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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:
- 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)

3.93 | 11 ratings
The Big Peace
1999
3.85 | 8 ratings
No Comment
2003
2.96 | 6 ratings
At The Speed Of Life
2008
3.04 | 6 ratings
Oneirology
2010
3.90 | 10 ratings
What Was The Question ?
2011
3.92 | 7 ratings
The Art Of Survival
2012
3.36 | 44 ratings
The Prog Collective
2012
2.41 | 33 ratings
The Prog Collective: Epilogue
2013
2.97 | 10 ratings
Divided By One
2014
3.58 | 33 ratings
Citizen
2015
3.09 | 13 ratings
Archived
2016
2.64 | 16 ratings
Citizen - In The Next Life
2019

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

3.09 | 3 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)

2.28 | 6 ratings
Collection
2015

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

1.98 | 3 ratings
Universal Garden
2015

BILLY SHERWOOD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Citizen - In The Next Life by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.64 | 16 ratings

BUY
Citizen - In The Next Life
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by Gary Preston

3 stars Well, to my ears this is like a Yes - Open Your Eyes Volume 2. project.

It is clear to hear from this album what Billy brings to the world of Yes. The album is not a stinker, but it shows that Billy is a strong team, supportive player and not a centre stage artist.

So many times whilst listening to this album on my Sennheiser headphones via flac I kept thinking if only Chris Squire could have lent his backing vocals here or there...

Lead vocals by Jon Anderson on a couple of tracks would have helped. Guitar from Steve & Trevor would have been so album enhancing too. A Wakeman solo here and there could have elevated the concepts offered on this album immeasurably.

I do like Bill's guitar solo on Monet though.

So what do we have here? An album that if it could have been enhanced and sprinkled with fairy dust from three or four members remaining from Yes could have been a 90125 lite....

Without that it remains a skeleton of a Yes project - or in other words a Billy Sherwood solo album.

Don't get me wrong, this is definitely not the worst album you could spend your hard earned (Monet) on - but neither is it the best album you will ever buy either.

I think my three stars is extremely fair, as two would be too low, and four stars would definitely be too high!

Over and out.

Gary Preston

 Citizen - In The Next Life by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.64 | 16 ratings

BUY
Citizen - In The Next Life
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars I guess any review of Billy Sherwood will mention he is the current bassist of Yes, that he released some albums with Chris Squire as Conspiracy, formed World Trade, and released six albums as Circa with former yes keyboard player Tony Kaye, so why should I be any different? This is a concept album following on from 2015's 'The Citizen', and the songs describe the individual experiences in a journey through time and space of a character, 'The Citizen'. So, we visit Hitler in the Bunker, visit the artist Monet, Stephen Hawking and even Wyatt Earp among others. Unlike the last album where he brought together a vast number of guests to assist, including the last recordings of Squire, this time he decided to do everything himself from playing all the instruments through to the production etc. Listening to songs such as 'Sophia' it can be heard exactly why he fits in so well with Yes as the sound he captures on his bass, along with the fluidity is incredible similar to the sadly missed Squire.

This is an album which I have discovered I enjoy more or less depending on my own personal mood. A song that sounds glorious and rising one day can be cloying and overpowering the next. For one musician there is an incredibly amount of layering, and there just doesn't seem to be any space within the music which means it can just get too rich. It took me a long time to work out who the album actually reminded me of, and that was due to the lack of brass instruments as if they had been involved then I would have stated mid-Seventies Chicago straight away. The result is an album which feels very rich, but also at times fairly uninspired and although there are times when I have enjoyed this there are plenty of others when listening to this has been like wading through treacle as it is just so heavily over produced. Middle of the road in so many ways.

 Citizen - In The Next Life by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.64 | 16 ratings

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Citizen - In The Next Life
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by mosesfusion

2 stars I'm not sure what sort of audience Billy is trying to reach here. I accept that musicians are free to create in more than one genre and an attempt to (gasp!) make money by creating something accessible to the masses makes sense for some artists. However, this doesn't sound like it would fit in on popular radio today, nor does it sound much like what I'd look for in a "prog" radio station. There are parts that do sound proggy, like the the keyboard solo on Sailing The Seas, but for the most part it's just a semi-prog thing.

The playing is fine, and while I don't really like his voice, it isn't awful. I've definitely heard worse. I hear a little bit of Peter Gabriel in "Mata Hari," which in my opinion is a good thing. I think the main complaint I have here is that the overall sound is really generic. I know he's done some good stuff with other bands (Yes, Asia, etc.) and I guess in general he gets better results working with others. That's got to be difficult when you're a multi-instrumentalist, but just because you 'can' do it all doesn't necessarily mean you 'should.'

