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Classical versus rock
on 11 June 2008
The front cover of Sky's debut album from 1979 proudly headlines the cast of top quality musicians that comprise its membership. Musicianship was never going to be an issue for the band that attempted to fuse rock with classical music. Ultimately, the music is sometimes one genre and sometimes the other, but never both. Nor is it ever totally convincing as rock. Despite the electric guitars and drums, classical values preclude the edge or soul of authentic rock music. Yet 'Sky' is a lovely album on its own terms. 'Westway', 'Cannonball' and ex-Curved Air Francis Monkman's five-part opus, 'Where Opposites Meet' represent the modern style, while 'La Danza' and the much-covered 'Gymnopedie No 1' are dragged out of the past. The Monkman-Gomm composition, 'Carrillon', is the one new piece to sound as if it belongs to a bygone age, propelled by John Williams's beautiful classical guitar work. This is a highly worthwhile album but not one which will appeal to purists of rock or classical music.