Click the images to see an enlarged cover version

Year Title Comments
1969 Ramses Shaffy met group Focus ****

Very rare single from 1969
  Hocus-Pocus/Janis ***

1971 House of the King/Black Beauty

Very early French single cover for House of the king from 1971.
1971 House of the King/Black Beauty

UK issue.
1972 Sylvia/Love Remembered ***

UK picture sleeve for release of 'Sylvia' backed by Jan’s beautiful ‘Love remembered’.. Note the incorrect band photo (i.e. no Bert Ruiter). This is very rare as it was quickly replaced.
  Hocus-Pocus/House of the King ***

Hocus-Pocus/House of the King
1970 House of the King/Black Beauty
European re-issue.
1971 House of the King/Janis As the band become popular this single was re-issued again in different countries.
1972 Hocus Pocus/Janis
The single version was an edit of the longer album track and in some works worked much better. A fast version was recorded in 1973 for the US market was featured on the ‘Dutch Maters’ album and ‘Ship of Memories’ CD. Charted in the UK.
1972 Sylvia/House of the King
Apparently Thijs van Leer took the basic musical idea for the theme from an old hymn. House of the King appeared on early versions of the ‘In and Out of Focus’ album although it was removed from the 1973 re-issue as the track had been included on the Focus III album although it was the original ‘In and Out of Focus’ recording.
1972 Tommy/Sylvia
Strange French issue with ‘Tommy’ on the A-side and ‘Sylvia’ on the B-side.
1972 Tommy/Focus II European issue.
1972 Hocus Pocus/Sylvia
1973 Hocus Pocus/Hocus Pocus II **
The "Hocus Pocus" track in this single (3:18min) was an edit of the longer album track. The "Hocus Pocus II" is the same version as "Fast Version". In 1973 Focus were recording tracks with Mike Vernon which ended up on the "Ship of memories" album. During the sessions "Hocus Pocus" was re-recorded for the US market. It was put out as a single (1973) on the Sire label to help the band with their US breakthrough. It was later added to a European compilation album ("Dutch Masters") and was given the new title "Hocus Pocus - fast version". According to Mike Vernon it was common to create special collectors tracks. For example the European and US versions of the Hamburger Concerto album are different in a number of places.
1974 Harem Scarem/Early Birth
Thijs van Leer called this a ‘boogie like hocus pocus’. The single suffered from some awful editing, especially of Jan’s solo. ‘Early birth’ was put on as a bonus at the time, although it later turned up on a Polydor ‘best of’ album and was in included on the ‘Hamburger Concerto’ CD release.
1974 Harem Scarem/Early Birth

A 1974 Japanese issue of the single 'harem scarem/early birth'

Singles - Page 2
Jan Akkerman Singles
Thijs Van Leer Singles

There have been numerous re-issues of the classic singles over the years, which is an illustration of their continued popularity. The fast version of ‘Hocus Pocus’ was recorded as a collector’s piece for the US market as it was felt a faster version was more appropriate, and appeared on the ‘Dutch Maters’ album before being added to the ‘Ship of Memories’ CD (it was apparently recorded during these sessions).

Other tracks were recorded as singles but never officially released. The track ‘Peace March’ was a classic Focus track which appeared on the ‘Ship of Memories’ album as ‘P’s March’. It was released as a promo single in 1976. ‘Crackers’ was also written as a possible single and appeared on the ‘Ship of Memories’ album. It was re-recorded as ‘Mother Focus’ by Focus but Jan Akkerman re-recorded it for his ‘Jan Akkerman’ album, and it became a mainstay of his live act (as can be heard on the 1978 live album).

The early Focus group can also be heard playing as session musicians on other people’s singles; For example, Ramses Shaffy’s ‘Shrine of God’.

I can find no record of a single having been released from the 1975 ‘Mother Focus’ album although someone out there might be able to help.

Tim Baugh 1999

Acknowledgments: -

Dave Randall’s Akkernet site
Mike Vernon’s various album and CD liner notes

1999 - All images and texts in this page kindly sent by Tim Baugh, except 
* Sneezing Bull/Eddy Adverts (the 2 black & white images) sent by Hans Buyze from P.J.Proby Homepage
** Hocus Pocus/Hocus Pocus II sent by Tim Clark.
*** Images sent by Steffen Staugaard.
**** Images sent by Nico van der Linden.

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