John Williams and Sky: classical guitar on the charts

In the 1970's John Williams shocked conservatives and delighted the public with the formation of "Sky",.

He said that the "point" of the group was to show that the world of music in all its facets shares a lot of common values. So a guitarist studying classical music needn't and shouldn't lose touch with other styles and genres.

John Williams - Strength in Diversity - Sky

He used an Ovation nylon string because it could be amplified and heard over the drums without feedback. He commented that it was a very even guitar, and would be a good solution for amplifying a guitar sufficiently to play with a large orchestra. On "The Height Below" he played electric guitar - a Gibson Les Paul I think. No distortion was used and it sounds as if he may have recorded direct into the mixing desk, the sound is so clean. Beautiful tones!

One side of the LP was the "Emperor Nero Suite" by Brian Gascoigne and the second side had a tune "Sans Souci" written for the project by the producer George Martin of Beatles fame!).


  • John Williams - Classic and Ovation
  • Kevin Peek - Electric guitar
  • Herbie Flowers - Electric Bass
  • Francis Monkman - Keyboards
  • Tristan Fry - Drums

Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor played by John Williams and Sky"