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Sky (an overall view)


Country of origin: United Kingdom
Status: disbanded
The original line-up: Francis Monkman (keyboards, guitars), John Williams (guitars), Kevin Peek (guitars, keyboards), Herbie Flowers (bass), Tristan Fry (drums). Afterwards the multi-instrumentalist Monkman was succeeded by keyboardist Steve Gray. Later in 1984 Williams left the group, and it became a quartet (not to consider various back vocals).

At the moment of group formation, almost all musicians of Sky have already had a significant experience in some other bands, playing music more or less known within the framework of Progressive rock. This new unit, however, was created to realize the dreams of each of the participants: to compose and play music based on European sonata classics. The contribution of each of the musicians to compositions was approximately equal, but in most cases all of them composed pieces individually. Thus, the works of keyboardists emphasized keyboards, the same is with guitarists; but joint arrangements allowed to achieve an amazing sense of the monolithic general picture.

The majority of the albums represent virtuosic and very beautiful art-rock with outspoken classical sonata forms. Mainly, Sky performed their own creations, which, especially in the earlier periods, took the forms of "light" classics of 18-19th centuries with, naturally, rhythm-section. Validity of this comparison is justified by the fact that in its last days the group dedicated its album to the Maestro of "ball" classics - Mozart. However, the debut album contains slightly more arrangements of "progressive" character than later ones. All albums of Sky are similar in both the style and complexity, and represent an excellent stage for prog- novices: much better than the majority of current Neo-bands, though! Even the latest albums, such as, for example "The Great Balloon Race" marked with the presence of appealing female back-vocal and "cosmic" effects, bear the touch of originality, what is the main trump for any well-established rock-group.

The entire heritage of Sky generates positive emotions and, thanks to the certain accessibility, represents the most appropriate possibility to move further to understanding more complex forms of art-rock. In contrast to, for example, Renaissance of Annie Haslam with similar stylistic orientation, Sky have much more significant intellectual potential.

Discography: "Sky"-1979, "Sky-2"-1980, "Sky-3"-1981, "Fourthcoming"-1982, "Cadmium"-1983, "The Great Balloon Race"-1985, "The Mozart Album"-1987 ('Ariola', 'Epic').

Francis Monkman-solo: "Energism"-1980, "Dweller on the Threshold"-1981, "Harpsichord"-1994, "21-st Century Blues"-1998.

John Williams-solo: "Changes"-1971, "Height Below"-1973, "Rhapsody"-1974, "John and Friends"- 1976, "Spanish Guitar"-1977, "Travelling"-1978, "Bridges"-1979. content

VM. 9.03.1999


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