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Focus — Hocus Pocus
Album: Moving Waves
Avg rating:
7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2234









Released: 1972
Length: 6:38
Plays (last 30 days): 1
(Instrumental -- well, except for the yodeling...)
Comments (425)add comment
 bseib wrote:
That song is even more interesting when watching it performed live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4ouPGGLI6Q
 
This is a gem of a comment from that page:

"They played this song like their tour bus was double-parked outside."


BillG after this song: “If you want something a little more off the beaten path than that…”
Even more off the beaten path?
The yodeling ruins EVERYTHING!
I never knew who this was but I remember it on the radio growing up.
Wow. I am laughing out loud. I don't remember hearing this one. Definitely missed it on mainstream radio, that's for sure! 

What a wild ride. 
10                     
That song is even more interesting when watching it performed live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4ouPGGLI6Q
Locus?
This song was on one of my very early album purchases - Fantastic 22 Hits
It's a great cultural snapshot of what mainstream radio was like - all sorts of styles in one stream. 
(Instrumental -- well, except for the yodeling...)

Bwa hahahahaha!
this song explained music to me as a 12-year old: There is more than standards. Still fascinating
Best lyric description I've seen on RP
This track charted pretty high in the US in 1973 - I can't fathom why I do not remember it from then!  I know I was still listening to top 40 radio then.
Best yodeling tune ever!
 Highlowsel wrote:
This is one of those tunes that makes me thinks someone, somewhere, is getting their genitals stroked at an inappropriate (or appropriate?)  time.  Or maybe caught in a zipper.  


Highlow
American Net'Zen
 
You should talk to your therapist about that.
Check out the Baby Driver scene with this tune as soundtrac.
Wow ....proto- shred  guitar solo on a 1973  hit
single...Steve Vai  should appreciate this,,,,I give it a "8"
This is one of those tunes that makes me thinks someone, somewhere, is getting their genitals stroked at an inappropriate (or appropriate?)  time.  Or maybe caught in a zipper.  


Highlow
American Net'Zen
 mbolch30307 wrote:
My rating drops the longer the song goes on. Rockin' guitars spoiled by vocal vomiting.
 

The guitar player (Jan Akkerman) apparently didn't like it much either. He referred to Thijs van Leer (the guy yodeling) as 'that flute playing yodeler'. Still I think it's yet another example of creative friction leading to interesting/good music.
 Thomdetroit wrote:
Ian Akerman rocks
 
Jan Akkerman is pretty good, too.
Ian Akerman rocks
Love it!   

The rest of the album is different -- instrumental and slowed down -- but very decent.
Ahh...Hocus Pocus, always a pleasure, never a pain. I just love the sheer in-your-face outrageousness of this track. Great guitar solo...(obviously)
Oh you unbelieving humorless lot: for a good laugh you have to go into the basement? (A phrase we use here in Germany, representative for our Dutch friends).
Greatest song ever!
Can't help not to think of the Baby Driver movie scene whenever I hear this song now....
I saw Focus at the Reading Festival in 1974 - it was raining A LOT and Jan Akkerman kept getting electrocuted when he touched the mic.  It didn't faze him - he just carried on.  That's proper old school.
This link just made my day - thank you @Steely_D.

Then I finished listening to the track here on RP and OMG it's like someone just put a 78 record on 33-1/3 speed which just makes the whole experience doubly special 


Steely_D wrote:
Why is this recording a 9?

Because this live performance is the 10.

It is the greatest thing you will see all day.


 
This comment from YouTube sums it up (h/t  @ce who posted it earlier in this thread): 


BTW there's a great comment on Youtube on the overly-fast performance:

Richard Kelly  "Hey we wanna play Hocus Pocus. It's a 6 1/2 minute song."

"You have 4 minutes."

"...no problem."
 Steely_D wrote:
Why is this recording a 9?

Because this live performance is the 10.

It is the greatest thing you will see all day.


