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Remastered reissue of the 1980 sophomore album from the session musician supergroup who were groundbreaking pioneers of classical/rock fusion. Sky 2 was a landmark album for the group and their most commercially successful, reaching number one in the album charts and selling more than a million copies. Castle. 2005.
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A mate of mine got me into this band in about 1980, and I bought the albums in chronological order thereafter until Sky disbanded.
I really respect bands or artists who have an original style or concept and are brave enough to bring it to the market and risk derision or mockery. Sky welded to together the worlds of Rock and Classical Music, which as far as I know was a first, and they did it really well.
The thing I will most remember them for is the lack of gimmickery or pretensions, no Prima Donna stars, no stupid hairstyles or clothes (any more than you usually saw at the end of the seventies), and no marketing nonsense from the record company. Just five ordinary guys with exraordinary talent, who got down to the basic art of raw music.
Sky 2 was my joint favourite of their discography, (along with Five Live), because the other albums had compositions which simply could not match Hotta, Sahara, Watching The Aeroplanes, El Cielo, Vivaldi, and Toccata.
If you only try one Sky studio album make it this one and capture some instrumental rock history.
Ok so Sky are a group from the past, but who cares? The musicians are some of the best in the world, in fact as I write this John Williams is playing in the last night of the proms and he is still the master of the guitar.
This album in my mind contains some of the best musical clasic/rock/whatever there is. From their more well known tracks such as Toccata to less known ones such as FIFO (first in first out) to Watching the Airplanes.
Take my advice, if you only get one Sky Album, make it Sky Volume 2, sit back, relax and turn up the volume...
John Williams was always my favourite but looking at this album today I realise how much the entire group contributed to Sky. This is an unlikely mix of musicians that works. A bass player from David Bowie, one of the greatest classical guitarists, a session drummer etc add to this special band that has never been repeated as well as the original Sky were. There is a DVD available out there of Sky in concert. Its not easy to get but worth a look.
Sky II is a special album with many great musical moments that continue to give me great pleasure.
The only downside to the 1992 Music Club reissue is that the track Scipio is somewhat shorter (by almost 1 minute) than the original vinyl version. Wether this was due to simple time constraints, i.e. they didn't have the capacity to fit the entire double album onto one CD, I'm not sure. But, if that was the case, then surely it would have been better to have reissued it as a double CD, this preserving the original duration of the entire album!
Having said that, the full length version of Scipio is availale on the 2005 Sanctuary issue of this CD (CMRCD 1087), although making that available has resulted in them replacing one of the other tracks (Gavotte And Variations) with a shorter edit which on the Sanctuary CD is 5'16", whereas the Music Club version is 6'12".
Swings and roundabouts I guess, but it's still a great album!
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