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Monday, January 27, 2014

Focus - In And Out Of Focus (1970 dutch, beautiful progressive rock, japan remaster)

Focus are widely known as the Netherlands' biggest prog export; a good draw on UK and US stages in the early '70s, they actually produced less 'classic' work than you might expect. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they recorded just one (almost) flawless album, their second, Moving Waves. 

They actually formed in 1969, pieced together from several other Dutch acts, quickly releasing their first album, In and Out of Focus, utilising a little Mellotron, along with keyboard player Thijs Van Leer's prime instrument, the organ.  There's an ordinary strings part on the jazzy Happy Nightmare (Mescaline) and a more overt part on one of the album's best tracks, Focus (Instrumental).

1. Focus (Vocal Version) (Van Leer, Cleuver) - 2:44
2. Black Beauty (Van Leer, Cleuver) - 3:05
3. Sugar Island (Van Leer, Dresden, Staal) - 3:03
4. Anonymous (Van Leer, Akkerman, Dresden) - 7:00
5. House Of The King (Akkerman) - 2:20
6. Happy Nightmare (Mescaline) (Van Leer, Dresden, Hayes) - 3:56
7. Why Dream (Van Leer, Cleuver) - 3:57
8. Focus (Instrumental Version) (Van Leer) - 9:45

*Thijs Van Leer – Vocals, Flute, Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Mellotron, Harpsichord, Vibraphone, Trumpet
*Jan Akkerman – Guitars, Acoustic Guitars
*Martin Dresden – Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Hans Cleuver – Drums, Bongos, Vocals

1972  Focus III  (Japan mini lp release)
Related Act
1969-70  Brainbox - Brainbox (2011 Esoteric expanded)

Free Text


Henning2804 said...

sounds much better than the age-old CD I have in the collection, so thank you so much

ozrock said...

Focus had a great importance in my musical adolescence. I had 45 Hocus Pocus / Sylvia (soon joined by Focus III) and I still remember the emotion I felt listening to the flute of Thijs Van Leer, magical as that of Ian Anderson, his yodeling in rock music (here in South Tyrol is used extensively in folk, so in a completely different context), and his keyboards and then the riffs of Jan Akkerman which, along with other excellent supporting cast, formed a unique and unrepeatable mixture. Some tears in regret that it has been more than 40 years and thanks to Marios to the memory of this wonderful group. ozrock

Henning2804 said...

From the scans you have added to the posting I can see that the rest of the Focus CD's are available in hi-res formats as if you have some of the others and posted them, in particular Hamburger Concerto, my heart would melt with happyness......

Jacob Valbjørn said...

nds great but where is the link?

CrunchyFrog said...

@ Henning2804 : coming...