 Had to bump this.

 newbolddrive wrote:
Fantastic by K-tel, one of my first albums
 K-Tel, what a blast from the past!!!

This song is batshit crazy. I usually hurt myself banging into walls. I was permitted to DJ at a party for the first half hour. Played this. I was not asked again. Not everyone gets it.
One of the greatest guitar riffs ever
Fantastic by K-tel, one of my first albums

The live recording of this tune was available in the library when I was 14 in 1972, and it blew me away. Amazing sound, and great energy. A 10.
Enjoy the song, Enjoy the album, Enjoy the band and Enjoy a lot of Jan Akkerman's solo stuff.
 pburrow328 wrote:
Legalized pot in Canada today. It wasn't in 1972.
 
That's far from pot induced. I think I want some!           
 skimbrie wrote:
When I was in 7th grade in 1972 this tune was used to separate the freaks from the squares.
 
Sounds like we're the same age, friend.  It certainly caused plenty of raised eyebrows...
 wossName wrote:
Beautifully used in Baby Driver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSP_RnWLLE8
Watch the whole movie and play "spot the RP playlist"!
 
My wife "loves" how I can say "this is suchnsuch band's song suchnsuch" with all the shows/movies on Netflix, etc., using songs RP features.  And I'm going to +1 this track today...I love the nuttiness and great playing....yodeling in popular music doesn't appear to be too popular....so that's cool....LLRP!!
This is divine! I have a faint recollection of my first encounter with 'Hocus Pocus' back in 72; I was 17 and a lot of encounters made in those days have become somewhat blurred - so thanks for the time warp. Just think of it: other bands were exploring heavy spirituality and chemicals in those days, and these guys took the mickey out of it all with riffs and jodeling superb. If only I'd have learned to not take myself seriously sooner... I got to get the ring tone!
 dwsneed wrote:
I think the yodeling... just does not cut it for me, even back in the day.
 
Agree 100%.
When I was in 7th grade in 1972 this tune was used to separate the freaks from the squares.
Brilliant. I can't imagine many record companies would entertain releasing something like this these days.
If there’s ever a song that rocks and must be cranked volume 10 it’s this one
NOT SAFE FOR WORK!
This is delightfully untethered to pedestrian planes of perception.
BILL!!  HAHAHA - yes we ALL thought "what the hell was that?" when it first came out.  Thanks for the laugh.
WKBW played this song a lot, and the full version too late at night. I first heard it on KB when the on-air DJ played the left channel only and promised he would play the right channel the following night. I tuned in and sure enough, he did!

I lived in rural Virginia at the time where radio was crap, but the late night siren song of clear channel radio pierced the mists of ignorance. 
I like it ... it's kind of wacky! 
I think the yodeling... just does not cut it for me, even back in the day.
 GeorgieP wrote:
Good song
 
No, a great song
 bstevens1951 wrote:
Please Bill, I was there in college in '72, and even as a 20 year old I couldn't stand it then. Surely you must feel as I do—there is only so much time left, let us therefore put our time to good use. Thanks!
 
"Surely", he does not feel as you do or he would not play this song.
Doing taxes today for 2018 before next week's deadline and this really fits the mood here in the office with papers scattered everywhere.
good song
 earache wrote:
Oh man, this was great in the day, and it holds up well. DIG IT.
 
You're half right.
Majestic madness.
LOUDER!!!
 Steely_D wrote:
Why is this recording a 9?

Because this live performance is the 10.

It is the greatest thing you will see all day.


 
Amazing performance.  Thanks for your suggestion.
I can't decide if this is the best or if it's the worst.
 Alastair wrote:
Dad Rock.


Dad totally rocks!

Steely_D wrote:
Why is this recording a 9?

Because this live performance is the 10.

It is the greatest thing you will see all day.


Thanks, it was!
The 70's sure had some interesting hair & fashion styles...

