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Episode 189 – Revisiting The Ladder

The Ladder etc.
The Ladder, Ladder Tour programme and House of Blues DVD

After the review of The Ladder last week from Mark Anthony K, I thought I would find out a bit more about this time when Billy Sherwood was writing, recording and performing with the band. So I have looked at Jon Kirkham’s ‘Time and a Word – The Yes Interviews’ book and a YouTube video of a concert fro the US Ladder Tour.

  • What did Billy Sherwood think of The Ladder?
  • What can we learn about Sherwood’s live performances from this YouTube video?
  • How will Billy step into Chris’ shoes?

Also this week, I received the press release about the AndersonPonty Band’s new album and DVD.

Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty
Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty

I read the whole press release in the episode but here’s an extract:

One of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2015 by the AndersonPonty Band, featuring music icons Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty, is scheduled to hit the streets early Fall 2015! “Better Late Than Never” is the new album taken from a live performance, and enhanced with innovative production. The package includes a bonus DVD featuring outstanding performances by the band captured in September 2014 at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado.

The AndersonPonty Band has created some breathtaking new musical compositions. “Better Late Than Never” also showcases rearrangements of classic YES hits like “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, “Roundabout” and “Wonderous Stories”, as well as some of Jean Luc Ponty’s beloved compositions, with Jon’s lyrical vocals and melodies enhancing the music and creating a very special and unique sound such as “Infinite Mirage” a new song incorporating Jean Luc’s classic tune “Mirage”.

AndersonPonty Band website

Take a listen to the episode and let me know what you think!

Show links and notes

Progarchy interview with Alan White

Glide Magazine interview with Geoff Downes

Billy Sherwood interview

For Bass Players Only Sherwood interview

Nick Baker’s Like It Is vinyl

Preston Frazier’s Yes and Toto ticket

Preston’s The Prophet review


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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

13 replies on “Episode 189 – Revisiting The Ladder”

I truly enjoyed Homeworld when it came out. Much more of the Yes sound that I loved, especially coming after Open Your Eyes (which was an OK album). I always thought it was a shame the way it was overlooked by the fans, and ultimately the band itself (when is that last time they played anything from it?)

There is a lot of good stuff there. Who knows what they might do in the future. How about a Tormato/Ladder combo? 😉

Kevin, if money were no object I would be there in a second. Thank you for the offer – the same is extended to you if you are ever over here!

Hello Kevin,
New listener here. Really enjoy the podcast. Thanks.

Your latest puts me in 2 separate dilemmas. This is sort of a 1st World Problem sort of thing, but here it goes…

1. Anderson-Ponty Band. I’m a big fan of both. I haven’t heard the album and have sort of a wait-and-see attitude. My dilemma is that they are playing in my area (San Francisco) at a venue that has absolutely awful sound. The last time I was there, I swore I’d never go back. So, what to do?

2. To see Yes on current tour or not. I wasn’t planning to, but now that Billy is taking over for Chris, I’m curious as to how it is going to play out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a big fan of Chris since 1973. But….Toto is one of the bands I can’t stand. To me, they are the opposite of Yes. So, again: what to do?

I guess I’ll sort out these dilemmas myself.


Hello Guy and thanks for the comment! Difficult dilemmas! For me, if I had the chance to see Jon, I would. Go and see Yes. Take earplugs for Toto or frequent the bar.
N.B. Some of the answers above are not serious.

If you want to hear new interesting progressing music, go to see the ABP.
If you want to hear old songs beaten to death with horrible sounds and lakcustre tempos by a bunch of stand-ins, go to see Yes.

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