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FISH OUT OF WATER

Chris Squire

Symphonic Prog


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Chris Squire Fish Out Of Water album cover
3.92 | 280 ratings | 68 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hold Out Your Hand (4:13)
2. You By My Side (4:59)
3. Silently Falling (11:26)
4. Lucky Seven (6:54)
5. Safe (Canon Song) (14:56)

Total Time: 42:34

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Chris Squire / vocals, bass, 12-string electric guitar
- Andrew Pryce Jackman / acoustic and electric pianos, orchestrations
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Patrick Moraz / organ, bass, synthesiser
- Barry Rose / pipe organ
- Mel Collins / saxophone
- Jimmy Hastings / flute

Releases information

Atlantic Germany (7567-81500-2)
CD (re-issued in 2006): Wounded Bird Records, WOU-8159
CD/DVD Castle "Deluxe Expanded Edition" (CMFVD1545), 2007.
With a bonus track: "Lucky Seven" (US only single edit) and a DVD with a promo video of "Hold out Your Hand" and "You by My Side", a video interview and a commentary by Chris Squire

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to T.Rox for the last updates
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CHRIS SQUIRE Fish Out Of Water ratings distribution


3.92
(280 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
34%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

CHRIS SQUIRE Fish Out Of Water reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by corbet
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I was waiting for this one to appear on the site... Basically, YES FANS, if you have never heard this album, drop everything you are doing and immediately seek it out, buy it, steal it, just listen to it, before another precious second is wasted! You want the mythical lost Yes album? You got it. This is, without the slightest doubt, the best solo album by any Yes man, and it just so happens to feature Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keys. Of course, this is a "lost Yes album" without Jon and Steve, so don't expect them to be there! This is the Chris Squire show, and the way he handles the complete writing and singing duties is simply amazing, proving just how integral he was to the whole Yes machine. The vocals! If you ever thought Jon Anderson was solely responsible for that element, think again: beautiful vocal harmonies abound ("You By My Side"), and Chris' voice is still so eerily Yes, even without Jon's unmistakable presence. But the music... just listen to "Silently Falling" or "Safe," the two extended tracks, and see for yourself. My descriptions could do them no justice. Picking favorite albums by your favorite bands is always hard, but it gets really messy when a solo effort such as this one ranks up with the best works by the band itself. Final analysis: one of my favorite albums, by one of my favorite humans.

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#27130) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars All of the Yes members made solo albums as an outlet to the rest of their quite different music than that they were making in that band. So why did Squire do another Yes album? What was he trying to prove? Howe , Andersson, Wakeman did quite different music on their solo carreer and it was not always successful. Squire 's solo is quite fine but was this really necessary. He could've made a jazz-rock album with his bass playing alone. So if you are into Yes, you will love this album (and probably more than half of the albums the group ever released), but was there really a point to the album?

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#27131) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
5 stars For those YES fans who have not heard this solo release you are missing out for sure! SQUIRE's first solo release is packed with superb YES-like musicianship. As you would expect the album does concentrate and accentuate the bass guitar side of life, but don't be misled... this album is packed with superb music. In many ways it is my favorite of all the YES solo releases and seems to have a very pure progressive feel to it. Chris is joined on the album by Mel Collins (Sax), Bill Bruford (Drums) and Partick Moraz (keys) to name a few who add some very rich moments to the album. Musically this album moves in and out of many moods and offers nice speaker dynamics. This is really a brilliant recording and the only criticism one could make is the absence of Jon Anderson, but then again you can't em all!!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#27132) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A very interesting album, with great moments in the vein of YES and a certain personal imprinting by Chris SQUIRE too: such an excellent orchestral arrangement, along with the typical YES-like vocals. Well the last track "Safe - Canon Song" - is excellent and very close to the best YES stuff, but also the rest is worth checking out!! First of all the song "Hold Out Your Hand" already contains a powerful bass playing, supported by a good church-like organ. Besides the presence of some remarkable musicians such as Bruford, Moraz, Mel Collins, then also Jimmi Hastings on flute (listen to his stunning flute solo in the song "You By My Side") makes this album by Chris SQUIRE as essential number, being worth, as much as the best solo projects by other members from YES (sometimes by improving such style). Otherwise rightly the track "Silently falling", a 10 minute epic track, demonstrates such ability of performing a well structured progressive song in the vein of YES, by adding anyway a different mood, derived from his own music experience (a SQUIRE trademark) and without asking Jon ANDERSON & C. for giving a better shape to his solo project, except on some Bruford and Moraz sessions!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#27133) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Chris SQUIRE is the bass player of YES. On this solo album, maybe you expect some bass playing exhibition, but it is not the case: probably he rather focused on the quality of the compositions, which are actually not bad and quite varied. The keyboards consist mostly in basic ones and good piano. His bass is loud enough and well played, but no extravangance. The voice sounds exactly like YES-"Drama", because he was the lead singer on it too!

Lots of instruments involved here: Saxophone and standard keyboards on Lucky seven give it a jazzy touch. Flute on silently falling, combined to the beautiful voice and piano, gives this song something soothing. Mellow harp, voice and piano on "Safe (Canon Song)" give this epic song all its majestic dimension.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#27135) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A great catch

When the members of the then Yes line up (Anderson/Howe/Squire/Moraz/White) decided that they should each record solo albums, the betting was on that Squire and White would produce the inferior products, while the three front men led the way. While White's "Ramshackled" album was passable if unspectacular, Squire defied the odds to deliver a first class collection of progressive rock songs.

Squire, (Known as "Fish" before Fish was!) gathers together a band of competent musicians including one time Yes members Patrick Moraz, and Bill Bruford, plus Mel Collins, Jimmy Hastings etc, not to mention a full orchestra(!) to assist with the performance. Squire retains full responsibility for the song-writing, vocals, guitar, and of course bass.

With only five tracks on the album, the space available to develop the tracks into fine individual pieces is fully exploited by Squire. From the opening "Hold you your hand" he creates a sound which, while having echoes of Yes, is very much his own. His vocals, which sound familiar through their constant appearance behind Jon Anderson, hold up well on their own. "You on my side" is a real symphonic rock classic, with beautiful orchestration supporting a wonderfully strong melody.

"Silently falling" is a major opus, which sees Moraz combining with Barry Rose to sound more like Wakeman than ever in the huge space they are afforded. While Squire's version is superb, I get the feeling that had Yes developed the track as a band piece, it could have become another "Yours is no disgrace".

Just two tracks fill side two of the album. "Lucky seven" is a rather weak Average White Band like funky ramble, pleasant but no more. "Safe (Cannon song)" is the second opus on the album, a symphonic piece not unlike "Awaken" in structure, but with orchestra replacing keyboards as the feature sound. It's a majestic track, which allow Squire to roam free on bass, while avoiding the indulgence of using that instrument as the lead sound.

