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Focus (band)

Dutch rock band / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Focus are a Dutch progressive rock band formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by keyboardist, vocalist, and flautist Thijs van Leer, drummer Hans Cleuver, bassist Martijn Dresden, and guitarist Jan Akkerman. The band has 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. They have sold one million RIAA-certified albums in the United States.[1]

Quick facts: Focus, Background information, Also known as,...
The 2011–2016 line-up of Focus in 2014Left to right: Menno Gootjes, Thijs van Leer, Pierre van der Linden, Bobby Jacobs
The 2011–2016 line-up of Focus in 2014
Left to right: Menno Gootjes, Thijs van Leer, Pierre van der Linden, Bobby Jacobs
Background information
Also known asTrio Thijs van Leer
OriginAmsterdam, Netherlands
Years active
  • 1969–1978
  • 1990
  • 1997–1999
  • 2002–present
MembersThijs van Leer
Pierre van der Linden
Menno Gootjes
Udo Pannekeet
Past membersSee Band members

After the addition of Akkerman to Van Leer's rock trio in late 1969, the band named themselves Focus and initially worked for a Dutch production of the rock musical Hair. Their debut album, Focus Plays Focus (1970), gained little attention but the follow-up, 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 recording two albums with various musicians, including guitarist Phillip Catherine, singer P. J. Proby, and drummers Colin Allen, David Kemper, and Steve Smith, Focus dissolved in 1978. They briefly reunited in 1990 and 1997.

In 2002, Van Leer reformed Focus with a new line-up that saw Van der Linden rejoining the group in 2004. 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 (2018). 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.

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