FOCUS Report From All Around The World

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Given that FOCUS‘ last endeavor was a re-recording of the band’s previously released cuts, one would assume Thijs van Leer has excluded experimentalism from their creative scope. As if to counter such a notion, there are three new releases from the Dutch veterans that see  them in their element – adorning classics with yet-unheard details – both in the studio and on-stage.

FOCUS AND FRIENDS - Focus 8.5 / Beyond The Horizon

FOCUS AND FRIENDS –
Focus 8.5 /
Beyond The Horizon

First of these is titled “Focus 8.5 / Beyond The Horizon” to be positioned chronology-wise between the group’s “8” and “9” albums, as the recordings on it were made in South America back in 2005, when FOCUS mingled with stellar Brazilian players including bassist Arthur Maia, saxophonist Mario Seve and drummer Marcio Bahia. The result of the sessions is a unique mix of the van Leers-led idiosyncrasy and Latin rhythms: clearly not something the fans could expect from this collective. (Read the review here.)

1. Focus Zero
2. Hola, Cómo Estás?
3. Rock 5
4. Millennium
5. Înaltă
6. Talking Rhythms
a) Conversation Of Drums
b) Conversation Of Drummers
7. Surrexit Christus

Both concert releases will see the light of day on September 2nd, both were available for purchase only at the ensemble’s shows – in abridged form – and both feature the “9” line-up of Thijs van Leer, Pierre van der Linden, Bobby Jacobs and Niels van der Steenhoven. This means there are latter-day gems alongside classics, although the 2009 tracklist for the two records is rather similar.

“Live In Europe: Limited Edition” is what one would call an official bootleg:

FOCUS - Live In Europe

FOCUS –
Live In Europe

CD1:
1. Sylvia’s Stepson
2. House Of The King
3. Tamara’s Move
4. Focus 7
5. Aya Hippie Yippie Yee
6. Eruption
7. Sylvia

CD2:
1. Black Beauty
2. Le Cathedrale De Strasbourg
3. Harem Scarem
4. Di Te O De Mi
5. Round Goes The Gossip
6. Ode To Venus
7. Hocus Pocus

But “Live In England” – a package of 2CDs and a DVD – is more polished, what with its visual element captured:

FOCUS - Live In England

FOCUS –
Live In England

CD1:
1. Focus 1
2. House Of The King
3. Tamara’s Move
4. Focus 7
5. Aya Yuppie Hippie Yee
6. Eruption
7. Sylvia
8. Sylvia’s Stepson
9. Focus 3
10. Focus 2

CD2:
1. Black Beauty
2. De Ti O De Me
3. Le Cathedrale De Strasbourg
4. Harem Scarem
5. Ode To Venus
6. Hocus Pocus

DVD:
1. Focus 1
2. House Of The King
3. Tamara’s Move
4. Focus 7
5. Aya Yuppie Hippie Yee
6. Eruption
7. Sylvia
8. Sylvia’s Stepson
9. Focus 3
10. Focus 2
11. Black Beauty
12. De Ti O De Me
13. Le Cathedrale De Strasbourg
14. Harem Scarem
15. Ode To Venus
16. Hocus Pocus

July 26, 2016

Category(s): News
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