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    BILLY SHERWOOD bands rank

    Billy Sherwood has been involved in a whole mountain of bands thru the years, most of them average 2 or 3 studio albums apiece - so many bands, so little time. Jay Schellen often appears in some of these. We're not counting Yes or solo albums, just bands. Some were one-offs, others on-going. Rank the Sherwood bands/projects - or if not up for that, say which ones you enjoyed. Here's mine:

    1) Conspiracy - because, well, it's got Chris! studio albums: 2
    2) Circa - first and most recent offerings the best. Waiting for more, Tony Kaye is an animal on Hammond. studio albums: 5
    3) World Trade - good aor with some 80's Rush elements in places, sporadic releases though. studio albums: 3
    4) Arc Of Life - w/ Jon D. Love to hear more from them, with more development. studio albums: 1 so far
    5) Citizen - ok, I cheated a little, this is technically solo Billy, but it has a time travel theme and concept angle with some guests. studio albums: 2
    6) Prog Collective - first one and a half are really good, if not prog-made-to-order. Tons o' guests. studio albums: 3
    7) Yoso - basically Circa with Bobby Kimbal(toto), more Aor, it's a one off. studio albums: 1
    8) Fusion Syndicate - like Prog Collective, just instrumental and more in the fusion/funk mode than jazz, actually. studio albums: 1
    9) Lodgic - Toto-like 80's Billy. studio albums: 1
    10) The Key - 90's rock Billy. studio albums: 1

    I'd love to include Exo-X-Xeno (or whatever that's called), his project with Patrick Moraz on 'boards, but so far only a couple of digital singles. So I'll have to wait to rank something like that, but it looks like something that might be slotted above or below Arc Of Life. Which of these Sherwood bands and projects do you enjoy?

    #2
    Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post

    1) Conspiracy - because, well, it's got Chris! studio albums: 2
    5) Citizen - ok, I cheated a little, this is technically solo Billy, but it has a time travel theme and concept angle with some guests. studio albums: 2
    6) Prog Collective - first one and a half are really good, if not prog-made-to-order. Tons o' guests. studio albums: 3
    8) Fusion Syndicate - like Prog Collective, just instrumental and more in the fusion/funk mode than jazz, actually. studio albums: 1

    Those are the 4 I will go with for now. As for the others :

    ARC OF LIFE was a big letdown for me.

    CIRCA - I've listened to the first album a fair bit. Should give it another go, because I know it is a favorite among YES Fans (at least the first one)

    YOSO - Similar to CIRCA, have heard some of the first album, but probably never gave it a fair shake. I've liked a good bit of TOTO, and their set on the YES 2015 tour (first tour with Billy for those who don't know) was really good (actually that tour is among my favorites of the Jon Davison Era, and TOTO definitely one of the best support acts they've had......but not as good as Dream Theater 2004, which was amazing.....and I'm not even a big DT fan !!

    WORLD TRADE / LODGIC - have heard some of this stuff, but nothing has ever really grabbed me or jumped out at me

    THE KEY - ??? never heard of this one !

    Comment


      #3
      Sherwood & Kaye?

      Comment


        #4
        This probably belongs on another thread, entitled "Tony Kaye's Greatest Shining Moments" (or...Jimmy Haun ! )





        CIRCA : "Yes Chronological Journey"


        Last edited by carlmarx38; 02-02-2022, 05:21 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Oh, looks like I did forget Sherwood/Kaye, but that's a live album so I guess I can't count that one. No new material, but lotsa Yes/solo/Circa moments. Cool Kaye solo, and I've always loved the track Together We Are. I'm glad that album was eventually released. I'm due to pull that one out to listen to.

          The Key did one album , The World Is Watching, in 1997. Billy Sherwood- vox, bass and keys, Marty Walsh - guitars, Hugh Meign - drums. More rock oriented, less proggy, kinda like World Trade but more 90's rock. I pulled it out to listen to on a car trip last year. It's ok to have in the collection, a change of pace to hear Sherwood with 4-minute straight ahead songs as opposed to the stop-and-go arrangements of later solo stuff. It won't knock your socks off, but nor will you say "my God shut it off" either. It's merely OK. One of the songs seems to include elements from 'No Way We Can Lose' from OYE, released that same year. I think I read on Henry's site that The Key recorded a second album but it got shelved and there's no plan to ever release it.

