Focus – Where Are They Now?
Prog rockers Focus are only known to most for their sole moment of chart glory — 1973’s immortal ‘Hocus Pocus,’ which brought yodeling to the forefront in classic rock. So where are they now?
Then: Starting out in 1970, Dutch rockers Focus displayed a musical virtuosity and dynamics on par with other progressive-minded acts of the era. In 1973, their single ‘Hocus Pocus’ made it all the way up to the Top 10 in the US charts. It was a jarring, wild slice of complex rock and roll. How many other hit records can you name that featured yodeling?!
After releasing seven albums in as many years, the band fell apart. Founding members Thijs van Leer (vocals, organ, flute) and Jan Akkerman (guitar) regrouped in the mid-’80s to make another record, but quickly vanished again. In the early 2000s, Leer started a new version of Focus.
Now: In 2013, the band has just released its tenth effort, ‘Focus X,’ with Leer as the sole original member. He is joined by Pierre van der Linden on drums, Bobby Jacobs on bass and guitarist Menno Gootjes. As they proudly state on their website, “A new Focus era has arrived! There is a rejuvenated passion in the new compositions that adorn the new album ‘Focus X.'”
The new LP even features a full-scale Roger Dean painting on the cover, thus adding to its prog-ness. “It’s a thrill to have finally completed ‘Focus X'; we are all ecstatic and looking forward to playing the new material on the forthcoming Focus X World Tour,” states Leer — who, by the way, holds the distinction of being the first-ever knighted musician in Holland.
See Focus Perform ‘Hocus Pocus’ Live in 1973
Hear ‘Father Focus’ From ‘Focus X’