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What is your favorite Circa: album to date?

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  • What is your favorite Circa: album to date?

    Current and former Yes members Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye have been the mainstays of this ongoing group, both appearing on every album.

    Early on, Sherwood was the lead singer and bass player, but for Valley of the Windmill, remained lead singer, and shifted over from bass guitar to lead guitar. Tony Kaye has of course always handled the keyboards. Alan White played drums on the first album, followed by Jay Schellen on the second and perhaps third albums (Ronnie Ciago is listed in connection with the third album in some places- I am not sure which is accurate), and with Scott Connor playing the fourth album. Jimmy Haun began as lead guitarist, with Johnny Bruhns to follow. When Bruhns left and Sherwood shifted from bass to lead guitar to replace him, Rick "Rat" Teirney became the group's bass player.

    So, obviously the ties to Yes are considerable. By my count, they've had three Yes members, one Yes session musician, and one Yes touring musician over the years. Even the guys who don't formally have that connection often have ties to the music- for example, Bruhns is all over YouTube playing covers of Yes songs.

    Sherwood and Kaye are reportedly hard at work on a fifth album. Early reports were that they were leaning towards keeping Teirney and Connor on board from the last album, but that was very early going, many months before they seem to have started work on the album itself, so it's unclear if they finalized that and were able to come to an agreement with those gentlemen. I'm looking forward to it. These albums are also auto-buys for me as long as they are released as paid downloads at standard prices.

    The band has also put out two live albums and one album or compilation of songs that didn't make the first two albums, called Overflow. I didn't list that one as an option in the poll (Judgement call), but if it is really your favorite Circa: LP and you consider it a full studio album, feel free to lodge a protest in the comments below.
    Circa: (2007)
    And So On
    Valley of the Windmill

    The poll is expired.

    "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

  • #2
    I went for Valley Of The Windmill, IMO, one of the best releases out of Yesworld of the past ten plus years, besides Jacaranda, Return-Trip and Steve Howes Time.

    Valley proves that Billy still can make really good albums that are not sounding heavily processed and are overloaded with textures and arrangements. Valley finally is full of cohesive mini-epics, organic sounding and playful but to the point. And let's not forget that Tony Kaye seems to have much input in this album.

    So I am looking forward to the next one. I really like Billys earlier solo-work or the Billy-influenced Yes-albums like Open Your Eyes, The Ladder, Big Peace, No Comment and not at least Conspiracys The Unknown. Then he got too prolific and sterile for my taste.
    Last edited by PeterCologne; 11-14-2021, 04:30 PM.


    • #3
      The first one for me. Cut The Ties (yeah, I know it’s the single) is just too good of a track.
      "You too can become a vegetarian!"


      • #4
        Darn it all. I only have one of them, HQ.

        cant cast a proper vote. .........Yet


        • #5
          The first one, but HQ and Windmill are very very close second.second. Somehow And So On isn't working for me as an album, but still has lots of good stuff on it.
          It's only static
          The key defines the scale we climb
          To at last perceive we are
          We are contrast in harmony​


          • #6
            I go for the first one as my favorite for its drive and immediacy. 'Cut The Ties' and of course 'Together We Are' are great representatives of that corner of the Yes Universe. It only beats Valley Of The Windmill by a molecule, as Windmill really hits the spot every time I play it. 'Empire Over' and the 19 minute epic from that are really solid. But I think I prefer Billy on bass and let someone else handle guitar. Not that I mind his guitar playing, it's just better if he stays on bass so the Circa albums don't sound too close to his solo albums to invoke samy-ness. HQ is decent and And So On is maybe the weakest of the bunch but still has some good stuff. But those two are closer to Sherwood solo with special guest Tony Kaye than 2007 or Valley. But I generally like them all. And the 'Overflow' EP is two songs short of a full album. It's studio material not found on another album, so I consider it a studio EP. I kinda rank it third, as it's short and sweet. I rank Circa: thus -

            1. Circa: 2007
            2. Valley Of The Windmill
            3. Overflow
            4. Circa: HQ
            5. And So On