In and out of Focus
As Focus achieved success the "In and Out of Focus" album was re-released without the track "House of the king" (as it had been added to Focus 3) and without "Sugar island" as the band were touring the USA and it was deemed politically incorrect to criticise Cuba.
Liner notes by Seymour Stein:
Slightly over three years ago, I saw a group perform in Holland. Without a doubt they were the most original band I had ever seen. Their music, a unique blend of classical, jazz and rock was a refreshing change from the hard driving rock, extremely popular in England and the United States at that time. I was equally, if not more so impressed with the personalities, depth of musical knowledge, ability and drive of the group's motivating forces, Jan Akkerman, guitarist and Thijs van Leer, the band's organist, flutist and vocalist.
The group was Focus and had been formed in the mid 1969 as a trio by Thijs van Leer with bass guitarist Martin Dresden and drummer Hans Cleuver. Guitarist Jan Akkerman, then with Barinbox, one of the top Dutch pop groups, joined to make it a quartet in November 1969.
After several months, two trips to Holland and some heavy meetings with Hubert Terheggen, the head of the Focus management team, Focus was signed to Sire Records and shortly thereafter, this record "In and out of Focus" was released. The record recieved the critical acclaim of both FM radio and record reviewers, but strong sales never materialized.
That was three years ago and the group has undergone many changes. After a year of moderate success, Jan Akkerman decided to rejoin drummer Pierre van der Linden also ex-Brainbox. They formed a new band and asked Thijs van Leer to come with them. Cyril Havermans joined on bass guitar and they continued to call the band Focus. Bert Ruiter replaced Cyril Havermans in September, 1971.
In the pas year, Focus has emerged as the first truly progressive band from continental Europe to achieve prominence in Great Britain and the United States. Why they succeeded, where countless other groups failed, was because of their totally original sound both on records and in personal appearances. Their music is far removed from the rock cliche we have been used to for the past six years. This is the key to their success.
Their more recent albums, "Moving waves" and "Focus 3" and their three triumphant tours of Britain resulted in Focus winning both the Melody Maker Brightest hope 1972 and New Musical Express "Best talent of 1972" awards. Focus is fast being recognized as super-stars here in the United States and American audiences are anxiously awaiting the first Focus tour scheduled for early spring of this year. This, their first album is important because it traces the current success of Focus, back to the inception and early roots of the group and should not be overlooked. It is for just this reason that we have repackaged and made available again "In and Out of Focus".
- Vinyl LP
- Release No.
- Jan Akkerman
Thijs van Leer
- Hubert Terheggen
- Sound Technique Studios, London
- Focus (instrumental)
Happy Nightmare (Mescaline)