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  Skyy
 

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Click here for a Skyy sample:

First Time Around

Here's To You

Start of A Romance

 

 

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As Salsoul transitioned into the 1980s from the 70s, they increasingly turned their attention to funk and soul acts instead of the disco flavors they were best known for.   The biggest beneficiary of this change of focus was Skyy, a New York based act under the tutelage of Randy Muller (producer/arranger for BT Express, Brass Construction, and Charles Earland) that provided the label with its largest commercial hits during this period.

Led by Muller's friend Solomon Roberts, whose true love was jazz, the group was born after merging the  musical core of Roberts (rhythm guitar), Tommy McConnell (drums), Larry Greenberg (keys), Gerald Lebon (bass) and Anibal Sierra (lead guitar) with the vocal harmonies of sisters Denise Crawford, Dolores Milligan and Bonnie Dunning.  Signing to Salsoul in 1979, "First Time Around" was the first of many successful singles for the act.  "High," the crisp "Here's To You," and "Skyyzoo" raised Skyy's profile through the next few years before they hit paydirt with "Call Me" in 1981.  A favorite of old school r&b radio, the deep bass groove commanded your attention while the catchy lyric about cheating with a friend's partner made for compelling listening.  The song rose to the top of the charts and helped propel Skyyline to gold status.

"Dancing To Be Dancing" and "Bad Boy" kept their name in the public eye but did not have the same level of impact as their earlier records and they left the label in the mid 1980s.  Part of the problem was that Muller was responsible for their best tracks and he may have been suffering diminishing returns after churning out so much material over the course of the previous decade. A rejuvenated Skyy emerged a couple of years later on Atlantic with the comeback hits "Start of A Romance" and "Real Love" before fading away again.

Skyy's Deepest Grooves 

Skyy (Salsoul, 1979)
Retaining a heavy disco element, the debut reflects the influence of Randy Muller more than perhaps any of their albums.

Skyyway (Salsoul, 1980)

Skyyport (Salsoul, 1980)

Skyy Line (Salsoul, 1981)
Their biggest album and one of the most successful r&b/club crossover records of the early 1980s.  With the number one smash "Call Me."

Skyyjammer (Salsoul, 1982)

Start Of A Romance (Atlantic, 1989)
The surprising comeback album that yielded two massive singles, refuting the idea that the band had lost touch with the marketplace.

Greatest Hits (Right Stuff, 1996)
The best single source of Skyy's peak material (or Skyylights, if you will). Takes you from "First Time Around" through "Dancing To Be Dancing."  Heard back to back like this, the band emerges as one of the most satisfying club funk acts of its time.

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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