THE PROG COLLECTIVE – ST [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2012)

THE PROG COLLECTIVE - ST [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2012)


As we anticipated here some months ago with an exclusive advanced track, one of the biggest musical collectives in Prog history has been gathered together by former YES musician Billy Sherwood.

Today, the appropriately titled CD “THE PROG COLLECTIVE” hit the streets.

Sherwood has persuaded some very high profile talents in the genre to appear as guests on a record on which Billy also plays most of the instruments.

The recording includes some of the greatest names in Progressive Rock History all in one album; from Yes, Asia, Gong, Alan Parsons Project, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Porcupine Tree and XTC. There is also a neat vocal by Annie Haslam (Renaissance) who duets with Peter Banks, the original Yes guitarist.

Interestingly the bar code sticker on the CD states ‘File under Yes’, but a Yes album this is not, far from it.

Opener “Laws Of Nature” features the great vocals of John Wetton alongside a killer electric violin played by the legendary Jerry Goodman of the Mahavishnu Orchestra fame. It is great to hear Goodman has not lost any of his superfast skills, laying down a pace which only a master class bassist of the calibre of Tony Levin could handle. The drums are actually played by Billy Sherwood, who is responsible for the “Prog Collective” producing, recording and mixing all the tracks at his Circa Studios in Los Angeles.

On “Technical Divide” Sherwood managed to secure the services of his old Yes compatriot Chris Squire, thus ensuring a thumping bass, supporting a lead vocal by Alan Parsons with strutting and soaring guitar work by Gary Green, he of Gentle Giant fame. A tight musical combination.

Sherwood’s production skills are well renowned within the music industry and on “Buried Beneath”, he utilises the soaring guitar playing of Steve Hillage to build up a sheer wall of sound with keyboards and xylophone contributed by Larry Fast, who was very instrumental with the early works of Peter Gabriel.

Strangely enough I would never have listed XTC as a pure prog band, but on “Check Point Karma” Billy has cleverly landed the talents of Colin Moulding, the bass player of XTC, to take the lead vocal in the cool journey that is this tune. A very accessible melody with Rick Wakeman providing two easily recognizable Hammond solos, the only critic being they are simply just too short.

Billy Sherwood has pulled together some of the greatest names in prog history, all of whom joined with great enthusiasm for this unique idea.

“The Prog Collective” sounds vital, dynamic, and it’s almost perfect in all aspects. The sound and production is lush and brilliant.

I strongly recommend this “Deluxe Edition” which includes an extra CD featuring instrumental versions (and a little remix) of each track, giving a completely new dimension to these fabulous compositions.

“The Prog Collective” will appeal a wide range of audiences, not only Prog, that’s for sure. So melodic rockers, aorsters, and people with good taste in music, don’t miss this one.

Highly Recommended.

CD 1:

1. The Laws of Nature (Feat. Jerry Goodman, John Wetton, Tony Levin)

2. Over Again (Feat. Geoff Downes, Richard Page)

3. The Technical Divide (Feat. Alan Parsons, Chris Squire, Gary Green)

4. Social Circles (Faet. Annie Haslam, Peter Banks)

5. Buried Beneath (Feat. Billy Sherwood, Larry Fast, Steve Hillage)

6. Following the Signs (Feat. John Wesley, Tony Kaye)

7. Check Point Karma (Feat. Colin Moulding, Rick Wakeman)

CD 2: (Instrumental)

1. The Laws of Nature (Feat. Jerry Goodman, Tony Levin)

2. Over Again (Feat. Geoff Downes)

3. The Technical Divide (Feat. Chris Squire, Gary Green)

4. Social Circles (Feat. Peter Banks)

5. Buried Beneath (Feat. Larry Fast, Steve Hillage)

6. Following the Signs (Feat. John Wesley, Tony Kaye)

7. Check Point Karma (Feat. Rick Wakeman)

The Dream Team:

Billy Sherwood (Yes, Circa, Yoso, Lodgic)

John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson)

Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel)

Chris Squire (Yes)

Richard Page (Mr. Mister)

Colin Moulding (ex- XTC)

Jerry Goodman (ex- Mahavishnu Orchestra)

Gary Green (ex- Gentle Giant)

Annie Haslam (Icon, Magenta)

Peter Banks (Yes, Empira)

David Sancious (ex- Peter Gabriel)

Geoff Downes (Yes, Asia)

Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple)

John Wesley (Porcupine Tree)

Larry Fast (Peter Gabriel, Foreigner)

Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra)

Chester Thompson (Genesis, Frank Zappa)

Jordan Rudess (ex- Dream Theater)

Keith Emerson (ELP)

Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel)

Nik Turner (Hawkwind)

Rick Wakeman (Yes)

Steve Hillage (Gong)

Alan Parsons


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