Title - 'Focus 11'
Artist - Focus
For those not in the know, Focus are a Dutch rock band formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by keyboardist, vocalist, and flautist Thijs van Leer.
The band have undergone numerous formations in its history; since December 2016 it has comprised van Leer, drummer Pierre van der Linden, guitarist Menno Gootjes, and bassist Udo Pannekeet.
Past members include guitarist Jan Akkerman, drummer Hans Cleuver and bassists Martijn Dresden, Bert Ruiter and Bobby Jacobs. They have sold one million RIAA-certified albums in the United States.
After the addition of Akkerman to van Leer's rock trio in late 1969, the band named themselves Focus and were the pit band for the Dutch production of the rock musical Hair.
Their debut album Focus Plays Focus (1970) gained little attention, but their follow-up album Moving Waves (1971), and its lead single "Hocus Pocus", earned the band international recognition.
Their success continued with Focus 3 (1972) and Hamburger Concerto (1974), the former containing their second hit single, "Sylvia". After two additional albums recorded with various musicians, Focus dissolved in 1978. They reunited in 1985, 1990, 1998 and 2002.
In 2002, van Leer reformed Focus with a new line-up. The albums Focus 8 (2002), Focus 9 / New Skin (2006) and Focus X (2012) were well received, and Focus continue to perform worldwide; their most recent album is Focus 11 (2019).
They received a renewed interest after Nike used "Hocus Pocus" in its 2010 World Cup commercial Write The Future. Focus remain one of the most successful and influential rock bands from the Netherlands.
And the aforementioned new album, Focus 11 is exactly why we are here today, ladies and gentleman. Releasing this February 8th, 2019 via the brilliantly-named In And Out Of Focus Records, the (of course) 11 track album is, for sure, one of their best, well-rounded and complete albums to date (in my humble opinion).
1. 'Who's Calling?'
3. 'Theodora na na na'
4. 'How Many Miles?'
9. 'Mare Nostrum'
10. 'Final Analysis'
11. 'Focus 11'
When asked about the album, Thijs van Leer responded poetically:
"Wow, my joy could not increase
To see this new release
It has Mazzel, Palindrome and Heaven
Plus a title track called Eleven
Both angelic and a beast
It’s Focus, to say the least!"
The current line-up of Focus - which features Thijs van Leer, Pierre van der Linden, Menno Gootjes and Udo Pannekeet – completed the new studio album earlier this year and are debuting the CD edition on their November UK Tour.
The 11 track album will be released as a CD, gatefold colored LP and Download on the band’s own In And Out of Focus Records, via Cherry Red, in late January. The album features artwork by Roger Dean.
CD Purchase Link