Focus “Moving Waves”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#197 in the Series) is Focus, Moving Waves.

Focus was a Dutch seventies band that featured the keyboards and vocals of Thijs van Leer and the wonderful guitar work of guitarist Jan Akkerman.  The other two band members were Cyriel Havermans on bass and Pierre van der Linden on drums.

Their second album was titled Focus II. Here in the United States it was known as Moving Waves.

Moving Waves included one of the most original hits songs in US history, of course that would be “Hocus Pocus.” The music was quite experimental sounding even without a yodeling falsetto based vocal track. This was head of its time when this was released in 1971. It would still be head of its time now, nearly 40 years later.  Besides being ahead of its time, it sounds good!

Track Listing

Side one of this album had five tracks.

  1. “Hocus Pocus” (Thijs van Leer, Jan Akkerman) – 6:42
  2. “Le Clochard” (Akkerman) – 2:01
  3. “Janis” (Akkerman) – 3:09
  4. “Moving Waves” (van Leer, Inayat Khan) – 2:42
  5. “Focus II” (van Leer) – 4:0

Side Two was quite ambitious with only one tune, Eruption. It’s an adaptation of Jacopo Peri’s opera Euridice, which tells the tale of Orpheus and Euridice It was broken up into sixteen parts.

  1. “Eruption:” – 23:04
  2. “Orfeus” (van Leer) – 1:22
  3. “Answer” (van Leer) – 1:35
  4. “Orfeus” (van Leer) – 1:20
  5. “Answer” (van Leer) – 0:52
  6. “Pupilla” (van Leer) – 1:03
  7. “Tommy” (Tom Barlage) – 1:45
  8. “Pupilla” (van Leer) – 0:34
  9. “Answer” (van Leer) – 0:21
  10. “The Bridge” (Akkerman) – 5:20
  11. “Break” – 0:24
  12. “Euridice” (van Leer, Eelke Nobel) – 1:40
  13. “Dayglow” (van Leer) – 2:09
  14. “Endless Road” (Pierre van der Linden) – 1:36
  15. “Answer” (van Leer) – 0:34
  16. “Orfeus” (van Leer) – 0:51
  17. “Euridice” (van Leer, Nobel) – 1:37

Personnel

  • Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, mellotron, harmonium, flutes, vocals
  • Jan Akkerman – guitars, bass guitar
  • Cyriel Havermans (Cyril Havermans) – bass guitar, vocals (on “Pupilla”)
  • Pierre van der Linden – drums, percussion

Moving Waves peaked at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts.

‘Hocus Pocus’ peaked at #9 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart.
Here’s an interesting live version of Hocus Pocus followed by original.

Focus, one of The Netherlands best exports.  Right up there with Arie Luyendyk and Ard Schenk.

Bonus Video ‘Sylvia’ from Focus 3

Posted by Larry Carta


Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 3 + 3?