Squire appears perfectly comfortable with being the focus of attention throughout, which makes it all the more surprising that while he has been involved in collaborations with Billy Sherwood since, this is his only true solo offering to date. It's time for another Chris.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#27139) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Chris Squire's single solo effort is an essential masterpiece. It certainly is not a lost Yes album just merely Squire's exceptional creation which demonstrates his importance in progressive rock and equally his influence in this genre. How can you do a follow up with another solo album with Fish Out of Water being your first?' Silently Falling' and ' Safe' without question the highlights of the album but even the shorter tracks like ' Hold Out Your Hand' and the years ahead of it's time' Lucky Seven' are an aural delight. The bass thumps throughout, there are layers and layers of keyboards and even the brass is so refreshing. A lost Yes album, not but as good as any Yes album, possibly.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#27140) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Halfway the Seventies all members of YES decided to make solo-albums. It's an understatement to conclude that all solo efforts from Alan White, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe and Chris SQUIRE were not every YES fan his cup of tea but Chris SQUIRE's album "Fish Out of Water" turned out to be the most acclaimed one. It was released in '75 and Chris got help from Bill Brudford (drums and percussion), Mel Collins (saxophones), Jimmy Hastings (flute), Patrick Moraz (organ and bass synthesizer), Barry Rose (pipe organ), Andrew Pryce Jackman (acoustic - and electric pianos) and an orchestra section. Chris SQUIRE played basses, 12-string electric guitars and he did all the vocals, on the song "Hold Out Your Hand" supported by his wife Nikki. "Fish Out of Water" contains five strong and original tracks, far from mainstream prog rock or a sound similar to YES. Every song has its own climate, ranging from catchy rock or jazzy prog to bombastic symphonic or warm classical. The keyboards sound varied and colourful (from sparkling Hammond organ tot majestic pipe organ and tasteful Fender Rhodes piano) and the guest-musicians delivers inspired contributions (an excellent Mel Collins in "Lucky Seven"). Of course the focus is on SQUIRE's powerful and distinctive Rickenbacker bass guitar sound but he avoids self-indulgence. The highlights are the two 'epic' compositions: "Silently Falling" with splendid interplay between SQUIRE, Bruford and Moraz (including a great organ solo) and "Safe" featuring spectacular shifting moods (from mellow to bombastic), a catchy bass riff and wonderful classical orchestrations. A very good and original solo album from a pivotal and often awarded bass player.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#27141) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 08, 2004

Review by Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars With spacy yet melodic basslines, Squires sets the tone fow what is now considered a masterpiece in the genre. Chris Squire's Fish out of water assembles a great cast of artists, mostly prog veterans. Bill Bruford is as atmospheric as ever, with his always great use of the cymbals, and stays true to himself throughout the album. Squire shows us his mastery oh his instrument and brings in a jazz feel, especially in the 11 minutes and a half Silently Falling. He demonstrates why he is considered one of the most influential and ground breaking basists ever, as he is as melodic as any bassist has ever been to that point, and maybe even since then. The small orchestra works perfectly well, and with the addition of the flutes and the saxophone the prog elements seems right in place. Squire would not do this kind of album with yes, as there are about no solos, except one or two great ones on the keyboard by Patrick Moraz. Mostly the spacier album of his career, Fish out of Water still sounds absolutely great to this day. Highly Recommended for any fans of Yes or the bass instrument itself.

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Send comments to Philrod (BETA) | Report this review (#27150) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When I heard "Lucky Seven" at first time through a compilation cassette titled Yes Player by Perina Aquarius (the black and white version)sometime in late 1975 my first reaction was: "Oh boy . this is an accessible form of Yes music!". It quickly became my favorite track of this album because I really love the combination of sharp bass lines by Squire and unique snare drum sounds by Bruford whom I was so longing for with his style in Yes "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge". I remember that one year later, my friends who're music buffs and I, established a radio station (illegal one, oops .. sorry Mr. Cops - but finally you struck down our antenna and transmission unit system; how dare were you stopping our prog blood?? Uughhh ..!!) airing classic rock and art rock music. Ehm, you know the radio station name? It was called TS BC (Thunderstorm Broadcasting Corp.). Yes, our vision was clear: we wanted to socialize rock music like a thunderstorm .!!! There were no such thing called "progressive" at that time. You can guess, this "Lucky Seven" was becoming our favorite track as it had large share of airing time.

And this morning: July 4, 2005 (thirty years later - thanks GOD you still give me a chance to enjoy prog rock!) when I was in my car this morning, an FM classic rock radio station (the legal one, of course) aired "Lucky Seven". My pulse was running rapidly, and I was stunned. It reminded me to the glory days of seventies rock scene. Oh, I remember my teenage times when we had a strong passion for rock and sometime we even yelled "I sold my soul for rock'n'roll, and never turning back!!!" (Friends, do you remember Triumvirat? Yeah .. they have that part of rocking lyrics!). Hey, the passion has got stronger nowadays - that's why we are much more appreciative to prog musicians! They are our hero.

The other tracks that blew me away were the first two tracks that must be enjoyed as one: "Hold Out Your Hand" and "You By My Side". You know what? I love the orchestration at the end of first track and continues seamlessly to the opening of "You By My Side" with powerful vocal line by Squire. The melody is really killing me man!

Sorry, I don't actually plan to bombard you with my right-placed childhood but . you know,. talking about this album brings me back to my teenage times so it always connects me to my past - beautiful one of course. As far as this album concern, I would recommend you to have it in your collection. It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you love Yes, this is a MUST! Keep on proggin' .!

With the heart of prog, PEACE! - Peace on earth and mercy mild, Mother Brown has lost her child, just another forgotten sons!!!!

GW

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Posted Sunday, July 03, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is one of the best solo albums by Yes members, and probably the most yessy album of all those solo albums. While this is a solo album, Squire does not show off his bass guitar technique a lot. Instead, he created an album in which his band does most of the music. An interesting thing about this album, is that there is no guitar player. A criticism of the album are the vocals. I love him singing with Anderson, but alone he sounds a little funny. Nevertheless, it is a great jazz-fusion record with classical influences.

1. Hold Out Your Hand 8.5/10 : This is the kind of song that screams 'I want to be in classic rock radio!'. It is an excellent melodic song with beautiful organ work and a bass guitar solo.

2. You By My Side 7.5/10 : This song is a great symphonic song with great pop melodies and feels like the second half of Hold Out Your Hand.

3. Silently Falling 8.5/10 : My favourite song from the album. This is the most progressive song of the album too. It begins with a painfully beautiful flute solo, then is followed by nice melodies until a musical explosion of keyboards floors you. After the calm, Squire sings again with gorgeous piano work.

