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Sky - Sky 5 Live CD (album) cover

SKY 5 LIVE

Sky

 

Eclectic Prog

2.50 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars There are two preceding collab reviews for this live set, both very negative. That came as a surprise to me, although I basically agree on most that SouthSideoftheSky says. But first a little personal background of my SKY relationship. As a teenager I used to borrow vinyls from a library and that way learn new bands, and Five Live was such first-acquaintance album to me, and possibly my first INSTRUMENTAL pop/rock album in general. The totally atypical live experience (almost devoid of any interaction between the group and the audience), , well, it did make a peculiar impression on me, though not a very lasting one, for some time later I overtaped it. Something like a decade later I bought SKY2 -- generally seen as their best -- which I removed from my shelf a couple of years later. Even in my enormously prog-expansive recent years SKY has escaped my radar, until this year I received Esoteric Recordings' re-releases of the albums # 2-5 to be reviewed in a prog magazine. It probably helps being now a middle-aged man to better appreciate the academically stiff style of SKY, ha ha!

The roughly 95-minute set starts with a 20+ minute, admittedly narcotic wandering of 'Animals'. In my teens I couldn't quite decide whether it was an over-extended bore or a fascinating piece of music painting inner images to my mind. It sure demands a friendly and patient attitude from the listener but at least partially it is rewarding. The next track is a very delicate Tristan Fry arrangement of Camille Saint-SaŽns' 'The Swan' starring marimba. Not bad, actually.

'KP I' (written by, you guessed, Kevin Peek) has a rockier flavour and tastes more like the Sky2 material. Tristan Fry's marimba starts 'Dance of the Little Fairies', joined soon by piano, acoustic guitars and rhythm section. This joyfully galloping tune is a good example of the SKY music operating between the no-man's land of "pop" and "art" music. 'Love Duet' is a beautiful, romantic track starring guitars.

The second CD opens with a naive 'Bathroom Song' which has its own humorous charm, even if musically it is a throwaway tune. "Ignore!!! Except for the Glitterball", writes Herbie Flowers about it. 'KP II' is a lively fast-tempo tune offering the "rock" aspect which is so scarce in this set in general -- which doesn't mean I'd prefer it over the rockless tracks. 'Antigua', a moody classical guitar number of John Williams, is among the finest moments here. The rest of the set varies between narcotic and disappointing. But summa summarum: if you appreciate SKY also when they don't rock at all, there's no solid reason not to enjoy this double album as well. Just don't expect it to capture the "live energy" normally felt on live albums. SKY was not a rock band in that sense!

Matti | 3/5 |

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