BTW there's a great comment on Youtube on the overly-fast performance:
Richard Kelly": Hey we wanna play Hocus Pocus. It's a 6 1/2 minute song."
"You have 4 minutes."
"...no problem."

I tried to catch Thijs van Leer on a false note, but I could not really find any (well, perhaps some of the final whistling). Absolutely amazing performance.
This is a totally frantic mayhem excessively over the top 1970's rocking jam, even faster in this live performance, and the main soloist performs some VERY unusual things for a rock band:
- organ (no, it's not a synth, it's an organ)
- scat singing
- whistling (2 types: lips & teeth)
- flute?!
- friggin' yodeling ??!!
and it absolutely rocks the roof off!

Yet I see people complaining that this should not be on RP. Why oh why? This is an "e c l e c t i c" radio station, if this doesn't belong here, then I don't know what does.

Another nice Youtube comment:
Sbeast": I hear you play in a band, what style of music do you play?"
"Yes"

Having said all that: all hail Jan Akkerman on guitar. WOW.
 Alastair wrote:
Dad Rock.
 
Dad rock rules!
Shpongle may be spiritual descendants. : )
This song might be better understood by musicians. And nutty people. I love it and usually my neighbours just have to deal with it.
Beautifully used in Baby Driver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSP_RnWLLE8
Watch the whole movie and play "spot the RP playlist"!
I know what "the hell" it was... ! Thijs van Leer, Focus, I know them all my life (from my 13th, when I was learning to listen to good music) 
Jahrhundertsong - geht immer noch ab wie die Post.
Dad Rock.
Thanks Bill.  Great tune!
Popeye was also a yodeling vocalist note shredding whistling spinach farmer. 
Netherlands, represent!
Crazy, at some point I rated this as a 5, and now I am enjoying it so much, making me laugh and rock and feel like I am groovin' with a bunch of crazy lit guys.  Now it's an 8.  
Like you said, what is that, I think I want to hear it again. And it‘s getting better each time 👍
Crap basement apartment in Moerfelden (near Frankfurt)...... early 70s... amigo from Netherlands showed up with this album and a supply of Drum tobacco. Played the hell outta this. Love it. Times and places.....
 SurfDoc wrote:
Worst song on RP?  An embarrassment to the station, IMO, but then followed by a great talking heads song (Flowers) for redemption.
 
"the station" doesn't seem at all embarrassed.  Not that it should.
good old prog!
 jelgator wrote:

My stock answer when they ask is, "ya never know what you're gonna get on Radio Paradise."


 
I've made that exact comment hundreds of times over the past several years.....
Always appreciate a good yodel!
This is one of those songs (?) that gets geometrically worse with every hearing.
Digging the yodeling and Jethro Tull breaks.
 SurfDoc wrote:
So horrible, I ONLY play RP in my office and when this song comes on I get the annoying comment, "what is this station we are listening to?"  Then I have to go into a long explanation of how great RP normally is.
 
My stock answer when they ask is, "ya never know what you're gonna get on Radio Paradise."


It would be so gratifying if some bands today, just try to experiment like this. 
They probably can't because they don't have the guitar chops like these guys.  


It's just RnR.   
 SurfDoc wrote:
So horrible, I ONLY play RP in my office and when this song comes on I get the annoying comment, "what is this station we are listening to?"  Then I have to go into a long explanation of how great RP normally is.
 
sounds like a man explaining away his lack of an erection
The first time I heard this I was sitting on the flight deck of the USS Guam in Norfolk, VA and listening to WOWI. It got my attention. Ha!
Got the original LP from the seventis in Perfect condition. Just made a cd copy
with the help of Audacity, it was very popular here in Norway back in the 70's!
CHOM played it. Must be good.
Me too...although I can't remember anything else off the album now   (as he dives into his buried treasures from the '70's album rack...)  
paulbrun55 wrote:
I remember very well the first time I heard it, and I went straight out and bought the album..!
 

Oh yeah, I remember this one!

