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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20191011

Hocus Pocus in the movies again

You'll enjoy this trailer especially from 1'09" on

20191010

Track by track 131

Archive number: 131
Title: Birds Come Fly Over (Le Tango)
Main Album: Focus X
Track number: 6
Genre: Jazz Pop Vocal
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium
Length: 5:21
Composer: Thijs Van Leer, Roselie Peters
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute, melodica; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums; Ivan Lins - vocals. 
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Label: Eastworld Recordings
Date of recording/release: November, 2012
Alternative version: The same track is on The Focus Family album. Versions of Le Tango appear on the Focus album with Jan Akkerman, on Introspection 4 and in other places.
Notes: We begin with drums then acoustic guitar, organ, flute and eventually a chugging electric guitar in tango time. At 0:54 the vocal begins. The words are

I'm always watching sunrise,
I have at least a life
And for my heart's desire, I can die.

And you my love, my good love,
I see you live your life,
But in my heart I've often seen you cry.

I'm only waiting for the time to pass,
How can I raise my voice or my hand?
Birds come fly over to the sun.

Out of a million lovers,
One only could be mine,
Oh there's a million others passing by

From sun up until sundown
This life is such a strife
And if you lose your love you lose your life.

I'm only waiting for the time to pass,
How can I raise my voice or my hand?
Birds come fly over to the sun.

There is a brief instrumental section announced by a beat from 2:02-02:21 after verse 3. In the subsequent part van Leer's melodica is heard. From 3:28-04:01 the band comes in more strongly again before the final vocal section which features the second three verses repeated. A piano is heard in the mix this time.

20191003

Track by Track 130

Archive number: 130 
Title: All Hens On Deck 
Main Album: Focus X 
Track number: 5 
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental 
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium 
Length: 5:44 
Composer: Thijs van Leer 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums 
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Label: Eastworld Recordings 
Date of recording/release: November 2012
Alternative version: 
Notes: The track begins full pelt with drums then the band led by percussive guitar, the flute coming in from 00:06. This goes on until at 00:23 we have the breakdown with a series of three strokes, lasting until 00:44 when the Hammond led band takes up the theme. The flute then leads until 01:01 and the second break down. At 01:16 it is van Leer's scat vocal that comes in echoing the guitar with the band until 01:43. Menno's bluesy guitar then goes on until 02:28 when the scat section is repeated until 02:56. Next comes a radical slow down and a majestic, classical section led by the vocal and guitar. At 04:13 the earliest section is repeated, leading into the scat section (from 04:40). A final six strokes brings us almost to the end (05:25) before a long drawn out cat moan vocal contribution by a finally breathless van Leer.

20190926

Songs played only once in concert

Angel Wings
Anonymous/House of the King
Bésame mucho (Consuelo Velázquez cover)
Blues
Bobby's Bass Solo
Concerto de Aranjuez
Croatian title
De Ti O De Mi
Father Bacchus
Flute introduction
Focus 9 & 10
Focus V & VI
For You, or for Me
Guitar/Bass Solo
Hard Vanilla
Harem Scarem (featuring Menno guitar solo and Udo bass solo)
Harem Scarem (inc guitar and bass solos)
Hoeratio
Jan Akkerman Solo
Jippijippieayo
Just Like Eddy
Le Tango
Little Sister/What You See
Little Sister/What You See/Little Sister
Maximum
My Sweetheart
Profile
Questions answers answers questions
Sneezing Bull
Sonata for Flute
Sylvia (prelude)
Sylvia's Stepson - Ubatuba
The Girl From Bangu
Tommy/Focus III /Hocus Pocus
Tropical bird
Virtuous Woman
Walk on     

