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Billy Sherwood: Citizen

This week’s Sherwood release is a triumphant, star-studded concept album.

The well-connected one’s prolific career continues with his eighth solo album, as his titular protagonist flits across time, witnessing significant historical events from the purge of the Cherokee (Trail Of Tears) to the Wall St. Crash (The Great Depression).

The title track opens and sets the tone, with big, ballsy motifs, Hammond organ and neo-prog moments. As well as featuring fellow Circa member Tony Kaye this is all the more poignant for being the last recorded performance by Chris Squire. Throughout, Sherwood plays most of the parts himself (including his first instrument, the drums, and he’s pretty damn handy), and his vocals sounds like Peter Gabriel’s in parts. Further bait for Yes fans are contributions from Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes and Patrick Moraz, while Jon Davison turns in a terrific performance on the very Yes Written In The Centuries (more energetic and exciting than anything from Heaven And Earth). Elsewhere Alan Parsons, Steve Hackett and Jordan Rudess add their talents, and if it’s not a total success (folk rocker Just Galileo And Me is just saved by its annoyingly catchy and historically dubious chorus) – but if Conspiracy, Lifesigns and 90s Yes are your bag, you will love this record.

Gary has contributed reviews and news features for Prog Magazine for over a decade now. A fan of prog and heavy rock since childhood, his main areas of interest are classic and symphonic prog, prog-metal and modern acts bringing in fresh influences to the genre. He has a professional background in youth and community work, he teaches drum kit in schools and is a working musician. Gary was the drummer in semi-legendary NWOBHM band Praying Mantis for a couple of years and has been a member of indie-prog-pop-art-rock combo The Mighty Handful for more than twenty years. He loves cats and skiing, and has a Blue Peter badge.