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Billy Sherwood - The Prog Collective CD (album) cover


Billy Sherwood


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 40 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The Billy Sherwood Project

Apparently modelled on the Alan Parsons Project, this album features a host of well-known musicians from bands like Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Renaissance, and more. Even Alan Parsons himself makes an appearance. Taking the role that Parsons did in his "project" is the incredibly prolific and multi-talented Billy Sherwood who serves as producer, song writer, and performer. "The Billy Sherwood Project" would perhaps have been a better name for this as "The Prog Collective" is a somewhat ridiculous name.

From Yes we have no less than six members past and present including three from that band's original line-up in keyboard player Tony Kaye, bassist Chris Squire, and guitarist Peter Banks (the latter two of which are sadly no longer with us). In addition to these, the other three Yes-men appearing here are Rick Wakeman, Geoffrey Downes, and of course Billy Sherwood himself. Other progressive Rock luminaries appearing here include John Wetton from King Crimson, UK, and Asia fame; Tony Levin, who played with King Crimson and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, among others; Gary Green from Gentle Giant, and Annie Haslam from Renaissance.

The album features seven tracks all of which are around seven to nine minutes in length. Different tracks features different people with Wetton leading off on the opener The Laws Of Nature. Jerry Goodman from The Mahavishnu Orchestra hands in a mean violin on the same track. Over Again features Richard Page with Geoff Downes on keyboards. Next up is Technical Divide on which Alan Parsons sings lead. Social Circles is beautifully sung by Annie Haslam and Peter Banks plays some really nice guitar solos on the track. On Buried Beneath, Billy Sherwood sings lead which he does very well as usual. Also appearing of the track are Larry Fast of Synergy and associated with Nektar, and Steve Hillage of Khan and Gong. The track reminds slightly of Buried Alive from Rick Wakeman's Return To The Centre of The Earth album (on which Ozzy Osbourse sang lead vocals). Following The Signs features Tony Kaye (with whom Sherwood also plays in Circa) and John Wesley. Finally, the closing track is sung by Colin Moulding and Rick Wakeman plays keys.

Like most albums of this kind, with different people singing and playing on different tracks, this album feels somewhat disjointed with some songs not really fitting in among the others. Nonetheless, I find this album enjoyable and all seven songs are good. This album is surprisingly overlooked given the involvement of such big stars and the music found here will appeal to fans of the people involved and the various bands they are associated with.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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