Focus / 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976 Box Set 2020

Focus 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976 9CD+2DVD box set

At first glance, my heart sank when I saw this as there had already been a Focus Boxset in 2017 called the Hocus Pocus Box which had 13CDs and described itself as the complete album collection. This one came with a great booklet but the mastering was the same as the original Red Bullet releases. The attention to detail was a bit strange as well as only Hamburger Concerto was given a replica gatefold sleeve. It also contained the best of CD which a bit surplus to requirements. It did cover the period up until Focus 9 so this new box does not replace much of this.

So this brings us to this new box which now I have the track details is going to be a must for Focus Fans. 2017 did not come with any unreleased or live tracks this new Focus Box Set delivers on both those fronts!

The Focus 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976 Box Set has been overseen by guitarist Jan Akkerman and Wouter Bessels. Wouter was involved with the remastering of the huge 26CD Jan Akkerman Box Set (which is brilliant!). So what we have to look forward to are newly remastered versions of the first five Focus studio albums. The really great news is that they all come with a range of bonus tracks made up of single versions, alternates takes and rough mixes). The live album (At The Rainbow) from 1973 live album is included as is Ship of Memories 1976 which add an extra 11 bonus tracks.

Also included is the Focus BBC In Concert 1973. This is the complete concert and there an extra CD of unreleased live performances.

The other element that gets a huge thumbs up from me is that each album comes with a replica gatefold sleeve!

Then there is a real treat for the eyes and for PROG Fans (and this looks just fantastic).

Over 4 hours of material spread over 2 DVDs. This collects videos from around the world but more importantly the first time release of the Focus At The Rainbow from 1973 on Video. This is going to be fabulous as this gig caught them at the height of their powers.

I am also pleased to say that they have not skimped on the booklet front either as the box set contains an 80 page booklet with full band history, essays and memorabilia from the period

Released on  13 November 2020.

Track Details

* Previously unreleased
** Previously unreleased on cd

CD1 – IN AND OUT OF FOCUS
Original release: 1970

  1. Focus (instrumental) 9.46
  2. Why Dream 3.56
  3. Happy Nightmare (Mescaline) 3.56
  4. Anonymus 7.01
  5. Black Beauty 3.05
  6. Sugar Island 3.02
  7. Focus (vocal) 2.43

BONUS TRACKS

  1. House Of The King 2.23
  2. Eruption (Live Lanx 1970) 37.31 *

CD2 – MOVING WAVES
Original release: 1971

  1. Hocus Pocus 6.41
  2. Le Clochard (Bread) 1.59
  3. Janis 3.06
  4. Moving Waves 2.41
  5. Focus II 4.03
  6. Eruption (Orfeus – Answer – Orfeus – Answer – Pupilla – Tommy – Pupilla – Answer – The Bridge – Euridice – Dayglow – Endless Road – Answer – Orfeus – Euridice) 23.07

BONUS TRACKS

  1. Hocus Pocus (single version) 3.27 **
  2. Tommy (single version) 3.25
  3. Focus I (Live Texel 1971) 14.11 *

CD3 – FOCUS 3
Original release: 1972

  1. Round Goes The Gossip… 5.16
  2. Love Remembered 2.48
  3. Sylvia 3.32
  4. Carnival Fugue 6.07
  5. Focus III 6.05
  6. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! 14.03
  7. Anonymus II (Part 1) 19.33 **
  8. Anonymus II (Conclusion) 7.34 **
  9. Elspeth Of Nottingham 3.13

BONUS TRACKS

  1. Sylvia (single version) 3.32 **
  2. Love Remembered (single version) 2.49 **
  3. Hocus Pocus (US single version) 3.25

CD4 – AT THE RAINBOW (Live)
Original release: 1973

  1. Focus III 3.52
  2. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! 11.26
  3. Focus II 4.24
  4. Eruption (Orfeus – Answer – Orfeus – Answer – Pupilla – Tommy – Pupilla) 8.40
  5. Hocus Pocus 8.27
  6. Sylvia 2.47
  7. Hocus Pocus – reprise 2.48

BONUS TRACKS

  1. P’s March (original mix – single version) 3.27 *
  2. Ship Of Memories (original mix) 4.40 *
  3. P’s March (original mix – full version) 4.03 *

CD5 – HAMBURGER CONCERTO
Original release: 1974

  1. Delitiæ Musicæ 1.13
  2. Harem Scarem 5.50
  3. La Cathédrale de Strasbourg 4.57
  4. Birth 7.45
  5. Hamburger Concerto (Starter – Rare – Medium I – Medium II – Well Done – One For The Road) 20.23

