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Chris Squire - Fish Out Of Water CD (album) cover


Chris Squire


Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 398 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 81

Chris Squire was, as almost all we know, the famous bassist and backing vocalist of Yes. Yes was formed in 1968 after singer Jon Anderson met bassist Squire at a London music industry bar. The pair was soon joined by guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford. Over the ensuing decades, Yes would see a parade of band members depart, enter and re-enter, but Squire was the lone constant in the shape shifting band, serving as their bassist for almost 50 years and remaining as the only member who participated in all Yes' albums. For the entirety of Yes existence, Squire was the band's linchpin and the glue that held it together all over the years. However and unfortunately, with his dying, only the future can brings to us what will be the future of the musical career of Yes.

Squire's first bass was a Futurama, a very cheap bass but with good and enough quality to learn on. However, in 1965 he acquired a Rickenbacker 4001 bass, which along with his personal settings, creates an unmistakable timbre, which became his personal signature. The Squire bass style is melodic, intricate, complex, dynamic and aggressive and was much influenced by John Entwistle's bass style, the bassist of The Who, which is considered by many, the best bassist ever. The Squire style influenced many other bassists, especially Geddy Lee of Rush, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and Billy Sheehan, a very well known bassist because of his work with several artists such as Steve Vai. Squire was considered the 18th best bassist of the millennium in a list published by Guitar Magazine, few years ago.

"Fish Out Of Water" is the debut studio album of Squire and was released in 1975 during a break between duties for Yes. Beyond Chris Squire (vocals, bass and twelve string electric guitar), the album has also the collaboration of his colleague of Yes, Patrick Moraz (synthesizer and organ), his ex-colleague of Yes, Bill Bruford (drums and percussion), Mel Collins (soprano saxophone), ex-member of King Crimson, Camel, Caravan and The Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Hastings (flute), a musician associated with the Canterbury Scene, Andrew Jackman (piano, electric piano, conductor and orchestration) and Barry Rose (pipe organ).

"Fish Out Of Water" has five tracks and all the songs were written by Squire. The first track "Hold Out Your Hand" is an excellent song to open the album and it defines the ambient sound that we can find on the whole album. It's a fantastic melodic track with a superb bass line and also with a great keyboard work, prominently very well accompanied by the orchestra in the background. This is a song that I like very much. The second track "You By My side" is the soft song of the album and is more a love song, and feels like the second half part of the first track. It's a beautiful, slowly and melodic song with a melancholic refrain that makes a good and interesting contrast with the beginning of the song. Despite Squire be not a great singer, he has on this track one of his best vocal performances. This is another very good song for my taste. The third track "Silently Falling" is one of the highest points of the album, is one of the most progressive songs and is also probably my favourite song. This is a fantastic song that alternates between the calm and the fast parts. It has some complex and intricate musical parts and rhythm sections between Squire and Bruford and with the other musicians, very well accompanied by the melancholic refrain. This is really a great song. The fourth track "Lucky Seven" is the incursion of Squire in the jazz world. It's a nice and calm jazz song with good rhythm section, nice good keyboard work and with the ad of a saxophone. It gives to the song a more jazzy sound feeling. This is a very good and successful song, very well sung and with good instrumental parts. The fifth and last track "Safe (Cannon Song)" is the other highest point of the album, one of the most progressives and is with "Silently Falling" the other my favourite track. It's a piece of music with some classical influences, with great orchestral arrangements and with some of the best, brilliant, superb and strong bass playing by Squire, where he shows why he is considered one of the best bass players ever. This epic closes brilliantly and perfectly this amazing and surprising studio album.

Conclusion: I know and I have a copy of this album since it was released and I always considered it a great album. Surprisingly, it's much better than most of us expected. Despite Squire be one of the main composers of Yes, we honestly expected a lot more of the debut solo studio albums of some other members of the group, especially of the albums of Howe and Anderson, than this one. So, the only thing that surprised me really, was the fact that Squire, despite the good songs composed by him for Yes and also despite the great quality of this album, recognized for almost of all, he practically released only one studio album. With "Fish Out Of Water" Squire demonstrated that "Fish", could perfectly survive in or out of water and even in any type of ambience. Definitely, we will miss him, sorely.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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