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BILLY SHERWOOD

Crossover Prog • United States


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Billy Sherwood biography
William Wyman SHERWOOD - Born March 14, 1965 (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Given his musical family (his father was the leader of a big band, his mother a drummer), it is no surprise that his life also revolves around music.

As a teenager, he joined the band LODGIC, which was formed by his brother and friends. The band moved to Los Angeles, and by 1986, they had released their first album, Nomadic Sands. SHERWOOD then moved on, and formed the band WORLD TRADE, whose debut album in 1990 had a strong resemblance to the recent work of YES.

In the 1990s, SHERWOOD worked quite a bit as a producer/engineer. In 1992, he wrote The More We Live - Let Go with Chris SQUIRE, and produced and played on the track for the Union album. He and SQUIRE formed the group CONSPIRACY in 2000, and released 2 studio albums. SHERWOOD's relationship with YES continues to this day, having toured as a member of the band on tours and albums. In 2015, with the sad news of Chris SQUIRE's death, SHERWOOD became the full time bassist for YES.

SHERWOOD's solo career began in 1999, with the album Big Peace, and has continued with more than a half a dozen albums since.

See also:
- World Trade
- Conspiracy
- Circa
- HERE

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BILLY SHERWOOD discography


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

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

4.68 | 9 ratings
The Big Peace
1999
3.92 | 7 ratings
No Comment
2003
3.00 | 5 ratings
At The Speed Of Life
2008
3.04 | 5 ratings
Oneirology
2010
3.89 | 8 ratings
What Was The Question ?
2011
4.00 | 6 ratings
The Art Of Survival
2012
3.35 | 40 ratings
The Prog Collective
2012
2.39 | 28 ratings
The Prog Collective: Epilogue
2013
3.04 | 8 ratings
Divided By One
2014
3.56 | 28 ratings
Citizen
2015
3.07 | 10 ratings
Archived
2016

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
Live In Japan (with Tony Kaye)
2016

BILLY SHERWOOD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

2.17 | 5 ratings
Collection
2015

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

2.00 | 2 ratings
Universal Garden
2015

BILLY SHERWOOD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Prog Collective: Epilogue by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.39 | 28 ratings

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The Prog Collective: Epilogue
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars Their second studio release is slightly harder and more complex than the debut, and even more guest prog superstars are involved. But the idea of a 'prog collective' remains the same: Billy Sherwood composed, produced, performed, recorded and engineered all the music, and other contributors played just auxiliary role, i.e. did some additional playing and singing. Some listeners say they were disappointed, they expected much more from an album with two dozens of guest musicians like Rick Wakeman, Alan Parsons, Tony Caye, Steve Hillage etc. Perhaps Mr Sherwood made a tactical mistake by introducing them all as a real supergroup. A listener should not expect anything from this album apart from the music written by Billy Sherwood. It's not a cooperation of prog protagonists, it's not even 'Billy Sherwood and friends', it's almost exclusively Billy Sherwood himself. And if we perceive the idea of The Prog Collective adequately to what it is in fact, we must admit that Epilogue is a very good album, musically more interesting than the debut. At least as for me, I cannot say that Sherwood & Co. deceived my expectations, I enjoyed both their albums very much and was happy to add the vinyl versions to my collection.
 The Prog Collective by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.35 | 40 ratings

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The Prog Collective
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars First of all, there was absolutely no reason to list both The Prog Collective albums here on Prog Archives as 'various artists'. Both are definitively not what we call V/A, but de facto Billy Sherwood's solo albums with a lot of guest contributors. Not a prog band sensu stricto, while also not 'various artists', but... the prog collective (sic!). It seems to be as an artist name so the most appropriate definition. A collective of musical associates and like-minded professionals led by one of them who produced a bunch of musical ideas. The Prog Collective is even not a sort of so-called supergroup but just Sherwood with a little help from a lot of his superstar friends. All the music was composed and mostly played by him, other participants only added some vocal and instrumental parts. Sherwood played keyboards on Open Your Eyes (which is probably not good enough as a Yes album but a very good example of progressive pop). But the music in The Prog Collective's self-titled debut is not similar to Open Your Eyes, it rather reminds the studio material from Keys To Ascension. Not too complex, not too sophisticated, quite accessible, listenable and enjoyable. This album can faintly be rated as masterpiece, but it makes an excellent asset for anyone who's into prog and not stuck in 1970s.
 Archived by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.07 | 10 ratings

