Focus does intricate, very quirky and melodic symphonic prog with a lot of interesting rhythm patterns and flutes. Everything with a lot of humour and some gentle nods to Ian Anderson & Jethro Tull. Focus can also be a very poetic band with a lot of very melodic flutes and guitars. I am fan of both sides of Focus and I rate them as one of the best prog rock bands ever.
The opening track Round goes the gossip is one of the trademark fast and quirky Focus tracks. Good stuff, but I am more a fan of the poetic side of this band. The very beautiful flute driven Love Remembered is followed by their second ever biggest hit Sylvia. This is a fantastic track. It is also Focus signature track. Well, they are most famous for Hocus Pocus from the Moving Waves album. But Sylvia incorporates everything that's great with this band. Poetic music lines and quirky fast melody at the same time. Fantastic stuff. Carnival fugue follows and the album now takes a sharp left turn into a much more classical music and symphonic prog area. I am not a big fan of Anonymous which I think is too long winded and lack some ideas. The rest of the album is great though with House Of The Kings as a highlight.
This is one of Focus best albums, just bettered by Hamburger Concerto which I think is their best ever album (and among the top five best ever prog rock albums ever released). This album is still an excellent addition to any homes and highly recommended.
Originally released as a double-LP with this track listing by Imperial / EMI Bovema and distributed to the rest of the world by Sire Records:
"Round Goes The Gossip..." (Thijs van Leer) – 5:16
"Love Remembered" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:49
"Sylvia" (van Leer) – 3:32
"Carnival Fugue" (van Leer) – 6:02
"Focus III" (van Leer) – 6:07
"Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" (Akkerman, Bert Ruiter) – 14:03
"Anonymus II (Part 1)" (van Leer, Akkerman, Ruiter, Pierre van der Linden) – 19:28
"Anonymus II (Conclusion)" (van Leer, Akkerman, Ruiter, van der Linden) – 7:30
"Elspeth Of Nottingham" (Akkerman) – 3:15
"House Of The King" (Akkerman) – 2:23
As you may notice, "House of the King", a single originally from 1970, was later included on the CD version of Focus' first album, "In and Out of Focus". It wasn't, as is often believed, rerecorded for Focus III CD Release.
Length: 70:25 (2xLP) - 67:04 (CD)
01. Round Goes The Gossip (5.12)
02. Love Remembered (2.50)
03. Sylvia (3.31)
04. Carnival Fugue (6.09)
05. Focus III (6.05)
06. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (13:48)
07. Elspeth Of Nottingham (3.10)
08. Anonymous Two (26.24)
- MP3 Shake