Rarely played live songs

Four times
Bass Solo, Blizu Tebé, Bobby bass solo/ arem reprise, Focus 8, Focus X, Hurkey Turkey, Mare Nostrum, Menno's Guitar Solo, No Hang Ups, Rock & Rio, Thijs' flute & vocal solos, Tommy
Five times
Flute & Keyboard solo, Flute Solo (Thijs), Focus VII, Keyboards and Flute Improvisation, 
Twice
Blues in D, Flute Improvisation, Focus IV, Guitar Solo, Hamburger Concerto Jam, Harem Scarem (reprise), Love Remembered, Medley: Focus (Instrumental)/Focus (Vocal)/Anonymous, Pierre's Drum Solo, Sto Ces Raditi Ostatac Zivota

Less commonly played live songs 21-40

21/22 Anonymous II and Focus V 11
23-25 Focus and Hocus Pocus (Reprise) and Sylvia's Stepson 10
26/27 Flute Solo and P's March 9
28 Ode to Venus 8
29-32 Birth and Drum Solo / Hocus Pocus reprise and Hamburger Concerto and Who's Calling?  7
33-37 Drum Solo and Focus 11 and Focus III / Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! and Hurkey Turkey 2 and Thijs van Leer Solo 6
38-40 Anonymous and Mazzel and Victoria 5

Less commonly played live songs 10-20

After the top 10 the statistics go
11 Aya-Yuppie-Hippie-Yee 37
12 Focus 7 32
13 Birds Come Fly Over (Le Tango) 31
14 Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! 30
15 Brother 19
16 Tamara's Move 17
17 Round Goes the Gossip 15
18 De ti o de mí and Neurotika 13
20 Focus I /Anonymus 12

Top 10 songs played on tour


Harem Scarem at Setlist fm

Harem Scarem
Facts
Total Plays - 97 times by 1 Artist
From the release - Hamburger Concerto (Album)
First Played in Concert - April 30, 1974 by Focus at Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherlands
Most Recently Played - September 23, 2019 by Focus at CLUB CITTA', Kawasaki, Japan

Detailed Statistics by Artist
Harem Scarem stats
Focus

Eruption at Setlist fm

Eruption by Focus
Facts

Total Plays - 117 times by 1 Artist
From the release - Focus II (Album)
First Played in Concert - October 29, 1971 by Focus at De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Most Recently Played - September 23, 2019 by Focus at CLUB CITTA', Kawasaki, Japan

Detailed Statistics by Artist
Eruption stats
Focus

See here

House of the King at Setlist fm

House of the King by Focus
Facts

Total Plays - 125 times by 4 Artists
From the release - In and Out of Focus (Album)
First Played in Concert - May 31, 1971 by Focus at Pinkpop Festival 1971
Most Recently Played - September 23, 2019 by Focus at CLUB CITTA', Kawasaki, Japan

Detailed Statistics by Artist
House of the King stats
Focus Drugi način John Wesley Harding La nuova Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno

Sylvia at Setlist fm

Sylvia by Focus
Facts

Total Plays - 156 times by 10 Artists
From the release - Focus 3 (Album)
First Played in Concert - November 12, 1971 by Focus at Club Zodiac, Amstelveen, Netherlands
Most Recently Played - September 23, 2019 by Focus at CLUB CITTA', Kawasaki, Japan

Detailed Statistics by Artist
Sylvia stats Focus The Breakfast Jan Akkerman De Boertjes van Buuten The Progs Don Airey Ryo Okumoto Progtributes Transatlantic Ginger Wildheart

See here

Hocus Pocus at Setlist fm

Hocus Pocus by Focus
Facts

Total Plays - 324 times by 37 Artists
From the release - Focus II (Album)
First Played in Concert - May 31, 1971 by Focus at Pinkpop Festival 1971
Most Recently Played - September 23, 2019 by Focus at CLUB CITTA', Kawasaki, Japan

Detailed Statistics by Artist
Hocus Pocus stats
Focus Gary Hoey Jan Akkerman Ginger Wildheart TR3 Steve Vai They Might Be Giants Nuno Bettencourt Zakk Wylde Yngwie J. Malmsteen Marillion Pacific Panic Don Airey Future Sight The Vandals Tosin Abasi A Couple Anancies Foo Fighters Generation Axe moe. Zon Anthrax Cult Hero D'AccorD Eläkeläiset First Generation of Number Nine Michael Girard Manowar Max Webster Ningen Isu Raging Slab Brendon Small Stallion Twister Thelonious Monster Transatlantic Ugly Kid Joe WildSide