4. Lucky Seven 7/10 : This is a nice jazz song with a good keyboard line. There is a saxophone playing here, to make it sound more jazzy.

5. Safe (Canon Song) 8/10 : This is a favourite song of mine. It is a classical music piece with great orchestra arrangement, and some of the best bass playing from Squire. He plays a good solo buried under an orchestra, and plays two amazing bass lines.

My Grade : B

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Posted Monday, August 08, 2005

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Chris Squire's only solo release carries the trademark Yes sound of the mid-1970s, less the synths, but with the addition of an orchestra and flautist. The album starts off with two shorter pieces that sound more or less like a radio-friendly version of Yes, kind of like some of the music on Yes' Tormato. The final three songs are much longer in length and save this work from falling into the never ending pit of incompetent solo albums by members of great prog bands with nothing better to do between group projects. Silently Falling is a wonderful and lush work containing much orchestration and lots of great piano work. This is the crowning jewel of the album. The next track, Unlucky Seven, is a departure from the Yes sound and sounds like a mix of Supertramp and Alan Parsons Project, partly from the funky bass line, but predominantly from the electric piano. It ends with an outstanding sax solo from Mel Collins. The last track, Safe (Canon Song), is good for the most part, but I found the middle instrumental section (from about 5:00 to 11:00) to be a little too repetitive and Squire's bass line seemed awkward compared to the rest of the band. The last three minutes feature a good climactic ending. I think this song would have been much better if the six minute middle instrumental section was cut in half and placed before the last verse.

Squire's playing on this is, as expected, extraordinary. He does all the lead vocals in a very Jon Anderson-like style. Although he is far from matching Anderson's wonderful voice, his performance is nonetheless, above average and adequate for this album. The combination of Patrick Moraz on organ, Andrew Pryce Jackman on piano and electric piano, and a backing orchestra make for an interesting symphonic presentation. One wonders why Yes itself did not consider including an orchestra at this time, because it would have added a new dimension to their music. Finally, Bill Bruford does the drumming on this release. He does a fairly decent job of it, although most of the material on this album is hardly challenging. Squire's composition skills really shine here, too. Much better than I expected.

I would hardly consider this work essential in the grand scheme of things, nevertheless, it is quite good and should be an essential addition for serious Yes fans or bass guitar aficionados. Easily three stars.

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Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I won't go into specifics about each track ad nauseum (you're welcome), I'll just tell you that all proggies that love the thick, melodic bass lines that characterize all great progressive rock should have this in their collection. It is atmospheric, mysterious and complex without becoming strange or discordant. The rapport that Bruford and Squire have always had when they are together is vibrant and alive throughout this album. Chris showed that he was an intricate contributor to the Yes phenomenon and if he had any doubters before, this collection of songs put them firmly in their place. It is a wonderful piece of work and, without a doubt, the best solo effort of any of the members of Yes, including Bruford's later adventurous excursions into jazz fusion.

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Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Chris Squire's solo album has been re-released this year on Wounded Bird Records, who seem to be part of Rhino. This album usually competes with "Olias Of Sunhillow" for the title of Best Yes Solo Album and deservedly so. It differs from normal Yes output in that there is little lead guitar, this is replaced by some sterling work from the likes of Patrick Moraz, Mel Collins and Jimmy Hastings and, as you would expect, some fine solo bass work from Chris.

Kicking off with the upbeat "Hold Out Your Hand", the bass guitar is immediately to the fore in this oddly timed number which is vaguely reminiscent of "Parallels". This song goes straight into the second number, the excellent and slightly country- flavoured "You By My Side" with its rousing chorus. This leads us into the "epic" song of the album, the brilliant "Silently Falling". The roots of this song can be found on early Yes numbers from the BBC recordings, but here it becomes an 11 minute classic, with a long Moraz organ solo, and a slow fade out kicked along nicely by the footwork of Bill Bruford.

Mr Bruford's classic snare sound is immediately recognisable on the next song, "Lucky Seven", which is a jazzy, seven to the bar number featuring the electric piano of Andrew Pryce Jackman. The album is rounded off with the 15 minute "Safe (Canon Song)" where the orchestra comes to the fore. This one is a little bit too long and repetitive for me (various instruments in the orchestra take turns to play the same short riff), but doesn't take anything away from an excellent album. The only other criticism I would make is that the bass guitar sound itself is occasionally a bit "rasping" and could do with a bit more crunch, other than that it's a four star album for me.

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Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is maybe the most Progressive Rock solo album released by the members of YES in 1975-76. This album is very good, and it is dominated by Squire`s bass guitar playing. He plays "melodies" and heavy parts on his bass guitar, sounding in some places like a "distorted lead bass guitar". Bill Bruford plays the drums as good as always, and Patrick Moraz plays mainly organ and piano, while there are some orchestral arrangements by the late Andrew Pryce-Jackman, a musician who worked with Squire in bands before YES was formed and also did some orchestral arrangements for YES`"Tormato" album. The orchestrations work very well with some of the songs.Suire`s vocals are very good, and his vocal arrangements are in the same level as with his collaborations with YES.

During the recording of this album, Bruford and Moraz talked about playing together some day. This lead to them recording two duet albums in the `80s. It was also a curious thing to read in Bruford`s official website that he left YES in 1972 among other things because he was tired of "always waiting for Chris Squire to arrive". In 1975-76, Bruford was without a permanent band, so he worked as session musician, and maybe this was the main reason why he appeared in this album.

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Posted Thursday, July 06, 2006

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After the appearance of the glorious RELAYER, when all members of Yes released solo albums, only three of them came up with (more or less) convincing results. Jon Anderson produced a rather embarrassing science-fiction fairytale which contained a couple of fine tunes. Patrick Moraz came up with wild, half-Brasilian jazz-rock fusion. And Chris Squire emerged with an album so conceited and self-satisfied that over half of it proved unlistenable. To this day I do not understand how someone can write a supposedly delicate love song like "You by my Side", and then spoil it completely by bleating out the lyrics as insensitively as possible. To say nothing of that overblown orchestral finale to the same piece! Similarly, the so-called 'canon' at the end of "Safe" (instrument after instrument taking up the same dire melody, accompanied by Chris on bass) simply must have been meant to show how many musicians Mr Squire could afford to pay...

Fortunately, the Fish also pulled off TWO great performances which actually trumped anything his colleagues from Yes then had on offer. "Hold out your hand" is an exciting opening number with delightfully 'floating' organ playing, more convincing than the similar "Parallells", which would appear two years later on GOING FOR THE ONE. And "Lucky Seven" is superb: Squire, Bill Bruford and the gorgeous Mel Collins conspiring to give us a catchy, funky tune which proves how much music they have in their blood.

If only Chris had kept FISH OUT OF WATER simple, and left out those orchestral excrescences! Two and a half stars.

