Sky 2 (album)

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Sky 2
Sky 2 Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Sky
Released April 1980
Studio Studio 3, Abbey Road Studios
Genre Progressive rock
Length 79:56
Label Arista/Ariola
Producer Sky, Haydn Bendall, Tony Clark
Sky chronology
Sky 2
Sky 3
(1981)Sky 31981

Sky 2 is the second album by English/Australian instrumental progressive rock band Sky, released in 1980. Despite being a double album it reached number one in the British Album charts, and at the time was the fastest double album to receive platinum status in the UK,[1] while the instrumental single "Toccata" peaked at 5 in the British Singles Chart.[2]

Francis Monkman played guitar on the 20-minute rock suite "FIFO" because, in his words, "I felt it necessary to inject a grunge element".[3] "FIFO" stands for "First In, First Out", and is a song about computer processing.[4]

The track "Vivaldi", is Sky's own version of an earlier track by fellow progressive rock band Curved Air, of which Monkman was formerly a member. It originally appeared on their 1970 album "Air Conditioning".

Track listing[edit]

Original vinyl / 1980 Spanish cassette[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hotta" Kevin Peek, Herbie Flowers 7:46
2. "Dance of the Little Fairies" Flowers 3:31
3. "Sahara" Peek 6:56
Total length: 18:13
Side two – FIFO
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fifo" Francis Monkman 6:44
2. "Adagio" Monkman 2:29
3. "Scherzo" Monkman 4:19
4. "Watching the Aeroplanes" Monkman 3:33
Total length: 17:05
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tuba Smarties" (live) Flowers 3:18
2. "Ballet-Volta" Praetorius, Arr. John Williams 2:45
3. "Gavotte & Variations" Rameau 6:14
4. "Andante" Vivaldi, Arr. Williams 2:58
5. "Tristan's Magic Garden" Tristan Fry 4:09
6. "El Cielo" Traditional, Arr. Williams 4:20
Total length: 23:44
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Vivaldi" Darryl Way 4:03
2. "Scipio" Flowers 12:09
3. "Toccata" Bach, Arr. Peek, Holmes 4:42
Total length: 20:54

1980 UK cassette (ZC SKY2)[edit]

1992 Freestyle Records CD (SKY CD 2)[edit]

This version omits "Gavotte & Variations" and "Andante" from the original album.

1992 Music Club CD (MCCD 078) & 1994 Nota Blu CD (9403201)[edit]

This version contains all tracks from the original album, although "Scipio" has been faded out early, omitting some repeats, in order to fit the album onto one CD.

1992 & 1993 Success CDs (22620CD / 16031CD)[edit]

Largely follows the track list of the 1992 Freestyle Records CD, except all movements of "FIFO" are combined into one track, and some track lengths are slightly different.

1994 Merlin Records CD[edit]

Almost the same as the Success pressings, except for some minor track length differences, and the fact that the early fade edit of "Scipio" from the Music Club issue has been used. The Merlin Records cassette, released at the same time as this CD, however, contains the full album in its original track order, albeit still with the edited version of "Scipio" ("Tuba Smarties" is the last track on side one and "Ballet-Volta" is the first track on side two).

2005 Castle Music CD (CMRCD1087)[edit]

This version contains all album tracks, including the full length version of "Scipio". However, "Gavotte & Variations" has been edited to omit the final variation instead.

2014 Esoteric Recordings CD & DVD[edit]

The CD in this version is sourced from the masters of the 2005 Castle reissue and as such contains the same edited version of "Gavotte & Variations".


  • John Williams – classical guitars
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, synthesizers, harpsichord, piano, left-hand channel electric guitar on "FIFO"
  • Herbie Flowers – bass guitar, tuba on "Tuba Smarties"
  • Tristan Fry – drums, tuned percussion on "Tristan's Magic Garden" (drumkit, vibraphone, marimba, bass marimba, tympani & xylophones), trumpet on "Tuba Smarties"
  • Kevin Peek – electric and classical guitars


Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart[5] 1980 1


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sky UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  3. ^ Wynne, Richard (2002). In Jam [sleeve notes].
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1980s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
Preceded by
Greatest Hits by Rose Royce
UK Albums Chart number-one album
3 May 1980 – 17 May 1980
Succeeded by
The Magic of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits by Boney M.