Album review: THE PROG COLLECTIVE – Worlds On Hold


Cleopatra Records [Release date 16.12.20]

The latest iteration of The Prog Collective is ever more relevant in these times of artist lockdown and lack of live.  A project started in 2012, and spearheaded by Yes bassist Billy Sherwood, the idea is to gather a who’s who of prog, mostly retro names it has to be said, but nevertheless providing a much needed outlet.  And certainly of interest to their fans and followers of this franchise.

Todd Rundgren opens up shop with the powerful and very relevant title track ‘World’s On Hold’ with violinist L.Shankar adding support whilst Geoff Tate fronts the first single ‘Two Trajectories’ with Bumblefoot on guitar.

With Sherwood at the controls you will not be surprised that this, and other songs, are very Yes sounding.  This is reinforced by the inclusion of vocalist Jon Davison, Geoff Downes , Patrick Moraz, Alan White and Tony Kaye albeit on different tracks.  That does produce a certain same-iness, and all players definitely in their comfort zone.

Elsewhere other contributors include a surprisingly lack-lustre although under-utilised  Jan Akkerman, Steve Hillage and Sonja Kristina (an excellent ‘Brave New World’) whilst Steve Hackett gets a look-in on ‘Glory Days Ahead’ with Arjen Anthony Lucassen.

The lack of lyrics in the rather basic album packaging is something of an oversight.  The album is a mix of original material and cover versions including three previously released bonus tracks.

The “original” covers include ‘Solisbury Hill’ (with Roine Stolt), ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ (Graham Bonnet & Derek Sherinian), ‘Eye In The Sky’ (a somewhat strange pairing of melodic rocker Joe Lynn Turner and Tull acolyte Martin Barre) and ‘Nights In White Satin’ which resurrects the great David Clayton-Thomas with Geoff Downes.  At least these pieces don’t sound like Yes!

The best album Yes never made?  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

Album review (Epilogue, 2013)

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