what looked a rough half hour or so. "Eruption" is a suite made up of five sections containing no less than 15 parts, or rather short segments. As a concept it's a little loose, starts very well with some shining and smooth guitar keyboard interplay, again it's more fusion that prog with a kind nod to classical music... but really shifts between those different guises. Simply put the four musicians who make up Focus are pretty clever and thoughtful and it beggars belief why they remain relatively unknown. "Eruption" is an ambitious piece of music that loses focus (ahem) here and there but Moving Waves is still a powerful album, certainly a gem of the prog crown and the band blend different styles that are cohesive and never clumsy or boring. Like on "Eruption", Akkerman's guitar bursts in and he delivers a warm energetic solo without ever treading on any of his band members toes as every note seems to be exercised with complete control and thought to the rest of the composition or its particular section, even that mini drum solo was tolerable. I'm not exactly a prog convert yet but give me more albums like this and I might just be swayed.

Review by Guillermo
5 stars This album was released in my country in 1973 by Polydor, with "Sylvia" and "Love Remembered" from the album "Focus 3" replacing "Le Clochard" and "Janis" (I don`t know if this also happened in other countries). This L.P. sounds good with these 2 songs. But it was until years later that I knew that the original version of the album have "Le Clochard" and "Janis". As I have the CD, I write my review about the original album. "Hocus Pocus" is a very good song, with great guitars by Jan Akkerman and some humour by Thijs van Leer using his yodelling and vocals in a funny way. In the late eighties I watched on T.V. a video clip of a live version of this song, and Akkerman and the rest of the band (I don`t think that the drummer was Pierre van der Linden, but maybe the bassist was Bert Ruiter) were smiling and almost laughing when van Leer was doing his yodelling and the other humorous things he did in this song. This is the "heaviest" song in this album, and maybe their most known song.This album has some of the best uses of a mellotron in Progressive Rock. This is reflected in "Le Clochard" and "Focus II"."Le Clochard" is a song with acoustic guitar and mellotron, but without drums. "Janis" has some flutes by van Leer. "Moving Waves" is a very good song played only with the piano and with some English language lyrics (and good lyrics, too). The piano playing in this song really makes me imagine the "moving waves in the ocean".The song "Focus II" is my favourite. An instrumental piece where the guitar plays the melody, while the rest of the band does a very good arrangement. Van Leer uses the piano, the organ, and also plays very good mellotron arrangements. A song composed, arranged and played with feeling, really. "Eruption" is also very good, a musical piece with several parts and several styles of music put together, it includes influences by jazz, rock and classical music, plus some vocals which sound to me like "Gregorian Chants" (like the group ENIGMA from the 90s). It also has a very good drums solo by van der Linden. For me, this was the best line-up of the band, really sounding like they worked as a team for this album. This album is another great album recorded in 1971.In some websites dedicated to Focus, I found that the original Dutch version was released as "Focus II", with a different cover.
Review by Proghead
5 stars I remembered way back as a kid hearing "Hocus Pocus" on the radio, this must be around 1979 or 1980, on the FM dial. Around 1989, I heard this song again and found out it was "Hocus Pocus" and the group was called FOCUS. I thought that was silly to have a song title that rhymes with the group's name. I thought it was a rather ingenious mixing of heavy metal and yodeling.

When my interest in prog rock was on the rise around the early '90s, I was wondering if it was worth trying FOCUS, and once I got to hear "Moving Waves", I was not disappointed.

The album was entitled "Focus II" in Holland, but elsewhere, it's known as "Moving Waves". This album is definately an improvement over "In & Out of Focus". The vocal pop-oriented material of that album have been totally dropped. Original members Hans Cleuver and Martijn Dresdin had left the band to be replaced by drummer Pierre van der Linden (ex-BRAINBOX, which Jan Akkerman was a member of, by the way) and bassist Cyriel Haversman. The other two guys, who helped make FOCUS what they were, were guitarist Jan Akkerman and keyboardist/flautist Thijs van Leer. "Hocus Pocus" was actually an unintentional hit for the band, and in fact wasn't a hit in the United States until 1973, that is, not until even after their following album, "Focus 3" was released. The band thought the song as little more than a joke, but were forced to play it after it became a hit. And yes, it's true, this song is not typical for FOCUS, but I still think it's a truly wonderful song. "Le Clochard" is Jan Akkerman's time to shine, a laid-back piece played on classical guitar (with nylon strings) and nice use of Mellotron in the background. "Janis" is a flute-dominated piece from van Leer. The title track is a piano-dominated piece, and the only song with any singing, showing that Thijs van Leer isn't the best vocalist out there. It's still a nice piece with a classical feel. "Focus II" is a jazzy piece with Jan Akkerman's trademark lead guitar. The album's crowning achievement, in my opinion, is the epic "Eruption". It starts off rather mellow, dominated by Hammond organ and lead guitar. They also do a cover of a song from another Dutch band called SOLUTION in this song, in the "Tommy" section of the suite. Halfway through is a really intense and mindblowing rocking piece dominated by guitar and organ. Somewhere the band steals a LED ZEPPELIN riff ("Whole Lotta Love") before they mellow out with nice use of piano. There's also a really dramatic Mellotron passage, and then a nice drum solo from Pierre van der Linden. Previous themes on this suite resurface. Without a doubt, I feel Moving Waves is by far the best album FOCUS ever done, and this is the album you should start if you're not familiar with FOCUS.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Many people consider Moving Waves as the "Non Plus Ultra" Focus release, something with what I don't agree because Hamburger Concerto is slightly better and more mature, despite this fact Moving Waves is an excellent album, but also for different reasons than most people consider.

As many prog' newbies, I bought this vinyl in 1978 mostly because it had Hocus Pocus, a bizarre track that helped to make the band famous, but which honest today is my least favorite song from this good album, not only because after a couple listens you get bored of all that yodeling and shouting but mostly because it breaks the soft and dreamy atmosphere prevalent in the rest of the album.

Now that years have passed I appreciate more the coherent way that the music gently flows from start to end, the skills of Jan Akerman with acoustic an electric guitar, the medieval or more precisely baroque keyboard and perfect flute by Thijs Van Leer, the powerful support provided by the good bassist Cyril Havermanns and of course the precise drumming by Pierre Van Der Linden, in other words a strong and mature band.

Before reviewing the songs I would like to mention that the title of the album describes perfectly what Focus achieved, because the music flows gently after Hocus Pocus until the end as the waves in the Ocean, a perfect name to give an idea of the album.

The album starts with the already mentioned Hocus Pocus, a very simple song based in a couple of chords (if not one) interrupted four times by a short drum solo and a different yodeling or sound by Thijs Van Leer, musically is not solid, even when they prove the versatility and vocal ability of Thijs but IMO is more important the strong bass by Havermmans, funny and entertaining song, but nothing more.

Le Clochard is a extremely beautiful song that shines even more as a contrast with the frantic Hocus Pocus, Jan Akkerman plays acoustic guitar in Flamenco style, something very common in Holland because the zone of Flanders covers not only Spain as most people believe but also part of Belgium and The Netherlands. Delicate, coherent and beautiful, a perfect relief in this point of the album.

Janis is also a soft track, but in this case the lead is taken by Thijs and his magic flute, perfectly supported by the rest of the band but especially by Pierre Van Der Linden accurate drums. A dreamy song that I use to listen when I'm in a bad mood, instantly relaxes and makes me see the world with a more positive perspective.

Moving Waves is a good song performed exclusively by Thijs Van Leer, who starts with a soft piano intro to open the way for something very unusual in Focus, he starts to sing, and does it with a very nice and appropriate voice that makes me wonder why he doesn't do this more often, a beautiful and again soft track.

One of the best songs in Focus career is Focus II, the best example of their unusual style, the song is opened by Thijs and his keyboards that are soon joined by Jan's guitar, the music goes in crescendo until the drums announce a small explosion where the rest of the band join, but always keeping the dreamy and soft atmosphere, by moments they have a clear jazz influence but with that unique sound that only Focus is capable of creating, this is IMO one of the most progressive tracks I ever heard but in a different way than any other band, simply delightful.

Side two (in the original vinyl format) consists in a 23 minutes epic divided in 16 nominal but not real parts because there's no break between each one called Eruption. This epic is based in two characters of Greek Mythology Orfeus (Creator of music) and the nymph Euridice, his bride who dies and is followed by Orfeus to the underworld in an attempt to rescue her, but in the last moment everything she returns to the underworld because he looses the faith.

It's almost an impossible task to analyze this song part by part, because there are so many changes that go from the baroque introduction by Thijs Van Leer's keyboards, jazzy passages and psychedelic sections to progressive and even semi hard rock parts.

