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.

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20151221

Golden Years of Dutch Pop Music

This 2 CD compilation album issued in October contains
 
CD 1
1: The shrine of god
2: Watch the ugly people
3: Why dream
4: Happy nightmare (mescaline)
5: House of the king
6: Focus
7: Hocus pocus
8: Janis
9: Sylvia
10: Love remembered
11: Tommy
12: Focus ii
13: Harem scarem
14: Early birth
15: P's march
16: Focus v
17: Eddy
18: Sneezing bull
19: Anonymous
20: Black beauty
21: Le clochard
CD 2
1: Eruption
2: Focus iii
3: Answers? questions! questions? answers!
4: Hamburger concerto
5: Focus iv
6: Mother focus
7: Glider
8: Crackers
9: Hocus pocus

20151201

Miming to House of the King 1971


O Avondrood Video

Just now and again you come across something you've never seen on YouTube. This is a video with the Focus track Avondrood (Red evening). I'm not sure what the live at Top of the Pops tag means. I don't think this was ever on any British top of the pops.

20151106

SIr Thijs Van Leer Solo Album

Focus fans will be interested to know of a limited edition Thijs Van Leer solo album recently released. The three CD offering is a recording of a live gig at Trading Boundaries. The second and third discs give the concert itself with the fascinating biographical ramblings by Thijs that interweave the songs. The first CD selects songs from the concert and presents them as  amore straightforward album. The three CDs come in a very attractive book-like album with lots of photographs and info and original art work by Roger Dean. A lovely presentation full of old favourites and one or two more obscure ones, all in acoustic fashion. 

20151026

New edtion of Focus book

A new (third) edition of the book on Focus by Australian Peet Johnson arrived through my door the other day - Hocus Pocus: the strife and times of rock's Dutch masters. (See details here) Peet must know more about Focus than any man on earth and this new edition brings you right up to date with facts such as the version of Focus 3 done by Outkast and that by Guo Yue of House of the King (both in 1996). It's a bit expensive but hardcore Focus fans will go for it.

20150403

New version of Focus II

A new album, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Prog Rock Classics includes a version of Focus II with Van Leer on flute. Worth a listen.