About the Artist
Focus are a Dutch rock band formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by keyboardist, vocalist, and flautist Thijs van Leer. The band have 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. Past members include guitarist Jan Akkerman, drummer Hans Cleuver and bassists Martijn Dresden, Bert Ruiter and Bobby Jacobs. They have sold one million RIAA-certified albums in the United States.
After the addition of Akkerman to van Leer’s rock trio in late 1969, the band’s named themselves Focus and were the pit band for the Dutch production of the rock musical Hair. Their debut album In and Out of Focus (1970) gained little attention, but their follow-up album 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 two additional albums recorded with various musicians, Focus dissolved in 1978. They reunited in 1985, 1990, 1998 and 2002.
In 2002, van Leer reformed Focus with a new line-up. The albums Focus 8 (2002), Focus 9 / New Skin (2006), Focus X (2012) and The Focus Family Album (2017) were well received, and Focus continue to perform worldwide and record; their most recent album is Focus 8.5 / Beyond the Horizon (2016). 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.