Maybe the most important and unusual characteristic of this long track is that even when the changes are really dramatic, they manage to maintain the soft atmosphere across the heaviest parts. Definitely an underrated epic, almost never mentioned in progressive polls, but which deserves much more recognition, 23.04 minutes of pure progressive rock in the unique style of Focus.

I won't give 5 stars to the album because as said before I consider Hamburger Concerto slightly better, but Moving Waves is very close, sadly there isn't a 4.5 option, so I have to rate it with 4 solid and well deserved stars.

Review by Progbear
4 stars Of course, everyone knows this release because of "Hocus Pocus", which is THE novelty hit of the progressive rock era, what with Thijs van Leer's yodelling, whistling and cartoon voices over proto-metal guitar riffs. It was also highly out-of-character for the band. The rest of the A-side-the acoustic guitar spotlight piece "Le Clochard (Bread)", the gentle flute-fronted "Janis", the pensive vocal ballad "Moving Waves" and the soaring guitar-based prog number "Focus II"-is far more indicative of the band's style.

This was also the first Focus album to attempt and out-and-out epic, with the 23-minute "Eruption" suite. It's a propulsive piece, full of forceful momentum, packed to the gills with great organ playing from van Leer, fine guitarwork from Akkerman. Unfortunately the momentum comes to a dead stop for "Endless Road", the drum solo, and never really regains it. Why did bands ever think that drum solos in the recording studio were EVER a good idea?

Review by Tony Fisher
5 stars My favourite Focus album. It's not entirely perfect, but the best bits are astonishing and compensate for a few flaws on side one. The album starts with Hocus Pocus, a frenetic blend of keyboards, scything guitar, flute and yodelling backed up by bass and drums. It's an assault on the mind and quite unique and brilliant. Van Leer's vocal range is amazing; he can yodel so high it hurts! The remaining tracks on side one are quieter and less manic; they are all pleasant and reflect the classical leanings of the musicians but Cyril Haverman's vocals on Moving Waves are not really to my taste. Havermans left after this album; he was a fine bassist but his vocals were not up to the job. Janis, with its exquisite flute work, and Focus 2 are the pick. The second side is a number of pieces linked into one; 23 minutes of complete genius except for a slightly boring drum solo (Endless Road). The highlight of all this brilliance is Tommy, a reworking of a piece by Tom Barlage of Solution. Akkerman produces some fabulous guitar solos with melody and lightning fast fretwork and van Leer propels the piece along with dynamic organ work. This one is up there with Close to the Edge and Supper's Ready - in fact it's my favourite of the three.

This album combines hard rock, classical and prog at times and is well worth buying. Probably strictly worth 4.5* given the imperfections but in this case, I'm rounding it up!

Review by Zitro
4 stars An album I've heard for a long long time, which I find myself surprised for not reviewing it before as it is an album I played numerous times and Hocus Pocus was a favourite of mine when I was little. This is an album where the band has two styles: the Rocking Focus and Camel-like beautiful passages.

Hocus Pocus starts the album with a bang. This is a timeless rock&roll piece mixed with a bit of humor. The main riff is played throught the whole song's verses, yet it is so energetic that it never bores you. The bass and drums are virtuosic and perfectly done. The choruses contain descending yodeling (hilarious) accompained by a great sounding hammond organ. There are some instrumental breaks with solos including guitar (rocking), overdubbed flutes (crazy), accordeon+whistling (funny) and goofy vocals+organs (funny). It never bores me, and should be a great tune to show to your friends about what a prog band can do with rock&roll.

The rest of the album doesn't dissapoint either, unless you want the album to be humorous. It isn't. It actually sounds nothing like Hocus Pocus:

Le Clochard is a romantic acoustic interlude that helps you get in the mood to the more melodic side of Focus.

Janis is a laid back romantic song with a gorgeous flute melody. This song's style is similar to Camel's mid 70s sound. That being said, if you like Camel, you'll go nuts over this gem.

Moving Waves has the singer singing in a style that reminds you of Greg Lake. You could think of this song as what would have been if Greg's ballads had piano instead of acoustic guitars.

Focus II, like Janis, is a Camel-like song that blows away that band! A beautiful song with amazing melodies played by soaring guitars. The guitars are excellent in this track and the other instruments follow it perfectly, especially the drumming. Even better than Janis, this is a perfect song that will give you goosebumps. Magical!

Eruption is the reason why I don't give this album 5 stars. It loses "focus" after the great first 8 minutes of the song (It is still great though) and ruins itself once the drum solo begins. Still, there is a lot to enjoy in this track, especially the beginning of it which may be a highlight of the disc. I LOVE that Santana-like guitar playing on minute 6 for example. I won't describe the track's evolution during its 23 minutes, but I'll tell you it's mostly all good, even if it is not very consistent.

This is probably the best album I've heard from the Netherlands, but I have yet to discover their Hamburgo Concerto album.

Highlights: Hocus Pocus, Janis, Focus II, Eruption's first 8 minutes.

Let Downs: Eruption's last 6 minutes.

My Grade : B+

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars " Hocus Pocus" threw me off balance as a start to this album but Moving Waves is a great jazz rock album with much progressive influence and feel to it. The ' Eruption' suite on side 2 is an epic track with very much a Canterbury feel to the sound in parts as well. Jan Akkerman and co certainly contributed a great deal to the genre representing The Netherlands along with Golden Earring etc in the 70's. Focus only managed two albums before desolving but worthy ones at that. ' Janis' and ' Focus II' are other great tracks. This album has excellent guitar, keyboards and mix of jazz and rock. One can only wonder how they would have evolved as a group after 1972, even though individually some members went on in different directions. A solid affair.
Review by hdfisch
3 stars Focus' second album had been probably their commercially most successful one and the fact that it contained their best-known song and biggest hit "Hocus Pocus" contributed a lot to this. I think almost every middle-aged rock fan whether into Prog or not has heard at least once in his life this unusual hard rock song with its funny yodeling. Being undeniably still a very entertaining listen yet one has to admit as well that this song isn't anything special in terms of compositional quality. Side one of the original vinyl continues in a pace that drastically differs from this rocking and catchy opener with the short acoustic guitar piece "Le clochard" and the flute-dominated "Janis" which are both pleasant tracks but not any reason at all for ranking this album as a masterpiece. Then there's the title track which is also short and consists mainly of solo piano plus vocals that sound a bit too cheesy at least to my ears. That one isn't a real winner for me, rather the next one "Focus II" which is probably still the best one of this side. It's a theme that has been followed up by the band like a thread over several records and also taken up in the Eruption-suite which, typically for Focus, occupies the whole second side. I would rather disagree to some people's assessment this lengthy track consisting of altogether 15 small pieces is mere jammin'. Though revealing that the band's strength lies more in the extraordinary skills of the individual musicians than in songwriting and composing qualities it's nonetheless an enjoyable versatile piece of music combining influences from classical, jazz and rock. Switching back and forth from classically inspired, sometimes Emersonian keyboard parts with pleasant Mellotron choirs to more jazzy and jam-rocking ones with brilliant solo demonstrations by all musicians it's neither a perfect composition nor a boring affair at all. This second half is for me clearly the better one of this album and would deserve a rating of 3 ― if not 4 stars which isn't the case for the first side. Thus I'd rank this one rather as a very good but subdued effort compared to their next two albums which I consider more essential. But as usual it depends on personal taste preferences and anyway this one might be worth to be checked out by fans of skillful solo presentations.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Amusing and agreeable: these two words are enough to define FOCUS' second studio album, "Moving Waves", a work which throughout the years have become legendary. This album also helped to establish the definitive band's signature: a blend of rock pastiche, pastoral tunes and uplifting prog melodies, concocted in a manner that sometimes it borders pop elements and sometimes it goes near erudite pieces - but unequivocally very well balanced.

The album is relatively short (less than 42') and it may be one of the reasons for its good reception that lasts until today. Band's musicianship was in a high mood, especially the prime movers Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman, two fellows that really play in a league of their own.

'Hocus Pocus', the opening track was a radio hit still remembered, a kind of FOCUS standard, where all previously mentioned mixture appears meaningfully. Apart from the voiced segments, the song itself is much more a catchy hard- rock than a real progressive tune, but anyway tasteful.

The bucolic 'Le clochard' shows a different face of FOCUS: sweet, soft, sorrowful. Nice counterweight for the explosive album overture this time with beautiful acoustic guitar and mellotron sounds. The tenderness keeps going through the following track, 'Janis', a paean to the late Miss Joplin, where the flute overwhelms totally the action.

'Moving waves' has a neat classical cradle; the melody is pleasant but the overall atmosphere is slightly spoiled by the vocals. 'Focus II' brings steadily the band's signature and consequently is the most progressive track in the album, probably their best moment here.

