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Focus 3 Original recording remastered
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Reissue of 1972 album for Dutch progressive rock act best known for their 1973 hit single 'Hocus Pocus'. 2001 release. Standard jewelcase.
Top Customer Reviews
I discovered Focus at the age of 13 and I have been listening to them ever since. Don't get me wrong, I listen to a huge amount of music, I have over 2000 CDs and 500 LPs but nothing, I repeat NOTHING before or since comes close to the music of this Dutch quartet.
'Focus 3', (along with 'Moving Waves', 'Live at the Rainbow' and 'Hamburger Concerto'), is the essence of this totally individual band.
The rhythm section here is perhaps the quintissential Focus pairing of Bert Ruiter on Bass and the incomparable Pierre van der Linden on drums, their playing is easily as melodic as that of Akkerman and van Leer and they fit together like Torville and Dean, Eggs and Bacon, Rolls and Royce....
The vituoso guitar playing of god Jan Akkerman is still to this day without peer. The beauty in the composition and playing of Organist/Flautist Thijs Van Leer is unsurpassed. The two together, on the same recording, is a sheer auditory joy. Van Leer holds the whole thing together with his superb arrangements and classical 'nous' whilst Akkerman disappears off into nirvana with intelligent, yet mind boggling guitar playing which speaks more than any vocalist. His rhythm playing is the best you will hear, his lead playing is better!
As I gaze back through the mists of time it is unfathomable that this band faded into darkness. At their height every single Polydor pressing plant in the World was churning out nothing but Focus vinyl, so great was the demand.
Then on a grey day in 1976, Akkerman left the band and music has never recovered.
No one since has grasped the ideals of pop, rock, classical, jazz, baroque, etc etc and created the sea of beauty and emotion that came from this unlikely european source.
Had it on vinyl and tape long ago - repurchase.
I did not forget them though. A few years ago, I went looking for Focus albums in Amsterdam - "Focus? sorry, vee do not af dat" was the general response in record shops. It pained me that there was a whole generation who would not know who the tune "Sylvia" was by - they might vaguely recognise it, but little chance of spotting the flying Dutchmen who recorded it. Even worse, if they heard the name Focus, they were unable to hear more. Even in Holland. Focus had become only a DIY superstore.
All is mended now though. these CD re-issues offer hope that good things don't need to be lost.
I had the pleasure of meeting Thijs Van Leer a while ago - playing jazz with an astonishingly good quartet - he was still a character - anybody who can still yodel and use his voice as an instrument like he can at his advanced years AND be a master of all things flute-like - deserves serious respect. the guy is so good that when you get wrapped up in his aural gymnastics, you can forget to breathe.Read more ›
Focus 3 was recorded in 1972. In early 1973 it became a top ten album, and in Sylvia produced a top ten single. Focus were then at their peak of popularity, with their earlier album Moving Waves also being a top ten album, and Hocus Pocus taken from Moving Waves being a hit single. Each of the musicians were voted as top ten musicians in each of their categories. Jan Akkerman was voted world's best guitarist.
Focus 3 is an entirely instrumental album, apart from one track. All of the longer tracks have a very live feel to them because they were recorded without any overdubs.
Round goes the gossip is an odd vocal track to start an otherwise instrumental album with. The only words sung are "Round goes the gossip", apart from a slow middle section in which Thijs Van Leer sings part of Virgil's Aeneid in latin !
In stark contrast, the melodic Love remembered has a gentle flute lead with acoustic guitar backing.
The success of the single Sylvia at the time made Focus known all over the world. The memorable guitar led instrumental is a bit reminiscent of The Shadows at their best. This track will probably be appreciated by just about anyone.
Carnival Fugue is far more jazz than rock. Its slow piano intro in part Baroque, part Jazz style eventually becomes faster and ends with Thijs Van Leer playing a piccolo solo with the rest of Focus backing him.
The title track Focus 3 is in a similar style to other Focus tracks with Focus in the title.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Album! Includes the famous Track "Sylvia". Recommended! Package arrived in perfect condition in Norway.Published 4 months ago by Ola Daehli
Truly one of the great instrumentals, loved it in 1972 when first heard and just as sublime in 2017. Read morePublished 4 months ago by kevin mckeever
This is the third album of the band that shows the quality of the musicians and the evolution of them. Read morePublished 6 months ago by José Henrique