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CIRCA

Crossover Prog • United States


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Circa picture
Circa biography
Circa is a band of veterans, formed by former Yes members Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Alan White. In Circa, they team up with guitarist Jimmy Haun to go off on an adventure into the past and present of progressive rock. Hints of the 70s, 80s and 90s show through in all compositions by this band, which at the same time are 100% 21st century progressive rock songs.

In 2007, the band released their debut album Circa:2007, which is sold solely through the band's own web site, adding an even more 21st century touch to the old prog influences.

See also:
- Billy Sherwood

::Thanks to Collaborator Angelo for the Bio::

Circa official website

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CIRCA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CIRCA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 41 ratings
Circa
2007
2.76 | 29 ratings
HQ
2009
3.73 | 21 ratings
And So On
2011

CIRCA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Circa: Live
2009
3.96 | 4 ratings
Live From Here There & Everywhere
2013

CIRCA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Circa: Live (DVD)
2008

CIRCA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Overflow
2009

CIRCA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CIRCA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live From Here There & Everywhere by CIRCA album cover Live, 2013
3.96 | 4 ratings

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Live From Here There & Everywhere
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "As the speed does increase, all the forces released"

Circa has two live releases out so far, with the present one being the most recent to date. At the time of the recording of their first live release, Circa consisted of three ex-Yes members in Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye, and Alan White, plus Jimmy Haun. The DVD Circa: Live featured a performance of Circa's self-titled debut album in its entirety followed by a 40 minute medley of Yes songs (in chronological order from 1969 to 1999) plus one full Yes song in The More We Live - Let Go from Union (Billy Sherwood's first contribution to a Yes album).

In comparison, Live From Here There & Everywhere focuses entirely on original Circa material; the set list consisting primarily of cuts from their two most recent studio discs, HQ and And So On. As such there is almost no overlap between this and the first live release, which is good. The only song that is featured on both is Together We Are. White and Haun have moved on and two new members in Rick Tierney and Scott Connor have been recruited.

Even though the inclusion of Yes material would have been interesting, it is also nice to see that the band have the courage to concentrate on their own songs. I know that they include some Yes songs in their set lists, but the material selected for this live album is all their own. The songs are generally strong and especially some of the older songs are improved in the live setting compared to the original studio versions. There is a nice vibe and energy to these recordings.

Without necessarily saying that the eight songs featured here are Circa's eight best songs, this live album does run a little like a best off album played live. As I said, the main focus is on material from the band's most recent studio discs with half of the songs coming from And So On and three songs from the second studio album HQ.

Live From Here There & Everywhere is Circa's best live release and together with the studio album And So On it is also their best release full stop.

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 Overflow by CIRCA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Overflow
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Information overload, communications overflow

Overflow is a collection of leftover songs from the recordings of previous Circa studio albums. It was first released as a standalone, download only album, but was later included together with the album And So On in a two-in-one album package (with alternative, more appealing cover art). This set is now the best way to get hold of this little collection.

Given that these seven songs were left off the band's regular albums, the natural expectation would be that these would be of lower quality and/or in a style that would not have fitted on those albums. But both of these expectations turned out not to be accurate as what we have here is songs that would indeed have fitted well on the band's albums. Some of the songs included here are even better than some of the tracks that made in onto the self-titled debut album or the follow-up HQ.

If you like Circa's three studio albums and would like to hear some more songs in the same vein, then Overflow is a nice addition to your collection. It is by no means essential listening, but it is a surprisingly enjoyable set of "extra" songs that would not have been out of place on those albums.

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 And So On by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.73 | 21 ratings

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And So On
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "There's no stopping true progress!"

Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye, both previous members of Yes (Sherwood in the 90's and Kaye in the late 60's/early 70's and then again in the 80's to the mid 90's), have done it again. And So On is Circa's third studio disc and once again they have outdone themselves - this is their best album yet!

The sound of this album is dominated by Billy's Chris Squire-like bass lines, Tony's powerful organ, Steve Howe-like guitar licks, and strong lead and harmony vocals. Compared to previous Circa albums, And So On rocks harder and has more energy. The set of melodies is the strongest coming from the band and the songs kept growing on me with further listens. Crossover Prog is absolutely the right subgenre designation and this should appeal to fans of that subgenre.

Drawing on all the different eras of Yes from the 60's to the 90's, Circa produce a sound that is similar to that well-known band yet also is something a bit of their own. Alan White, who was part of Circa from the beginning, is no longer with them, and neither is Jimmy Haun. The new drummer is Scott Connor and the guitarist is Johnny Bruhns both of which do a great job here.

