Opus III (band)

Opus III was an English electronic music and progressive house group who had success on the UK Singles Chart and on the U.S. Dance charts. The group consisted of vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw and producers/musicians Kevin Dodds, Ian Munro and Nigel Walton. The group members promoted a strong environmental and feminist message through their lyrics, album liner notes and photo and video imagery. Their biggest hit was It's a Fine Day, which reached number five in the United Kingdom in February 1992. The song had previously been recorded by the singer Jane in 1983, and its lyrics had been taken from a song by poet Edward Barton.

Opus III
Also known asA.S.K.
OriginLondon, England
GenresElectronica, progressive house
Years active1992–1994
LabelsPWL International
Past membersKirsty Hawkshaw
Kevin Dodds
Ian Munro
Nigel Walton

CareerEdit

Prior to the forming of Opus III, Dodds, Munro, and Walton, who were members of the Spiral Tribe, signed with Capitol Records UK under the name A.S.K. The act released their first single “Kiss and Tell,” in 1988. Afterwards, the trio signed with MCA Records UK, where they released their next single, "Dream," in 1990, peaking at number 85 on the UK singles chart.[1] The group later released a third single, “Freedom We Cry,” in 1991.[2]

It was during the fall of 1990 that they noticed a rave dancer that they would add to the act as their visual dancer and afterwards become their lead singer, Kirsty Hawkshaw. The group would eventually become Opus III in 1992. During their tenure as a group, Hawkshaw was the only member that was visible in the music videos and television performances due to the other three members still being under contract to MCA.[3] Once they were released from the label, the other members remained in the background, with the exception of live concert shows.

Their debut album, Mind Fruit, produced the track "It's a Fine Day", a cover of a 1983 single by Jane,[4][5] which topped the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1992[6] and reached number five on the UK Singles Chart.[7]

The song, now considered a house music classic, is the basis of Orbital's 1992 track "Halcyon" and its album version "Halcyon + On + On" included in their second eponymous album; the "la la la" section of the "It's A Fine Day" chorus was backmasked and sampled throughout the song. Hawkshaw appeared in the video for "Halcyon" playing a housewife who was 'under the influence'.

The other single release from Mind Fruit was "I Talk To The Wind", a cover of the 1969 song by King Crimson. This was not a big chart success in the UK, only reaching number 52.[7]

Opus III's second album Guru Mother surfaced in 1994 and produced another U.S. number-one dance song "When You Made The Mountain".[6] A third dance chart entry, "Hand in Hand (Looking for Sweet Inspiration)" hit number 14.[6]

The group disbanded after their second album. Hawkshaw was worried the project was becoming too commercial, which is one of the reasons for the band's separation (she has ruled out a reunion as well).[8] Hawkshaw went on to pursue a solo career, lending her vocals to a number of electronic and dance music artists and tracks into the opening years of the 21st century, including Delerium, Silent Poets, BT, DJ Tiësto and again with Orbital.[9]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

SinglesEdit

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK
[11]
AUS
[10]
AUT
[12]
FRA
[13]
GER
[14]
IRE
[15]
ITA
[16]
SWE
[17]
SWI
[18]
US
Dance

[6]
1992 "It's a Fine Day" 5 54 14 14 18 6 9 22 24 1 Mind Fruit
"I Talk to the Wind" 52 162
1994 "When You Made the Mountain" 75 172 1 Guru Mother
"Hand in Hand (Looking for Sweet Inspiration)" 79 239 14
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Official Charts > ASK". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  2. ^ A.S.K. Discography at Discogs
  3. ^ "Hot Crossover: Music Meeting" (PDF). Network 40 (1992-07-10, page 42). Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Indie Hits "J"". Cherry Red Records. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2006.
  5. ^ "Edward Barton - News". Edward Barton - Unofficial Web Page. 25 January 2005. Retrieved 14 April 2006.
  6. ^ a b c d "Billboard > Artists / Opus III > Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 408. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Opus III | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  10. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) peaks:
  11. ^ "Official Charts > Opus III". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  12. ^ "austriancharts.at > Opus III in der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  13. ^ "lescharts.com > Opus III dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Opus III – It's a Fine Day (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'Opus' (from irishcharts.ie)". Fireball Media, via Imgur.com. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Hit Parade Italia > Indice per Interprete: O" (in Italian). HitParadeItalia. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  17. ^ "swedishcharts.com > Opus III in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  18. ^ "hitparade.ch > Opus III in der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2019.

External linksEdit