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Posted Sunday, July 08, 2007

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Wounded Bird put this out on CD a year ago, which is great since it has been out-of-print forever. Like most of the other Yes solo projects I either didn’t bother back in the seventies, or got rid of them along with the KISS solo albums when that decade came to a close. In the case of this album I was something like 13 years old so didn’t discover it until later anyway. If you haven’t picked this up on CD yet you may want to get the enhanced version that came out this summer in the UK instead (and just last week in the US). It has the U.S. version of “Luck Seven” as a bonus track, and also comes with a DVD. Someone please write a review of this soon so I know whether it is worth picking up.

This came out at the same time as Jon Anderson’s ‘Olias of Sunhillow’, Howe’s ‘Beginnings’, Moraz’s ‘The Story of I’, and Alan White’s ‘Ramshackled’. Anderson’s album was a bit ‘out there’, which of course was no surprise. I personally feel Moraz’s solo work is mostly bland and boring. And both Howe and White’s albums were decent but a bit uneven with several tracks that were either filler or just plain not good. Plus we all know now that Mr. Howe should never, under any circumstances, sing.

The same is not true of Mr. Squire, who of course has every bit as ranging and rich a voice as Jon Anderson. He does all the singing on this album, plus bass of course, and also 12-string guitar. Guests include Moraz and former Yes drummer Bill Bruford; the late Andrew Pryce Jackman (keyboards) who also appeared in the Syn with Squire; King Crimson/Camel/et.al. saxophonist Mel Collins; and Pye Hastings’ brother Jimmy on flute. Barry Michael Rose plays the St. Paul’s Cathedral organ for “Hold out Your Hand”. Trivia – Rose also conducted the choir at St. Paul’s for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana (which for some reason my mother watched and videotaped despite being an American and therefore should have probably known better).

Anyway, this may be the best of the seventies Yes solo albums. Bruford also put one out after leaving the band, although his was the first of several jazz works. And Wakeman of course started off his string of 14,253,495 solo albums even earlier. ‘Six Wives’ is probably the closest rival to this one, and is the only Yes solo effort I can think of that may be better than Squire’s.

The opening “Hold out Your Hand” has a lot of the characteristics of ‘Relayer’ but without quite as grandiose of keyboards (although the organ is a great addition). This could have easily been a Yes b-side as far as I’m concerned. Same goes for “You by My Side”, although this is a bit closer to something Yes would have put out around ‘Tormato’ or maybe ‘Going for the One’. “Silently Falling” is a lengthy work that features great keyboards from Jackman and a number of elegant tempo shifts, but in a couple case and especially near the end I get the impression Squire is dragging this one out of the sake of being able to claim an 11-minute plus song on his album. Same goes for “Safe”, but here the jazzy influences give the track a lot more variety than on “Silently Falling”.

I know “Lucky Seven” was Squire’s favorite, but I don’t hear anything particularly special about it. “Hold out Your Hand” is much more lively and interesting.

In all I’d like to give this four stars, but a high three feels more accurate. If the enhanced 2007 reissue adds anything interesting I may revisit this, but for now let’s just say well-recommended to Yes fans and leave it at that.

peace

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Posted Monday, August 20, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Squire was my favorite Yes member, but as others have noted, you really just don't appreciate how essential he is to their overall sound. He has a very solid voice--he can hit the high notes and while his enunciation and texture are not spectacular, his harmonizing is part of the reason why Anderson sounds so good. At any rate, this is no lost Yes album. You'll hear many moments that where you can close your eyes and imagine Yes playing along, until you listen for Howe's itchy guitar and Anderson's angelic tone and goofy lyrics. This album has all the bounciness and happiness of a Yes album, but the bass is cranked up and the orchestra is ever present, leading to a fairly unique sound to my ears.

Hold Out Your Hand, You By My Side. These are essentially one song with two melodies. Plenty of playful bass/church organ interplay on the former, and a majestic series of vocal harmonies and beautiful orchestral chords in the latter. So full and lush, you can't help but smile at the end.

Silently Falling. A nice transition leads to a nice melodic build, and then Moraz, Squire and Bruford REALLY cut it loose. This was back when Moraz was still tasteful and somewhat restrained, and Squire rips out some awesome grooves. The track then slowly finishes with a melancholy refrain. A brilliant contrast to the beginning the largely works for me.

Lucky Seven. I'm always a sucker for changing things up and adding diversity to an album, so this jazzy groove in 7/4 is very welcome. It's definitely the weak point, and almost 7 minutes is too long, but some of Squire's basslines are worth waiting for.

Safe (Canon Song). This is one of my top 25 epics--lots of originality and energy. An orchestral opening leads to a huge chorus, and then it's bass time: at least three going at once, by my count. Absolutely awesome bass mayhem. Then the song leads into an extremely extended, quirky 11/4 section. Not many could pull this off, but dynamics and instrumentation change just enough to really keep things interesting throughout. An absolutely MASSIVE finale and Awaken-like die down close this gem in a great way.

I really don't know how you could go wrong with this if you are into full, symphonic prog. I think some people let their expectations influence what they hear, because Squire and friends have really done something special here in my opinion.

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Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Review by Prog-Brazil
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars With no doubt, a masterpiece of symphonic progressive, comparable to the best Yes albums. See the video here in progarchives and enjoy the first and second track with orchestrations. I can not say what song is the best, I just love all this album! Five stars!

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Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I think it is quite funny that people would call this a masterpiece. No one can dispute that Chris Squire is a brilliant bassist and that the musicians he has gathered to help him on "Fish Out of Water" are excellent. The problem here are the compositions. They are not weak or badly composed, they just don´t impress me. I think this sounds like Yes leftovers. Not bad but not quite good either. Pretty mediocre if you ask me.

One other problem is Chris Squire´s voice which I find weak here. It is excellent when he sings second voice in Yes, but singing lead is not his game. It´s comparable to a band like Alice In Chains. When Layne sang the lead and Jerry sang backing vocals it sounded like heaven. But at the end of their career when Layne was too wasted on drugs, Jerry would sing much of their material when they played live. Now Jerry like Chris Squire is a good vocalist, but he is not excellent like Layne or Jon Anderson. I can understand why he would sing lead on his own solo album, but it doesn´t impress me.

The two long songs are clearly the best here. But not really interesting. 3 stars might even be too high here but the quality is too high for 2 stars so 3 stars it is even though this is not an album I will listen to very often.

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Posted Monday, December 10, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Fish out of water maybe... but I think that fish has lungs.

Chris Squire's single solo effort is quite a treat for Yes and symphonic fans alike, managing to pull together YesSounds with a new kind of sound that makes it sound familiar, yet new and refreshing. In the prog world its not uncommon to hear about lead piano, lead organ, or even lead sax, but ever heard of lead bass? Squire has, apparently, and in this effort manages to give bass players everywhere a good name. Five compositions fill this disc, each one a thing of beauty worthy of any prog fan's time.

