|The Black Mages II: The Skies Above|
|Arrangers||Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenichiro Fukui, Michio Okamiya|
|CD Info||1 CD - 11 Tracks|
|Release date||December 22, 2004, Mar 19, 2008 (Reprint)|
The Black Mages II: The Skies Above is the second studio album of Nobuo Uematsu's band The Black Mages. Unlike its predecessor, The Skies Above does not make use of sequenced drums, instead relying on percussionist Arata Hanyuda's performance on each track. The track listing includes a wider selection of musical themes drawn from the series, not merely focusing on the battle music.
The Skies Above features vocal tracks written by Alexander O. Smith, the translator for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII. Guest vocalists Tomoaki Watanabe (as "Mr. Goo") and Kazco Hamano appear on the songs "The Skies Above" and "Otherworld" respectively. "Maybe I'm a Lion" features a small vocal introduction by Alexander O. Smith himself.
The album also includes the original track titled "Blue Blast - Winning the Rainbow". Written by Nobuo Uematsu, it is an original composition created as a theme song for Japanese K1 fighter Takehiro Murahama. It was played as the encore at LIVE "Above The Sky".
The liner notes have the tracklist in English, lyrics to "Otherworld" and "The Skies Above" in English and artwork of dragons.
- "The Rocking Grounds" - Final Fantasy III
- "Zeromus" - Final Fantasy IV
- "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" - Final Fantasy IX
- "Hunter's Chance" - Final Fantasy IX
- "Otherworld" - Final Fantasy X
- "Matoya's Cave" - Final Fantasy
- "The Man with the Machine Gun" - Final Fantasy VIII
- "Maybe I'm a Lion" - Final Fantasy VIII
- "Battle with the Four Fiends" - Final Fantasy IV
- "The Skies Above" - Final Fantasy X
- "Blue Blast - Winning the Rainbow" - original composition