If you are a strict purist who only likes the 1972-1977 period of Yes, the music of Circa may not be for you. But if you enjoy all the different eras of Yes, including those that involved Kaye and Sherwood, then you should really give Circa a chance, and there is no better place to start then with And So On. It is a shame that Circa are not more popular around here, they deserve more recognition.

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 HQ by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.76 | 29 ratings

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HQ
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars They could last!

HQ was Circa's second studio album and the most recent to one date. In my opinion, this is a better album than the debut. Sound wise, there is not much difference but the focus has shifted slightly from catchy choruses to more instrumental workouts. As such, there is more substance in HQ compared to the debut. The line-up, however, changes slightly with Jay Schellen replacing Alan White on the drums. There is no doubt about the fact that Circa is a Yes-related band both in sound in personnel. The keyboardist is none other than Tony Kaye whose history with Yes goes back as far as to the 60's. Indeed, Kaye was one of the founding members of Yes and played on their three first studio albums before being replaced by Rick Wakeman. In the early 80's Kaye re-joined Yes and recorded a further four studio albums with them including the Union album that brought back as many as eight previous Yes members to write and record as a single unit (on paper at least). The rest of the four-piece that is Circa consist of Billy Sherwood and Jimmy Haun who both participated in the creation of the controversial Union album in 1991. Sherwood even co-wrote (and co-produced) one of the songs for that album with Chris Squire (The More We Live) and on the tour in support of Yes next album, Talk, Sherwood was hired as an extra guitarist in addition to Trevor Rabin before he became a fulltime Yes member for Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. After that he has worked with Chris Squire in Conspiracy. New guy Jay Schellen has played with Sherwood before in World Trade and he has also played with Asia recently, another Yes-related band. So it is fair to say that Circa is connected to Yes in several ways.

It should then not come as a surprise to anyone that Circa sounds a bit like Yes. Billy Sherwood can even be said to be something of a Chris Squire sound-alike both vocally and on the bass guitar and Jimmy Haun's guitar playing is heavily influenced by that of Steve Howe. Billy is clearly the artistic leader of Circa and this album too is, like the debut, most similar those Yes albums on which Billy played the biggest part i.e. Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. Circa also reminds heavily of the two Conspiracy albums that Billy made with Chris Squire. Again like with the debut, influences from both 70's and 80's Yes can be found with about equal emphasis on both. The sound they produce is great, and overall the album is enjoyable even if it offers few surprises.

With a running time of over an hour, I feel that this album is maybe a bit too long for its own good. However, there are no weak songs as such so it is indeed hard to know what exactly they could (or should?) have left out. I feel that there is a bit more energy in this album compared to the debut and I enjoy listening to this one a bit more. The debut grew stale after only a few listens, but HQ remains pleasant, and becomes more so, over more listens. The tunes are a bit more challenging and takes more time to decipher. It is less Crossover and more Prog, if you know what I mean.

As I said in my review of Circa's debut, there is a lot of great music for the Yes fan to discover in the Yes family tree and Circa is not the Yes-related band I would put priority on. Having that said, again, I'm certain that any hard core fan of all eras of Yes will enjoy Circa and this is their best album.

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 Circa by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.34 | 41 ratings

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Circa
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Keepers of the flame

Yes has so many offshoots in terms of solo and side projects that 'Yes Related' could almost be a subgenre here on Prog Archives! Almost all members of Yes past and present have released solo albums (and some quite a few of them!) and just to name a few other Yes-related bands I could mention Flash, Badger, Asia, GTR, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and Conspiracy. The most recent in this series is Circa whose four members all have previous connections to Yes. Keyboardist Tony Kaye is the member of Circa whose history with Yes goes back the farthest. He was one of the founding members of Yes and played on their three first studio albums before being replaced by Rick Wakeman. In the early 80's Kaye re-joined Yes and recorded a further four studio albums with them including the Union album that brought back as many as eight previous Yes members to write and record as a single unit (on paper at least). The drummer in Circa is none other than Alan White who has played with Yes since 1973 until the present day. The other half of Circa consist of Billy Sherwood and Jimmy Haun who both participated in the creation of the controversial Union album in 1991. Sherwood even co-wrote (and co-produced) one of the songs for that album with Chris Squire (The More We Live) and on the tour in support of Yes next album, Talk, Sherwood was hired as an extra guitarist in addition to Trevor Rabin before he became a fulltime Yes member for Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. After that he has worked with Chris Squire in Conspiracy.

Given the members' history and close association with Yes it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Circa sounds a bit like Yes. Billy Sherwood can even be said to be something of a Chris Squire sound-alike both vocally and on the bass guitar and Jimmy Haun's guitar playing is heavily influenced by that of Steve Howe. As if all these Yes-connections were not enough, Circa also enlists the song writing talents of one Trevor Rabin on two songs and Billy's brother Michael Sherwood (who also played a small part in the Union album) is credited for providing vocoder!

