Monday, April 28, 2008

Hocus Pocus With Focus

An unusual rock single hit the American record charts in 1973.

I was living and working in Ann Arbor, Michigan when "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, first impacted upon the collective conciousness. It was pure music madness. I loved it. Especially the yodelling. I'll never forget listening to this very strange bit of prog rock/pop insanity for the first time at a small cafe in Ann Arbor known as The Lamplighter.
Check out the amazing live TV performance of Hocus Pocus below...

The members of Focus as constituted in 1973 included founder and organist/vocalist/flautist, Thijs Van Leer , guitarist, Jan Akkerman , drummer Pierre van der Linden and bassist Bert Ruiter.

You can read all about Focus and the individual players at their respective Wiki pages, but in the meantime, let's hear some truly great prog rock improv genius from this great legendary band.
The clip below is killer and did you know by the way that Alex & Eddie Van Halen were big Focus fans...they're Dutch boys themselves.

Another hit single for Focus was released in the UK the same year.
This one is called Sylvia and what's special about this performance is that it's from the legendary UK program The Old Grey Whistle Test and includes a minute or two of Hocus Pocus near the end along with Thijs van Leer's wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Which is a good idea at any time really when I think about it because, for instance, I may not blog again anytime real soon so in case you're reading this say 8 or 9 months from now and nothing new has been posted, ya'll have a great Yuletide Season and come back ya hear.

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