Focus was a Dutch symphonic/hard-rock band that released seven albums and a live recording between 1970 and 1977.

Members:  Thijs van Leer (keyboards, flute, vocals, Hammond organ), Martin Dresden (bass, 1969-70), Hans Cleuver (drums, 1969-70), Jan Akkerman (guitar, 1969-76), Pierre van der Linden (drums, 1970-73, 1976, 2005-present), Cyril Havermans (bass, 1970-71), Bert Ruiter (bass, 1971-78), Colin Allen (drums, 1974-75), David Kemper (drums, 1975), Philip Catherine (guitar, 1976-78), Eef Albers (guitar, 1976-78), Steve Smith (drums, 1977-78), P.J. Proby (vocals, 1977-78)

Focus emerged from the trio Thijs van Leer and the Rebaptised, formed in mid-1969 by keyboardist and reedist Leer with bassist Martin Dresden and drummer Hans Cleuver.

Van Leer came from a family of musicians that sometimes played together at home. After studying harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, he was hired for the backing band of singer/actor Ramses Shaffy’s theater act Shaffy Chantant. In 1967, van Leer cut the single “Nooit Zal Ik Vergeten” for Phonogram, followed by the 1968 release “Zolang de Wereld Nog Draait” (“As Long As the World Still Turns”) on Philips.

In November 1969, Rebaptised expanded to a four-piece with guitarist Jan Akkerman. Earlier that year, he cut a self-titled album with blues-psych rockers Brainbox, where he played vibraphone and guitar. With Akkerman, Rebaptised became Focus, a name chosen by van Leer because it meant the same thing in multiple languages. That December, Focus was hired as the pit band for a Dutch production of Hair, recordings of which are featured on the 1970 Polydor release Hair (Original Amsterdam Cast).


  • Focus Plays Focus [In and Out of Focus] (1970)
  • Focus II [Moving Waves] (1971)
  • Focus 3 (1972)
  • Focus at the Rainbow (1973)
  • Hamburger Concerto (1974)
  • Mother Focus (1975)
  • Ship of Memories (1976)
  • Focus con Proby (1977 • Focus con Proby)


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