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