Billy is clearly the artistic leader of Circa and this album is most similar those Yes albums on which Billy played the biggest part i.e. Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. Circa also reminds heavily of the two Conspiracy albums that Billy made with Chris Squire. Influences from 70's and 80's Yes can also be found with equal emphasis on both. For me as a Yes-fanatic I cannot but love the sound of Circa, but unfortunately they do not write as consistently good and memorable material as that of Yes and even Conspiracy. Given how much Circa sounds like Yes it is almost impossible not to compare this with Yes and then it inevitably falls rather flat. Even most of 80's and 90's Yes (some of which this reviewer likes a lot!) outshines this by a wide margin. Don't get me wrong, I have the greatest respect for the people involved and I do enjoy this album, at least to a degree. This is by all means a highly professional recording with several good moments.

When I finally heard this album I had already heard all the songs as they were all featured on the Circa: Live DVD where they were performed live in the exact same running order as on this studio album. But even though I had heard all this material before I cannot say that I really remembered all the songs. Indeed, only a few of the songs here made a strong enough impression the first time around for me to even remember them. Cut The Ties, Don't Let Go and Information Overload are all good songs though that deserves special mention. The rest of the album is by no means bad, but it is certainly not the kind of album that deserves to be performed live in its entirety. On the aforementioned live DVD, the performance of this album is followed by a 40 minute long medley of Yes material followed by Sherwood's own Yes song The More We Live (originally written and recorded for Union, as I said), and in comparison with that, the first part of the show (i.e. the performance of the album under review) simply fails to impress that much.

Hearing the best songs on Circa's debut individually they are highly enjoyable, but the album as a whole tends to drag a bit in the middle. I can therefore only recommend this album to fans of Yes and its massive family tree. There is a lot of great music for the Yes fan to discover in that family tree and given that Circa is not among the offshoots that I would put priority on. Having that said, I'm certain that any hard core fan of all eras of Yes will enjoy Circa too. I would however recommend that you go for the live DVD instead of this studio album as there you get all the songs from this album plus the interesting Yes-medley that I mentioned above and more.

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 HQ by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.76 | 29 ratings

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HQ
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by Sonicexplorer

4 stars Let me begin by contradicting the previous review. This Circa album is far, far better than the first one, in fact it is an exceptional album.

Now, I am one of those that can not hear anything Asia or related and the first Circa album did not even made it to my CD player. It was after I was forced to hear this one in a car that I did really paid attention to this band. The first Circa album is not my cup of tee, I won't even play it again.

First of all there are a few tunes in here that are incredible good, for Yes fans, Tony Kaye formations, there is plenty to like in this album, as there are so many well crafted organ parts, really a treat ! Just listen to the last cut, "remember aling the way" at 12:35 minutes long the one that stands out for me.

The guitar work is also notable and there are some parts that really makes you want for more.

One of the most tragic things in Prog Rock is its magical ability to find the worst singers available and the worst lyricists in the planet, I am happy to say that in both categories Circa performs very well.

In all one album that deserves better and prejudice, like the one I had just 'cos is Asia related will make you loose the oportunity to listen to une of the jewels of the year, along with Magma, Mouse on Keys, Forgas Band Phenomena, Kotebel, Umphrey's McGee, N.y.X , Gösta Berlings Saga, the decemberist, Zu and Miriodor.

Before being put down by the first review, make your own judgment, get a copy of this album and digest it , you might be as surprised as I was, 'cos I was not expecting such a good album from anywhere near any Asia related band.

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 Circa by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.34 | 41 ratings

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Circa
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Solid modern Yes album!

The debut album by Circa: is almost a Yes album and it's intelligibly, because if you see the names of the musicians, you'll find out three Yes members (one current - Alan White, two former - the original one - Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood) with a guitarist Jimmy Haun, played on 1991's Union. The musicianship is of high quality and the songs are quite catchy, made in typical Yes style. Yes now aren't producing any studio albums, so if we want to know what they would make, probably the answer is in front of us - something like Circa:. Have a nice trip with this classic sounding album. 3.4 stars

Best songs: Cut the Ties, Don't Let Go and Trust in Something

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 HQ by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.76 | 29 ratings

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HQ
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Circa:HQ by Circa is my first big disappointment of 2009! Circa: is typical band I called side project of Yes. The first album by the band was really excitement and it is something like good Yes' music. With this album the situation is completely different.

If someone with quite big name is trying to release new music, it's good to be really music. This album lacks of music overall. The first component of the music is melody. In Circa:HQ there aren't any melody or ideas. There are only four persons, who are playing their specific (for somebody not) instruments. I know very well these guys can play very well, but it's not enough for a mark above the minimum, because it's necessary a musical thought or as we know it songwriting. You cannot find anything of that here.There aren't songs, there are only samples of technique and singing. There are some ideas in some moments of some songs. There are melody in the refrains of two or three songs, but that's all! Nothing above the minimum mark!

