augustus 30, 2016

Focus - Focus 3 (1972) - 2Lp

Focus 3 or Focus III is the third studio album from the Dutch rock band Focus, released as a double album in 1972 on Imperial Records in the Netherlands, Polydor Records in the UK, and Sire Records in the US. Recorded after touring in supporting their previous album, Focus II (1971), the album saw the band write extended pieces.

In July 1972, after touring in supporting their previous album, Focus II (1971), the band retreated to Olympic Studios in Barnes, south west London, to record their next album. Initially a single LP was intended to be recorded but the group had written a considerable amount of new material, so the group opted to release a double album. Mike Vernon reprised his role as the record's producer with George Chkiantz assigned as recording engineer.
Two versions of the album's sleeve design exist; its North American release features each member photographed during a performance on the BBC music television show The Old Grey Whistle Test with a black background.
The second, designed by Hamish Grimes, depicts a close-up of van Leer playing the flute with the title over his face

"Round Goes the Gossip" features five lines from the poem Aeneid by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, sung in Latin by van Leer and its chorus hook, "Round goes the gossip", also sung by Vernon.
The five lines from the poem are printed on the album's sleeve in Latin and English with the 1916 translation by Henry Fairclough. "Love Remembered" is a track written by Akkerman, playing an acoustic guitar with van Leer's flute, which is based on a young couple's morning walk. van Leer wrote "Sylvia" in 1968 when he was a member of his previous theatre group Shaffy Chantat, formed by singer and actor Ramses Shaffy. He was not fond of a composition that singer Sylvia Alberts was given to sing for her solo performance, so he wrote the instrumental with a set of lyrics in English written by Linda van Dyck.
Its original title was a long one: "I Thought I Could Do Everything on My Own, I Was Always Stripping the Town Alone", and concerned an independent young woman who fell apart after she met the love of her life. van Leer kept the music, re-arranging it as an instrumental track when it came to selecting material for the album. He renamed it "Sylvia" after Alberts "to tease [her] a little". The track includes a guitar introduction written by van Leer's brother Frank.
Peet Johnson, one of the group's biographers, highlights several musical references and similarities that van Leer incorporates in "Focus III", including riffs from Bernard Hermann, "Don't Sleep in the Subway" made famous by Petula Clark in 1967, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. The track's end segues into "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!", titled by Akkerman, featuring extended flute and guitar solos. Ruiter came up with its basic riff, with Akkerman coming up with the "second part". Akkerman wrote "Elspeth of Nottingham" after driving around England for a holiday in 1967, stopping in a town in the Cotswolds where he first heard Julian Bream play the lute which inspired him to learn the instrument.
Akkerman requested to include birdsong on the recording; Vernon suggested to include sounds of cows mooing and the song's title, the "Elspeth" being an old Scottish variant of the name Elizabeth. "Carnival Fugue" borrows from Johann Sebastian 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. "Anonymous II" borrows its theme from "Anonymous" from the band's first album and features a solo spot for all four members, lasting for 26 minutes.

The vinyl pressings of the album includes "House of the King", a track Focus recorded for their first album, Focus Plays Focus (1970), intended to fill up space on side four. The two former members who perform on the recording, bassist Martin Dresden and drummer Hans Cleuver, are not credited on the album sleeve

Side A
A1.  Round Goes The Gossip…  (5:16)
A2.  Love Remembered  (2:49)
A3.  Sylvia  (3:32)
A4.  Carnival Fluge  (6:02)

Side B
B1.  Focus III  (6:07)
B2.  Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!  (14:03)

Side C
C1.  Anonymus II (Part 1)  (19:28)

Side D
D1.  Anonymus II (Conclusion)  (7:30)
D2.  Elspeth Of Nottingham  (3:15)
D3.  House Of The King  (2:23)

Additional musicians
  • Martin Dresden – bass guitar on "House of the King" (uncredited)
  • Hans Cleuver – drums on "House of the King" (uncredited)
  • Mike Vernon – producer, backing vocals on "Round Goes the Gossip"[4] (uncredited)
  • George Chkiantz – recording engineer
  • Bill Levy – art direction
  • Frank Marcelino – design
Release: 1972
Recorded at Olympic 'B' Studios, Barnes, UK.
Mastered at Sterling Sound, NY.
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock, Symphonic Rock
Label: Sire Records
Catalog# SAS-3901
Price: € 15,00

Gatefold edition. 
Slightly different label than the other US release with same cat# SAS 3901 
Title and squares on cover are die-cut. 

Vinyl: Goed
Cover: bovenkant iets beschadigd