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20.12.10

Focus


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Focus - Greatest Hits Gold (aka Live Legends) - 2004 - Retro Records

Focus was a Dutch rock group (1969-1976) centered around flutist and vocalist Thijs Van Leer and guitarist Jan Akkerman. The music is influenced by classical music, as heard in their signature song, the baroque style inspired "Hocus Pocus". The majority of their work is instrumental, like their biggest hit, "Sylvia". "Greatest Hits Gold" also released as "Live Legends" is a digitally remastered 2 X CD compilation featuring all Focus' hits recorded live, including 'Hocus Pocus', 'Focus I', 'House Of The King', 'Sylvia', & more. The album also features a complete performance of 'Hamburger Concerto.' The album features recordings from different Focus line-ups, including the classic seventies line up featuring Jan Akkerman and also later band line-ups from 2001. N.B: CD 2 sounds identical to the "Focus live in America" album, recorded during Focus' 2002 USA comeback tour, except for the track "La Cathedral de Strasbourg". PLEASE READ - It has been stated that this album is a band comprised of Thijs Van Leer and various backing musicians, and that the tracks were recorded between 2002 to 2003 and does not include Jan Akkerman. Some people have referred to the Focus line-up on CD 1 as a "tribute band", and called the music a "rip-off". This is not true as it is well known that since 2001, Thijs Van Leer has kept the band going under the Focus banner using musicians like guitarist Jan Dumée, bass guitarist Bobby Jacobs, and drummer Bert Smaak. The album has received a lot of unfair criticism. True, Jan Akkerman is not playing on CD 1, but guitarist Jan Dumée is, and it is known that Jan Akkerman is an admirer of the "new member" Jan Dumée's guitar talents. This double album is very good and CD 1 includes well played renditions of the classic Focus tunes. If you are not familiar with Focus, search this blog for other Akkerman/VanLeer/Focus recordings. Listen to Focus' classic "Focus III" and "Focus at the Rainbow" albums. N.B: The files here are very large, so give some thought before DL'ing this album

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TRACKS / COMPOSERS

CD 1

1 Hocus Pocus - Akkerman, VanLeer 5:24
2 Hamburger Concerto - Akkerman, VanLeer 17:37
3 Anonymous II - T. van Leer; J. Akkerman; P. van der Linden; B. Ruiter 9:39
4 Focus Medley - 13:34
5 Sneezing Bull - Catherine 1:57
6 Angels Wings - Catherine 4:28

CD 2

1 Focus I - VanLeer 12:59
2 House of the King - Akkerman 2:53
3 Focus II - VanLeer 5:20
4 Eruption - VanLeer 16:28
5 Sylvia - VanLeer 4:34
6 Focus V - VanLeer 4:00
7 Focus VII - VanLeer 9:47
8 Hocus Pocus - Akkerman, VanLeer 9:46
9 Focus III - VanLeer 4:46

MUSICIANS

Jan Akkerman - Guitar, Vocals
Philip Catherine - Guitar
Jan Dumée (NEW MEMBER) - Guitar, Vocals
Bobby Jacobs (NEW MEMBER), Bert Ruiter, Cyril Havermans, Martijn Dresden - Bass Guitar
Thijs van Leer - Organ, Flute, Vocals
Pierre van der Linden, Hans Cleuver, Bert Smaak (NEW MEMBER), Colin Allen - Drums

SHORT BIO

Best remembered for their bizarre chart smash "Hocus Pocus," Dutch progressive rock band Focus was formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by vocalist/keyboardist/flutist Thijs van Leer, bassist Martin Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. With the subsequent addition of guitarist Jan Akkerman, the group issued its debut LP, In and Out of Focus, in 1970, earning a European cult following thanks to the single "House of the King." Dresden and Cleuver were replaced by bassist Cyril Havermanns and drummer Pierre Van der Linden for the English-language follow-up, Moving Waves; the record generated the hit "Hocus Pocus," a hallucinatory epic distinguished by Akkerman's guitar pyrotechnics and van Leer's demented yodeling. Easily one of the flat-out strangest songs ever to crack the American pop charts, the single peaked at number nine in the spring of 1973, by which time Focus had already exchanged Havermanns for bassist Bert Ruiter and issued their third album, Focus III, which yielded the minor hit "Sylvia." In the wake of 1974's Hamburger Concert, the band streamlined the classical aspirations of earlier efforts to pursue a more pop-oriented approach on records like Ship of Memories and Mother Focus; though roster changes regularly plagued Focus throughout the period, none was more pivotal than the 1976 exit of Akkerman, who was replaced by guitarist Philip Catherine for 1978's Focus con Proby, cut with British pop singer P.J. Proby. Focus then disbanded, with the original lineup reuniting in 1990 for a Dutch television special. © Jason Ankeny © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/focus-p4285/biography

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK Pt 1
LINK Pt 2

p/w aoofc

Xtabay said...

lovely share thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Xtabay! Thanks as always...P