Search - Focus :: Mother Focus

Mother Focus
Mother Focus
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Reissue of 1975 album for Dutch progressive rock act best known for their 1973 hit single 'Hocus Pocus'. 2001 release. Standard jewel case.


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CD Details

All Artists: Focus
Title: Mother Focus
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Red Bullet
Release Date: 2/19/2001
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Europe, Continental Europe, Progressive, Progressive Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766486957329


Album Description
Reissue of 1975 album for Dutch progressive rock act best known for their 1973 hit single 'Hocus Pocus'. 2001 release. Standard jewel case.

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CD Reviews

Focus Fading, but Still Plenty Sharp
Ryle Shermatz | Cedar Rapids, IA | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to chime in on "Mother Focus" because I think it's surely one of the most underrated recordings in their discography. In a nutshell: subtract bassist Bert Ruiter's songs, and you've got a PRIMO Focus LP (although a very, VERY skimpy one).

I still remember buying the LP release of this brand new off the racks back in fall '75. I was DISAPPOINTED. No prior Focus LP had veered so much into jazz (as most evinced by the Bert Ruiter songs--Bert had never been allowed to contribute as a songwriter previously). And, being the teenager that I was, I was cranky because Jan Akkerman had none of the berserk wild-abandon guitar solos that riveted me three years previously on "Moving Waves."

Still, this WAS Focus and my respect for the band obliged me to give it repeated listens. And you know what? There is some SERIOUS GOLD to be found in this album IF you're willing to take the time to hear it. I refer here primarily to the track "Focus V," the lead track on side two of the LP. For my money, this is one of the most sublime pieces of music ever recorded--an INGENIOUS short course in the instrumental and compositional virtuousity that made Focus so special in the first place. Like all of the "Focus" series of themes written by the nonpariel Thijs (rymes with "rice")Van Leer, it is a moody, stately instrumental, showcasing the band's smarts in tricky & unexpected ways. On first listen (as I well recall), my reaction was, it's just muzak--but stick with it. Listen a few times and see whether or not the theme and its several variations don't insinuate themselves into your brain for the rest of your life. The arrangement is sheer perfection also--it's all about RESTRAINT and giving Van Leer's elegant composition all the space & air it needs to rock your soul. EVERYTHING is perfect here--Akkerman's oh-so-delicate slide guitar floating over Van Leer's piano/flute theme, Bert's always-bedrock bass... I must also give special marks to David Kemper's absolutely on-the-mark drumming. Over the years I have come to very greatly appreciate his lone stand-out snare drum tap, perfectly on time, totally isolated and separating the initial statement of the theme from the main body of the track. Strange thing to fixate on, but get into the song and see if you don't catch yourself nodding your head, or clapping your hands to match this uniquely brilliant single-note "drum solo."

"Focus V" is well worth the price of admission on its own, but the remaining Van Leer/Akkerman compositions show great luster and charm also. "My Sweetheart," "Bennie Helder," "Mother Focus," all are in the classic Focus style and worthy additions to the canon. With the band relocated to LA and the tensions between Akkerman & Van Leer peaking, perhaps they had no other material to flesh out an already skimpy album without letting Bert put his cocktail-lounge songs in.

Focus spun off in some weird directions in the wake of "Mother," with Akkerman splitting and Thijs carrying the band forward to next re-emerge in 1977 with of all people, PJ Proby singing on the release "Focus Con Proby." Featuring the guitarists Phillip Catherine (a pure jazz player) and the previously unknown Eef Albers (quite a find--a very worthy Akkerman style string-bender), they STILL managed an interesting and UNUSUAL recording with some fantastic highs. Still, I'd be interested in learning how in the hell did Focus EVER hook up with PJ Proby of all people? It's like Bobby Goldsboro joining Genesis! Still, Proby surprised me--if you can get past his Elvis/Sinatra affectations, the guy COULD sing. Of course this all just trivia postscript--stick with MOTHER and you won't go wrong.

Light Jazz muzak was not what I expected, but still above av
K. Lewis | OZ | 03/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this about a year after I've been enjoying Focus III and like a fool, I expected more of Focus III. I go that in Father Back and Focus IV, but most of this album is light jazz and almost muzak? It's Focus so it's good muzak at least and classy as always."