The album starts out with a pair of twins separated at birth. Hold Out Your Hand and You By My Side should really be seen as two parts to one song, since the flow together seamlessly and work with one another to make one complete theme that opens up the album quite nicely. This pair may be a little out of character for a YesMember, being that they sound almost commercial but really in the end they just have that kind of sound without any annoying pop-ishness. In the same vein is Lucky Seven which, while slower, is another cool song that trudges along bringing you for the ride and turns out being another song that a big prog fan might not expect to be good, but it is. All the while one is likely thinking, wow, this guy can actually sing! True (for now, anyways. In hindsight it seems his voice doesn't age too well as shown on Yes' last studio album), it seems that all those years standing too close to Jon Anderson has given him the 'balls in a vice' syndrome that forces his voice to be so high. Of course, anyone who listens really close to Yes already knows the parallels the two men's voices share, it's good that Squire actually chose to use it for once. Back on subject the shorter songs actually work quite well on this album.

Now for the best part, the long songs. It's easy to get very excited as a prog fan when one sees a track that reaches over 10 minutes. Many will also feel a sense of terror, fearing the artist may not be able to deliver. But Squire, baby, he d-e-livers. Safe (Canon Song) is a great track that's easy on these ears, it just keeps going and going like song sort of Energizer Bunny of nirvana (not the band[s]) until the album ultimately comes to a close. Even this song, however, must bow down to the majesty that is the ultimate lost Yes song, Silently Falling. This is a serene track that's just about as sublime as any track can possibly come. Listening to this song evokes such a feeling of absolute zen and bliss that one loses all sense of time and space. Beautiful flutes peacefully open the track as Squire proceeds to blow away the audience with supreme vocals and bass that is just awesome (I've run out of intelligent words at this point). This one song is worth buying the entire album for, even if the rest of the album is excellent as well.

Conclusion time!

5 stars, this is a masterpiece. Maybe it's the lost Yes album, but really it's just Squire proving how great he is. Recommended to any Yes fan, any Symphonic Prog fan, and any prog fan in general. In fact, recommended to everyone short of metal-heads and rappers. Excellent album. It's too bad that Squire never followed up one this, or maybe it's good that he never spoiled his reputation by releasing poor solo work. Eh, that can be argued, but what can't be argued is the caliber of this album. Buy it.

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Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars No doubt about it - this is by far the best solo album ever by a member of Yes, and one of the milestones of symphonic prog, every bit as good as anything Yes did in their 35-year-plus careeer. With a lineup of musicians to die for, and Chris Squire's inimitable, ground-breaking bass playing skills, "Fish Out of Water" is a nearly-perfect record which deserves much more than the cult status it has enjoyed since it first came out.

Though a lot of criticism has been aimed at Squire's vocals, I personally find them no less valid than Jon Anderson's - maybe less angelic and more down-to-earth, understated but solid throughout. Anyway, this is not the kind of album you listen to looking for vocal prowess - the presence of a more assertive singer would have detracted from the musical brilliance of the instrumental parts, a real feast for lovers of vintage prog.

"Fish Out of Water" strikes the right balance between melody and complexity, its compositions tightly structured yet leaving room for the musicians to let rip and show their chops. Even if solo albums are often seen as vanity projects, there is very little self-indulgence here. While Chris's awesome bass playing does take centre stage, as it is to be expected, it is never to the detriment of the other instruments. Listening to this album, you get the impression of a unit working together towards a goal, not of a motley crew of gifted musicians left to their own devices. What is even more important, the five songs on it get top marks on a compositional level, and work together to form a harmonious whole - unlike what all too often happens in the case of many modern bands or artists (no names here, but I have a few ideas in mind...).

The two initial tracks, "Hold Out Your Hand" and "You By My Side", are excellent examples of accessible, melodic prog, enriched by the backing orchestration and lavish vocal harmonies, as well as Patrick Moraz's solemn church organ. However, the album really comes into its own with the remaining three tracks, easily numbered. amongst the masterpieces of Seventies progressive rock. "Silently Falling" is 11 minutes of musical ecstasy, alternating between the monstrously intricate interplay of Squire and Bruford's state-of-the-art rhythm section with the other musicians, and the rarefied, melancholy moods of the refrain. The following "Lucky Seven", featuring Mel Collins' contribution on sax, is probably the most adventurous track on the album, based on a sort of funky groove that shows a different side to Squire's playing, and definitely reaching out into jazz-rock territory. The record closes with another symphonic masterpiece, the 14-minute-plus "Safe (Canon Song)", where the orchestra acts on occasion as Chris's sparring partner, leading the way to a sumptuous, majestic finale.

A richly satisfying experience, musically impeccable but at the same time warm and accessible, and certainly no mere exercise in technical brilliance, Fish Out of Water is essential listening for anyone who claims an interest in prog, especially of the symphonic variety.

This review is dedicated to someone who loves this album to bits, and plays a beautiful Rickenbacker bass just like Chris Squire does...

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Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One was probably doubtful about a solo album from The Fish. More expectations from his other Yes band mates was probably more awaited.

One has to recognize that this one is a very good work. The line-up is superb with ex-Yes Brufford, once Yes Moraz, the talented Mel Collins amongst others. And Chris is a pretty decent singer, no doubt. Since we all know his great talent on the bass, the only thing that could go wrong was the song writing.

But, in this sector as well, Chris surprised everybody by delivering nice ballads / melodies although more commercial oriented than true YesSongs ("Hold Out Your Hand", "You By My Side"). Still, pleasant to listen to even if there is an orchestra which is at times a bit invading (especially during the latter number).

The pastoral intro of "Silently Falling" is very much "Genesis" oriented ("Trespass"), but evolves very well into a more personal track. Nice bass / keyboards interplay. The melody is very catchy and the finale is rather bombastic. A highlight and a very powerful track (my fave here). Hats off Chris!

The jazzy "Lucky Seven" is my least favorite (but that's because I have never been into jazz probably). Still, the combination with the orchestra is not too bad a mix.

The epic track "Safe", closes this album brilliantly (during ten minutes). Bass play is superb and very strong. Keyboards sound almost as Emerson's ones at times and the vocal part is excellent all the way through. Not far from Jon's timber actually. Maybe that this number could have been either cut a bit or have the long and final orchestration part replaced by a more rock-oriented one. It should have been perfect.

Every YesFan should be pleased with this album. Surprisingly, no other will see the light. The one and only Chris's solo album. Actually, it is better to have released only a very good one than several average ones (like most of his YesFriends will do) right?

A solid four star for this excellent work. Bravo!

