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SKY 2

Sky

 

Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 60 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars To most of us in North America, this was Sky's debut, a sprawling 2 LP work that took the UK charts by storm and did pretty well in selected new world markets like Ottawa, Canada where I went to university. It was a breath of fresh air at the time, with the airwaves dominated by punk, new wave, and other genres that placed image above musicianship and songwriting. The fusion of classical with rock was certainly not new, but Sky did it without the histrionics of ELP, and from the outset they tried to be light and self effacing about it. All you have to do is read the liner notes to appreciate their attitude.

Like most music based on older compositions and ancient instrumentation, Sky's material has aged pretty well and, while it possesses some kinship with the new age music that permeated adult consciousness some years later, it also contains a lot more virtuosity and can be appreciated even by serious students of the masters. Sure, some prog fans prefer a little more machismo, and for that I point to the "Fifo" suite, which to my mind is the weakest part of the proceedings, but it does show more verve. The highlights are pretty much everything else: the latin inspired Hotta"; the epics "Sahara", "Dance of the Little Fairies" and especially "Scipio" ; the happy go lucky "Tuba Smarties"; the hapsichord fest that is "Gavotte and Variations"; the percussively melodic "Tristan's Magic Garden"; the nearly Flamenco "El Cielo"; and of course the wildly popular adaptations of "Vivaldi" and "Toccata". The virtuosity and panache of all members of this supergroup makes Sky 2 one of the better double LPs of any era, and one of the few that didn't beg for condensation into one disk.

Largely and unjustly forgotten now, Sky 2 was an important album for keeping serious rock music alive, let alone popular, when it was oh so unfashionable. Recommended.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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