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Archived
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Never enough

When I first saw this album announced, I got the mistaken idea that this was going to be a compilation album of some kind because the title seemed to indicate that it would feature archival material rather than new recordings. Thankfully, this impression was wrong and Archived is another proper, original studio album from the ever productive Billy Sherwood.

After his previous album, Citizen - which was filled with guest stars from Yes and other bands - Sherwood returns here to his long-established format of choice: a true solo album in the fullest sense of the term. Billy does everything himself: writing, composing, singing, playing all the instruments, mixing, recording, and producing, etc. Personally, I prefer this one-man approach over the all-star cast of Citizen and Archived does not disappoint. This album also surpasses 2014's somewhat uneven Divided By One, even if it is not up to par with Sherwood's best solo albums.

With Billy also having written and recorded material for a new Circa album (which will be released in July this year) and also a new album by World Trade, one may perhaps suspect that Archived contains the "leftovers" from those writing sessions. If true, these are some very tasty leftovers that only raises my already high exceptions for those forthcoming band albums even more. My expectations for the Circa album in particular are very high indeed. In contrast to the latter album - which is called Valley of the Windmill and is going to contain four lengthy songs - Archived contains shorter songs than we are used to from Billy's works. None of the 11 tracks exceed six minutes in length and the shortest (the title track) is just under three minutes.

In terms of style, anyone familiar with Billy's previous solo albums will know what to expect here. But while a casual listener may perhaps think that there is too much Billy Sherwood music in existence, for a fan like me it is never enough! This man is just so talented and inspired and he keeps pouring out high quality music at an impressive pace. Archived is no exception to this, and long may it continue! Now that he is back with Yes again, I hope that Sherwood's solo output will finally get more of the recognition it so very well deserves.

Archived is definitely a recommended addition to every comprehensive Billy Sherwood collection, but for beginners there are several other albums that are better place to start your investigation into his strong solo discography.

 Live In Japan (with Tony Kaye) by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Live, 2016
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Live In Japan (with Tony Kaye)
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Circa 50 %

This show was recorded in Japan in 2011 and features material from Billy Sherwood's and Tony Kaye's careers in and out of Yes and beyond. In addition to Sherwood on guitars and vocals and Kaye on keyboards there are no other musicians credited, but luckily there is also drums played by an unknown player. Nonetheless, these performances are still somewhat stripped down (though not as much as I feared) and laid back compared to what we would expect from Yes and from Billy's and Tony's band Circa.

Eight Yes songs are performed spanning the two men's respective times in the band from 1970's Time And A Word to 1999's The Ladder (I Could is an alternate version of the first half of Finally from The Ladder). It is especially nice to see songs from Talk, Union, and Open Your Eyes being performed live as these albums are rarely represented in Yes' own set lists and not many songs from these albums have appeared on Yes' official live releases. Roundabout from Fragile and Wondrous Stories from Going For The One are somewhat surprising choices given that neither Kaye nor Sherwood originally played on those two Yes albums. (Kaye did however perform Roundabout live with the band in the 80's and 90's and Billy recorded a cover version of Wondrous Stories with his band World Trade for the Yes tribute album Tales From Yesterday in 1995.)

In addition to Yes material, we also get a couple of songs each from Billy's collaborations with Chris Squire in Conspiracy and with Kaye in Circa. There is one song from World Trade's 1995 album Euphoria (co-written by Squire who also guested on that album) and also a couple of songs from Billy's 2003 solo album No Comment (but oddly nothing from any of his other solo albums; he had already five solo albums out by 2011). The Other Side is a song that Billy co-wrote for Toto and which originally appeared on that band's 1992 album Kingdom Of Desire. Kaye gets a solo spot which is a piano solo (including a snippet of Yes' Changes).