'Eruption', the final track, with its 23' length which occupied an entire LP side, at the time LPs were available, is an attempt to produce an epic-like song that unfortunately derailed a bit. The intended torrent of prog tunes is maculated by excessive jamming and a certain bias to show band members skills. Anyway, many parts are dense and strong, somewhere poignant, very audible indeed.

"Moving Waves", the album, won't let the hearer down. There are lots of appreciable moments and memorable parts that indicate this work to be added for a music collection.

Review by ZowieZiggy

Focus released a rather decent debut album in 1970. This one is better constructed and avoid those blunders and folkish songs featured on their first album. OK, "Le CLochard" is probably not their best one : very, very quiet piece. When you listen to "Janis", the fantastic flute and so nice keys automatically reminds you of Camel. This link could already be noticed in "In And Out Of Focus". "Focus" will definitely influence the work of Latimer & Co some three to four years later. "Janis" is a jewel of a symphonic number. Little known, but worth to be discovered.

Press "next" while reaching the title track (the only weak song here). You'll hurt "Focus II" which is another very pleasant song : more complex, diversified with sublime and emotional guitar. It really brings me lots of relief while needed. A beautiful instrumental.

Now, B-side. If the word "Eruption" reminds you something but you don't know precisely what; don't look further. It's the first movement of "Tarkus" of course. Several similarities between both numbers I should say : pompous, grandiose, wild, melodic, lenghty, same year of release, imposing, etc. At least this how I feel about it.

This lenghty piece will transport you from the softer and sweetest guitar sounds to the quiet keys breaks; but at the same time, you will have to face some of the wildest guitar and heavy keys. Fantastic theme and mood changes. The second half of the song is probably too long (jazz improv, some noisy guitar moments, drum solo...) but all in all, I consider this "suite" as a great prog epic.

This album is almost fully instrumental (and this is not a bad news). I would strongly recommend it if you would like to discover "Focus". It is a very well balanced album and the band is reaching full maturity in a very short period of time (like most of the legendary bands from the early sevenites).

Four stars.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you. There is also an opener. "Hocus Foc.. oups Pocus". This is REALLY an exceptional moment of rock music. It features classical, prog and hard-rock all together. The guitar breaks are truely devastating; like a hurricane (at least). These combinations put all together are fantastic. They work so brilliantly. A fabulous number.

When you SEE van Leer performing this song at the time of release, the filiation with Ian Anderson is obvious (not talking about the flute of course, because van Leer is almost born with this instrument). Now, which one influenced the other one ? Who cares actually ? Both are giants.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars Buried within my dad's vinyl collection of Sabbath, Floyd and Zeppelin, there was Focus' Moving Waves. I played this album as much or more than the rest (only the first side usually--the B side was more than I could handle as a 10-year-old). After coming back to prog a few years back, I was thrilled to finally have a CD version of Moving Waves, and I still believe it sounds as fresh, and different, as it did back then. I have the first four albums by Focus, and of those, I believe this to be the second best--creativity may be on par here with Hamburger Concerto, but execution certainly is not.

Hocus Pocus. Naturally, as a kid, this song held my attention. I remember pseudo-yodelling with the neighbor boys, and a prepubescent can do a surprising approximation of van Leer. The whistles, accordian and warp-speed gibberish sections are certainly entertaining, but it all works because this song ROCKS. That guitar riff is good enough to prop up the song for nearly 7 minutes.

Le Clochard. Unfortunately short, the guitar/mellotron duo is just gorgeous. Reminds me of something up Hackett's alley.

Janis. I have always enjoyed this song. There may not me much substance, but the melody is perfectly suited to the flute, and the harmonies are memorable.

Moving Waves. Certainly an odd choice for a title track. It's some sort of imagist song, but so uniquely Focus that somehow it fits.

Focus II. Continuing the Focus series, this holds up the series quality in fine form and is a great piece of songwriting. A beautiful guitar chorus leads to an upbeat, game-show-type section, to a bluesy build for the finale. A very tight performance by all members here.

Eruption. Clearly Focus had some work to do in preparing for their magnum opus, Hamburger Concerto. This piece has some great moments, though transitions and flow are obvious flaws. The churchy intro is enjoyable, though it could be a bit more livelier or build more effectively to what comes next: a classic in-your-face Focus guitar and keyboard jam. This is inspired stuff, but the piece dies down with about 8 minutes left and really loses...well...its focus (oh the irony!). Refrains to close the epic are a good idea, but any suspense and engagement has long been spent.

A solid album that provides a different aspect of Focus from Hamburger Concerto. I would consider both of these albums as essential to any comprehensive prog collection, though Moving Waves is certainly not in masterpiece territory.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most dynamic prog rock bands ever,the Dutch quartet FOCUS was formed in 1970 by keyboardist/flutist/vocalist/composer Thijs Van Leer.A few months later their debut ''In and out of focus'' was released,containing both vocal and instrumental tracks with a variety of styles,including psych,hard rock,light symphonic,classic rock and others.After a couple of line-up changes,FOCUS seemed to find their own sound in ''Moving waves'',their sophomore record published in 1972.The opener ''Hocus pocus'' seems like it had escaped from the previous album,a fast energetic and humurous vocal track...but the rest of the album is the absolute symphonic/jazz killer with superb,totally instrumental work.Their sound is half split between the classical-influenced piano/organ and flute passages of Van Leer and the jazzy guitars of mastermind guitarist Jan Akkermann.Great interplays,fantastic alternating tempos and endless changing themes,emotions blended with jamming...I really can't describe how much I admire this FOCUS' work.By my side,''Moving waves'' comes extremely highly recommended!
Review by fuxi
3 stars I consider MOVING WAVES a near-masterpiece of symphonic prog. Some parts of the album are better than anything else Focus ever tried. Other parts do sound irritating - which prevents MOVING WAVES from being on the same level as the great 1970s classics.

The original A-side of the album opens with one of Focus' best known numbers: 'Hocus Pocus': heavy instrumental rock with virtuoso solos AND virtuoso yodelling. When my friends and I discovered this track in the seventies, we indulged in cheerful head-banging AND had a laugh - there aren't many rock songs that will allow for both experiences at the same time! The A-side continues strongly with 'Le Clochard' (ultra-romantic acoustic guitar delightfully accompanied by mellotron) and with 'Janis', an upbeat flute tune (written by guitarist Jan Akkerman) which, to Focus' credit, sounds totally unlike Jethro Tull. The title track itself sounds boring to my ears, but 'Focus 2' is probably the greatest symphonic-prog instrumental (dominated by electric guitar) to ever come out of Holland: truly beautiful, highly inventive, always carries me away, whenever I hear it!

Such a brilliant A-side raises expectations, which - unfortunately - are not quite fulfilled by 'Eruption', the 23-minute suite on the B-side. To start with, its mournful main theme (played on guitar) sounds irritating the first time you hear it, and it gets repeated so often (in between the suite's better bits) it really gets on your nerves. Fortunately, Eruption's subsidiary theme (faster and organ-dominated) is far more fun, and in the middle of the suite there's a grand symphonic moment where Akkerman performs a stately instrumental ballad (once again accompanied on mellotron) which might have given Carlos Santana the basic idea for his equally solemn 'Europe'. This lovely melody is followed by two brilliant hard-rocking solos, one by Akkerman on guitar and one by Van Leer on Hammond organ. Unfortunately, 'Eruption' soon disintegrates into melodramatic, pseudo-psychedelic sound effects (reminiscent of Nick Mason's equally forgettable 'Sisiphus' on UMMAGUMMA) followed by a 100% superfluous drum solo. To finish the whole thing off, there is yet more repetition of the initial theme.

Well, I guess we ought to be grateful for what we've got, and symphonic proggers will enjoy MOVING WAVES' better moments. Three stars and a half.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars " What motive is behind your impulse? The desire to reach upwards "

While the majority of fans, as evidenced by polls and discussions in the Prog Archives forum, will (rightly in my opinion) go for "Hamburger Concerto" as the best Focus album, the view on whether "Moving Waves" (sometimes simply called "Focus 2") or "Focus three" was their next best, tends to be more divided. For me, "Moving waves" takes the plaudits, being far more focused than its rambling and indulgent successor.

While on the face of it, this is simply a follow up to the band's first album "In and out of Focus", the truth is rather more complex. After the release of that album, guitarist Jan Akkerman left the band, forming a new group. Thijs Van Leer retained the Focus name, but when the 2 remaining members of Focus moved on, he joined Akkerman's band, bringing the Focus name with him! The bottom line was that in personnel terms, the core of Van Leer and Akkerman remained intact, with the rhythm section being replaced. The change though was significant as it meant that Akkerman was now the band leader moving the focus (if you will!) from keyboards and flute to guitar.

