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Sky Sky 4: Forthcoming album cover
2.58 | 49 ratings | 6 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Masquerade (3:20)
2. Ride of the Valkyries (5:07)
3. March to the Scaffold (5:00)
4. To Yelasto Pedi - Theme from "Z" (4:00)
5. Waltz No.2 from Valses Nobles & Sentimentales (2:35)
6. Fantasy (3:14)
7. My Giselle (4:36)
8. Xango (5:07)
9. Fantasia (3:43)
10. Skylark (3:10)

Total Time: 39:52

Bonus DVD (Esoteric Recordings, 2015)
"Sky - Night Music" Recorded for BBC TV Broadcast on 8th July 1982
1. West Wind
2. My Giselle
3. Fool on the Hill
4. Tuba Smarties
5. Sister Rose
6. Listen With Mother
7. Meheeco

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbie Flowers / bass, tuba
- Tristan Fry / drums, marimba, celeste
- Steve Gray / keyboards
- Kevin Peek / guitars
- John Williams / guitars

Releases information

LP: Ariola 4
CD+DVD: Esoteric Recordings, ECLEC22476 (2015)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Matti for the last updates
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Buy SKY Sky 4: Forthcoming Music

SKY Sky 4: Forthcoming ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SKY Sky 4: Forthcoming reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Zac M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's been a whle since I've posted a review, so I thought I'd go for another revew of a Sky album. Sky's fourth, simply titled "4: Forthcoming," contains only covers of some famous, some not-so-famous classical pieces, which are of course give the Sky treatment. There is little of interest for ths album unless you are an initated Sky/John Williams fan or you like Classcal-rock cross-over. While this isn't ther best album, it's still quite accomplished.

The album starts off with a cover of Khatchaturan tune, and the Sky style actually goes really well with it, very nice classical guitars, just what you would expect from Mr. Williams. The second tune is probably the most reognized cover Sky ever did. "Ride of the Valkyries" is also one of their more embarrassing pieces. However, it says in the liner notes that it was meant to be a joke (yuppy humor I guess). "March to the Scaffold" is one of my favorite Sky covers and should be recognized by the average person. It's extremely well executed! "To Yeslasto Pedi (Theme from "Z")" is a nice Spanish classical guitar heavy piece, very catchy and enjoyable.

Sky also attempt a cover of a Romantic period piece, Ravel's "Waltz No. 2." Sky's version is almost a bit too easy listening, but not bad by any means and still a nice listen. "Fantasy" is one of my least favorite tracks (maybe because I'm not a big fan of Baroque music, dunno). Sky always seem to cover Bach tunes, but I guess that's inevitable. "My Giselle" is yet another Spanish piece, this time arranged by Peek instead of Williams and is less Classical gutar heavy, although it's still there. This piece seems to "rock" more than the others too. "Xango" is a Brazillian tune with nice tuned percussion from Tristan; it's a bit repetitive, but still pretty enjoyable. What do you know? Another Spanish piece is next! It's fairly forgettable, but again, not bad. The last piece is an interpretation of a Hoagy Carmichael tune, and as cheesy as it sounds, it's surely one of the better tunes on the album.

I wouldn't recommend starting here for people interested in listening to Sky, go for the first two albums instead. Like I said, this isn't their best, but it's still quite enjoyable, 3.5 stars.

Review by russellk
1 stars An album that, at the time, sounded like it had been made by frightened rabbits.

SKY'S response to relatively poor sales and critical reviews of Sky3 (after the huge successes of their first two albums) was to retreat to territory in which they felt most comfortable; that is, the comfortable rabbit- hole of reinterpreting the classics. However, they not only selected the wrong material, they played conservatively, with musical excellence completely overshadowing any sense of playfulness, or even emotion. This album sounds as cold as the shoulders of the critics and public turned to its release.

The original works were not meant to be easy-listening. But SKY'S dead-handed approach make them so, depriving listeners of anything the music really has to offer. Ravel and Wagner, for example, ought not to be subjected to this!

If there are any SKY completionsists out there (apart from myself), make this your lowest priority.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The music of SKY can be described as light classical music with some vintage rock style. You might refer it to the bands like Ekseption, Focus, Fresh Aire, The Enid or Flairck. Of course they are not 100% alike but the all base their compositions on classical music and develop them further with some pop, jazz and rock elements. All of this can be predicted as the guitarist John Williams was trained with classical method. For me personally SKY 4's music flows naturally from one to another with excellent combination of electric as well as acoustic guitar that enrich the textures of the music. Tracks like "Fantasy" (3:14), "My Giselle" (4:36) and "Skylark" (3:10) are good ones from this track. "Skylark" combines acoustic guitar work in its simplest style with bassline and piano.

