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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)

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