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Moving Waves

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Album Review

The album that boosted Focus into at least semi-fame outside of continental Europe, Moving Waves blasts off with their hit single, "Hocus Pocus." Built around a killer guitar hook by Jan Akkerman and a series of solo turns by the band, this instrumental replaced "Wipeout" as a staple of FM radio. The bizarrely hilarious vocal and accordion solos by Thijs van Leer — one of which absurdly concludes with rousing stadium cheers — have to be heard to be believed. After this over-the-top performance, the other tracks seem comparatively constrained: the gentle "Le Clochard" features some gorgeous classical guitar over Mellotron strings. The album concludes with "Eruption," which while mimicking the multi-suite nomenclature of Yes and King Crimson, is essentially a side-long jam session. Stop-time Emersonian organ solos alternate with languid sections of jazzy guitar redolent of Santana, while still other sections are flat-out electric blues-rock stomps. It's impressive playing, though it comes off as a bit meandering after the tightly structured solos that began the album.

Customer Reviews

Prog Rock Masterpiece

Arguably this is Focus at their best. Hocus Pocus is the real rocker here. The long track Eruption also rocks in places and includes the equally stupendous Tommy among many other good things. Focus 2 is a superb Jazz/Rock piece, Janis is almost as good but with a whiff of the east. Le Clochard is Akkerman's acoustic guitar solo (with mellotron backing). The title track has Van leer singimng a poem to piano accompaniment. These two pieces help give the album a breadth and depth unmatched by mere pretenders.

Ah, to be young again

Hearing this again was like meeting an ex girlfriend from many years ago. This was the 2nd album I ever bought and I never upgraded it to CD so I haven't heard it for 20 years. It takes me back ...

Welcome Back Old friend

I had this album in the 70's when I was young and free. I had not heard it for around 30+ years as it got lost when I moved out. It sounds as fresh as ever and can still hold its own. Played by real musicians.

Biography

Formed: 1969 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Best remembered for their bizarre chart smash "Hocus Pocus," Dutch progressive rock band Focus was formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by vocalist/keyboardist/flutist Thijs van Leer, bassist Martin Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. With the subsequent addition of guitarist Jan Akkerman, the group issued its debut LP, In and Out of Focus, in 1970, earning a European cult following thanks to the single "House of the King." Dresden and Cleuver were replaced by bassist Cyril Havermanns and drummer Pierre Van...
Full bio
Moving Waves, Focus
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