BONUS TRACKS

  1. Early Birth 2.56
  2. Harem Scarem (single version) 3.08 **
  3. Birth (alternate mix) 7.43 **
  4. Harem Scarem (alternate mix) 5.51 **

CD6 – MOTHER FOCUS
Original release: 1975

  1. Mother Focus 3.05
  2. I Need A Bathroom 3.04
  3. Bennie Helder 3.33
  4. Soft Vanilla 3.04
  5. Hard Vanilla 2.35
  6. Tropic Bird 2.45
  7. Focus IV 3.57
  8. Someone’s Crying… What! 3.19
  9. All Together… Oh That! 3.41
  10. No Hang Ups 2.56
  11. My Sweetheart 3.38
  12. Father Bach 1.33

BONUS TRACKS

  1. Focus IV (rough mix) 4.02 *
  2. Bennie Helder (rough mix) 3.45 *
  3. Vanilla (rough mix) 5.42 *
  4. Mother Focus (rough mix) 3.02 *
  5. All Together… Oh That! (rough mix) 3.42 *
  6. My Sweetheart (rough mix) 3.46 *
  7. Someone’s Crying… What! (rough mix) 3.18 *
  8. Studio 55 Jam 6.56 *


CD7 – SHIP OF MEMORIES
Original release: 1976

  1. P’s March 4.48
  2. Can’t Believe My Eyes 5.22
  3. Focus V 3.02
  4. Out Of Vesuvius 5.51
  5. Glider 4.40
  6. Red Sky At Night 5.52
  7. Spoke The Lord Creator 2.33
  8. Crackers 2.42
  9. Ship Of Memories 1.47BONUS TRACKS
  10. Elektrisch Levenslicht (Neerlands Hoop in Bange Dagen) 3.09
  11. The Shrine Of God (Ramses Shaffy with group Focus) 3.39
  12. Watch The Ugly People (Ramses Shaffy with group Focus) 2.19
  13. House Of The King (rough mix version 1) 2.27 *
  14. House Of The King (rough mix version 2) 2.26 *
  15. Focus III (unreleased single version) 4.37 *
  16. Hocus Pocus (US single version – takes 14-17) 7.12 *
  17. Glider (single version) 3.28 **
  18. P’s March (single version) 4.07 **
  19. O Avondrood 5.10 **
  20. Crackers (vocal version) 2.31 **

CD8 – FOCUS BBC 1973

  1. Focus III 3.54 *
  2. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! 12.09 *
  3. Focus II 5.06 *
  4. Anonymus II 23.30 *
  5. Focus I 4.27 *
  6. Hocus Pocus 7.38 *
  7. Sylvia – Hocus Pocus (reprise) 5.52 *

Produced and recorded by BBC Radio 1 In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, 17th January 1973.

CD9 – LIVE 1971 – 1975

  1. Eruption (Live Rotterdam 1971) 46.37 *
  2. Birth 11.38 *
  3. Improvisation #1 8.35 *
  4. House Of The King 3.02 *
  5. Improvisation #2 6.23 *
  6. Hocus Pocus 3.20 *

Track 1: Recorded by AVRO radio at the Newport Jazz Festival, Grote Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam, 29th October 1971. Track 2: Recorded at the Festival Hall, Osaka, 2nd July 1974. Track 3-6: Recorded at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, 21st June 1975.

DVD1 – FOCUS SIGHT & SOUND VOL. 1

  1. BBC The Old Grey Whistle Test (May 1972) 24.26 *
  2. BBC The Old Grey Whistle Test (December 1972) 16.01 *
  3. Focus At The Rainbow (May 1973) 47.28 *
  4. BBC In Concert (April 1974) 36.18 *

DVD2 – FOCUS SIGHT & SOUND VOL. 2

  1. NOS Van Gewest Tot Gewest (July 1970) 1.54 *
  2. NOS Uit De Kunst (June 1972) 3.51 *
  3. RTE The Music Makers: Focus at the Stadium (November 1973) 48.00 *
  4. VARA Nederpopzien (December 1973) 34.22 *
  5. AVRO Toppop: Harem Scarem (May 1974) 3.01 *
  6. AVRO Toppop: O Avondrood (June 1976) 4.51 *
  7. Veronica Goud van Oud (April 1990) 16.44 *
  8. NCRV Classic Albums: Moving Waves (June 1997) 50.02 *

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