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SKY

Sky

 

Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 56 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Granny prog?

Sky were formed in 1979 through the coming together of five highly accomplished musicians. Classical guitarist John Williams had previously called upon the services of bassist Herbie Flowers as producer of his solo album "Travelling". Curved Air's keyboard player Francis Monkman played on that album, and the three began to discuss working together on a project. The vision was to bring together rock and classical music in a way which would appeal to a wider audience. Guitarist Kevin Peek and drummer Tristan Fry were brought in to complete the line up, and Sky was born.

There are certain parallels in the work of Sky with those of Asia. Both involve highly talented and accomplished musicians creating something which is hugely successful in commercial terms, but which does not fully reflect the underlying talent. Here we have a succession of instrumental pieces which even your granny would enjoy. The music is simplistic and direct with catchy hooks and heart-warming melodies. Now there is of course nothing wrong with that whatsoever, this album is a highly enjoyable listen. If it prog at all though, this is prog-lite.

While many of the tracks here have strong classical leanings, all but two are original band compositions. Pieces such as "Carillon" will sound highly familiar, its simple melody being instantly infectious. Such upbeat numbers are balanced by the more delicate arrangement of Satie's "Gymopiedie No. 1". "Cannonball" was released as a single, the chiming lead guitar melody being ideal for that medium.

The focal point of the album is the 20 minute suite "Where opposites meet" written by Francis Monkman. In the sleeve notes, Flowers hypothecates that the title reflects the diverse backgrounds of the group members. Monkman however alludes to an altogether more abstract concept involving Zen and infinity. The track takes the form of a classical piece, with varied lead instruments and moods. From a prog perspective, this is altogether more satisfactory, but even here there is something lightweight, perhaps new age, about the whole exercise.

The 1993 CD release has a bonus track "Dies irae", a piece credited to Francis Monkman but which has its roots in Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique".

In all, a pleasant listen, and an album you can safely play to the relatives.

Incidentally, the band name apparently came about through a session of sticking names to the wall. I wonder though if it subconsciously relates to the ending of the names of some of the great composers such as Tchaikovsky and Moussoursky. Just a thought.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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