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)
Focus 3
At the Rainbow
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


"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).


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."



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.


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