          The jury's still out for the Arc Of Life for me. I want to like it more than I do, maybe I like it more than I should. I do get in the mood for it, and then it sounds fine. Maybe a follow-up will be a little Yessier and a little less Citizen. I'm hoping the Jon D/Sherwood pairing will do more in the vein of the Western Front from The Quest on their possible next outing. It was good for a Sherwood project thing, but I wanted a little more Davison on it.

          Comment


            #6
            01. Conspiracy
            02. Circa:
            03. Yoso
            04. Citizen

            Not actually familiar enough with the others to rank them. I have heard snippets or a song here and there from the others and perhaps the fact that I wasn't attrackted to find out more is a hint

            Comment


              #7
              1. Circa: - Perhaps Sherwood's most fully realized group in terms of having a back catalog of more albums than any of the other bands he co-founded and an established group of players at each instrument for each album, Circa: also displays a remarkable range from uptempo rockers and love songs at normal length to an entire album of prog epics, while still maintaining a consistent overall character and sound.

              He also had established professional musicians doing entire albums with him, including Tony Kaye (Who's done all the Circa: albums), Alan White, Jay Schellen, Jimmy Haun, and many more.

              2. Conspiracy - Perhaps the closest thing Chris Squire got to a follow-up to his lone solo album, Fish Out Of Water (The only other candidate would be Squackett), Conspiracy's two volumes feature a sublime atmospheric mixture of Squire and Sherwood doing songs with eastern mysticism inspired themes and more, in a rock and roll context. I would have had to think about giving this the #1 spot if not for it only being a two album band (If I had a formal grading system, number of studio albums would be a key factor).

              3. Citizen - As noted in the initial post, not a band, but a duo of Billy Sherwood solo albums, the first being a collaborative rock with guests on each track, and the second being all Sherwood. I love the concept of almost every song on each album being about a moment in history that the fictional reincarnated protagonist experiences with somewhat less fictional friends. The first of these albums also features the final appearance of Chris Squire, and is also notable for scoring what is probably a record four current or former Yes keyboardists on the same album (Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Tony Kaye, and Pat Moraz), and Jon Davison adding yet another Yes alumni to the mix (Which makes 7 counting Sherwood) in his first officially released original song singing harmonies with Billy Sherwood. However, the second album is also excellent with Billy performing every part.

              On many days, I'd rate this second on the overall list.

              I would love to see more of these. It seems like a concept with limitless possibilities and, if they get bored with history, they could do songs spread out across 1,000 years of a fictional future history that hadn't happened yet, or 1,000 years of the fictional history of an alternate universe leading to an alternate present day (Sort of a "what if" played out musically).

              I also want to give a quick mention to all Billy Sherwood's other solo albums under his own name, all of which I enjoy, though these are my favorite duo.

              4. Lodgic - This was a tough one to figure out how to rate, because while on the one hand I love hearing Sherwood and some other people who would turn up in his future projects really perform a pure 80s pop-rock album in the decade itself, with official production from the Toto guys and some unofficial production help from David Foster (The Hollywood hitmaker responsible for producing Chicago 17, Solitude/Solitaire, the The Soundtrack to St. Elmo's Fire, and many more great albums), on the other hand, these were somewhat green musicians on their first albums, and occasionally that shines through and creates an uneven quality level from song to song or some lyrics that could have been better. I also have to subtract points for the group only lasting the one album.

              However, that one album, Nomadic Sands is easily one of my favorite Sherwood involved albums and it says a lot that I would rank a band this high having only done one album.

              I would love to see Sherwood team with Foster and try to recapture this sound, whether with his old bandmates as Lodgic (Sadly, a full reunion is impossible, as his brother Michael was in the band and passed away), in a different band, or by himself. There's probably nothing high profile enough to get Foster interested, even if an Asia album were offered to Foster, but if not Foster, maybe the Toto guys would be obtainable as producers or players.

              5. Prog Collective - Billy Sherwood writing, playing, and producing three albums (2.5 of them original music) and then having a zillion guest stars record a bridge solo or sing over Billy's guide vocal track shouldn't sound this good, but it does! At three albums, it even begins to seem like it could in time be something that is more than a short-term project. One album features original Yes lead guitarist Peter Banks with a late career song about the ramifications of the Internet on human communication (Annie Hadlam sings lead on that particular tune).

              6. Arc of Life - Love the blend of Sherwood's and Davison's voices that are this band's signature, as well the rest of the band's performances on the first and only album to date. This will climb the rankings as more albums come out, if we are lucky enough to get then.

