Monday, 30 January 2017

Focal Point - First Bite Of The Apple 1968 (2005) mp3@320

Focal Point released one fair pop-psychedelic single in 1968, "Sycamore Sid"/"Love You Forever." "Sycamore Sid" was typical of much British rock of the time in its sketch of an eccentric character, played out against a pleasant medium-tempo power pop arrangement combining hard rock guitar riffs, organ, and piano. "Love You Forever" was an altogether more romantic, dainty piece, like a woozy update of late-'50s/early-'60s teen rock ballads. A few other unreleased
The Liverpool band's Beatles/Apple connection arose in 1967 when vacationing songwriters Paul Tennant and Dave Rhodes came across Paul McCartney, who was walking his dog in London's Hyde Park. McCartney actually gave them the name and number of Terry Doran, who was then starting Apple's music publishing company (Apple had yet to start its record label). After hearing the pair play some songs in his office, Doran was impressed enough to record some demos with the duo, which he played to Brian Epstein and John Lennon. Epstein suggested that the two form a band called Focal Point, and although he died shortly afterward, Tennant and Rhodes did form the group in Liverpool and sign a contract with Apple Publishing. Apple even rented the group a flat in London and gave them access to a recording studio in the Apple office for cutting demos. They got a contact with Deram and recorded their single, but after it made few waves, Apple's interest in the band seemed to peter out, and they never recorded again. Both sides of the single, as well as two outtakes from the recording session and a demo, appear on the CD compilation 94 Baker Street: The Pop-Psych Sounds of the Apple Era 1967-1969.

  Although the Focal Point put out just one single (1968's "Sycamore Sid"/"Love You Forever," included on this CD), they did record about an album's worth of unreleased material. This 20-track compilation has (in addition to the aforementioned 45) all of it, though a few of the half-dozen bonus cuts are previously unissued demos and alternate versions of some of the songs. If the principal section of the disc is to be considered a facsimile of what the album might have been like had it been issued, you can see why it might not have been considered as quite demanding of official release at the time, but also how it can certainly be appreciated these days by late-'60s psychedelic pop collectors. The group were very much in the dreamily fanciful storytelling/observational school of British psychedelia, though with a little darker and more melancholy edge than many such outfits. Echoes of the 1967-era Beatles, Zombies, and, more specifically, Bee Gees and Hollies are often present, and while the songs aren't superb, they're pleasing in a low-key, broodingly ethereal sort of way. It falls between those cracks of not being distinctive enough to command much attention, yet promising enough to show potential of developing into something more worthwhile. Like many such groups then and since, however, they didn't get the opportunity to do so. Unlike many such special-interest reissues from the era, the sound quality of most of the material is very good, though it's a little shakier on some of the demos and alternates.

Hello folks, later more. No time at the moment!!! Enjoy

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