TRISTAN "Full Power"
Ana Popovic "Can You Stand The Heat"

China Sky "II"


A lot can change in 25 years.

Countless fashion trends have come and gone. The Soviet Union ceased to exist. MTV stopped playing music videos. People began to explore a whole new universe called "the internet", and a forgotten album by a group called China Sky became a cult classic. Things were looking up in September 1988 for a group of young, idealistic rock musicians in Jacksonville, Florida, who had been relentlessly pursuing the dream of becoming the next arena rock powerhouse. This was the moment they had been waiting for. They had come together from all over the eastern United States with one purpose: to make the greatest rock album of the decade.

After years spent in a sweat-soaked rehearsal hall writing, recording, submitting demos; being critiqued and rejected; rehearsing eight hours a day, five days a week; they had finally landed that big record deal. The culmination of all their efforts, the fruit of all the years of sweat and toil, the self-titled album, China Sky, was about to be released, on a major label. With its soaring melodies, lush harmonies and flawless production, China Sky seemed destined to be a rock classic from the get-go. Grammy winning Bee Gees producer Karl Richardson headed up a production team that also featured celebrated composer Frank Wildhorn, and a young Bob Marlette, who later went on to work with Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Seether, Shinedown, and dozens of others. How could it go wrong?

All of the pieces appeared to be in place: the players, the producers, the music, the management, the record label… Upon release, the album's first single, "The Glory," immediately began to receive radio airplay all over the US and Canada. Records were flying off the shelves in Europe and Japan. Derek Oliver raved in Kerrang Magazine. When the second single, "Some Kind Of Miracle," was released, more and more radio stations began to add China Sky. "Some Kind Of Miracle" was beginning to move into heavy rotation in key markets. The band played one-off gigs in preparation for the coming tour. Success was just around the corner! Six weeks later, the band China Sky was no more. Just what happened was never completely clear to anyone. Constant pressure from the record label left everyone feeling that the band had been hijacked by men in suits, who then refused to properly promote the album.

Superstars Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen were sucking up most of the label's promotional resources, and there was very little left for unproven new bands. Major blunders by management threw the band into turmoil, and tentative tour dates with major acts started to fall through. When the suits caught wind of what was happening, China Sky was relegated to the back burner. After years of struggling to get to this point, the wheels had come completely off in just a few short weeks. With no tour to support the airplay they were receiving, insufficient promotion, poor management, and simmering disagreements between band members, the situation had become so broken that continuing was futile. The members of China Sky decided to cut their losses and bail out, leaving the promise of everything for which they had worked so hard unfulfilled.



The comments to this entry are closed.