Overall, Live In Japan is a nice listen, but it is not an album that I think I will return to much. Circa's live releases better show what these two highly talented Yes-men can do together on stage.

 Citizen by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.56 | 28 ratings

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Citizen
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The Prog Collective III

Considered within the context of his solo discography, Citizen clearly marks a departure for Billy Sherwood. While his first seven solo albums were solo albums in the fullest sense of the term meaning that everything (with only very few, very minor exceptions) was done by Billy himself, on Citizen he has invited a large number of musical friends to help out on both instruments and vocals. In this respect, Citizen is as much a continuation of the two Prog Collective albums as it is an entry in Billy's solo discography. Indeed, most of the people appearing as guests here were also part of the Prog Collective, including Alan Parsons, Colin Moulding, John Wesley, Steve Morse, Jerry Goodman, Jordan Rudess, and an impressive bunch of Billy's fellow Yes members (past and present). Still, even with all of these guests involved, Billy nonetheless does all of the drums, and most of the bass, guitars, and vocals himself.

Citizen is a historical concept album about a "person" reincarnated as a citizen in various places and periods of time, including the scientific and industrial revolutions, the first world war, the great depression, the fall of the Roman empire, and more. The concept is suitably subtle and does not overpower the music. On Spotify there are two versions of the album currently available, one of which includes spoken introductions by Billy for each track. Like all of Sherwood's projects, the quality of the songs, the performances, and the production is very high.

The recently departed Chris Squire - for whom Sherwood recently took over bass guitar duties in Yes, and with whom Billy has worked together in Conspiracy - contributes bass to the title track. This session was to be Squire's last ever recording. The amazing Steve Hackett hands in a guitar solo on Man And The Machine, while another fantastic guitar playing Steve - Steve Morse - does the same on No Man's Land. All of the keyboard players of Yes from the band's beginning in the late 60's to the mid 90's are here, with Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and Geoff Downes each contributing to different tracks! With the new Yes vocalist Jon Davison appearing on the closing track, this brings the total number of Yes members up to seven including Sherwood himself. (Someone who is notable by his absence is original Yes guitarist Peter Banks who passed away in 2013 after having worked with Sherwood on both of the Prog Collective albums).

While having all of these well-known people on board for the ride will probably widen the interest for this album, and as such will help from an advertising point of view, I personally don't think that Sherwood needs their help from a musical perspective. But regardless of whether you agree with me or not, you cannot take this album to be representative of his solo discography. Hopefully, though, this album will lead to a raised interest in his previous albums which, to me at least, are better and more interesting than Citizen. Excellent albums like The Big Peace, No Comment, What Was The Question?, The Art Of Survival, and others, deserve much greater recognition from Prog fans in general and from Yes fans in particular. Citizen is nonetheless definitely a nice addition to any collection that already holds Billy's other solo albums as well as the two Prog Collective albums to which it is most similar.

 Citizen by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.56 | 28 ratings

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Citizen
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US artist and composer Billy SHERWOOD is a rather well known name in the music business. His various tenures as a member of legendary progressive rock band Yes arguably his main claim to fame, but he has also been involved in numerous other bands and projects over the years. His solo career has been ongoing since the tail end of the 1990's, with eight studio albums released to date. "Citizen" is the most recent of these, and was released in the fall season of 2015 through Italian label Frontiers Music.

As Billy's career have been rather firmly tied in with the history of Yes for a few decades, an obvious question that will rise when he release a solo album is how close, or not, the music will be to the material made by that band, and especially when quite a few guest musicians that also have been members of that band have contributed. The answer to that question is, I guess, a yes and a no. There are similarities, most certainly, but no, this is not a Yes album released as someone's solo project.

