Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.




Track by track 96

Archive number: 96
Title: Hocus Pocus (Live)
Main Album: Focus Live In America
Track number: 9
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Venue: Patriots Theater, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Length: 12' 57”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Flute, Voice, Whistling; Jan Dumee – Guitar; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Bert Smaak - Drums
Producer: Gavin Bott/Bob Carruthers
Engineer: Mike Potter (Orion Sound) Mix (Total audio)
Label: Classical Rock Legends Limited
Date of recording/release: October 2002 (part of a two day Uriah Heep led classic rock legend festival that also featured Nektar, Mostly Autumn and Asia). Released on DVD and CD (edited) in 2003.
Alternative version: One of the most famous and oft repeated Focus tracks, it appeared first on the Moving Waves album.
Notes: On the DVD the flute improvisation that precedes it is separately credited. Beginning with organ too, the flute is mostly solo. This takes us to 02:35 when the organ comes in and Van Leer begins on a sort of priestly singing in tongues. This then transmutes (to a loud cheer from the audience) into the famous yodel. Unable to get the high notes these days Van Leer switches to a harsh whistling sound, supplemented by Dumee's voice. We are then into the main riff, complete with high volume (sometimes squealing) guitar. This is broken up twice by the yodel and scream, then the strange voice and scream. Third time round we have the low (Van Leer) and high (Dumee) voices. Next time it's the flute then the extended yodel (not quite as long as it used to be). The guitar is frenetic by this point but things cool down for the intros – Bobby Jacobs, Bertie Smaak, Jan Dumee and the man himself on organ and flute. We come out of that with a great driving bass and one more blast from the band ending in unison at 09:13. The crowd then cheer (one man's "Oh yeah" is very distinct), Van Leer says thank you very much for the final time and that is the end – though on the CD we have edited in the intro for what is there the final track (Focus 3).

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