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Conspiracy - Conspiracy CD (album) cover

CONSPIRACY

Conspiracy

 

Crossover Prog

3.14 | 35 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Sherwood, Squire and White (et al)

For whatever reason, "Conspiracy" is one of the lesser known albums from the Yes family. The album was initially credited to Billy Sherwood and Chris Squire, the collective name "Conspiracy" only later being adopted by the pair from the album's title. Here they are joined by Alan White on a couple of tracks to form an ELP like Supergroup.

Sherwood's contribution to the Yes legacy is of course somewhat controversial, with many fans feeling he pulled the band away from their prog roots into inappropriately commercial territories. Others will argue that he was a major factor in the band's survival, guiding them towards a viable path musically and financially. Here, the sound is understandably closer to that of albums such as "Open your eyes" and "Big generator" than "Close to the edge", but the presence of Squire on bass and lead vocals means that there is still a strong Yes flavour to the album.

The songs here were gathered together over an extended period, some originating in Squire's 1992 venture "The Chris Squire Experiment". That band was due to release an album called "Chemistry", but when two tracks were used on "Open your eyes", the project was put on a back burner. Some of the other songs here made the transition to become full Yes songs, while those which were used in one form or another on "Open your eyes" are added to the end of this album as hidden additions.

Squire and Sherwood share vocal and songwriting duties fairly evenly on the album, although it is Squire's distinctive tones which tend to characterise the songs. Pretty much all of the tracks have the sound of potential singles in an "Owner of a lonely heart" sort of way, although none did find success in that field.

One track, "Violet Purple Rose" was taken from a separate session when Chris Squire was joined by Steve Stevens and Michael Bland. Billy Sherwood later overdubbed his contribution to this track. This particular song is probably the most progressive on the album, while still retaining the strong melodic base which is a feature of every track here. "Lonesome trail" is another strong track with prog credentials. The song, which will be familiar to those who have investigated the "Yes friends and family" compilations, has one of the strongest hooks on the album.

Overall, a highly enjoyable album which will please those who approve of the Sherwood era Yes albums. The album will undoubtedly be castigated by some for its ease of access, but you'll get no complaints from me.

On my version, the bonus tracks are grouped together as a 15 minute medley entitled "The big peace". There is also a fine version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably numb", presumably taken from the Pink Floyd tribute album Re-Building The Wall - A Tribute To Pink Floyd".

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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