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Posted Saturday, February 23, 2008

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The one that got away

Genesis, Yes, and Floyd solo projects can be painful experiences for most fans, generally reserved for the most die-hard among them. "Fish Out of Water" is no exception. While it is one of the more tolerable of this solo project subset it is hardly reason for celebration. Just as Waters albums with high profile people like Clapton involved could not match prime Floyd, Squire's album packs a host of great guests with the finest chops and yet is nowhere close to the level of the previous Yes studio albums. Chris' talents are formidable from any angle but of course cannot match the benefit of having the others to bounce ideas off of, make decisions, and contribute their own parts to the tracks. The upside is that this album does have a very -interesting- sound and it does have some very fine moments scattered about. The irony is, it is the same things that make it interesting that ultimately undermine the overall value of the complete album for me. First, Chris' voice is unique and interesting but not enough to carry an entire album. Second, the placement of the bass as lead interesting rather than guitar is interesting the first time and then woefully inadequate down the road in creating variable textures for long term enjoyment.the absence of Howe (or someone else) is so apparent. And this comes from a huge bass fan. In the longer tracks the music really drags despite a nice flute or organ bit here and there. Third, an orchestra can be marvelous on an album but on "Safe" it flails and grates to the point of irritation. By this point Squire seems like many stars on solo spring-break throwing everything including the kitchen sink for effect but apparently saving the best stuff for the next band project (which really is what they should do when you think about it-their legacies lie in the band, not the little side trips.) Fourth and last would be songwriting as alluded to. The five tracks all have a quirky feel that definitely arouses attention when you first hear them, but to me they simply lack the engaging emotional qualities and joyous complexity of the prime unit at their best. And of course, no one is saying Squire had to recreate Yes.that isn't my point. But it's only natural to compare the quality of the finished product against the work that most people are familiar with, and on "Fish" this material most compares with the quality of certain "Going for the One" or "Tormato" tracks, things like "Parallels." You will not have to worry about "Hold Out Your Hand" bumping CTTE or Gates from the top of your favourite Yessong list. The lyrics for "You By My Side" will cure you of any future impulse to join the frequent criticisms about Anderson's lyrics. Again, that's not saying he had to copy Yes-he could surely make it different, I'm just comparing quality as I see it. My favourite track is the "Lucky Seven" where I really enjoyed Collins sax and Squire's bass doing some good light-hearted jousting. To be fair, most reviewers disagree quite profoundly with me on this album so take it with a grain of salt. But my advice for the curious or the hard core fans is to indulge thyself and make up your own mind. For casual fans, just walk away and spend elsewhere. 5/10

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#170934) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Review by Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Chris Squire on bass - Check! Bill Bruford on drums - Check! Patrick Moraz on keyboards - Check! Jimmy Hastings on flute - Check! Mel Collins on saxes - Check!

My take? This sounds very YES with a _Time And A Word_ orchestral Yes composition style along with slight King Crimson overtones(Bruford) and Canterbury influences. If you enjoy all the aforementioned descriptions, you can't go wrong here. _Lucky Seven_ is the best YES song Chris Squire never wrote. One more mention...get the REMASTER/DVD Deluxe Edition. I didn't really get into this album until I heard the remaster. A big difference with all the nuances. An almost classic and a great follow-up to YES _Relayer_. 4.5 stars.

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Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars As with all Yes members solo efforts during this time, Chris Squire's only solo album to date sounds nothing like Yes- but why should it? There's absolutely no point in doing a solo album only to emulate the band with whom the artist is associated. I have always thought a great deal of Chris Squire's vocals, an ability that often gets overlooked, especially in light of his phenomenal bass work. His bass tone on this album is different: Instead of the heavy punch associated with songs like "Roundabout" or "Close to the Edge," the tone is usually more like a gritty one- slightly distorted and used almost more as a lead instrument.

"Hold Out Your Hand" Upbeat and in an odd time signature (15/8 followed by 3/4), Squire gets things rolling with organ and chunky bass work. The way the vocal melody and the lyrics intertwine with the oddly structured music, not to mention the powerful chorus that follows, the listener knows he is in progressive rock country.

"You By My Side" The first song goes directly into this ballad. It leans more toward pop, and could have even been a solid single. The vocal melody in the second half drags a little bit, but the backup singing is stupendous. Admittedly, the instrumentation is a tad ostentatious for such an otherwise simple song.

"Silently Falling" Various wind instruments work together somewhat discordantly to introduce Squire's slightly cleaned up bass guitar (which gets dirty again later). The chord progression and the vocal melodies are some of the best on this album, and Squire proves what a capable vocalist he is. The music for the most part stays interesting and fresh, and even though this is a solo album, Squire doesn't hog the spotlight. He gives the many other musicians, particularly keyboardist Patrick Moraz and drummer Bill Bruford ample time to do their thing. Things get quiet thereafter, as Squire begins singing. A basic chord progression on piano enters as Squire sings the title over and over. My only criticism would be that this section lingers too long, even though the steady build up is exciting.

"Lucky Seven" With electric piano and a funk rhythm section, this was not something I expected to hear from Chris Squire, but it's neat to hear him branch out into other genres. Mel Collins delivers the main theme on saxophone. Squire does some fine singing, but it's his growling bass playing that really stands out- this is Squire's hands' show- that is, until it becomes Collins's, whose saxophone runs all over the place, but never once enters the realm of nonsense.

"Safe (Canon Song)" Beginning with a trembling bass and lovely piano, harp, and wind instruments, the introduction sounds appropriate for the Christmas season. With strings and an array of instruments filling out the sound, Squire goes not only for the epic length, but an epic sound, so vibrant and full of variety. As it should be, the main artist's bass guitar stands out, though with a trebly sound and some light effects. Some lovely strings and all manner of instrumentation maneuver over his strange work, which is sometimes inharmonious. Eventually, the song enters its most stirring section, and it no longer sounds like a rock band playing, but a full orchestra playing in a coliseum, with on hell of a bass player.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#192737) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
5 stars 01. Hold Out Your Hand First, I am bear. I second, fan of the Squire. Third, when I bought this cd there is 1 year and a half behind I could understand how much Chris it was and it is essential in the compositions of the Yes. And clear, we can hear his voice in the foreground. It is obvious that the lines of bass are in distinction, but the principal it is the compositions, which are very well actions. I think that the only one however of the disc he is the drummer Bill Bruford, do not like his style, and for me he gave a touch of weakness to the compositions, but nothing that he compromises, since Patrick Moraz gives show in when they were keyed, and we have magnanimous Chris Squire with his Rickenbacker 4001, my dream of consumption. Little before the 3rd minute, Chris and the insignia afiadíssimo of bass give a show. The orchestra is essential to the sound of the music, appearing more in the final part.

