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Focus - 3 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 446 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Focus - III (1973)

The record evokes some discussion.

Focus' third is somehow an odd album. It has some of their finest progressive songs, but it also has endless jams as if you are listening to a fusion jamgroup. Luckely both sides of Fucus are seperated; side one and two show the symphonic Focus, while side two and three mainly show Focus jamming out. I've heard some-one say that he though even the true Focus fans wouldn't listen this in one spin and I think he's right. I own the vinyl version and I listen mainly to the first record, record two is like a nice additional present for me. Ofcourse this well though concept was destroyed by the cd, though it could have been printed on two seperate cd's.

Focus' sound consists of three elements: classical influences, hard rock and jazz- rock/fusion. Sympathetic frontman/keyboardist/composer/flute player Thuis van Leer originated from the Dutch theater and classical music scene as composer and flute player. His wide range of influences are the main reason for the succes of Focus, the others are the known guitar acrobatics of the famous Dutch guitarist Jan Akkerman and the great technically perfect drummer Pierre van der Linden. Accompanied with Bert Ruijter on bass one could call this a supergroup: a combination of best musicians in their field.

On side one and two the compositions are as mentioned before as one would expect on a Focus record. Symphonic, jazzy, rockin', varied and devoted. On Round goes the Gossip a lot of inventive up-tempo chord progressions can be heard with some pyschedelic vocals by Thijs van Leer. In the middle section a great fusion part is adapted to complete the song. This is one of my favourite Focus songs! Another standout is the title track, a highly classical compostion played by a symphonic prog band. On a live concert Van Leer mentioned the track passes through the whole fifths circel, which is a nice technical achievement.

Conclusion. If listening to the record as a seperated disc, this is a highly rewarding album. It might not be as perfect as Moving Waves, but it shurely resembles Hamburger Concerto. The additional jam's are very enjoyable, guitarist may want to listen to the reportoire of bizarre guitar techniques Jan Akkerman applies. Recommended to everyone into symphonic prog, classical music and fusion. Four stars!

friso | 4/5 |


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