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FOCUS BIOGRAPHY

When IRS signed Jan Akkerman to their new No Speak imprint, it only seemed natural to tie the deal into a reissue program of Mr. Akkerman's previous band, Focus. The necessary reissue rights were acquired and Focus' first three albums were released.

The Dutch progressive rock band is best known for their loan chart hit, "Hocus Pocus" in 1974. Focus was formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by Thijs van Leer (vocals, keyboards and flute), Martin Dresden (bass) and Hans Cleuver (drums). Guitarist Jan Akkerman soon joined the group recorded and released their first LP, In And Out Of Focus in 1971. They soon earned a European cult following, due in large part to the single "House Of The King".

Before the second album, Moving Waves, Dresden and Cleuver were replaced by Cyril Havermanns and Pierre van der Linden, respectively. It was this LP that generated the hit "Hocus Pocus" which reached number 9 in the Spring of 1973.

For the third LP, Focus III, Havermanns was replaced by Bert Ruiter on bass and the tune "Sylvia" became a minor hit. Soon after this release the band went through several personnel changes as well as a change in sound, embracing more of a classical and "pop" motif than the progressive rock they were known for. Akkerman's departure in 1976 proved pivotal for the group. His replacement was Philip Catherine and the LP Focus Con Proby (featuring British pop star P.J. Proby) proved pivotal and Focus disbanded.

The original lineup reunited in 1990 for a Dutch television special. In 1999 they reunited yet again with a different line-up, but with Thijs van Leer still as leader.


FOCUS I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only FOCUS' recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for FOCUS, below...

Albums & EPs

In And Out Of Focus cover IN AND OUT OF FOCUS
IRS 13059 (Released 1993)

(Originally released in 1971 on Sire Records)

CD and Cassette



Produced by Hubert Tereggen
Production Supervisor/Liner notes Mike Vernon
Pre-Mastering by Ian Gillespie

Musicians:
Thijs van Leersynthesizer, flute, keyboards and vocals
Jan Akkerman guitar
Martin Dresden bass
Hans Eric Cleuver Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Focus [Vocal Version] (Cleuver/Van Leer/VanLeer) 2:44
  2. Black Beauty (Cleuver/Van Leer/VanLeer) 3:08
  3. Sugar Island (Staal/Van Leer/VanLeer) 3:05
  4. Anonymus (Akkerman/Cleuver/Dresden/Van Leer/VanLeer) 6:32
  5. House of the King (Akkerman) 2:51
  6. Happy Nightmare (Mescaline) (Dresden/Hayes/Van Leer/VanLeer) 3:59
  7. Why Dream (Cleuver/Van Leer/VanLeer) 3:57
  8. Focus [instrumental] (Van Leer/VanLeer) 9:43

Review coming Soon!



Moving Waves cover MOVING WAVES
IRS 13060 (Released 1993)

(Originally released in 1971 on Sire Records)

CD and Cassette


Produced by Mike Vernon
Engineered by Jerry Boys
Photography & Design by Terrence Ibbott
Liner notes Mike Vernon

Musicians:
Thijs van Leersynthesizer, flute, harmonica, keyboards and vocals
Jan Akkerman guitars & percussion
Cyril Havermanns bass
Pierre VanDer Linden Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Hocus Pocus (Akkerman/Van Leer) 6:42
  2. Le Clochard (Akkerman) 2:00
  3. Janis (Akkerman) 3:08
  4. Moving Waves (Khan/Van Leer) 2:42
  5. Focus II (Van Leer) 4:03
  6. Eruption: I. Orfeus & Answer [Suite] (Akkerman/Barlage/Van Lee) 23:02
  7. Answer (Eruption) (VanLeer) 1:35
  8. Orfeus (Eruption) (VanLeer) 1:20
  9. Answer (Eruption) (VanLeer) :52
  10. Pupilla (Eruption) (VanLeer) 1:03
  11. Tommy (Eruption) (Barlage) 1:45
  12. Pupilla (Eruption) (VanLeer) :34
  13. Answer (Eruption) (VanLeer) :21
  14. The Bridge (Eruption) (Akkerman) 5:20
  15. Break :24
  16. Euridice (Eruption) (Nobel/VanLeer) 1:40
  17. Dayglow (Euruption) (VanDer Linden) 2:09
  18. Endless Road (Eruption) (VanLeer)
  19. Answer (Eruption) (VanLeer) :34
  20. Orfeus (Eruption) (VanLeer) :52
  21. Euridice (Eruption) (Nobel/VanLeer) 1:37

Review coming Soon!


Focus III cover FOCUS III
IRS 13060 (Released 1993)

(Originally released in 1972 on Sire Records)

CD and Cassette



Produced by Mike Vernon
Engineered by George Chkiantz
Premastering by Ian Gillespie

Musicians:
Thijs van Leersynthesizer, flute, keyboards and vocals
Jan Akkerman guitars & percussion
Bert Ruiter bass & percussion
Pierre VanDer Linden Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Round Goes the Gossip (VanLeer) 5:12
  2. Love Remembered (Akkerman) 2:49
  3. Sylvia (VanLeer) 3:31
  4. Carnival Fugue (VanLeer) 6:08
  5. Focus III (VanLeer) 6:04
  6. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (Akkerman/Ruiter) 13:55
  7. Elspeth of Nottingham (Akkerman) 3:06
  8. Anonymus Two (Akkerman/Van Der Linden/Van Leer) 26:19

Review coming Soon!


FOCUS LINKS & OTHER COOL STUFF

There are a lot of websites that feature Focus the best we found are:

There's plenty more out there -- especially foreign language site. Use Google to find more!


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This Page Last Updated 12 September 2002

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