02. You By My Side What it follows in stampede for the second limit track, You By My Side. With the piano of Andrew Pryce Jackman in the foreground next to the bass and voice of Chris and Bill giving a touch with the battery there behind. An epic song in we have composicionais, delimits! Just as Jimmy Hastings enters on the stage with his flute the freedom of thoughts and emotions it brings up thoughts of afternoons that passed and of afternoons that still will come. After a almost stopped, Chris returns with vocal duplicated for the refrain, which by the way is outstanding. I go down and it orchestrates side by side, showing of the one who went to idea composicional principal. Big, absurd, brilliant Chris Squire, pantheon of the biggest of the world-wide music, with the help of a professional people.

03. Silently Falling The most symphonic of all, Symphony orchestra in all the aspects, who is in charge here is the orchestra commanded by Andrew, I reminded of myself of Peter E The Wolf, Jimmy's flutes are entrancing, all around they appear suddenly ordering more and more subjects. Here I found a sentence that takes me to front every time I remember her. To 1′48 Chris sings: ' Don't Believe in miracles, but I of the believe in love. ' (I do not believe in miracles, and yes, in the love). This is the spirit, if only a small part of the world was thinking so, we would live in a better world. The only part in Bill really shows the one that came in the battery is the Central part of the song, when Patrick goes flat, around 4 minutes. A huge one of an example of as a ' progressive song ' should be. When the vocal thing returns, there for the 6′30, Chris's voice shines in haughty way. To 7′30 the song changes his subject again, piano to the front, bass with different insignia, battery accompanying to line of bass. One or two 'lost' lines of guitar here and over there, also in charge of Squire, guitars are not heard in the disc, and they are nor needed, but there is a quite legal melodic line near to the ninth minute of the track. In the sequence the orchestra takes care of the 'background'. Epic poet of historical proportions.

04. Lucky Seven This introduction of keyboard is matadora, in a broken time and with animal insignia. Bruford accompanies it in syncopated and frantic rhythm, while Chris's bass goes if permeating in the melody, and we have Mel Collins (Van Der Graaf Generator) doing a precise harmony in his saxophone. And clear, the orchestra does very well his paper. I do not know if they did tour, or even, shows of discus to the time, it me them would be interesting to hear this sound to the living creature. 3 minutes, knockout to the bass, full one of harmonic, artificial and non-artificial. A sharp ready knife to cut the rash ears. Harmonic plays between the violins and the fantastic saxophone. Taste more special what. The end was released to do Honey what well to understand to a sax, and he soon placed two superimposed melodies, nature.

05. Wear (Canon Song) out Again, in perfect harmony, the tracks are still joined together. Again the orchestration is put in charge of making everything go round in perfect harmony. And the whispered vocal thing of Chris is completely that one needs to give itself up to the track. In what a thing follows, average cartoon, blows interpret, ropes make fastening the breathing. And Chris touches a highly strong and moving sentence in the bass. Here what the 5th minute brings near and Chris invests in a line of bass, at the same time, finds strange and needs, the orchestra does a counterpoint to the bass, battery following with the strange time. A perfect and synchronized union of ideas and ideals. We pass of the half, almost they go out from the rails, but the train Squire is perfectly guided by competent hands, and in way avassaladora, they compose one more orchestral magnificent subject again. With escapes and worthy counterpoints of any stated 'learned' composer. Not more I will speak on this final part of the subject, which is for alone, deserving you all the ears and with total attention. I leave the only word with you listeners!

Haughty!

Do not satisfy in being a fabulous bass player, Chris Squire in 1975, it composed and carved with a good group of musicians, one of the best progressive discs that has piece of news, top10 easily.

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#193856) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the "Relayer" tour YES took a prolonged break which gave plenty of time for each member to do a solo album. I'm surprised how much this record reminds me of YES, including Chris' higher pitched vocals. Some great guests on this one as well, especially Jimmy Hastings and Mel Collins who bring a different flavour than what YES offered us. The prominant bass is the highlight for me being a big Squire fan. "Lucky Seven" is my favourite by a wide margin.The negative for me is the orchestration. Why ? I guess I feel the same about double bass drumming and growling vocals. I can tolerate those three things but would enjoy the music so much more if they were absent. That's just my taste in music I guess.

"Hold Out Your Hand" is a good symphonic opener that brings YES to mind. Kind of catchy with prominant bass and good vocals. Unfortunately it ends with a big orchestra movement. Haha. "You By My Side" opens with vocals, piano and bass. It settles 1 1/2 minutes in when the vocals stop and Hastings comes in with his flute. A full sound with organ a minute later. And yes a big orchestral ending. Yesss ! "Silently Falling" opens with Classical music including aboe then flute comes in. Piano too then vocals before a minute. This is my second favourite song. Growly bass and drums after 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. A long instrumental interlude ends 6 1/2 minutes in. I really like the chorus 8 minutes in that comes and goes to the end.

"Lucky Seven" opens with keys and drums before sax and bass join in. Vocals follow. Love this tune. Check out the bass 3 1/2 minutes in. Collins impresses with his sax on this one too. This jazzy tune trumps the rest in my opinion. "Safe (Canon Song)" opens with more classical orchestration before it settles with vocals. Chunky bass 3 minutes in. Another calm 5 1/2 minutes with flute and strings. More strings after 8 1/2 minutes. I like the sax and deep bass though. Piano and orchestral sounds come in and over stay their welcome quickly, although it goes on and on until 13 1/2 minutes in.

I would love to hear this with no orchestration and maybe some lead guitar instead.

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Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well, it´s hard to judge Chris Squre´s one and only solo album. As a BIG yes fan (even more so during the 70´s) I had to have a good look on each member´s side project as well as their band releases. And to me Squire´s solo album is very good, but not that outstading. I guess I´m in the minority here. And after all these years my opinion hasn´t changed much. I expected more from such a talented guy like Squire, one of the most revolutionary and best bass players in the world. But at the same time I can´t deny the album qualities. After all, it includes such guests as drummer extraordinaire Bill Brufford plus such prog legends as Patrick Moraz, Jimmy Hastings and Mel Collins. How could he go wrong?

I feel the shorter tracks are the best. And my favorite is surely Lucky Seven, with its fantastic bass/drums/electric piano/sax interplay. In this track Brufford proves you don´t have to be flashy to be the best. Of the two long songs, Silent Falling is surely the highlight with some great organ runs by the often underrated Moraz. Squire also proves a good singer most of the time. The biggest let down in the whole LP is Safe. It starts well enough, but after some time it just drags on and on. A bad way to round up an otherwise quite good solo efford. Maybe he should have dismissed the orchestra and invited a good guitarrist (Howe?) to play a decent solo on this one.

