That diary entry noting when I bought Focus 3 has reminded me of the album. It first charted at the very end of 1972 and stayed in the charts until Spring of 1973. It was preceded by two other studio albums (In and Out, Moving Waves) and a live album (At the Rainbow, in the charts October and Bovember of 73). Money was always tight then and so being a double album I had to save up. I'm sure I'd heard it before buying it. It's a big album and I'm sure I didn't get right into in one go. It starts with Round goes the gossip which is quite a jazzy number that has taken me years to really appreciate. Love Remembered is amazing and I'm sure I was into that early on as well as the most well known track on there, Sylvia. Carnival Fugue is again jazzy but I got into it early on. Side 1 got quite a few listens then. Side 2 was not that easy being taken up with Focus 3 and Answers? Questions! Question? Answers! which is played as one long piece and travels to all sorts of places. There is no let up with Anonymous 2 which goes on throughout side 3 and onto side 4. I'd already got into the shorter Anonymus from the first album so I knew there was gold there. One snag in those days was listening to the very quiet middle section where the bass restarts the whole thing. Dusty vinyl does not lend itself to that sort of thing. It was the drum break and the finale that I appreciated soonest. Side 4 also has Elspeth of Nottingham on lute which I was prepared for through Akkerman's solo album, Profile. It also had another outing for House of the King which rounded things off nicely, although I always thought we'd been a little short changed. Why not another new track?
In May of 1974 a new album came out Hamburger Concerto and on May 25 I went with two friends to see them at the Hippodrome in Bristol. They were stunningly amazing. I was just turned 15.