With "Moving Waves" Focus came close to making a classic album. "Hocus Pocus" is undoubtedly their best known work and the track which introduced many of us to the band when it was released as a single. It is hard to imagine now how original this track was when it was first set loose on an unsuspecting public. The driving guitars, intermittent yodelling and screaming, and sundry sound effects all combine to produce an amazing piece of rock history. The track is not exactly typical of Focus or indeed the album, but every home should have one.

After this, we have four brief tracks to complete the first side of the album. "Le clochard" (the beggar) is a guitar link piece while "Janis" is a beautifully reflective flute driven melody. Although Van Leer is centre stage here, this is an Akkerman composition. The title track is a rare vocal track sung by Thijs who adds his own melody to the words of Inayat Khan.

"Focus II" is a melodic, highly accomplished piece featuring lead guitar with atmospheric organ accompaniment. While there are nuances of jazz and perhaps even classical music in the track, it is firmly rooted in rock. In another ironic twist, while guitar is the dominant instrument here, Van Leer receives the writing credit.

The second side of the album is devoted to the 23 minute "Eruption" in 5 parts, each of which is further divided into two to four sections. This entirely instrumental suite is far tighter than the following "Focus 3" album, with much more in common with the delightful "Hamburger concerto". Various themes come and go, some being developed through improvisation. While Akkerman and Van Leer are the principle writers, they bring in the works of Tom Barlage and Eelke Nobel at different points. The section called "Tommy" for example (which was extracted as a single) has nothing to do with The Who, the name being derived from the name of the composer. Drummer Pierre van der Linden also receives a writing credit for his contribution. In all, the suite works very well, captivating the attention and retaining it throughout. There is no wasted space or stretched out filler in the form of unfocused jazz here (see "Focus 3"); well apart from the superfluous drum solo!

In summary, "Moving waves" is Focus best album after "Hamburger Concerto". Recommended.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars No doubt, Moving Waves is a classic album of prog rock! Van Leer and Akkerman got together again, re-considered the outcome of their challenging but under-developed debut, changed the rhythm section and recorded a masterpiece!

Hocus Pocus with its wild guitar riff, amazing flute and hysterical Van Leer's yodeling is now a classic of metallic heavy rocking. In contrast, Le Clochard and Janis are gentle acoustic pieces with beautiful melodies and atmosphere reminiscent of the later CAMEL albums. This time vocals are used more sparsely and in a more effective way than on the debut album - now they are reduced to mere instrumental purpose, save for the brief lyrics in the title track, which resembles a nice classical music piece led by piano.

Focus II brings some rather elaborated and inspired jazz-rock improvisations where Akkerman's guitar is simply unbeatable. The side-long suite Eruption continues with more improvisational jams and several more amazing solo parts by Akkerman (there are certain SANTANA-like jams) , although the entire composition (23 min.) seems a bit stretched out and several moments are quite close to a sleepy lounge music.

Nevertheless, Moving Waves is absolutely essential album in the progressive rock catalog!


P.A. RATING: 5/5

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is such a classic Symphonic record that really should be in every prog fans collection. After the less than successful debut, the band changed the rhythm section bringing in Van Der Linden on drums and Havermans on bass. Both of these guys fit in perfectly with Akkerman and Van Leer, which is the biggest compliment I can give them both. Although I don't think this record is without it's faults, it reaches such lofty heights and pastoral beauty that it really does belong among the seventies greats.

"Hocus Pocus" doesn't really fit in with the rest of the climate of this album, but it's so good that I don't care. This absolutely smolders with Akkerman peeling the paint with his scorching guitar solos. The new drummer asserts himself once and for all on this track, he is incredible.The organ is a nice touch, but it's not his organ play on this song that draws most of the attention to Van Leer, it's his yodelling ! Haha. I have never got tired of this track, and it's placed perfectly as the opening song. "Le Clochard" is all Akkerman who composed it and plays classical guitar throughout. Van Leer adds some beautiful mellotron waves to add to the mood. "Janis" is a song I much prefer over the previous track. It's the incredible, emotional flute playing of Van Leer that is so moving. Yes CAMEL does come to mind. "Moving Waves" features Van Leer on vocals as he sings in a restrained manner as he plays the piano throughout. "Focus II" is another relaxing song that reminds me of CAMEL as Akkerman's guitar soars early. The tempo shifts as mellotron comes in and then more wondrous guitar. A Jazz flavour after 2 minutes as mellotron returns before piano, guitar, bass and drums end it.

"Eruption" is the side long suite at 23 minutes. It opens with mournful guitar melodies as organ can be heard in the background.This theme is repeated later in the song a few times. It becomes more energetic 2 minutes in before the mournful opening guitar and organ returns 3 minutes in. Some nice crisp drumming 4 1/2 minutes in as he continues to solo before a spacey, mellotron drenched section arrives 5 1/2 minutes in. Akkerman sounds outstanding on guitar 7 minutes in as the mellotron waves float along for what seems like minutes (it's not). Aggressive sounds return including some scorching guitar. The organ 12 1/2 minutes in is great. Piano takes over as the sound changes 14 1/2 minutes in with flute joining in. Beautiful section. Vocal melodies 16 1/2 minutes in followed 2 minutes later by another drum solo. They're back to the opening melody again 21 minutes in. Piano, organ and tasteful guitar create an uplifting final section as flute joins in like it did earlier.

This release made FOCUS famous around the world, but more importantly this is a progressive jewel.

Review by friso
5 stars Focus is probably the most loved Dutch progressive rockband from the seventies (though one shouldn't skip on Kayak, Alquin, Supersister and Finch). On their second album the band had fully formed its progressive rock sound that had many pillars to stand on. Thijs van Leer (organ and flute) was classically trained and got interested in jazz and rock. He had also written songs for stand-up comedians in the Netherlands and his own theatrics became a recognizable feature, most notably the yodeling on heavy rock opener 'Hocus Pocus'. Jan Akkerman (electric and acoustic guitar) was trained as both a pop and jazz musician and played medieval-style lute as well. Pierre van der Linden (on drums) could simply play anything he though of. Whilst the debut album was quite easy-going and had some jazzy and folky songs on it (sung by Van Leer), their second album would be more focused on what Thijs van Leer set out to do: play well composed instrumental rock music with both classical and jazz influences. The first side is quite varied, going from heavy rock to classical and piano-ballad to instrumental jazz-rock. On the second side the band presents is magnum opus; 'Eruption'. A twenty-three minute song that combines all influences in an magical and energetic fashion. The 'Tommy' part, written by Berlage (of Solution) stands out as a remarkable moment for both van Leer and Akkerman on lead guitar. The many melodic parts are all moving, though I must admit the epic doesn't impress with its coherence. Still, a masterpiece of Dutch progressive rock for sure.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Moving Waves was a seminal album that I only knew it four years after the release year. I was at Bali Island with friends. In our leisure time we browse around Denpasar to find good quality music in cassette format and I purchased this album along with other bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, ELP. At first spin of the cassette I was automatically hooked to the opening track Hocus Pocus which to me sounded very differently from any typical Focus album or, in fact, other rock bands. The track describes great energy and varied styles which change from one segment to another. The guitar and drums are really the cornerstone of this track. But, it's not only that, because when there is vocal (chanting, actually) without lyrics whereby the singing style is very distinctive that no one had ever done it before. Decades later I knew this track was used also by CNN in of their news program.

Through this second album Focus confirmed their music style and textures having relied more on the instrumental work using guitar, keyboard and dynamic drumming. Of course, the classical music influences are here and there and they are quite intense in influences from classical music. Focus II was intended as icon of the album but unfortunately it's not that solid in composition. The key, in addition to Hocus Pocus, is an epic that consumes 23 minutes of duration: Eruption. This epic at the beginning part showcases excellent work of guitar and drumming throughout musical segments this epic offers. Even though the epic lacks catchy melody, the composition is quite solid.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Moving Waves is the second studio album by Dutch progressive rock act Focus. I found their debut enjoyable but not outstanding and the same can more or less be said about Moving Waves.

The music is more instrumentally based than the debut. Only two songs feauture singing ( well thereīs some choir vocal parts in Eruption too) and thatīs Hocus Pocus and Moving Waves and as usual the singing isnīt anything special. The exception is of course the strange yodelling parts in Hocus Pocus which is also one of the standout tracks on the album. The main riff is repeated too many times though and the song seems a bit repetitive IMO. There are some great variations between the main theme though. Le Chochard and the way too romantic Janis is not really my taste and the same can be said about the vocal based title track while Focus II is another highlight here for me. The 23:04 minute long Eruption ends the album. Itīs one of the more interesting songs on the album. Especially the opening section where Iīm almost reminded of Zappa. Youīll find both guitar, organ and drum solos in this song and about middle way through the song there is a classically inspired flute piece.

