Artful albums #6: Ian Beck – Focus “Live at the Rainbow”


Born in Hove (next to Brighton in Sussex on the south coast of the UK) in 1947, Ian Beck studied Illustration and Graphic Design under the tutorage of Raymond Briggs at Brighton College of Art where he graduated in 1968. In his music industry years, he’s mostly known for the design of Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. However, I personally prefer the work for this classic from Focus from 1973. Technically a gatefold, I love the way the unassuming cover opens up to reveal this thing of beauty…


The Rainbow Theatre started life in 1930 as the Astoria cinema in London’s Finsbury Park area. It remained a cinema until 1971 although, during the 1960s, it had also been used as one of London’s most popular music venues under the name of ‘The Rainbow’. It was here that Jimi Hendrix famously set his Fender Stratocaster alight at a gig in March 1967. Focus recorded this album there on Saturday 5 May 1973.

For more about Ian Beck – check out his WordPress page –

And watch the Jemtunes blogpage for more about the Rainbow theatre – new series coming soon.


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