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Mother Focus Import, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, February 19, 2001
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$20.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 5 to 7 days. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Red Bullet
  • ASIN: B00005AU1R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,626 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have to chime in on "Mother Focus" because I think it's surely one of the most underrated recordings in their discography. In a nutshell: subtract bassist Bert Ruiter's songs, and you've got a PRIMO Focus LP (although a very, VERY skimpy one).

I still remember buying the LP release of this brand new off the racks back in fall '75. I was DISAPPOINTED. No prior Focus LP had veered so much into jazz (as most evinced by the Bert Ruiter songs--Bert had never been allowed to contribute as a songwriter previously). And, being the teenager that I was, I was cranky because Jan Akkerman had none of the berserk wild-abandon guitar solos that riveted me three years previously on "Moving Waves."

Still, this WAS Focus and my respect for the band obliged me to give it repeated listens. And you know what? There is some SERIOUS GOLD to be found in this album IF you're willing to take the time to hear it. I refer here primarily to the track "Focus IV," the lead track on side two of the LP. For my money, this is one of the most sublime pieces of music ever recorded--an INGENIOUS short course in the instrumental and compositional virtuousity that made Focus so special in the first place. Like all of the "Focus" series of themes written by the nonpariel Thijs (rymes with "rice")Van Leer, it is a moody, stately instrumental, showcasing the band's smarts in tricky & unexpected ways. On first listen (as I well recall), my reaction was, it's just muzak--but stick with it. Listen a few times and see whether or not the theme and its several variations don't insinuate themselves into your brain for the rest of your life. The arrangement is sheer perfection also--it's all about RESTRAINT and giving Van Leer's elegant composition all the space & air it needs to rock your soul.
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Format: Audio CD
For so many years I searched for a CD release of Mother Focus. I would gather up all the Vinyl copies I could get my hands on. Very tough LP to find at the used record shops. Then I hit paydirt, and guess what? The "experts" at the used record shops in NYC had the LP in the alpha "M" bin! They thought the name of the band was "Mother Focus"!? Mother Focus is, personally, my favorite FOCUS recording. I know lots of Mother Focus trivia, too! For instance, the title Mother Focus, sounds suspiciously like a very nasty expression, hmm..... The lead off title track is a reworked version of the song "Glider" which appears on "Ship of Memories". The tracks "Red Sky At Night" and "Crackers" (also on "Ship of Memories") come from this period as well and also feature Dave Kemper on drums. The song "My Sweetheart" was used on WPLJ's radio bumpers and TV ads throughout the mid to late 1970's. WPLJ was NYC's primary rock radio station at the time. Bert Ruiter was a major contributor on this one as well. He wrote a lot of material for MF. Dave makes a drumming error on "Bennie Helder" He goes into the breakdown a few bars too early and then quickly covers it up. Artisticly, its all over the place. you have your tropical island tunes (Tropic Bird, Hard/Soft Vanilla) Supermarket aisle tunes (Bennie Helder, Focus IV), cowboy song (All Together) New Age (Someone's Crying), Comedy number (I need a Bathroom), classic Focus (Mother Focus, My Sweetheart, Father Bach). And wouldnt you know it, i've saved the absolute GEM for last. NO HANG UPS ranks as one of the greatest Focus tracks, and triumphs as the albums standout track. It is difficult to put into words how brilliant it is.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is a real confection of an album. Anyone expecting the harder, darker, more demanding pieces like "Eruption" (from "Moving Waves") will be disappionted.
Instead, the band was going for a more mainstream, pseudo-jazzy sound. What they ended up with verges on blandness (sort of elevator music for the prog generation), but is sonically pleasing nonetheless. Just about the only link with past Focus efforts is the tune "Focus IV," which features, as does "Focus II" (also on "Moving Waves") and "Focus III" (on the album of the same name), Jan Akkerman playing a beautiful, lyrical melody on his Les Paul, while Van Leer and co. comps in the background.
The rest of the tunes are based on fairly simple chord progressions, sometimes ("Soft Vanilla," "Bennie Helder") featuring melodies, sometimes ("Mother Focus," "Hard Vanilla," "Someone's Crying") just running through the changes and soloing. Around the same time, Herbie Hancock was doing similar work on the funk side with his later Headhunters albums ("Thrust" and "Man-Child"); the music isn't real challenging, but the grooves are nice, the solos are good, and the arrangements are pleasing. It's not something I'd take to a desert island, but it's hard to beat in the car on a crisp, fall afternoon.
Because these arrangements are very pleasant, very organic-sounding in a fluffy, mid-70's way. They're somewhat reminiscent of Jan Akkerman's immediate post-Focus solo work. Akkerman was using more acoustic guitar than he had previously, and Van Leer largely abandoned his ubiquitous B3 in favor of Rhodes and synth textures (of the "Arp String Ensemble" variety).
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