Focus 3

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Focus 3
Studio album by Focus
Released 1972
Recorded July 1972
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, instrumental rock
Length 70:25 (LP)
67:04 (CD)
Label Imperial
Producer Mike Vernon
Focus chronology
Focus II
(Moving Waves)
(1971)
Focus 3
(1972)
At the Rainbow
(1973)
Alternate cover
Die-cut cover

Focus 3 is the third studio album from the Dutch rock band Focus, released in 1972 on Sire Records.[1] It is the first and only double album released by the band. Focus 3 peaked at number six on the UK Albums Chart.[2] The album spawned one single; "Sylvia" reached number four in the UK[3] and number 33 in the US.

Track listing[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[5]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Round Goes the Gossip" (Thijs van Leer) – 5:16
  2. "Love Remembered" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:49
  3. "Sylvia" (van Leer) – 3:32
  4. "Carnival Fugue" (van Leer) – 6:02

Side two[edit]

  1. "Focus III" (van Leer) – 6:07
  2. "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" (Akkerman, Bert Ruiter) – 14:03

Side three[edit]

  1. "Anonymus II (Part 1)" (van Leer, Akkerman, Ruiter, Pierre van der Linden) – 19:28

Side four[edit]

  1. "Anonymus II (Conclusion)" (van Leer, Akkerman, Ruiter, van der Linden) – 7:30
  2. "Elspeth of Nottingham" (Akkerman) – 3:15
  3. "House of the King" (Akkerman) – 2:23

CD listing[edit]

  1. "Round Goes the Gossip" – 5:12
  2. "Love Remembered" – 2:49
  3. "Sylvia" – 3:31
  4. "Carnival Fugue" – 6:08
  5. "Focus III" – 6:04
  6. "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" – 13:55
  7. "Elspeth of Nottingham" – 3:06
  8. "Anonymus Two" – 26:19

The proper track order on the I.R.S. CD:

  1. "Round Goes the Gossip" – 5:13
  2. "Love Remembered" – 2:49
  3. "Sylvia" – 3:32
  4. "Carnival Fugue Intro" – 1:35
  5. "Carnival Fugue (Continued)" – 4:34
  6. "Focus III / Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" – 19:54
  7. "Elspeth of Nottingham" – 3:11
  8. "Anonymus Two" – 26:21

Production[edit]

"Round Goes the Gossip" is a jazz fusion piece with a centre section featuring Thijs van Leer singing an extract from Virgil's Aeneid (printed on the back of the album in Latin and English; the topic: rumour). "Love remembered" is a classical guitar ballad by Jan Akkerman with van Leer on flute, eventually backed by the rest of the band towards the song's conclusion. "Sylvia" is a pop song written with Baroque classical harmony and counterpoint, and performed with rock arrangements. "Carnival Fugue" borrows from J. S. Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" before venturing into cool jazz territory, then culminates in a rock finale with piccolo improvisations and a hint of Calypso rhythms on guitar. "Focus III", another classical song with rock arrangements, contrasts slow, minor key verses with lively, major key choruses (with a few uncredited measures from Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep in the Subway"), before a segue into jazz fusion with "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!", featuring extended solos on flute and guitar. "Anonymous II" is a classical theme performed in a jazz rock context with each member of the band soloing at different points. "Elspeth of Nottingham" is a reworking of Jan Akkerman's "Minstrel/Farmer's Dance" from his Profile LP, evoking the British countryside of the Renaissance with lute, recorder, and animal sounds (the chirping of birds, the lowing of cows).

Reviews[edit]

Downbeat magazine awarded "Focus III" five stars (their top rating) in 1972, citing it to be "a sincere, emotional mixture of classical, jazz, and rock."

Personnel[edit]

Focus

Additional personnel

Cultural references[edit]

  • British guitarist Hank Marvin covered the track "Sylvia" on his 1992 album Into The Light.
  • Progressive rock band Transatlantic covered "Sylvia" on their 2014 album Kaleidoscope, on disc 2 of the special edition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Focus (2) - Focus 3 (2xLP) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - Focus - Focus III". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Chart Stats - Focus - Sylvia". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  4. ^ "allmusic ((( Focus III > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Focus: Focus III : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2009-12-22.