Focus II

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Focus II
(Moving Waves)
Studio album by Focus
Released October 1971
Recorded 13 April – 14 May 1971
Sound Techniques and Morgan Studios
(London, England)
Genre Progressive rock, jazz fusion, hard rock, instrumental rock
Length 41:40
Label Imperial
Producer Mike Vernon
Focus chronology
Focus Plays Focus
(In and Out of Focus)
(1971)
Focus II
(1971)
Focus 3
(1972)

Focus II (re-released as Moving Waves) is the second studio album from the Dutch rock band Focus. The album includes the hit "Hocus Pocus" and "Eruption", a 23-minute adaptation of Jacopo Peri's opera Euridice which tells the story of Orpheus and Euridice. Focus II was released in October 1971 to positive critical reception. It went on to reach the top ten in the UK, US and the Netherlands.

Production[edit]

The single "Hocus Pocus" was Focus' biggest hit and gained the band fair popularity. The song, similar in some regards to the riff-driven hard rock of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, anticipated many aspects of 1980s heavy metal music, and especially the guitar work of Yngwie Malmsteen with Akkerman's use of the harmonic minor and Hungarian minor scales, uncommon in rock music in the 1970s.

Radical departures in musical styles follow in the remaining tracks of the album. "Le Clochard" ("The Beggar" in French), also entitled "Bread", is a melancholy classical guitar piece by Akkerman with van Leer backing on Mellotron strings. "Janis", another Akkerman-penned ballad, becomes a flute showcase for van Leer with multiple tracks on that instrument. "Moving Waves", a piano and vocal solo by Thijs van Leer, features lyrics by Sufi poet/master musician Inayat Khan. "Focus II" features the entire band in a classical-jazz fusion instrumental with graceful changes of time signature.

"Eruption" is a 23 minute long instrumental piece, a hard rock version of the tale of Orpheus and Euridice and an updated and more modern version of Jacopo Peri's opera Euridice. An uncredited melody from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo opens the suite, and a later segment includes the haunting "Tommy" (after its author Tom Barlage of the Dutch fusion band Solution). The Zappa-inspired "The Bridge" is a heavily syncopated jam session, culminating in some solo guitar riffs reminiscent of "Hocus Pocus" . "Euridice", penned by Eelko Nobel, is a classical lied which segues into the Gregorian "Dayglow", then van der Linden's drum solo, "Endless Road". The suite ends with a return to its opening themes, uniting them with "Euridice" with van der Linden's freeform percussion effectively evoking the sound of fireworks for the finale.

Release[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
MelodicMusic 5/5 stars

Focus II was released in October 1971 to mainly positive reception. It went on to peak at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart,[2] number 8 on the US Billboard 200,[3] and number 9 on the Dutch Top 40 chart.[4]

The single "Hocus Pocus" peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.[citation needed]

Focus II came in at number 24 in Q and Mojo's list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums."[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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 4:00
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Eruption"
  • "Orfeus" (van Leer)
  • "Answer" (van Leer)
  • "Orfeus" (van Leer)
  • "Answer" (van Leer)
  • "Pupilla" (van Leer)
  • "Tommy" (Tom Barlage)
  • "Pupilla" (van Leer)
  • "Answer" (van Leer)
  • "The Bridge" (Akkerman)
  • "Euridice" (van Leer, Eelko Nobel)
  • "Dayglow" (van Leer)
  • "Endless Road" (Pierre van der Linden)
  • "Answer" (van Leer)
  • "Orfeus" (van Leer)
  • "Euridice" (van Leer, Nobel)"  
22:35
  • 1:22
  • 1:35
  • 1:20
  • 0:52
  • 1:03
  • 1:45
  • 0:34
  • 0:21
  • 5:20
  • 1:40
  • 2:09
  • 1:36
  • 0:34
  • 0:51
  • 1:37

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "allmusic ((( Moving Waves > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - Focus - Moving Waves". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Moving Waves - Focus | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  4. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Focus - Moving Waves". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  5. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.

External links[edit]