See here

20190511

Focus Family Album Pie Chart


Track by track 129


Archive number: 129
Title: Amok in Kindergarten
Main Album: Focus X
Track number: 4
Genre: Jazz Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium (Mixed at B-Spot Studio; mastered at Tube Mastering)
Length: 5' 00"
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Mastered: Andy Jackson
Mixed: Bram Bol
Label: Eastworld Recordings 
Date of recording/release: November 2012
Alternative version: Two early versions appear on a rare van Leer solo album called Home Concert. The first is a short piano piece and the second long piece features flute and piano.
Notes: First a sombre mood is set by the cymbals and drums with piano, organ and bass (00:00-00:52) before the guitar comes in too with the jazz melody that meanders along until 02:02 when the guitar takes more of a lead. This continues until 03:49 when something more like the earlier theme is taken up. This is a demanding piece on a demanding theme.
A note on the Dunblane School Massacre (from Wikipedia)
The Dunblane school massacre took place at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, on 13 March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton, who lived five miles from the school, shot 16 children and one teacher dead before killing himself. The massacre occurred in the school gym where 28 children had been gathered for a PE lesson. Several staff were present. He also fired shots into a nearby classroom where the pupils had been instructed tolie on the floor. A total of 32 people sustained gunshot wounds inflicted by Hamilton over a 3 or 4 minute period, 16 of whom were fatally wounded in the gymnasium, which included Gwen Mayor and 15 of her pupils. One other child died later en route to hospital. It remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history.
Following the massacre two new Firearms Acts were passed, outlawing private ownership of most handguns in Great Britain. The gymnasium at the school was demolished on 11 April 1996 and replaced by a memorial garden. Two years after the massacre on 14 March 1998, a memorial garden was opened at Dunblane Cemetery, where Gwen Mayor and twelve of the slain children are buried.
Van Leer's piece is one of several musical reponses to the event.

Track by track 128

Archive number: 128
Title: Victoria
Main Album: Focus X
Track number: 3
Genre: Prog Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium (Mixed at B-Spot Studio; mastered at Tube Mastering)
Length: 5' 28"
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars, Vocals; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Mastered: Andy Jackson
Mixed: Bram Bol
Label: Eastworld Recordings 
Date of recording/release: November 2012
Alternative version: This track was originally recorded in 1970 with a vocal in Dutch penned by Lennaert Herman Nijgh. The lyric tells the story of a man accused of rape who is knifed by the girl's father! An edited version of the instrumental appears on The Focus Family Album
Notes: The track begins with a solo piano intro. At 00:10 the drums break in and then the guitar led band when the chorus comes (00:52-01:16). The chorus features a background vocal repeating the name Victoria. The verse (to 01:55) and chorus (to 02:18) are then repeated. The break down then comes, featuring organ, flute and a little muted flute before returning to the theme just before the three minute mark. A verse and some chorus work follow until 03:56 when a jam comes in with real jazz flute and some guitar. This plays out to the end of the track.

20190510

Track by track 127

Archive number: 127
Title: Focus 10
Main Album: Focus X
Track number: 2
Genre: Jazz Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium (Mixed at B-Spot Studio; mastered at Tube Mastering)
Length: 5' 28"
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars, Vocals; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs
Mastered: Andy Jackson
Mixed: Bram Bol
Label: Eastworld Recordings 
Date of recording/release: November 2012
Alternative version: None
Notes: This is the title track and the tenth in the eponymous series. The drums again briefly introduce the guitar led band. The tune is a playful jazzy, even at times a quirky and teasing, one. The tune has something of a French feel to it. Beginning at 00:02 it goes on to 02:28 before the flute joins in. This flute section then goes on until around 03:40 before being chiefly supersededed by the guitar although it does make some brief comebacks. At 05:02 the piece breaks down and first only piano and organ play and then for the final 33 seconds just solo jazz piano to close the track.