              7. World Trade - Three pretty solid albums.

              8. Yoso - I like the way Billy stretched himself here and blended Toto themes and musical stylings with his usual Yes influenced style. Hearing Tony Kaye's early 70s style keys on 80s style Bobby Kimball love songs is an interesting blend. It's a shame that there was just the one album.

              9. The Key - I feel like at the beginning of the album, Billy seemed to be going to a late 90s style album, but somewhere along the way, he said "Screw it." and the rest became a more typical Sherwood album. Fortunately, I love typical Sherwood albums! I wouldn't have minded a full album of hard rock from him under a band name dedicated to that, though, as I can also dig that sort of thing.

              10. Fusion Syndicate- I am not a big fan of jazz and I am not a big fan of instrumentals. This is all those things. One of the few Sherwood albums of original songs that I don't have.
              Last edited by downbyariver; 02-05-2022, 09:37 PM.
              "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks, Downbyariver for going into details about these Sherwood projects. I may do a solo Billy rank later after this thread fades out. There definitely is a signature Sherwood 'sound' which is great for those who like his stuff

                CITIZEN: he definitely could continue the time travel/reincarnation concept in future solo Citizen releases, though I say he should dig deeper with the concept. Sherwood supposedly is a sci-fi kinda guy, maybe he should flesh out the character and reveal more about him. Who is the Citizen? Does he regenerate Dr. Who style after he dies and end up being reborn backwards and forwards through time, and why does he? How did he become the Citizen? Billy's done the songs where the Citizen ends up in historical situations through various points in time (World War I, Discovering the New World, Galileo, etc.). Can he go forward into futures that haven't yet occurred, like suggested? Billy could do a lot with this - even do a 'prequel' and call it Citizen: Origins or something like that that may explain how somebody became the Citizen, and are there others like him. Bring in more guests, even a female singer who could be a lady Citizen in the story. Who knows, lotsa potential. That is to say, I also really wouldn't want every solo album from him to be a Citizen one going forward either, but if he wanted to he could make it an actual story like Genesis the Lamb as opposed to standalone tales like Trick Of The Tail.

                PROG COLLECTIVE: pretty much Billy Sherwood solo albums loaded with guests, but again has a theme or angle. I like how he always does a lead vocal on one of the songs or two on a PROG C album so that it still maintains a Sherwood solo vibe. Wasn't too keen on the 'covers' aspect of the third one, and it seemed slapped together quickly, even the packaging. But during the pandemic, at least he got it out there. Better for my taste if he had done a separate PC album and a covers album separately. I tend to listen to the first half of it only.

                FUSION SYNDICATE: kinda instrumental Prog Collective, actually. It's actually more rocky and funky than actual jazz or noodler/flash oriented. I'm not sure if Sherwood really has the total pulse for Mahavishnu Orchestra or Weather Report-type material. Not saying he can't play jazz or fusion, but he may not be 100% orientated that way. Fusion Syndicate is more in Moraz or Bruford's ball park. Ok stuff in general, but I wonder what a died-in-the-wool jazzer or funk player would make of this album.

                YOSO: saw that live in Annapolis, intimate live setting w/ tables - Both the Billy and Tony Kaye solos were nice. I forget who was on drums and guitar, they were Circa members but I know there was some Circa band member transitions at the time. I'm sure it wasn't Jimmy Haun by that point.

                One bracket I did forget was his 'tribute' albums, like the one for Chris, ELP, or the Supertramp one. Had he not rejoined Yes, I'm sure we would have a Genesis one, maybe a Rush one. And I get the feeling he could do a pretty good one for The Police. I'm pushing for a Police tribute one from Billy. The Supertramp one is pretty good - it does have an original track on it 'Let The World Revolve' which actually is more like a Conspiracy/Circa mash-up with both Chris and Tony Kaye on it. Doesn't really sound like it's in the vein of Supertramp though, wonder why it's there at all, but I'm glad it is. The version of Crime Of The Century with Billy and Rick Wakeman is excellent, actually.