Everything I've found online says that the last song is titled "Hold Quite" but it really sounds to me like he's saying "Hold Quiet."

 Citizen - In The Next Life by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.64 | 16 ratings

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Citizen - In The Next Life
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars Billy Sherwood from Las Vegas Nevada is at it again. Sherwood is a Crossover Prog artist as a soloist, but has been involved in quite a few different bands over the years including several years with "Yes" and "Asia". Besides touring with Yes as a side musician during their "Talk" tour, he was involved with them during the "Open Your Eyes" and "The Ladder" albums and has replaced Chris Squire as the regular bassist after Squire's death. Squire asked him to keep Yes going before he passed. He also joined Asia after the death of John Wetton. Besides this, he has been involved in several other projects and also recording solo albums of which he has released twelve.

In July of 2019, Sherwood released his 12th album "Citizen ? In The Next Life". This album is the 2nd part of the album "Citizen" released in 2015. The main protagonist in Sherwood's Citizen concept is a time traveler who gives us his experiences through his eyes as he meets several important people through the history of the Earth, both real and fictional. This album is made up of 10 tracks and a bonus track with a total run-time of over 54 minutes.

Sherwood has always been kind of a hit or miss when it comes to albums. I have always considered "Open Your Eyes" as being one of Yes' worst albums, though I do love "The Ladder". He has had some pretty decent albums with some of his other projects, while others just seem to fall flat. He is considered a great instrumentalist and since he was picked by both Wetton and Squire to be their replacements, there is not doubt that he is talented. Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to his albums.

The album begins with the track "The Partisan" which is about the rise and fall of Hitler. The song comes across quite straightforward and upbeat with a good mix of guitar and synth. "Sophia" is about the A.I. that was declared a citizen of Saudi Arabia. The track is more moderate but picks up speed on the choruses. The song has a mostly uninteresting melody and Sherwood's vocals are not always the best, sounding almost like they are processed, they have a tinny sound to them which can be a bit hard to take in big doses. "Monet" puts the citizen in the famous painter's shoes with the song talking about the beauty of the paintings he created. "We Shall Ride Again" is a lackluster song where the citizen takes on the personage of Wyatt Earp. At this point, the music is sounding too much the same as the music can't seem to match the concept, or at least the characters that he is trying to evoke. The album continues in this vein with a bunch of mostly uninteresting tracks that just seem flat.

The music is quite accessible with an overall soft rock sound to all of the tracks. There is definitely a pop sensibility to the album, and Sherwood's vocals sound like Peter Cetera's, but with a somewhat annoying edge to the bad harmonies that give everything a hollow and tinny sound. The music is pretty light weight with very little progressive traits. There is not a lot of passion in any of the songs and they get to where they sound too much the same. Sherwood has a knack for instrumentation and is definitely a decent bassist and guitarist, but this album proves that he should not be left alone to create an entire production on his own. The songs on the album just don't hold my interest and are pretty mediocre. The singing doesn't save anything either. Something with this type of concept brings about some high expectations, but all we end up with here is just several tracks that sound too much alike and are devoid of heart, sounding too processed and forced.

 Universal Garden by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
1.98 | 3 ratings

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Universal Garden
Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Billy Sherwood releases albums pretty regularly, so it seemed odd that he'd put out a single-only release. Then again, this is a song he'd already done with Yes, so maybe that's why. Actually it hadn't occurred to me that "Universal Garden," originally from Open Your Eyes, had originated as a Sherwood song; Jon Anderson really made it his own song on Open Your Eyes back in 1997. I guess it's likely that Sherwood wrote it with Anderson in mind.

If I recall correctly, among the songs on Open Your Eyes, "Universal Garden" was one of those better-received by Yes fans, but to me it was just average; I preferred "Fortune Seller," "Open Your Eyes," and the title track. This solo version is better in some ways than the original; I prefer Sherwood's guitar work here, for example. On the other hand, Sherwood just can't hit the high notes like Anderson, nor does he have Anderson's expressiveness. Overall, the 2015 version of "Universal Garden" is still the same song that didn't really impress me in 1997.

I'm glad Billy Sherwood is back in Yes, and, to echo another reviewer, I'd welcome his solo takes on additional Yes songs.

 The Prog Collective: Epilogue by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.41 | 33 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
3.36 | 44 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
3.09 | 13 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
3.09 | 3 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
3.58 | 33 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.

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

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