The Sky Moves Sideways

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Studio album by Porcupine Tree
Released February, 1995
Recorded June 1993 - July 1994
Genre Progressive rock
Length 65:31
Label Delerium
Producer Steven Wilson
Porcupine Tree chronology
Up the Downstair
(1993)
The Sky Moves Sideways
(1995)
Signify
(1996)

The Sky Moves Sideways is the third studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, first released in February, 1995.

Background[edit]

It has been compared to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here because of their similar structure;[1] both albums have extended pieces at the beginning and end, which are the halves of a single song.

The Sky Moves Sideways was the first Porcupine Tree album to be released in the US, and the first on which Porcupine Tree was actually a band rather than simply a pseudonym for Steven Wilson. This transition took place while the album was being recorded, so two of the tracks - namely "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder" and "Dislocated Day" - are performed entirely by Wilson, while the full band appears on the remainder of the album (including "Stars Die", a UK single which was added to the US version of the album).

In 2004, a new, two CD version of The Sky Moves Sideways was released, along with a similar re-release of the previous album, Up the Downstair, featuring newly recorded drums by Gavin Harrison on tracks which previously had only drum machines and other electronic percussion programmed by Wilson.

There are thus three distinct versions of this album - the original UK version, the US version, and the 2004 remaster - no two of which feature the same track list, or the same version of "Moonloop".

Release[edit]

The album was first released in February 1995 in Europe. The album would later release in North America in October 1995, the first album of the band's to do so. The track list would be changed for the album's American release. Besides the addition of "Stars Die", the different running order and the removal of "Prepare Yourself", the version of "Moonloop" on this edition is less than half the length of the one on the UK release. Additionally, the two parts of the title track on this version have been split into a number of sections.

The album was remastered and re-released as a two disc collection in 2004, including expanded and demo material. The song "The Sky Moves Sideways (Alternate Version)" represents outtakes and a work-in-progress mix of the original vision of the album as a single 50-minute track. The version of "Moonloop" here has three minutes of additional material previously available only on an EP, and is split into two tracks. This is the only version of The Sky Moves Sideways which includes both "Prepare Yourself" and "Stars Die". A triple vinyl edition was also released in the same year, by Headspin Music record label, including a 7-inch single with two versions of the song "Men of Wood", the first was taken from The Sky Moves Sideways recording sessions and the 2000 mix was previously included in the Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997 compilation.

A double vinyl edition was released in 2012 by Kscope. This vinyl edition features a new "anti-loudness" remaster which is closer to the natural dynamics of the original masters. The track list was the same as the first two LPs of the prior vinyl release, except for a 22 minute version of "Moonloop" on side four.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

The album was generally well received. AllMusic praised it for "...continuing the excellence of Up the Downstair while achieving a new liquid sense of drama and overall flow.", specifically praising the stand out track "Stars Die".[3]

Track listing[edit]

Original European release

All lyrics written by Steven Wilson, all music composed by Steven Wilson, except "Moonloop", composed by Porcupine Tree.

No. Title Length
1. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1
I. "The Colour of Air"
II. "I Find That I'm Not There"
III. "Wire the Drum"
IV. "Spiral Circus"  
18:37
2. "Dislocated Day"   5:24
3. "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder"   5:40
4. "Prepare Yourself"   1:54
5. "Moonloop"   17:04
6. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 2
I. "Is...Not"
II. "Off the Map""  
16:46
Total length:
65:31


US release
The Sky Move Sideways Phase 1
No. Title Length
1. "The Colour of Air"   4:39
2. "I Find That I'm Not There"   3:47
3. "Wire the Drum"   6:18
4. "Spiral Circus"   3:56
No. Title Length
5. "Stars Die"   5:01
6. "Moonloop"   8:11
7. "Dislocated Day"   5:24
8. "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder"   5:51
The Sky Move Sideways Phase 2
No. Title Length
9. "Is...Not"   12:01
10. "Off the Map"   4:43


2004 Expanded remaster
Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1
I. "The Colour of Air"
II. "I Find That I'm Not There"
III. "Wire the Drum"
IV. "Spiral Circus""  
18:37
2. "Dislocated Day"   5:24
3. "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder"   5:40
4. "Prepare Yourself"   1:54
5. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 2
I. "Is...Not"
II. "Off the Map""  
16:46
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "The Sky Moves Sideways (Alternate Version)"   34:42
2. "Stars Die"   5:01
3. "Moonloop (Improvisation)"   16:18
4. "Moonloop (Coda)"   4:52


3LP edition
Side 1
No. Title Length
1. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1
I. "The Colour of Air"
II. "I Find That I'm Not There"
III. "Wire the Drum"
IV. "Spiral Circus""  
18:37
Side 2
No. Title Length
2. "Stars Die"    
3. "Dislocated Day"   5:24
4. "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder"   5:40
5. "Prepare Yourself"   1:54
Side 3
No. Title Length
6. "The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 2"   16:48
Side 4
No. Title Length
7. "Moonloop" (Improvisation)"   16:48
8. "Moonloop (Coda)"   4:52
Side 5
No. Title Length
9. "The Sky Moves Sideways" - (Alternate Version - part 1)"   16:36
Side 6
No. Title Length
9. "The Sky Moves Sideways" - (Alternate Version - part 2)"   18:01

Personnel[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "allmusic ((( The Sky Moves Sideways > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  2. ^ "allmusic ((( The Sky Moves Sideways > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  3. ^ "allmusic ((( The Sky Moves Sideways > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-24.