                Another that totally slipped my mind was the 2 Headsets albums with LA DJ Jim Ladd(Roger Waters Radio K.A.O.S.) - 'Alone Out There' and 'Sides'. These feature a combo of Billy music of original songs & Yes covers sandwiched between Jim Ladd narration. I have the first one but 'Sides' is impossible to find. I never even see it mentioned anywhere, even on the internet. It's dropped from the Earth.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                  Billy Sherwood has been involved in a whole mountain of bands thru the years, most of them average 2 or 3 studio albums apiece - so many bands, so little time. Jay Schellen often appears in some of these. We're not counting Yes or solo albums, just bands. Some were one-offs, others on-going. Rank the Sherwood bands/projects - or if not up for that, say which ones you enjoyed. Here's mine:

                  1) Conspiracy - because, well, it's got Chris! studio albums: 2
                  2) Circa - first and most recent offerings the best. Waiting for more, Tony Kaye is an animal on Hammond. studio albums: 5
                  3) World Trade - good aor with some 80's Rush elements in places, sporadic releases though. studio albums: 3
                  4) Arc Of Life - w/ Jon D. Love to hear more from them, with more development. studio albums: 1 so far
                  5) Citizen - ok, I cheated a little, this is technically solo Billy, but it has a time travel theme and concept angle with some guests. studio albums: 2
                  6) Prog Collective - first one and a half are really good, if not prog-made-to-order. Tons o' guests. studio albums: 3
                  7) Yoso - basically Circa with Bobby Kimbal(toto), more Aor, it's a one off. studio albums: 1
                  8) Fusion Syndicate - like Prog Collective, just instrumental and more in the fusion/funk mode than jazz, actually. studio albums: 1
                  9) Lodgic - Toto-like 80's Billy. studio albums: 1
                  10) The Key - 90's rock Billy. studio albums: 1

                  I'd love to include Exo-X-Xeno (or whatever that's called), his project with Patrick Moraz on 'boards, but so far only a couple of digital singles. So I'll have to wait to rank something like that, but it looks like something that might be slotted above or below Arc Of Life. Which of these Sherwood bands and projects do you enjoy?


                  So is everyone ignoring Mabel Greer's toyshop or?



                  For me the ones I listened to

                  1. Circa: the first album is a yes album
                  2. Mabel Greer's toyshop album from 2015 was honestly the best album that year and I loved it o much I realized Peter Banks resurrected the wrong Pre yes band and i wonder how it would of sounded in 05 with Banks Squire Bailey Kaye and Hagger... But for what we got in 2015 its fantastic
                  3. Conspiracy: I love the Sherwood/Squire stuff and kind of wish more of this was on a yes album to be honest
                  4. Arc of Life: I love the debut album but will admit its a bit to poppy then what I was hopping for.. however Just in sight should of been on the quest.
                  5. World Trade: I love a lot of their stuff for me Life-time felt the most yes like on the first album
                  6. Yoso: this was an interesting album I still haven't heard the whole thing I own the title track one day I will listen to the rest of the album.


                  ​​​​​​​And that is all i know I will check out The Key and Lodgc at some point

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I guess I didn't include Mabel Greers Toyshop as it was a 60's pre-Yes band not formed or co-formed by Sherwood, even though he and Kaye kinda helped resurrect them. It wasn't really a Sherwood project, but yeah his stamp was all over it. If you want to include that, that's cool too. If that's the case, we should also include 'Missing In Action' by the Missing Persons, which is down to Dale Bozzio as the lone original member and Billy doing everything else. That could also have been marketed as a Sherwood album with special guest Bozzio. Punky Dale singing Yes-like songs wasn't something I expected to happen in the universe.

                    As for Mabel Greer's, I don't have their second album 'The Secret'. Is Billy on that one too? I didn't think he was there still. I like MGToyshop, but not 100% with the vocals, I like Steve Nardelli's singing better. So, I'll take the Syn myself. But the Toyshop has Kaye, so I'll have to give 'New Way Of Life' another listen.

                    And then there was the stuff with William Shatner...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Here's 2 renditions of the YOSO version of the Live YES Medley (whose do you think was better, YOSO or CIRCA) :







                      Of course both bands had the same Power Trio of Billy, Tony, and Jimmy Haun !

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I like some of the 1st Circa album, but everything else that Billy's involved with sounds similar to me. Very talented guy for sure, just can't get into anything he's done for repeated listens.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree broadly with the the thread title as stated.
                          Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                          Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Old Frothingslosh View Post
                            I like some of the 1st Circa album, but everything else that Billy's involved with sounds similar to me. Very talented guy for sure, just can't get into anything he's done for repeated listens.

                            I think he's been at his best when working with Chris, both of the CONSPIRACY albums are as good or better thanb anything else he's done on his own (including CIRCA).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by carlmarx38 View Post


                              I think he's been at his best when working with Chris, both of the CONSPIRACY albums are as good or better than anything else he's done on his own (including CIRCA).
                              I must admit that I've only given Conspiracy a passing glance over the years. I will check them out again.

                              Comment

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