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28.8.07

Focus


focus-hocuspocusbestoffocus




Focus - Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus - 1993 - Red Bullet (CD Release 2001, with bonus track 16)

A must have digitally remastered collection of Focus Greatest Songs. The collection is great and has a sampling of their classics from each of their albums. Focus was not only the "Dutch Masters of Rock," but also the masters of creative, innovative, and intelligent music. Thijs Van Leer is the Johann Sebastian Bach of Rock and some say that Jan Akkerman was on a par with Eric Clapton. The fact that Focus never achieved the commercial success of other super groups is a tragedy and oversight that will be corrected by history and the power of the Internet.

Line-up/Musicians

- Jan Akkerman / guitar
- Thijs Van Leer / keyboard, flute, vocals
- Colin Allen / drums
- Hans Eric Cleuver / drums
- Martin Dresden / bass
- Cyril Havermanns / bass
- David Kemper / bass
- Bert Ruiter / bass
- Pierre VanDer Linden / drums

TRACKS

1. Hocus Pocus (6:42)
2. Anonymus (6:36)
3. House of the King (2:52)
4. Focus [instrumental] (9:49)
5. Janis (3:10)
6. Focus II (4:05)
7. Tommy (Eruption) (3:27)
8. Sylvia (3:33)
9. Focus III (6:09)
10. Harem Scarem (5:53)
11. Mother Focus (3:07)
12. Focus IV (4:01)
13. Bennie Helder (3:33)
14. Glider (4:40)
15. Red Sky at Night (5:49)
16. Hocus Pocus [US Single Version] (3:24)

REVIEW

Has it really been over 30 years since this terrific group of musicians from Holland scored a huge success with their "Moving Waves" album, and the highly original signature tune, "Hocus Pocus" ? Time flies--but, in the case of Focus, time has been kind--their music still sounds fresh, melodic and exciting. The band went through some personnel changes, but the key members were Thijs Van Leer ( keyboards, flute, vocals ), and guitar whiz, Jan Akkerman. I have fond memories of seeing them live in Montreal--an awesome concert. This CD is an excellent retrospecive of their most memorable numbers. Their music was primarily instrumental,and "progressive" in the most positive sense. The "focus" here--if you'll pardon the pun--was on musicianship--these guys could really play. I suspect Akkerman and Van Leer might have had some classical training in their youth. All their well-known numbers are included--"Harem Scarem", "Sylvia", "Janis" and two different versions of "Hocus Pocus". The 70s was an era where bands flourished who had only the most talented musicians. Later, progressive rock groups were often labelled pretentious--usually by critics who could only appreciate three-chord boogies ! Well--this "pretentious" music gave us some of the most incredible musicians rock has ever had--Steve Howe, Tony Banks, Keith Emerson, Dave Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Robert Fripp, Daryl Way and--yes--Jan Akkerman. When I hear some of the junk that is selling today, I don't know whether to laugh or cry ! OK--I'm off my soapbox ! Bottom line--Focus were easily one of the best 70s bands, and this CD is a worthy compilation. Recommended. © peterfromkanata (Kanata, Ontario Canada © 2007 Amazon.com, Inc. and its affiliates. All rights reserved