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Sky - Sky 2 CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 90 ratings

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4 stars In the late '70s, a former CURVED AIR member -Francis Monkman- and an academic guitar player -John Williams, this one from Australia- joined to Kevin Peek and Tristan Fry to create an instrumental band able to mix classical music and rock: SKY.

Playing their own pieces and making traditional music covers, they've got compliments as well as criticals: Musicians were really virtuosos, but compositions were "light" and not innovative, and sometimes they were called a "MOR" band (Mature Oriented Rock, an euphemism to "Music for Old People").

As a reference for SKY's music, we can talk about EKSEPTION -a Dutch band who made, essentially, covers from classical pieces-, altough SKY was a little bit more "serious" in their arrangements (however, it's possible to find another rythms in "Sky 2", from jazz to ethnic music).

"Sky 2", the second effort from the band, is a double LP released in 1980. The original vinyl had a first disc with SKY compositions: "Hotta": Powerful opening with lots of percussion. "Dance of the Little Fairies": The album's gem, really beautiful and delicated. "Sahara": Changing piece that flows between energetic and soft moments, with some Middle East hints. "Fifo": Subdivided in four parts, this 17 minutes suite originally occupied the 'B' side of the first LP. It's the most "rockier" theme in "Sky 2", adding atmospheric touches too. It isn't the best of the stuff.

The following are short themes ('A' side in the second vinyl), but two brilliant pieces were eliminated from the original edition (I guess time reasons, but it's really sad, because both "Gavotta" -harpsichord delicatessen- and "Andante" -Vivaldi on acoustic guitar- could be situated among the best tracks). Remained alive: "Tuba Smarties": Composed by Herbie Flowers, where the band demonstrate that humour sense is possible even in the middle of "serious" music, with a tuba as the main instrument. "Ballet Volta": A traditional theme magically played with a classical guitar, another little gem. "Tristan Magic's Garden": This was the piece to be removed. Really, the weakest point that broke the nice classical atmosphere. Just percussions and vibraphone, boring and noisy. "El Cielo": Happily, this wonderful traditional piece returns to the listener the lost climax.

Closing the album, SKY reserved three excellent gifts: "Vivaldi": A classic in the band's discography, four minutes where Vivaldi's baroque music is played in a rock tempo (it was already played by CURVED AIR). "Scipio ( Parts I & II)": Composed by Flowers too, gives to the listener twelve very interesting and changing minutes. Not very complex, but really pleasant and with a fantastic end. "Tocatta": Another version from Bach's well known piece, very nice.

Summarizing, "Sky 2" is an excellent album, not complex but specially interesting for those who like classical music with rock rythms.

Marcelo | 4/5 |


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