Focus – Moving Waves (1971)

Artist Credit
Jan Akkerman Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Percussion, Performer
Colin Allen Performer
Tom Barlage Composer
Jerry Boys Engineer
Focus Primary Artist, Producer
Ian Gillespie Pre-Mastering
Cyril Havermanns Bass
Terence Ibbott Design Photography
David Kemper Performer
Bert Ruiter Performer
Thijs van Leer Composer, Flute, Flute (Alto), Harmonica, Keyboards, Organ, Performer, Synthesizer, Vocals
Pierre van der Linden Composer, Drums
Mike Vernon Liner Notes, Producer, Supervisor

The album that boosted Focus into at least semi-fame outside of continental Europe, Moving Waves blasts off with their hit single, “Hocus Pocus.” Built around a killer guitar hook by Jan Akkerman and a series of solo turns by the band, this instrumental replaced “Wipeout” as a staple of FM radio. The bizarrely hilarious vocal and accordion solos by Thijs van Leer — one of which absurdly concludes with rousing stadium cheers — have to be heard to be believed. After this over-the-top performance, the other tracks seem comparatively constrained: the gentle “Le Clochard” features some gorgeous classical guitar over Mellotron strings. The album concludes with “Eruption,” which while mimicking the multi-suite nomenclature of Yes and King Crimson, is essentially a side-long jam session. Stop-time Emersonian organ solos alternate with languid sections of jazzy guitar redolent of Santana, while still other sections are flat-out electric blues-rock stomps. It’s impressive playing, though it comes off as a bit meandering after the tightly structured solos that began the album.

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