Heads in the sky   st front reduced


Heads in the Sky - ST

Format: LP
Label: Illuminated Records IR-001
Year: 1981
Origin: Oak Ridges, Ontario
Genre: prog, rock
Value of Original Title: $50.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, Greatest Canadian Album Covers, Prog Rock, 1980's


Side 1

Track Name
Heads in the Sky
Three Isle My Land
Atomic Energy Sweet: a: Heavy Water; b: Meltdown; c: Requiem

Side 2

Track Name
On My Way to Freedom
Atlantis Lies
Golden Horning
Heads in Rio


Heads in the sky st insert side 02

Heads in the Sky-ST INSERT SIDE 02

Heads in the sky st insert side 01

Heads in the Sky-ST INSERT SIDE 01

Heads in the sky   st back reduced

Heads in the Sky - ST

Heads in the sky   st front reduced



No Video


The brainchild of Oak Ridges, Ontario musician Russ WALKER. The band released one album and an EP on their own Illuminated Records. The full-length LP was also released in Japan, Holland and Germany.

Gerry Fielding had previously been in FAT MOUTH, the house band at the original 'Electric Circus', and opened for acts like Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, and Lighthouse. Fielding lives in Pickering and is presently featured in a rock musical. He has also been producing other acts for years from Crash Kills Five to a solo CD by Abraham's Children member Shawn O'Shea; Russ Walker went on to join NEW REGIME and later became a mixing engineer and in-house composer for KITCHEN SYNC in Toronto. His credits include composing music for Peter Benchley's Amazon TV series and as recording sound supervisor on the 2004 National Film Board movie Shake Hands With The Devil; Steve WEBSTER would play bass on Christian Michael's 1987 EP Tears Of Love.

Russ Walker: guitars, keyboards, flute & recorders, vocals
Steve Webster: bass
John Chessman: drums
Dave Norris: drums
Larry Stanley: piano
Gerry Fielding: drums

Heads in the Sky was a little known Canadian prog band from the 1980s. This is their debut album from 1981, they only had one other release, Poetry & Science, from 1983 (some claim 1979, but the Illuminated Records catalog number clearly shows it was released after the Heads in the Sky LP, after Martin Sprigett released The Garden Club on the same label, in '83). I am willing to believe Illuminated Records belonged either to the band or Martin Sprigett, as Sprigett, a British-born Canadian who's an artist, who was responsible for the sci-fi artwork for this cover and he did later record for the label (which only had both Heads in the Sky releases and Sprigett's Garden Club). Surprisingly it received an international release in the Netherlands, Germany, and I believe France, and in 1983, received a Japanese release. Heads in the Sky really sounds like it came in that awkward period after the classic prog-era was pretty much over (the classic prog bands that survived 1981, like Genesis, turned towards pop- oriented material) and the neo-prog rock scene had yet to make its presence known (Marillion had yet to release the Market Square Heroes EP and The Script of a Jester's Tear in '82/'83). The good news is the music sounds like the '70s wasn't completely over. For one thing, Russ Walker had the decency to use a Hammond organ and Mellotron to good use here, but he also used a more contemporary polyphonic synth, likely an Oberheim OBx (sounds like the same one used on Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" and Van Halen's "Jump"). Most notably heard on "Heads in the Sky" and part of "Nuclear Energy Sweet", those synth parts are very much early '80s sounding. On "Survive" and "Three Isle My Land", the band goes into Pink Floyd territory, with nice use of Mellotron, Hammond organ, and what sounds like a Davoli synth. "Three Isle My Land" was an obvious reference to Three Mile Island, and the disaster that (then) recently happened (in 1979). The music also has a bit of Anthony Phillips thing going on, reminding me a bit of Wise After the Event. "Nuclear Energy Sweet" is a three part movement. Starts off with eerie guitar synths, then it goes rocking, with a synth break, then the final part is more calm with flute and piano, with a bit of a Camel feel. Side two (actually "Side 1" as the original LP labels side one and two as "Side 0" and "Side 1") isn't quite as good, in fact the more calm parts of "Atlantis Lies" is a bit on the insipid side, showing what went wrong with prog at the end of the '70s/beginning of the '80s. It's not all bad. I've grown to enjoy "Golden Morning", and I do like the closing piece "Morning in Rio", which uses that same drum machine heard on the opening "Heads in the Sky", which sounds more like one of those early drum machine/rhythm boxes common to 1971, rather than 1981. Compared to a lot of what came out in 1981, this is definitely better than a good deal of music, prog included, that I've heard from that time period, but compared to the standards pre-1978, it's no match. It's nice to hear a Mellotron from a 1981 recording, it's obvious that while you do hear the '80s creeping in, Heads in the Sky didn't want to totally let go of the 1970s. I can recommend this to those who enjoy Pink Floyd, Anthony Phillips and Camel (circa Nude, which came out the same time), but it's not something that just totally blow your mind, but worth getting for those looking for more off-the-beaten track prog.


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