The album as a whole is a conceptual one from what I understand, so those who find such ventures fascinating will have a concept to immerse themselves in, and the music at hand is a rather compelling one throughout, where the focus is on smooth, elegant themes and arrangements employed in compositions that tends to be fairly slowly paced. Those fond of dramatic effects, challenging escapades and instruments clearly highlighted as dominant features while going through technically challenging, virtuous territories will have to look elsewhere. While we are treated to a fair share of instrument solo runs and some of them rather virtuoso indeed, these are flavors provided without using the limelight to hone in on them as the central or dominant aspects of the compositions, instead they come across as one part of a total package, one element among many rather than the key element everything else builds up to.

Acoustic guitars and fairly careful, toned down guitar riffs and solo runs combine with layered keyboards throughout to form careful, elegant soundscapes, ranging from the relative sparse and fragile to the rich and majestic, with the bass guitar possibly having a slightly more central place in the arrangements by way of firm and at times booming basslines, but rarely if ever in a dramatic or dominant manner. Elegant and sophisticated comes across as key words for me to describe the totality, with subtle nuances and details used to add tension. I get the impression that a lot of work have gone into the mix and production here, and that this album is the kind that will reward the listeners by carefully unveiling additional detail upon repeated listens. There's a lot going on throughout, but the smooth, melody-oriented focus doesn't hone in on these details as such, and it usually will take multiple listens for most listeners to become aware of these.

The lead vocals and vocal harmonies, both by Billy and the occasional guest vocalists, all give me strong associations to the music of Yes, and then primarily the landscapes they have explored from the tail end of the 1980's and onward. I'm not an expert on that band by any means, so those who have a deeper knowledge of and experience with that band that I have may not concur to this description, but for me it's the vocals that adds that touch of Yes to the landscapes explored here first and foremost. Some nifty, atmospheric guitar solo details hovering in the background on occasion and the aforementioned bass guitar emphasize this somewhat, but at least for me the greater totality isn't all that similar: The songs on this album are generally slower paced and lacking the focus on dramatic movements and other features of a more bombastic nature I associate with Yes.

My main impression is that "Citizen" is a well made and excellently produced concept album, in terms of style residing somewhere in the neo-progressive oriented parts of the symphonic progressive rock universe. The main focus is on melodies and harmonies, and with the lead vocals given a lot of the limelight here. Which isn't all that unexpected presumably, as a concept is explored and stories are told. Those with a general taste for compelling, well made and well produced albums that arguably may be placed somewhere close to a neo progressive context comes across as a key audience for this album in my book.

 Collection by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
2.17 | 5 ratings

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Collection
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Dark to light

This brand new compilation album documents Billy Sherwood's impressive and unfairly neglected solo career by presenting one track from each of his seven solo albums to date. To round off the disc, we are also treated to two previously unreleased tracks.

Collection opens with Drone Deciphers taken from 2012's The Art Of Survival. This excellent track is a good choice to represent that great album but I find it a somewhat odd choice as an opener of this compilation as it is a song of a subdued nature. Next up is the 11 minute plus Seeing Through The Walls from the 2008 album At The Speed Of Life. Again, this is a very good song, but also somewhat downbeat. The first up-tempo track on Collection is Call, taken from what I think is Sherwood's masterpiece: his 1999 solo debut The Big Peace. Call is again a very good track, but not the best or most essential track from that outstanding album.

From the oldest to the most recent: next comes On Impact from Billy's latest solo album to date, 2014's Divided By One. This is the kind of track that perhaps would have been a more fitting opening track (as it was on Divided By One). Billy second solo effort, 2003's No Comment, is represented here by Dying Breed. From 2010's Oneirology comes The Recurring Dream. This is another strong track, though I would have chosen the title track instead. Finally, What Was The Question? taken from the excellent 2011 album of the same name concludes the backward-looking part of Collection on a high note.

The two previously unreleased tracks include a cover of a song by Sting called I Hung My Head. The other is a new Sherwood original called Dark To Light. While both of these new recordings are enjoyable and welcome additions to the fan's collection, they are not up to the high standards set by the seven previously released album tracks. Still, it is the presence of these two previously unreleased tracks that makes Collection a worthwhile purchase for fans like me who already have all of Billy's regular solo albums.

