Song Of The Week: “Hocus Pocus” by Focus

Focus - Hocus PocusDo you ever think to yourself, “I wish there were more rock songs with yodeling.” Of course you do, because yodeling is awesome. Unfortunately, this dying art form of the alpine shepherd usually finds itself relegated to old country songs and Ricola cough drop commercials.

But wait. Do you also wish for more songs with a Ron Burgundy-style flute solo and a wicked accordion breakdown? Preferably ones bookended by utterly rockin’ guitar? Of course you do, because all of these things combined are so wrong they’re actually right.

Well, look no further.

Focus had a small but devoted following in their native Netherlands, but their first few albums didn’t exactly race up the charts anywhere else. In 1971, their sophomore album contained a six and a half minute instrumental called “Hocus Pocus.” It made no impression. Until 1973, that is, when an edited, sped-up version was released in the US and shot up into the Top 10 with its unusual everything-but-the-kitchen-sink blend of aforementioned elements.

FocusNot much of a story behind this one. Instrumentals don’t usually contain a hidden, in-depth meaning. It’s simply a fun tune to make you bang your head . . . and possibly dance a polka. Supposedly the song was a bit of a joke by its authors, but if so, it was a very successful million-selling joke. Focus had one more middling hit in the US before breaking apart in 1978.

Yodel up. And rock out.

Focus – Hocus Pocus (Single Version)

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