In , Sky recorded and released their second album, Sky 2. This was a double album that built upon its predecessor's success, becoming the tenth highest selling album in Britain that year.
The album included Monkman's side-long rock suite "FIFO" a piece inspired by computer information processing techniques, stands for " First In, First Out " and four classical pieces including three established chamber music pieces played entirely straight and the band's souped-up electric treatment of Bach 's " Toccata and Fugue in D Minor ". The latter was released as a single under the name "Toccata" and reached number 5 in the national pop charts, giving the band the opportunity of performing on Top of the Pops.
The music for this programme was by Sky, featuring tracks from the first two albums. Following further tours of Australia and the UK, Francis Monkman left the band in to concentrate on his own projects having scored success with his soundtrack to the film The Long Good Friday.
The split was entirely amicable, and the band had no doubts about carrying on despite the fact that Monkman had been Sky's most prominent original composer and arranger. Monkman was replaced as Sky's keyboard player by Steve Gray. Despite his initial reluctance to return to playing live, Gray was persuaded to join the band in time for their first European tour. A benefit show to commemorate the 20th anniversary of human rights organisation Amnesty International , the latter was conceived by British producer Martin Lewis and was the first-ever rock concert held at the abbey.
The landmark event resulted in Sky receiving considerable positive media coverage: it was also videotaped for a BBC TV special and subsequently released on home video and laserdisc. The Westminster Abbey concert was also the launch event for the band's third album, Sky 3. A generally brighter and breezier album than its predecessors, the record demonstrated Steve Gray's new and prominent compositional role within Sky, moving away from the harpsichordal and psychedelic elements of the Monkman years and taking the band towards a more jazz -influenced sound.
Sky went on to tour Australia, Europe and the UK in support of the release. The fourth Sky album, Sky 4: Forthcoming , was released in March Sky's first album to feature no original material, it consisted predominantly of arrangements of classical compositions and was marketed under the slogan "Genius Past, Genius Forthcoming".
Once again, the band toured the UK and Australia to promote the album and followed this up with trips to Europe and Japan. The Australian autumn tour featured the debut of plenty of new material, much of which was included on a live double album, Sky Five Live , released in January Sky released their sixth album, Cadmium , in December It also featured the first examples of commissioned compositions from contemporary writers from outside the band: Alan Tarney Kevin Peek's old friend and fellow Cliff Richard collaborator provided two further original tunes.
Two concerts at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane , London were filmed and broadcast on Christmas Eve, , with songwriter and singer-songwriter Patrick Ros as special guest. Ros provided three seasonal compositions of his own on which he was backed by the band. Having previously hinted that his work with Sky had been intended as a five-year stint, John Williams parted company with the band in February , returning to a full-time classical career.
As with Monkman, Williams' departure was amicable. However, it damaged Sky's profile since despite the band's collective efforts to present themselves as a partnership of equals the guitarist had remained Sky's biggest star and live draw. Sadly guitarist Kevin Peek — wracked by a protracted legal case over his later business interests — died in February which makes a full reunion impossible.
But, whatever, it was always novel to see John Williams with an electric guitar and this album is a stellar example of where classical meets rock.
The album was more commercially successful than its predecessor reaching No 1 in the album charts and going platinum. By they were history. The Esoteric reissue campaign is to be welcomed and affording a timely reappraisal.
Yes, you may have thought Sky were uncool and somewhat studied at the time they remain seated for much of their live shows but — goodness me — the music has aged better than most. Radio every Sunday at GMT. Add links. Studio 3, Abbey Road Studios. Progressive rock. Sky, Haydn Bendall , Tony Clark. Sky 3 Sky 4: Forthcoming Sky Five Live Waltz No. Fantasy 7. My Giselle 8. Xango 9. Fantasia West Wind 2. My Giselle 3. Fool on the Hill 4. Tuba Smarties 5. Sister Rose 6.
Listen With Mother 7. 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. The second tune is probably the most reognized cover Sky ever did. However, it says in the liner notes that it was meant to be a joke yuppy humor I guess. It's extremely well executed!
Sky also attempt a cover of a Romantic period piece, Ravel's "Waltz No.May 19, · Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.