7 August 2016

Skyband - Pie In The Sky/ Dream Machine

Label: RCA
Year of Release: 1975

Skyband were one of many polished seventies groups whose line-up contains a member of a cult and highly collectible sixties mod/ freakbeat group. Peter Beckett, here serving as a member of Skyband, began his career as the guitarist in mod group The Thoughts. Their solitary single "All Night Stand", penned by Ray Davies, is one of the most sought-after singles of the period, and not for no reason. Besides being a top-drawer Davies effort, The Thoughts performance is riddled with energy and electricity - that it wasn't a hit is one of the era's more baffling mysteries.

Following the dissolution of The Thoughts, Beckett joined Winston G and then cult prog rockers Paladin, before eventually jumping into Skyband with Lane Caudell and Steve Kipner. Fans of "All Night Stand" will be disappointed to learn that this isn't proto-punk, but actually disciplined soft rock for the most part. Their first single for RCA "Bang! Ooh! Ya Got Me!" does have a distinct glam slant to its sound, but it's slightly atypical - the follow-up "Pie In The Sky" is much more 1975 in its approach, imagining a future where orderly, smooth pop-rock ruled the airwaves (albeit with buzzing Moog noises in the background).

It's perfectly good, though. The careful vocal harmonies and bouyant arrangements bring to mind Supertramp or Pilot, and fans of either of those bands will probably find something to enjoy here. Somewhere in the background, supervising the band's self-production efforts, is John Pantry, sixties popsike songsmith most famous for The Factory's legendary effort "Try A Little Sunshine".  So that's two cult sixties artists with singles worth hundreds of pounds in the studio at the same time. It's a strange old world.

1 comment:

Arthur Nibble said...

45Cat suggests there was a single earlier in 1966 by the band, credited as Tiffany With The Thoughts - "Find Out What's Happening" b/w "Baby Don't Look Down".