The musicianship is excellent. I especially enjoy the guitar soloing from Jan Akkerman but both the rythm section and Thijs van Leerīs keyboards and flute are also well played.

The production is good. Warm and pleasant. Note the drum sound which is outstanding IMO.

This is a good album even though I do get bored one or two times along the way. Focus has many of the elements I enjoy about progressive rock in their music but the most important element for me is still the compositions and how they are structured. I think the compositions are a bit weak here and they donīt really satisfy me much. The playing on the other hand is really great and it does make up for the lack of compositional skill ( they are skilled composers, but IMO they donīt use that skill very effectively). I canīt rate Moving Waves more than 3 stars when I feel that the most important element in music is missing. The generally romantic mood in the music doesnīt really move me either. Itīs when Focus act most crazy that I enjoy their music the most.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. Hocus Pocus If this is not a song here I swear that I do not know what it is. Riff perfect, more perfect vocalizations. Instrumental almost never an issue and was recognized as important in the secular music world, this is the theme that I call amazing and superb, from very different tune. If interleave thousands of topics within a theme. Thijs of the vocals are a case in part, simply brilliant. Parts of the guitar Jan Akkerman are also always very well played, the flutes beautiful, low Havermanns of Cyril and battery of Pierre van der Linden always marking a constant theme but without being intediante. An anthem!

02. Le Clocharde Main theme of the Jan. guitar, divine melody, only with the monitoring of a synthesizer emulating strings. Soft, beautiful and emotional.

03. Janis Flutes, several of them. More touching a theme of Dutch. The melodies emulate the soul to interact more and dream a little. In this issue of the low serious Cyril Havermanns has highlighted melodic.

04. Moving Waves Atonal? Melodicamente wrong? That exists? This is Moving Waves on piano and voice of Thijs Van Leer, we have the most sincere, beautiful and sensational already composed. Challenge you to listen without being rough and without paying full attention, and depending on the case to be sad with her.

05. Focus II The 'Focus' are compositions that always accompany the band, including a solo album that I have of Thijs Van Leer where he plays flute (unfortunately only have it in Lp). Focus on this issue is a pleasant surprise of melody that is difficult to explain, but very beautiful. The guitars give a show in the entire track. The second issue is even more beautiful, the melody of the guitar reaches the heart, soul and leads to the presence that would be divine if I came to believe him. Sometimes it's just what we need to cure the ills of the body and soul. Nothing more!

06. Eruption

a) Orfeus, Answer, Orfeus b) Answer, Pupilla, Tommy, Pupilla c) Answer, The bridge d) Euridice, Dayglow, Endless Road e) Answer, Orfeus, Euridice This theme is montruoso and it is difficult to classify exactly who is Orpheus, what is the answer and etc ... What I can say is that this monstrous issue (more than 23 minutes) is sensational and tires in no time. Orchestrated the opening of guitars, organ of the church, the Hammond. Everything here is very well arranged and tied at no time is paraecendo different compositions that are embedded, but a single piece solid and without holes, a complete 'Wall'. Some Vocalizations for further increasing the tone of talking to the sound. Sensational subject of guitar again. Nice to meet you Jan Akkerman. Part of madness, doidera staff in general, faster, more crazy, some guitar riffs and low together, after the keyboard and guitar. Why did so between the guitar break on top of a base sensational, the Hammond organ in Thijs is always an extra in the sound of the guys. After the soil around the theme. Ai is the time to get heavy keyboard and guitar make the most basic legal I ever saw. Introsadíssima band. And we are only half the issue. Fine interventions and also of low battery. The guitar around the theme of Hocus Pocus momentarily. Then a beautiful part of piano and guitar takes care of the environment. Vocalizations typical monasteries that weather guy, that climate. Tá without climate for thinking? Without crisis! Focus of the guys invited to a tea of mint. (laughter) Battery !!!!!!!!! The theme quiet and beautiful back on top at the end of the song. This is epic, this is perfect! This is Focus.

What we have here? A classic. The Focus is not so well known, people know but do not hear. Here is the chance to hear a classic.

Review by Matti
5 stars This was the first FOCUS album I heard. Sadly I haven't heard many others, actually only the The Best Of compilation (which really isn't true to its name!) and Focus 3, which is often regarded as their best work. I'd say Moving Waves is better; it's enjoyable all the way through whereas Focus 3 has some irritating moments in its hour+ length.

This second album kicks off with their best-known rocker, 'Hocus Pocus', with the fiery guitar riff and Thijs van Leer's yodling and the sequence of bizarre nonsense singing. All crazy but it makes one happy somehow. Luckily the rest of the album is not as rocking but concentrates on the calmer and more beautiful side of this band. Jan Akkerman shines on acoustic guitar and Thijs on flute. The title track is an ethereal piano ballad, very artistic and could easily be put in the art music genre.

Original second side of the vinyl is one long instrumental epic (some wordless background humming is included). Subtitles reveal some sort of narrative about Orfeus and Euridice. One could see how there are certain motifs for each character that are repeated over the 23 minutes' length, but without knowing the myth the narrative level remains distant to the listener, I'm afraid. That naturally doesn't make it any harder to enjoy the music as pure music.

I'm giving this full rating because it's very rare for me to enjoy an album sincerely from the first second to the last.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars I'll avoid doing any ''focusing'' jokes here seeing that many other reviewers have already done so.

My opinion on this album really echoes a majority opinion here, so I won't go into too much detail. The album in it's entirety is for those who like to listen to music for relaxation purposes, not to mention the ones that can stomach classical music. The title track is the only sung song on the album as the other pieces don't have or contain wordless vocals. At best, the instrumental interplay is tight, but at worst it just bores.

''Hocus Pocus'' is such an obvious miscast from everything else here; it is a high-octane foot stomping rock tune that has seen the light of day on many a classic rock station. It jaunts, taunts and flaunts as it soars with ecstatic drum solos, Jethro Tull-esque flute moments, yodelling, gibberish and the gawking guitar bits.

There's an epic here, but it's mostly boring to me. Too many soft mellotrons, uninteresting drum solos, stagnant tempos and subpar ELP-like outbursts. The bluesy jam in the middle is nothing short of spectacular with one of the best guitar solos I've ever heard, although the backing instruments help propel the song further.

I only pull this out for ''Hocus Pocus'' and the bluesy jam, that is unless I'm driving my car. The symph lover with an immense taste for classical music will want this, but those who want rock in their prog will only care for the two tracks that I mentioned.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Back in the seventies I used to listen to side 2 of this LP over and over again. Side 1, not so much.

The CD that I own of this was released by I.R.S. at the same time as In And Out Of Focus and Focus III, yet it does not have the awful muffled sound that the other two disks have. I supposed they took a bit more care with this release, as it contained the band's only U.S. hit.

As a teenager I loved Hocus Pocus, mostly for it's high energy guitar and drums, and secondly for the weird yodeling sections. Now, I like it, but the novelty has worn off. I liten to it occasionally, but not often. The remainder of the songs on what was side 1 of the LP are mostly forgettable, ranging from soft ballads to light fusion.

Eruption is, to me, the album's reason for being. At just over twenty-three minutes, this suite is one of the band's best reasons for inclusion on this site. It has classical references, jamming sections, soft baroque sections. And unlike many suite epics, they flow effortlessly from one section to another. Just don't expect blazing virtuosity. The performances are adequate for the piece, but nothing completely amazing.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Focus is a well-respected band that I myself just cannot get into. On Moving Waves, when the band isn't being somber and boring, they are yodeling and making otherwise awful vocal noises, playing loudly and incoherently, or just being downright unpleasant, although there are a few wonderful exceptions sprinkled throughout the album. In particular, I personally find much of the lead guitar work from Jan Akkerman terribly shoddy. The second half of the album strings together a variety of musical non sequiturs, but does feature a few moments of sheer brilliance. Overall, if this were a magician's hat, we'd find no rabbit inside- only brown pellets to let us know it'd been there.

"Hocus Pocus" Moving Waves opens by with what is initially a straightforward rocker. Quite randomly, it turns into yodeling and screeching over an organ. The guitar soloing is incredibly sloppy and scarcely fits the key the rest of the band is playing in. The drum solos aren't bad but interrupt the piece (not that there was much flow to begin with). There's also what sounds like accordion and flute and whistling for good measure. I'm surprised they didn't record someone banging on a kitchen sink.