K-tel 1973

Image result for ktel fantastic
very trippy. Love it! Now what year are we in?
I remember very well the first time I heard it, and I went straight out and bought the album..!
Saw Jan Akkerman in London a few years back. Brilliant
What a fun video, indeed! Lighten up people … this took guts for them to experiment with something like that. Sweet!
 SurfDoc wrote:
Worst song on RP?  An embarrassment to the station, IMO, but then followed by a great talking heads song (Flowers) for redemption.
 
What?  if that's where your mind goes...you don't know or appreciate what 'eclectic' means.   That's what RP is all about.....
Worst song on RP?  An embarrassment to the station, IMO, but then followed by a great talking heads song (Flowers) for redemption.
Wow, that was quite a palate cleanser!  Or do I need one??  Regardless, pretty cool!
Legalized pot in Canada today. It wasn't in 1972.
This song is hilarious.  So dramatic, so early 1970's right?  There is a point there where I think he took a hit of nitrous oxide.
{#Roflol}
Terrific!   
Holy crap monkeys!!! Haven't heard this since last century...
 SurfDoc wrote:
So horrible, I ONLY play RP in my office and when this song comes on I get the annoying comment, "what is this station we are listening to?"  Then I have to go into a long explanation of how great RP normally is.

 

Glad I don't work in your office, mate!  I kid, yet I also know that the larger the # of folks listening to more normalized the music has to be....so count your blessings that you're one of the top Nth% of cool ass muthas.

I had to go 5→7 today; the first +1 was for the overall craziness of the track; the 2nd +1 was for the 'lyrics' listed.  Freakin' awesome! Long Live RP!!

 idiot_wind wrote:
Here's your dream concert, circa 1975: Focus, Nektar, Wishbone Ash...in Amsterdam.
Blowing smoke rings out of the corner of my mouth.... 
 
Might as well throw Hawkwind in there, too!  ; )
 apd wrote:
the only wrong move on the Baby Driver soundtrack - why give this so much time and Radar Love got like 30 seconds?
 
To be fair, they used Hocus Pocus to great effect.  Still, I had the same thought.  Radar Love is the classic driving song, and was perfect for that movie. 


Here's your dream concert, circa 1975: Focus, Nektar, Wishbone Ash...in Amsterdam.

Blowing smoke rings out of the corner of my mouth.... 
 I'd like to hear more from them..You've got me curious.  Excellent musicians on this track  TotalHip wrote:
A shame that this is what Focus became known for in the USA. Many other wonderful cuts from their albums.
 

So horrible, I ONLY play RP in my office and when this song comes on I get the annoying comment, "what is this station we are listening to?"  Then I have to go into a long explanation of how great RP normally is.
what on earth?  but this is why i love RP!
 Queue wrote:
With infrequent outings, this is enjoyable.  I may have purchased the single back in the day.
 
If you define 'infrequent' as 'once per decade or less often'.
With infrequent outings, this is enjoyable.  I may have purchased the single back in the day.
Thanks Bill....great start to the day, cup of dutch coffee and Focus It certainly made me smile. loved then and love it now.
Great way to start off my day! Thanks Bill!
ah, what a power :-)
hallo nederland!
 user4176 wrote:

That guy is scary! Probably the best live thing I've ever seen/heard.

 
 Steely_D wrote:
Why is this recording a 9?

Because this live performance is the 10.

It is the greatest thing you will see all day.

  
Okay, that was a fun video to watch, nice share!
 ciarataylor wrote:
absolute garbage
 
Go listen to Coldplay!
Wow. I Haven heard this song sine the 70s when it came out. And not surprisingly, I never missed hearing it. 
Thanks, Bill. I'm good for another 50 years.
These Dutch were crazy, but I loved them - have the album, great instrumental playing! Abd a bit of Jethro Tullish flute.
{#Bananajam} 
A shame that this is what Focus became known for in the USA. Many other wonderful cuts from their albums.
Dig it.........{#Lol}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dance}