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Focal Point (1960s): First Bite of the Apple

Track List

>Miss Sinclair
>Sycamore Sid
>Hassle Castle
>Never Never
>Lonely Woman
>Far Away from Forever
>Love You Forever
>Tales from the Gpo Files
>McKinley Morgan the Deep Sea Diver
>Falling out of Friends
>Girl on the Corner
>Goodbye Forever
>This Time She's Leaving
>'Cept Me
>Miss Sinclair
>Miss Sinclair
>Hassle Castle
>Never Never
>Reflections
>Reflections

Album Notes

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. ~ Richie Unterberger



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