"Le Clochard" For two minutes, Focus offers well-crafted and beautiful music, even if it is essentially a classical guitar piece backed by distant Mellotron.

"Janis" The gentle feel continues, even with the addition of simplistic drumming. This is a terse piece primarily featuring bass and flute.

"Moving Waves" Gentle piano dances under an uninspired vocal performance, which is more like an incantation than singing.

"Focus II" Following two melancholic and dreary pieces, Focus offers a pleasing, sometimes upbeat instrumental with excellent guitar work, all in the vein of early Camel.

"Eruption" Hauntingly nostalgic organ and guitar open this extended piece. The title may be just a coincidence, but once the music gets rolling, it sounds extraordinarily like ELP (in fact, if I did not know Focus and I was asked what band this was, I would have answered Emerson, Lake & Palmer, as even the drumming has a Carl Palmer flavor to it). With the addition of the Mellotron, however, the sound becomes Focus once again. Indeed, "Tommy" is probably my favorite piece of Focus music, and represents them definitively for me (even though, as I said, I am not particularly fond of this band). The guitar playing is moving, and I especially like how the music abruptly stops for the guitarist to usher everyone back in again. The next segment uses exciting riffs and the whole tone scale fairly effectively before launching into a more elementary rock and roll jam. However the guitar soloing is again messy and clumsy, sometimes even falling outside of the key everyone else is playing in (to poor effect). The organ solo is boisterous and nearly blows the rest of the band away in terms of volume. The slipshod electric guitarist noodles around a while before just stopping altogether, and what is practically a new piece begins, this one featuring gentle waves of piano, organ, guitar, and flute. A distant vocal creeps in, and gives way to more soft music. Then there's a drum solo. The opening theme returns, and soon a delightful conclusion of piano, organ and flute bring the album to a close.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Focus is Holland's proudest prog export. Their second album Moving Ways merged the bite of rock very successfully with melodious classical music. It's an inspiring album with a lot of variety and excellent pieces.

Everybody knows Hocus Pocus. The energetic rock track propelled by that great 'heavy prog' riff and Van Leers yodelling. It brings the band almost in RIO territory. It is followed by a couple of delicate instrumental pieces. Le Clochard is a brilliant one, classical acoustic guitars with a delicate mellotron background. It has a dreamy melancholic atmosphere that is reminiscent of Steve Hackett's acoustic pieces like Horizons. Janis is a flute piece similar to what Camel would produce on The Snow Goose and Moving Waves is one of the few vocal moments, very eerie and jazzy. Not unlike Gentle Giant really. Focus II is the only track that I find rather forgettable. The guitar melodies are a bit too cheesy and mellow. Not bad but certainly not my cup of tea.

After a short intro for organ and guitar, Eruption kicks off for real with a heavy rocking take on ELP, filled to the brim with Hammond organs and wild time signatures. It gives way to a pensive 70's piece with ooh-aah-vocals from Van Leer. Akkerman takes over with a weeping Santana-alike guitar solo that turns into a groovy jam session with Van Leer's organ. The vibe is rather Canterbury prog here, with a rocking sound and psychedelic vibe. It goes on for a bit too long again probably. The dreamy vocals return and a classical music influenced section follows that leads to a wild psychedelic crescendo. That should have been the end of the song but alas, there is a drum solo... Man, rock drum solos really are boring. Luckily, at a given point it ends and the track concludes by reprising some of the main themes. A Camelian closing sections ends things in beauty.

Moving Waves is an honest and creative progressive rock album. It's not perfect, at times it's even clumsy, but I believe its imperfections are charming rather then annoying. A required title for symphonic fans. 3.5 stars

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Focus was pretty much a new band with the release of Moving Waves. Not only had the band completely restructured their rhythmic section but with it came a shift in direction. Thijs van Leer's vocals were used much sparsely, but the moments when he did bursts into song it sounded nothing like the voice that he depicted on the band's debut release. Lastly, Moving Waves is also the album where Jan Akkerman made his first prominent appearance as the guitarist that we know him as.

Hocus Pocus kicks off the album on an unusually rock style that was nowhere to be found on In And Out Of Focus and is a welcoming addition to the band's softer symphonic rock sound. It doesn't take Focus long to return to the more familiar ground and Le Cochard almost makes me forget any preconceived notion of the band's going into a Heavy Prog direction. First side of the album continues a very mellow phase with songs like Janis and the album's title track. Focus II is really not an exception to this rule but at least this one has a few sparks along the way. The guitar playing by Jan Akkerman reminds me actually a lot of Andrew Latimer's style, or maybe it was the other way around!

Side two consists entirely out of the 23 minute suite titled Eruption and is a loose conceptual piece depicting the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. I've honestly never payed much attention to the track's theme and just enjoyed the music as it is. Just like the few other lengthy tracks that Focus would produce in the early '70s, the material does feel a bit thin in comparison to its hefty time margin. At least this composition doesn't rely heavily on an instrumental jams between the band members, which is something that will become more prominent on the next release.

Overall, I'd say that this is another great album by Focus. It might be considered a step in the right direction after the much more commercially oriented In And Out Of Focus, but I'm not entirely convinced by that. This is nonetheless an excellent album that should be in every serious prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Hocus Pocus (6:43) Focus II (4:04)

**** star songs: Le Clochard (2:01) Janis (3:08) Moving Waves (2:43) Eruption (23:02)

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A classic album, a good one, but that's it!

Now that I read a review about this album I felt it was time for me to review it, since I've been meaning to do it for some time. The fact is, that despite I like the album I've never found it awesome or unique, so my feelings toward it are not actually that positive, or at least as positive as I would like. When I listen to albums like Hamburger Concerto or Focus III I always have that predominant smile, but here, I simply can't find that boost that leads me to feel completely comfortable.

A similar case happens to me with Rush' Moving Pictures, which is an album I know its good and I enjoy in moments, but in the end I can skip it, it is not essential to my collection actually. "Moving Waves" released in 1972 has to be one of Holland's most important albums ever, and probably the most successful when progressive rock is about. So it is (in my opinion) mandatory to listen to it and own it, because you can judge by yourself and understand why that success, and then, make your own opinion.

In my opinion, I believe the fact that this album features "Hocus Pocus" helped a lot with its commercial (and non commercial) success, that song is an icon within the prog realm, I am sure almost everyone has listened to it, if not, you should (which does not mean you will like it). So this 41-minute album opens with that song, a heavy-symphonic track where electric guitars and flute conduct the music, making a good sound that in moments could be repetitive, and you can get sick about it after three minutes. The main reason of that "sickness" are the horrendous vocals, you can laugh and sing, but as an artistic thing, I think they failed with them, it would've been better without vocals.

Then, there are four short tracks in a row: "Le Clochard", "Janis", "Moving Waves" and "Focus II". The first one out of this bunch has a delicate acoustic guitar sound with keyboards as background, a nice piece, maybe too short, but nice. The second opens with flute and drums appear seconds later, the music here has nothing to do with the opener song, here the sound is soft and comfortable, what I would call a Focus sound. This is probably my favorite track on this album. Then the title track, with gentle piano and later some not so bad vocals, but again, I would have preferred an instrumental track. And the last one is another charming track, with that clean and calm symphonic sound provoked by guitars and keyboards. Nice song without a doubt.

Now, the longest, more challenging composition was placed as the final track."Eruption" is its name. I won't write a lot about it, to be honest their musical skills and composition abilities can be noticed here, we are facing a great band with trained and talented people, there is no doubt about it. However, there are moments here where I felt uncomfortable, I think to myself that in their will of experimenting and be original, they reached a point where they could not offer more, where the music sounds plain and don't has that continuity, I mean, in this song it is easy to me to lose the track, in moments I am listening but at the same time I am not here.

However, there are great moments on the song, It is not only about bad criticism, I have to say that there are a couple of nice movements here where I feel interested and keep my complete attention, the guitar work in general is pretty good, accurate. But well, as a whole, despite I consider it was a wonderful effort, I never fell in love with this song, nor with the album. So forgive me if you think this is a masterpiece, it simple does not do anything to me. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Focus for years was Dutch face of prog, and I believe Moving Waves is their most representative work. So, if you are newbie and just want to imagine, what Dutch classic prog means, listen to that album.

Very professionally made, this album (as almost any other Focus album as well) never was my favourite. I really enjoy some excellent moments in this music, but in all this album for me is very characteristic example what European Continental prog is (I don't speak there about such specific forms as Krautrock or Zeuhl).

Having some similarities with British early prog, Continental one usually didn't have bluesy or jazzy roots. And instead huge component added was European classical music and domestic folk. Focus is bright example - music on this album is well played, almost calculated,mix of classical tunes and arrangements, Dutch folk, some Broadway musicals' tricks and after that all - some doze of rock instrumentation, obviously influenced by British sound of that time.

