Sky: Toccata: An Anthology

Classical rock in excelsis.

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Toccata will be a treasure trove of delights for fans of Sky’s classical – rather than classic – rock. Although it might be too close to light entertainment for others, suggesting the sort of deodorised instrumentals Terry and June might rock out to.

This is a remastered two-disc set (plus a DVD of their performance for German TV show Musikladen in 1980), featuring 31 tracks. The new-age/soft prog supergroup comprised guitarists John Williams and Kevin Peek, percussionist Tristan Fry, former Curved Air keyboardist Francis Monkman and bass supremo Herbie Flowers.

Walks on the wild side are few, but if you like your rock beautifully played and easy on the ear, with classical allusions and flourishes, then you’ll love this compilation of Sky’s output from 1979 (when they recorded their debut album at Abbey Road) up to their 1987 Mozart tribute turned swan song.

Apart from the hits – a term used advisedly because they really only had one, Toccata, which entered the Top 5 in 1980 – there are all the choice album tracks, including the lightly funky Hotta and multipartite FIFO.

Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.