|Genres||Electronica, progressive house|
Opus III was an English electronic music 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.
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. The group later released a third single, "Freedom We Cry," in 1991.
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. 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, which topped the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1992 and reached number five on the UK Singles Chart.
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'.
Opus III's second album Guru Mother surfaced in 1994 and produced another U.S. number-one dance song "When You Made The Mountain". A third dance chart entry, "Hand in Hand (Looking for Sweet Inspiration)" hit number 14.
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. 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.
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|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|