House of the King

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"House of the King"
House of the King.jpg
German picture sleeve
Single by Focus
B-side"Black Beauty"
ReleasedJanuary 1971
GenreBaroque pop
Songwriter(s)Jan Akkerman

"House of the King" is an instrumental by the Dutch rock band Focus. It was released as a single in January 1971 and reached No. 10 on the Dutch charts[1] and sold well across Europe.[2] In the UK, it was issued on both the group's first album, In And Out of Focus[3] and the 1972 double album Focus 3.[4]

The song is in a baroque pop style.[2] It was written by guitarist Jan Akkerman and based on an improvised instrumental that the group performed after the plug was pulled on a concert in Majorca in June 1970 because they played over their allotted time.[5] The recording features group leader Thijs van Leer on flute, which has led to it being compared to the work of Jethro Tull.[6] Akkerman played acoustic guitar during the main section, and a brief electric guitar solo in the bridge. Unlike many other Focus songs, which featured extended instrumentals, it is less than two and a half minutes long.[7]

Focus almost disbanded during 1970, after the song was recorded, but because of the commercial potential for "House of the King", they were persuaded by management to stay together, albeit with a different line-up.[8] It was performed live as part of a one-off reunion set for Dutch television in 1990.[9]

The track's commercial potential led to it being used as the theme tune for the 1970s ITV television show Don't Ask Me (presented by Magnus Pyke).[10] It was also used as theme for the Steve Coogan comedy series Saxondale, which befitted the title character's role as a former roadie for rock bands.[6][10] It has been cited by several sources as one of the best television theme tunes.[10][11]

Weekly charts[]

Chart (1971) Peak
Netherlands Single Top 100 Megacharts[12] 10
Netherlands Dutch Top 40[13] 14
Belgium (Flanders) Ultratop[14] 27
Belgium (Wallonia) Ultratop[15] 7
France SNEP[16] 31
Italian Singles charts [17] 22



  1. ^ "Dutch Charts – Focus". Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b Dale 2003, p. 384.
  3. ^ Focus (1973). In and Out of Focus [Reissue] (Media notes). Sire Records. SAS 7404.
  4. ^ Focus 3 (Media notes). Polydor. 1972. 2344-038.
  5. ^ Johnson 2013, p. 35.
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b "Ye Gods: The Twenty Greatest Prog Rock Record Sleeves". The Quietus. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  7. ^ Thompson, Dave. "House of the King – Focus". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  8. ^ Johnson 2013, p. 38.
  9. ^ Johnson 2013, p. 224.
  10. ^ Jump up to: a b c Dennis, Jon (1 September 2011). "Readers recommend: TV themes – results". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  11. ^ Chantler, Chris (4 January 2016). "The 10 best TV show themes". Louder Than Sound. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Dutch charts".
  13. ^ "Dutch Top 40".
  14. ^ "Belgian charts".
  15. ^ "Belgian charts".
  16. ^ "French charts".
  17. ^ "Italian charts".


  • Dale, Nick (2003). Buckley, Peter (ed.). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-843-53105-0.
  • Johnson, Peet (2013). Hocus Pocus: The Life & Journey of Rock's Dutch Masters. Thorpe-Bowker. ISBN 978-0-646-57754-8.

External links[]

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