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 HQ by CIRCA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.76 | 29 ratings

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HQ
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by Jegheist2009

3 stars 2 years later after first cd,That was 4.5 star essential piece of prog. We have Hq Alan White is gone,Music on this disc has its ups and downs. Top Tracks- 1-If its not to late-It is not to late,To change your Perceptions on life. Never to late for change,Only late if you choose not to want to change.. Let your ego dininish the light out,World Creates more darkness. Like Morse says,We all need some light now. Turn on the light wash the darkness away

2)Ever Changing World-The world is ever changing,New things happen. Some good some bad,It is only our duty to pray,Keep the candle burning. To zap the the mosqutios,Who leech our every ounce of light out our boides. Leaves you with west nile virus aka our ego.

Artwork-2 Music-3 Production 4 Lyrics-3.5

Overall 3.5 stars out of 5,Lil above average disc. There debut,Was way stronger then this one. I hope you find this lil mini review helpful,Before you shell out money. If your die hard fan,Of side projects of Sherwood then this is for you then..

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 Circa: Live (DVD) by CIRCA album cover DVD/Video, 2008
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Circa: Live (DVD)
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars From 1969 to 1999 in 40 minutes!

This brand new DVD-release from Circa, available only through the bands own website www.circahq.com, features a full live performance by this new all-star band filmed in august 2007. Circa are Billy Sherwood (vocals, bass), Tony Kaye (organ, keyboards), Alan White (drums) and Jimmy Haun (guitars, vocals). For those of you that do not recognize the first three of these names they were, of course, all members of classic progressive Rock group Yes. Billy Sherwood was a full member of Yes in the 90's and can be heard (playing primarily guitar and not bass as he does in Circa) on the Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) albums. Though he has worked with Yes as a mixer and producer since the Union album in 1991 and also as an extra live guitarist on the Talk tour ca 1994.

Tony Kaye was one of the founding members of Yes (who was replaced by Rick Wakeman in the early 70's, returned again in the 80's and finally left for good in the mid 90's). Alan White has been with Yes since 1973 and is still with them today. With Sherwood, Kaye and White representing different eras of Yes history, there is, obviously a strong Yes influence in Circa's music. The set list on Circa: Live consists of Circa:'s debut (and to date only) album played in it's entirety, plus a 40 minute long medley of Yes songs (!), and as an encore; The More We Live, another Yes song, originally from the Union album, co-written by Sherwood.

The Yes- medley, which is called Chronological Journey, is truly amazing and spans over Yes' entire career, featuring one or more songs from each and every Yes album from the debut in 1969 to The Ladder in 1999. The medley includes selections from the following songs:

Looking Around, Harold Land, Every Little Thing (a Beatles cover that was included on Yes' first album), Survival, No Opportunity Necessary (a Ritchie Havens cover that was included on Yes' second album), Something's Coming (another cover that was never on any Yes studio album but was played by the band in their early days), Yours Is No Disgrace, Heart Of The Sunrise, South Side Of the Sky, Roundabout, Close To The Edge, And You And I, Ritual, Soundchaser, Parallels, Arriving UFO, On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Tempus Fugit, Changes, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Cinema, Rhythm Of Love, Lift Me Up, Endless Dream, Mind Drive, Open Your Eyes and Lightning Strikes. A list bound to impress every Yes fan!

All the (bits of) songs are very well played and several songs are unlikely to ever be played live again by Yes. So, this part of the DVD is a real treat for Yes fans! Tony Kaye (with a little help from an additional keyboard player) is particularly impressive. He is able to recreate all the parts previously played by Rick Wakeman and others really well. Jimmy Haun, a guy I never even heard of before, is also a really good Steve Howe impersonator. And White is great as usual. Multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood proves to the world that he can play the bass as well and it really shows that he has picked up more than a few tricks from Chris Squire on the bass.

The original Circa material is not as strong as the Yes songs (of course!), but it is listenable and it is quite similar to the two Conspiracy albums Sherwood did together with Chris Squire in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Apparently, two songs from the Circa debut album was co-written by Trevor Rabin (another ex-Yes member).

The visual experience is not really up to par with the music since not many cameras were used to film the event and the picture quality is far from optimal. It should be kept in mind that this is an independent release by the band themselves; recorded, produced and edited by the band! Overall, this DVD is highly recommended for hardcore Yes fans like me and it is also the best introduction to Circa. People looking to get into Yes should, however, look elsewhere.

Not essential, but very good.

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