Detroit band The Sky had big wraps on them straight out of high school. It’s a very early rendition of power pop nearly a decade before.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: The Sky
ALBUM: Don’t Hold Back
SERIAL: LSP 4457
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Doug Fieger – bass, vocals * John Coury – guitars, keyboards, vocals * Rob Stawinski – drums, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Goodie Two Shoes * 02 Take Off And Fly * 03 Rockin’ Me Yet * 04 I Still Do * 05 Make It In Time * 06 One Love * 07 There In The Greenbriar * 08 How’s That Treatin’ Your Mouth Babe? * 09 Homin’ Ground * 10 Feels Like 1,000 Years
Not to be confused with British classical rockers Sky, these boys fresh out of high school were from Detroit and developed a steady following in the motor city. They opened shows for Jethro Tull, The Who and Joe Cocker as well as local favourites Bob Seger and The Stooges.
Signed to RCA under the tutelage of producer Jimmy Miller who was renowned for his work with the Spencer Davis Group penning their evergreen single I’m A Man’. Miller also worked with Traffic (another band The Sky supported numerous times) and The Rolling Stones. The Sky recorded two albums, the first ‘Don’t Hold Back’ recorded in England with Miller, Gary Wright and Andy Johns at the production helm, is the one we’ll review here.
Their second release ‘Sailor’s Delight’ which unfortunately I have never heard was recorded in California and although the band broke up a short time later, bassist Doug Fieger would find fame and fortune in The Knack. This was a band people either loved or hated, but played a major role in bringing the power pop movement of the late 70’s to the media’s attention with ‘My Sharona’.
Guitarist John Coury’s songwriting and playing skills turned up on a couple of Don Henley and Randy Meisner albums, while drummer Rob Stawinski spent a brief period in Badfinger.
The Sky was a talented bunch indeed and for a debut album ‘Don’t Hold Back’ holds its own. They were obviously influenced by Traffic and Jimmy Miller’s influence can be felt throughout the ten tracks.
This is especially so on songs like ‘Take off And Fly’ and the closing ‘Feels Like 1,000 Years’. I also pick up snatches of both The Beatles and Badfinger on ‘Homin’ Ground’ and the gorgeous Mersey-like ‘I Still Do’.
There are some duds here however. ‘Rockin’ Me Yet’ seems pointless as does the interestingly titled ‘How’s That Treatin’ Your Mouth, Babe?’, but overall not a bad effort from this young band. It leaves me to wonder what direction they took on their second and final release and why they eventually broke up?
There are two different versions of the album cover. The sleeve we have shown above is the original version and my copy even includes a poster of the band. From what I’ve heard both albums from The Sky are getting difficult to find and going for big money. While I won’t give this record a huge recommendation it’s an early piece of power pop history that fans of the genre should hear.
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