Result is ... a bit uncomfortable for me. Almost all songs has great melodies, musicianship is on the good level as well, but all album sounds as high quality local dance/music hall band adapted their music for more modern auditory, trying to attract rebelling teens, children of respectable burgers. In fact, musicians even didn't tried too hard and under the thin skin music stayed the same as decades before.

There are plenty of similar sounded bands of that time from all region, mostly Germany, Benelux,Denmark,Austria,France. "Not-rock-countries" in short. Focus is possibly leading band of that sub-genre, and this album is one of the best between similar ones.

Still really good work, but will never steal your heart or soul I think.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars FOCUS' first album, "IN and Out of Focus", proved to be somewhat of an anomaly, for better and for worse. On "Moving Waves", they developed their signature sound that would endure to varying degrees through the next half decade or so. They incorporated a few of the song oriented styles of their debut, but also began their investment in often tediously and artificially lengthy opuses,

The major triumph is of course "Hocus Pocus", an inimitable song that unfortunately defined the group even while it barred the path for further exploration in its singular domain. But Side 1 of the original LP contains some of the group's most symphonic tracks and seems furthest away from the fun-loving but irritating funk and fusion of subsequent efforts. For instance, the group seemed to be blazing a new symphonic trail on "Le Clochard", strummed acoustic guitars washed in mellotrons and a sumptuous melody all economically espoused in under 2 minutes. "Janis" and "Focus II" tout the virtues of simple yet decidedly progressive themes.

It is unfortunate, then, that Side 2 takes less captivating melodies and abrupt clashes of styles and expands them out to 23 minutes, as if nothing had been learned in the first half. Progressive fans may well drool at the prospect of "Eruption", and it is true that this obligatory side long epic formed the focus for future explorations, but it also marked a choice that has relegated the group to also ran status, and best known simply because, like so few others, they hailed from Holland. Sure, Akkerman had the chops and Van Leer was the demure one, yodels notwithstanding, and all couples need to play off each other, but, in yogic terms, "Eruption" had too much pitta and not enough vata. This was the group's Achilles heel.

Probably the best FOCUS original album, amongst decidedly middling company, "Moving Waves" could have stood atop the crest of prog were it not weighted down by poor moves and/or insufficient inspiration.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the seminal albums in my induction into the world of progressive rock music, I can never forget the first time hearing with awe the artistry and skills put on display by the radio friendly "Hocus Pocus." Amazing speed from all players, amazing guitar leads, amazing drum play, amazing flute play, and simply shocking display of yodelling. (Yodelling?! Yes! Yodelling!) Guts and innovation. The album that I bought out of this radio experience, was slightly disappointing except for the stunning beauty of the "Tommy" section of "Eruption." I think I was just a bit too new to complex and eclectic music making to appreciate the shorts on Side One. And then, while I wore out the grooves of my Side Two ("Eruption") twice (I still own three copies of "Moving Waves"), the song has not kept it's lustre for me over the years (though a recent listen surprised me with just how familiar and how adrenaline-pumping the song was to me). However, with age all of the songs from Side One have won me over to the point that I truly believe that these musicians were truly geniuses--virtuosi, too!--creating music that blended classical, folk, jazz traditions more cleverly, more deftly and certainly more skillfully than 99% of the bands out there. I mean this was 1971!

Everytime I hear the gorgeous "Le Clochard" (2:01) (10/10) I mistakenly think I'm listening to a Steve Hackett piece. "Janis" (3:08) (9/10) is equally gorgeous just not as technically impressive (though there are amazing flourishes there). "Moving Waves" (2:43) (8/10) is impressive for its English and classical feel--though I always felt singing with lyrics was an incongruous manouevre for this band. "Focus II" (4:04) is one of those classic beauties with its jazzy, YES-like in and out of focus tempos. It's only flaw for me was that it exposed (for me) a little of the weakness of the drummer (Who I've never been able to embrace with the praise and admiration that so many others do). (10/10) The side-long (over 23-minutes!) "Eruption" is one of the daring masterpieces of the classic era of progressive rock music. It has the ELP feel and classical structures to it but it has the added bonus of the presence and contribution of the great Jan Akkerman--perhaps the greatest guitarist of his generation.

A few years ago I rated this with only four stars but, no more, this is one of the unsung and seminal masterpieces of the progressive rock movement of the early 1970s.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Kicking off with possibly the only proto-metal track from the 1970s to feature yodelling in Hocus Pocus, Focus II (AKA Moving Waves) starts out confidently but doesn't have many tracks to compare with the opening barrage. The sidelong epic Eruption is a fair stab at a 20-minute symphonic composition which rather misses the mark, though it does at least include a brief tip of the hat to fellow Dutch proggers Solution by covering a scrap from their self-titled debut. The rest of the songs are a bit incongruous set next to Eruption or Hocus Pocus, being generally fairly quiet, pastoral affairs without either the symphonic complexity of Eruption or the yodelling fury of Hocus Pocus.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Focus' "Moving Waves" is an undeniable classic for 2 reasons. The first is the obvious as it boasts arguably the finest and most popular composition, the almighty Hocus Pocus. The second reason is it boasts one very epic symphonic suite on side 2 the beauty and majesty of Eruption. The other songs kind of blend into the background but everything is played to virtuoso perfection with the likes of the incomparable flute and keys of Thijs van Leer on organ, Harmonium, Mellotron, soprano and alto flute, piano, and my favourite guitarist for Focus, legendary Jan Akkerman, joined by Cyril Havermanns on bass, and the powerhouse percussion of their best drummer Pierre van der Linden. It is great to hear these legends in full flight and of course it is always wonderful music.

Hocus Pocus is quintessential of course and made the group mega stars, and continues to appear on compilations galore. The riff is quirky, the flute is dynamic and the vocals are? well put it this way, it is off the planet when Thijs begins his prog yodelling spree. Hilarious, endearing and unforgettable, and definitely worth seeing in a live performance, as manic as Ian Anderson, these flute players are all delightfully insane. After this glorious start the album spirals into a few less memorable tracks such as Le Clochard, Janis, and Moving Waves, capped off by very nice musicianship on Focus II. My cassette just ran out so it is time to turn over to side 2; don't you just love the old cassette tapes?

The flip side is Eruption, a 23 minute exploration of light and dark shades with flute, Hammond, drums and bass going at it like knives, and it ends with a beautiful relaxing texture of flute and ambience. It is a great album, though "Hamburger Concerto" appeals more to me personally. There is no denying that Focus were capable of some incredible sounds back in the golden 70s era of prog.

Review by b_olariu
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.

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.

Review by ALotOfBottle
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!
Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 419

Focus is a Dutch progressive rock band founded in 1969, in Amsterdam, by the organist and flautist Thijs van Leer. It's now considered as one of the biggest and most important bands of the progressive rock music. His extensive and almost exclusive instrumental compositions and improvisations contained several references to the erudite music.

"Moving Waves" aka "Focus II", is the second studio album of Focus and was released in 1972. After the release of their debut studio album "Focus Plays Focus" aka "In And Out Of Focus", Jan Akkerman, dissatisfied with the lack of success of that album, left the band to form a band with the bassist Cyril Havermans and the drummer Pierre van der Linden. After Hans Cleuver and Martin Dresden left Focus, and after Thijs van Leer has heard about that new band, he contacted them. They invited him to join to the band that remained with the same name, Focus. They recorded their second album, "Moving Waves", the first album to have some impact and that received positive international reviews.

So, the line up on the album is Thijs van Leer (vocals, Hammond organ, piano, Mellotron, harmonium and flute), Jan Akkerman (guitars and bass guitar), Cyril Havermans (vocals and bass guitar) and Pierre van der Linden (drums and percussion).