You might be wondering why this band was featured here at this site but when you observe further the composition, you might find subtleties that lead you to a conclusion that this band has some prog elements worth to mention. Keep on proggin' ..!

"Nothing is useless. Even a spoilt clock shows the right time twice everyday!"

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Apart from scintillating harpsichord work and a general penchant for interpreting obscure (to these ears) Spanish pieces, this is a disappointing follow up to the more energetic "Sky 3". It occurs to me that this is SKY's "Works Volume 2", a mishmash of sendups with a veritable who's who of original composers and a testamenet to the influences of our erstwhile heroes, but ultimately failing to rouse or inspire even an infinitesimal proportion of that which original audiences must have felt.

Some of the chosen material is just wrong from the start. Not much can be added to renditions of "Ride of the Valkyies", "March to the Scaffold" or "Waltz No 2" (Ravel) but Sky tries anyway. Not to say that all the more esoteric pieces are successes - "Xango" sounds like the worst that TANGERINE DREAM could muster on their worst day, and "Skylark" utterly lacks the personality that one would expect in channeling Hoagie Carmichael. It's only on the playful "To Yelasto Pedi", the brooding and ALAN PARSONS like "My Giselle", and, to a lesser extent, "Fantasia" that the inferred artistic objective of the disk attains some semblance of fruition.

By now we are clearly in the realm of fan-only releases with SKY, if in fact any such individuals even exist anymore. Talent and professionalism galore, but a combination of poorly chosen templates and an insistence on playing "inside the box" ensures that few repeat spins will be forthcoming.

Review by Matti
3 stars The music of SKY has been referred as "granny prog", and that amusing tag is indeed very accurate. Their classically influenced instrumental rock is technically perfect, clean, relatively free of big surprises - and quite sterile to the ears of acquainted prog listeners. It's probably the 2nd album (a double on a full-length CD) that has the most to offer for us. After that work keyboardist Francis Monkman (formerly of CURVED AIR) left Sky and was replaced by Steve Gray, who in my opinion was a very good choice. Funny how much he looks like greyed Tony Banks... But now onto the Forthcoming: this time Sky, featuring the classical guitar virtuoso John Williams, decided to make an all-covers album concentrating on the works of art music composers. To some this seems to be reason enough to malign the results, but I see no point to do so. Sky remains faithful to their own style, and this shortish album isn't so bad at all. Had they chosen only the best-known classical pieces that everyone would recognize, it would have been a totally different situation, closer to tasteless things like Hooked On Classics.

The danceable 'Masquerade' (Khatchaturian) sounds like it was written by - or for - this group. 'Ride of the Valkyries', the dramatic Wagner tune known also from the film Apocalypse Now, suffers from the popularity of the piece, and the electric guitar focussed sound is definitely not Sky at its best, nor is the drama captured very well. 'March to the Scaffold' (from Hector Berlioz' Fantastic Symphony) is percussionist Tristan Fry's choice, a favourite tune since his youth. The percussion comes to the fore in this strong arrangement. The next tune 'To Yelasto Pedi' is taken from the film "Z", familiar to many also as a sung version. This rhythmic track contains a small delicate moment for acoustic guitar and marimba.

'Waltz No. 2' (Ravel) is an excellent choice, especially as it isn't so worn-out. The nocturnal arrangement gives it a Satie-like spirit. I like the harpsichord and rich guitar texture on 'Fantasy' (Bach) but Baroque music suits much worse for crossover treatment. The version of a Spanish tune 'My Giselle', in which Kevin Peek's arrangement favours electric guitar, is poignantly compared to ALAN PARSONS PROJECT by Kenethlevine. 'Xango' of Brazilian origin leans on Fry's moody marimba but remains rather sleepy. 'Skylark', an evergreen composed by Hoagy Carmichael, has a nice classical guitar arrangement. ---------

My main reason to review Sky is receiving three recent Esoteric Recordings re-releases (# 2, 3, 4) that each feature a concert DVD as a bonus. From that point of view this one - with an 1982 TV performance entitled "Sky: Night Music" - is the least satisfying, both because of the shortness (approximately 46 minutes) and the cheaper visual looks. There's a fine acoustic arrangement of 'Fool on the Hill'. Tristan Fry's joke-like 'Tuba Smarties' seems to have been a concert perennial, unfortunately. In case I won't review other albums, let it be said that Sky 3's DVD featuring a lengthy concert from Westminster Abbey (1981) is very enjoyable, and Sky 2's slightly rockier DVD is recorded in 1980 with Francis Monkman still in the band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A more classically attuned album than previous ones. This is Sky at its tightest and most professional. Although lacking the driving rhythms layed down by Tristan Fry in Sky and Sky 2, it also leaves behind the self indulgent such as Herbie Flowers tuba follies. This album really moves away ... (read more)

Report this review (#31188) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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