Sherwood's first seven solo albums range from outstanding to very good and I highly recommend checking out Sherwood's solo discography. But this compilation album is probably not the best place to start your investigation into Billy Sherwood. As far as compilation albums go, Collection is a good one, but my advice is to go straight to the regular albums from which these songs were taken.

 The Prog Collective: Epilogue by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.39 | 28 ratings

BUY
The Prog Collective: Epilogue
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Star Trek

Even though many of the people who were involved in the first Prog Collective release return here for a second round, this sequel is rather different musically; less Symphonic and more Space Rock. I am reminded of bands like Nektar, Eloy, and Hawkwind which is perhaps not surprising given that Roye Albrighton from Nektar and Nik Turner from Hawkwind show up for the gathering. While listening to some of these songs one can easily imagine the "Prog collective" travelling through deep space on their way to colonize alien planets. Even William Shatner of Star Trek fame is involved!

Like on the first Prog Collective album lead vocals are by various people on different tracks. Returning vocalists include Colin Moulding, John Wetton, and Alan Parsons. New appearances include Fee Waybill who sings lead on Adding Fuel To The Fire which sounds like Lemmy-era Hawkwind (only much better!). Sonja Kristina from Curved Air provides vocals on Tomorrow Becomes Today while the aforementioned Roye Albrighton sings on Memory Tracks which is pure Nekar even though I find it too long for its own good and at least a minute could easily have been shaved off it with no loss of value. Billy Sherwood again acts as the creative leader of the whole project and he himself provides vocals to some tracks.

Impressively, Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and Geoff Downes are all here, which means that every Yes keyboard player from the 1960's through the 1990's is here! In addition, Chris Squire and Peter Banks are again present bringing the total Yes members up to seven! Banks passed away not long after this recording which became one of his last. Mel Collins of King Crimson/21st Century Schizoid Band and Camel, contributes some nice sax and Nik Turner flute and sax which brings an element not present at all on the first Prog Collective record. No less than three guitar playing Steves are involved: Steve Hillage, Steve Morse, and Steve Stevens!

Like the first Prog Collective album, Epilogue is also somewhat disjointed. The songs are generally good but some of the songs don't really fit in among the others. Shining Diamonds sounds a bit like early Yes with some really cool keyboard work by Patrick Moraz. Just Another Day featuring Tony Kaye is in this category as well which doesn't fit so well with the general Space Rock orientation of the album. Nonetheless, this is a fun and enjoyable, although somewhat sprawling, album oozing with diverse talent.

 The Prog Collective by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.35 | 40 ratings

BUY
The Prog Collective
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

 Divided By One by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.04 | 8 ratings

BUY
Divided By One
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars On impact

First released digitally in 2014 and now getting a welcome CD release on Cherry Red records coming out at the end of this month, Divided By One is Billy Sherwood's seventh solo album and his latest one to date. As usual, Billy does everything himself and once again both the musicianship and the production is of the highest quality.

Compared to the previous The Art Of Survival, this album turns up the tempo a bit and focuses more on somewhat shorter, more accessible tunes. Songs like the title track and No Stone Unturned are catchy, melodic rockers and The Scene Comes Alive even moves dangerously close to Pop with Billy's voice getting the "voice box" treatment (which is not as bad as it sounds)! Here For You is more of a Rock ballad, which is uncharacteristic of Sherwood's solo career, but it reminds a little of some songs that Billy have done in other contexts such as Love Conquers All (on the Yesyears box set) or Say Goodbye (from World Trade's Euphoria album) for example.

The more progressive songs on the album include the symphonic opener On Impact, which also is my favourite, and the album closer End Of An Era. Another favourite is Sphere Of Influence which features some great, and very characteristic, Sherwood bass guitar work. This song also has some very nice acoustic stringed instrument (is it a mandolin?).

Divided By One is my least favourite of Billy Sherwood's seven solo albums, but it is nonetheless definitely a good album. Billy simply doesn't know how to make a bad album! If you, like me, have and enjoy Sherwood's previous solo albums, then you will enjoy this one as well, as I certainly do. However, if you are new to Sherwood's excellent solo career you should begin with some of his excellent other albums, starting with his first two.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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