Focus: Golden Oldies

Dutch proggers revisit their 70s high-water marks.

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The future of law enforcement got a helping hand from Dutch prog’s past earlier this year when Focus’s signature hit Hocus Pocus turned up in the Robocop reboot. Perhaps it’s the relative rarity of yodelling or flutes that silver- and small-screen producers find attractive (they’ve also soundtracked Nike commercials and TV science shows), as Focus’s shelf-life is constantly refreshed beyond 40 years.

Although this album’s title may suggest a back-pages compilation, Golden Oldies features nine re-recorded versions of Focus faves by the 2014 line-up, led by founder Thijs van Leer. For the most part it’s carbon copies of the originals, with current guitarist Menno Gootjes gamely shadowing the lines and licks first laid down by Jan Akkerman.

The songs all but pick themselves, from the melodic sparring of monster hit single Sylvia to the folk-hued House Of The King and crunchier metal tropes of Aya Yippie Hippie Yee.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.