"Moving Waves" has six tracks. The first track "Hocus Pocus" written by Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman is an extraordinary track. This is a legendary track from the band with intensity perfectly astonishing and, at the same time, we may also say that it has some beautiful insanity on it. It's a track that soon we heard it, soon we sing it, and that, in the end, we remain completely free from all tensions and stress after a day's work. This always was one of my favourite progressive tracks ever. The second track "Le Clochard" written by Jan Akkerman is a classical oriented song in the most pure tradition of the classical guitar playing, very well accompanied by the Mellotron on the back. This is a beautiful bucolic song that shows perfectly well one of the many facets of the band. In this case we can see the more melodic side of Focus. This song represents a terrific contrast with the frantic "Hocus Pocus". The third track "Janis" written by Jan Akkerman is also a soft track as the previous one. Curiously, despite is a Jan Akkerman' s song, in this case, the lead is taken by the magic flute of Thijs van Leer, perfectly supported by the other band's members. This is a very simple song but the melody and harmonies are so perfect and catchy that makes of it, somehow, a memorable song. Like some other reviewers, this is also a song that reminds me my good old and beloved band, Camel. The fourth track is the title track "Moving Waves". It was written by Thijs van Leer and Inayat Khan. This is my less favourite song on the album. It's a sweet and gentle piano song, but not very inspired, especially on its vocal performance. This is another melancholic song dominated by piano and the voice of Thijs van Leer, but the final musical atmosphere is in really a bit boring. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, this is a song that failed completely to be part of this album. The fifth track "Focus II" written by Thijs van Leer is a very interesting and melodic piece of music that curiously, and in contrast with "Janis" written by Jan Akkerman but where Thijs van Leer lead the song, on here, we have another ironic twist, the song was written by Thijs van Leer but is dominated by the guitar of Jan Akkerman. This is a song that continues the Focus series, with good song writing and great musical performance by all band's members, as is usual. The sixth and last track "Eruption" is divided into fifteen parts. Mostly of them were written by Thijs van Leer, but others had also the collaboration of Tom Barlage, Jan Akkerman, Eelke Nobel and Pierre van der Linden. "Eruption" is the magnus opus of the album and represents the best piece of music on the album, despite "Hocus Pocus". This is a magnificent piece of music with great musical moments that reminds me strongly the classical baroque music, in some parts. This is entirely an instrumental long suite with about 12 minutes and where the music flows continuously. It has several themes that come and goes and where some of them develop through some musical improvisations. "Eruption" is a track full of virtuosity and a perfect example how to make progressive symphonic music with a high quality level.

Conclusion: "Moving Waves" is, without any doubt, a great progressive rock album and represents clearly a big step forward, relatively to their previous debut studio album "In And Out Of Focus". However, it hasn't the same quality level of their greatest masterpiece "Hamburger Concerto". In my opinion, "Moving Waves" is a better album than "In And Out Of Focus", it's at the same level of "Focus 3" but it's less good and less balanced than "Hamburger Concerto". "Moving Waves" has two excellent musical moments, "Hocus Pocus" and "Eruption". Although "Le Clochard", "Janis" and "Focus II" be very good songs, it lack something to them, in order to can be considered three great songs. By the other hand, and as I said before, "Moving Waves" is its Achilles' heel, which seems to be on the album, as a fish out of water.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the first classic Focus album. Getting rid of psychedelic and folk influence and putting the feet deeper in classical music. The astonishing "Hocus Focus" is a great rocking number with fantastic vocals and can be considered a rock anthem. With its length over 6 minutes it is also a bit ... (read more)

Report this review (#2967407) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, November 7, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a very heterogeneous work. Looks like a roller-coaster that begins fast, high and wild. Magnificent, the first track cannot be excluded from any compilation of prog rock classics; if you don't know it yet, I just need to say that I NEVER met prog rock or rock fans that didn't like it. Co ... (read more)

Report this review (#2856991) | Posted by arymenezes | Thursday, December 8, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is one of the highlights of Focus. Eruption and Hocus Pocus are the obvious candidates of mustlistens. But the rest of the album is great too. Hocus Pocus - This track is famous for the vocal gymnastics from Van Leer. But let's not forget the awesome guitar from Akkerman, the bass ... (read more)

Report this review (#2690932) | Posted by WJA-K | Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #133 The second album by Focus was "Moving waves" (aka "Focus II") and unlike "In and out of Focus", in this album, the band offered a much more original content; the songs are much more varied, only one of the six pieces have lyrics while the other five are instrumental and also, the incu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2632474) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'm just not feeling it with Focus. I can hear why so many people hold this album in high esteem - Hocus Pocus is a terrific opener, and there are many technically pure symphonic parts, but I'm just not moved. I think Eruption is a rather weak extended track and the rest of the album is ok, so ... (read more)

Report this review (#2036544) | Posted by WFV | Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Moving Waves is the second Focus album and is one of the two essential efforts from the band, with the other being the great Hamburger Concerto. Moving Waves solidifies Focus as a true prog rock band, as if the presence of flute, mellotron, some crazy musicianship, and a 23-minute epic weren't ... (read more)

Report this review (#939498) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Thursday, April 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Their best album "Hocus Pocus" (3.25 Out of 5.00) This Hard rock- oriented song is really funny, unimitable and extremely powerful. Anyone can suffer a pleasant catharsis attack with this. "Le Clochard" (3.00 Out of 5.00) It`s a delicate song where guitarrist Jan Akkerman show his skills pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#808716) | Posted by raul_siberian | Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #11 Focus' 1971 Album Moving Waves When I heard "Hocus Pocus" for the first time on AM radio I thought "What the hell is this?" A guitar riff unlike any other, yodeling, flute, and above all very catchy. "Hocus Pocus" was a minor hit here in Australia in 1973, some 2 years after Moving ... (read more)

Report this review (#393864) | Posted by BarryGlibb | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Moving Waves is a very nice album, but somewhat inconsistent. The lead track, the full version of Hocus Pocus, is an incredibly cool instrumental freakout- besides, you can't go wrong with yodeling. Le Clochard is a kinda good atmospheric piece, nothing special here. Janis, however, is atmospheric ... (read more)

Report this review (#272632) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hamburgers are tastier Moving Waves is a good album. Not a great album, not a lame album, but a good album. It opens with the song Hocus Pocus, a heavy riff-based song that showcases the skills of Van Leer, Akkerman and Van der Linden perfectly, with flute, guitar and drum solos coming every ... (read more)

Report this review (#229875) | Posted by The Runaway | Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The second album by the leaders of the Dutch prog scene in the seventies. Just like its predecessor, the artwork is horrible. However, the music is not. It starts with Hocus Pocus, a nice blend between great musicality and humour. This was their biggest hit, especially in America, where the ... (read more)

Report this review (#215159) | Posted by The Pollinator | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Making Waves... FOCUS and this album is sadly mostly known for the opening track of this album. Yes, this is the album where they launched the Hocus Pocus track and legend. Yodeling is not an everyday occurence in the music business, although the scene was pretty big in Germany in the 1960s. ... (read more)

Report this review (#215106) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Moving Waves is such a fine example of early 1970's progressive rock. I believe it is Focus' masterpiece and a fantastic album. Hocus Pocus is iconic. Akkerman's solos in the song are some of the best of the early 70's. Le clochard is a beautiful classical guitar piece with soft Mellotron accomp ... (read more)

Report this review (#199239) | Posted by johan15 | Thursday, January 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 4.5 stars really. 'Hocus Pocus' is of course one of the most original songs there are in all of prog rock. Who could have imagined there would ever be a song with kick-ass yodeling in it? Definitely one of my favourite songs of all time. The next few shorter tracks making up the rest of ... (read more)

Report this review (#175816) | Posted by digdug | Monday, June 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a pleasant little album that reminds me of JETHRO TULL and CAMEL; those seem to be the consensus. Probably their best, FOCUS really mixes up the symphonic textures with the folk-inspired prog. For what it's worth, I find their music to be a little more fun (not necessarily better) than t ... (read more)

Report this review (#170656) | Posted by kabright | Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been listening to this quite frequently of late and decided I had to put a plug in for this album on this site. Moving Waves is an album I have owned for a long time but did not pay a lot of attention to for many years, until recently. It has grown on me significantly over the last few ye ... (read more)

Report this review (#164799) | Posted by mapman | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first album of the classic era of Focus, one of my favourite bands of all time. If you have purchases Hamburger Concerto, or Focus III, and don't own this... buy it!? Many people will like this album, simply for the hit single Hocus Pocus, and its yodelling. As for me, the true ge ... (read more)

Report this review (#160511) | Posted by OzzProg | Friday, February 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is good only for the presence of Hocus Pocus and Janis. thes two songs are extreme good. Hocus Pocus is an allegro Yodler, very good but strange for a band from Holland. Janis is a POP Jazz ballad, very good and sweet. Good, but too POp, also Moving Waves. The second side is occuped fr ... (read more)

Report this review (#160334) | Posted by Stige | Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've been listening to this album for almost my entire life, and it has become somewhat of a them for me over the years. This album is a benchmark in progressive rock, considering that the second track Hocus Pocus is one of the most successful and well known progressive rock songs of all time. Oth ... (read more)

Report this review (#156410) | Posted by cynthiasmallet | Sunday, December 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of my all time favorite albums.Van Leer and Akkerman are obviously very talented composers. Le Clochard and Janis are perfect songs. What I mean is that they do not need to be any longer. They satisfy the ear just as they are. There is nothing that anyone redoing those songs could do ... (read more)

Report this review (#134532) | Posted by Jace | Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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