All in all I still feel Squire´s to be one of the best solo output by any member of Yes. And yet this is nowhere near their best work up to that time. So, if you´re a real Yes fanatic, Fish Out Of Water may be essential, but if you´re not, you should listen before buying it. 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#200909) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Imagine what Yes became with Tormato. Once they had lost theheavy part of their sound. Or imagine if Mr Squire was demoing songs for Jon Anderson to sing for Yes, that ended up as out-takes, or went on to be fully developed by the group. Imagine Sting attempting a prog album after spending a weekend on a Yes bender. Or at best, as I've mentioned in a thread on this album, imagine the concept of a musician being an important cog in a whole group being better than the sum of its' parts, but the musician, when apart from the group being unable to fill the hole(s) left by the other members of the group. This is not a bad album. If you've ever stumbled across a copy of the 1979 Paris sessions demoes (before Jon left, and the rest went on to compose the album Drama) then I can tell you the songs are of the same quality. There's something there, but it never quite reaches the level of magic. Summary, professional, competent, commonplace. Nice try.

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Posted Saturday, March 07, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Chris out of water

People tend to say that Fish Out Of Water is the most Yes-like of all of the solo albums the Yes members did in 1975-76, and with this I can perhaps agree. But it is still not very Yes-like at all in my opinion. Chris' distinctive bass guitar is, of course, omnipresent. But otherwise this is indeed a 'fish out of water'. This was made just after Yes' Relayer album but it is much closer in sound to that of Time And A Word. The commercial sounding You By My Side in particular would have fitted very well on that early Yes album.

Ex-Yes man Bill Bruford does a pretty good job on the drums here, but the other Yes member involved, keyboardist Patrick Moraz, is mostly pushed into the background in favour of a symphony orchestra and other instruments (a bit like how Moraz was only a background figure in The Moody Blues during the 80's). Moraz' contribution to Fish Out Of Water is largely concentrated to one or two short organ solos. The sound is strongly dominated by drums, bass and vocals. As I said, the drums and bass are very good, as are the vocals. But the presence of a symphony orchestra makes this music a bit too bombastic for my taste. This is not helped by the fact that the tempo is rather slow throughout. The presence of saxophone makes some passages a bit slick and the lack of lead guitar further weakens the sound and emphasizes that this album would be in need of a rock edge.

Fish Out Of Water is an enjoyable listen and it is about as good as Jon Anderson's Olias Of Sunhillow and Patrick Moraz' The Story Of I and better than Steve Howe's Beginnings and Alan White's Ramshackled. But none of these albums are great in my opinion. It was brave of them to go out and do all these different solo projects and it shows us the very diverse influences of Yes.

Good, but not essential.

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Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Behind the Trout Mask Replica

During a break necessitated by disruptive industrial action at the factory of Outlandish Stage Threads R'Us, Mr Squire took some time out to dash off a very fine solo album, which is often suggested quite disingenuously as the great lost Yes album? (Answer: No) I just don't hear any of the classic Yes fare here at all as the content is more akin to the polarizing and fabby Relayer than that of the earlier group albums. Apart from the unsustainable early form shown by the prolific Wakeman, the rest of Squire's team-mates solo efforts have been uniformly patchy. Howe's output is redolent of a show boating hobbyist with no-one on hand to temper caution:

OK Steve , I'll let you do one more guitar overdub but only if you promise to record over your vocal track

while Anderson's new-age mystical pop is all the provocation the punks would ever require to begin their siege at the gates of Prog's bouncy castle. Are there those with greater culpability in the rise of Punk Rock? (Answer: Yes)

Mercifully, this album does not fall into the trap of being mixed to the detriment of the cover artist's collaborators i.e. although Squire's bass is prominent in the sound picture, the remaining parts of the arrangements are allowed sufficient room to breathe. First time I heard Fish Out of Water I was struck by what a fine set of tonsils Mr S has, and am continually surprised they were not brought to the fore and exploited more often in a lead role for Yes. Although not as technically accomplished a singer as Anderson, Chris possesses a very endearing and sincere delivery that communicates something Jon can only dream about: emotion. Delivering the notes with perfect pitch in a cherubic soprano emotes precisely squat in my book.(see Aloha from Solihull)

Hold Out Your Hand - One of the few offspring of the failed marriage between virtuosity and lyricism that ever amounted to anything in the world. Yep, an irresistible pop melody mounted over a beguiling array of meter changes and challenging harmonic pathways underpinned by that bass guitar sound. The Bruford/Squire groove here is flirtatiously funky with a buttermilk cream topping via the spiralling synths and keys of the hirsute Swiss Moraz. I do think Patrick's contribution significant to the Yes output i.e. as on Relayer, he brings a looser and sparser jazz sensibility to the compositions which kneads some of the inherent stiffness from these lily white critters. Sensibly, the orchestral elements sourced from arranger Andrew Pryce Jackman are utilised sparingly until rising to the surface at the track's instrumental fade to avoid cluttering the electronic band. The lyrics alas could be euphemistically described as 'ambiguous':

True is true enough to Hold out your hand. Forward motion life promotion to reverse is to repeat. All you've got to do is hold out your hand for the treasures of the universe, are lying at your feet

Erm... more gritty urban alienation from a 27 year old millionaire with a country retreat? (and incredibly long arms).

You By My Side - A glorious and unashamedly simple pop ballad as good as that hatched by such illustrious poultry as Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Ray Davies or Gary Brooker. Although unequivocally a love song, the object of the author's devotion may well be less tangible than your average 'hippy chick with a rawkin bod', as the 1st person singular changes to plural quite tellingly:

You know we love you we can't be without you. When we're at home, we still feel this way about you. Everything's clear. Here is here and everything is as it appears to be so

Do Burt Reynolds or Cher receive royalties for this?

The exquisite piano carries a tenuous gospel feel in places and further implies these words are dedicated to the author's creator (who sure as hell wouldn't win many design awards from the cosmetic surgeons guild)

Silently Falling - Fuelled by a memorable theme resilient enough to withstand the many modulations of harmony and rhythm it undergoes during a hauntingly plaintive development. Squire displays a more legato and understated lyrical bent to much of his playing than hitherto and such an approach captures the mood and feel of this piece perfectly. Beautiful music realised by receptive and empathetic souls. Nuff said.

Lucky Seven - A captivating and languid groove with a seven beat phrase length that inhabits a sonic realm and vocabulary not a kick in the backside off that of the Bruford/Wetton axis in Crimson. Such is the ingenuity and assurance of the playing and composition here, that the oddness of the groove is completely transparent. Yep, rule numero uno for weird time signatures kiddies is the same as that for good soccer refs, if you don't notice them they're doing their job correctly. Listen closely to the telepathic dialogue between the bass and drums on this and just marvel at Bruford's unerring choices as to when to mirror Squire's increased bass activity at the appropriate places. Mel Collins delivers a delicious little sax hook at periodic intervals and let's face it, the man has never sullied a recording with an extraneous note in his entire career.

Like Close to the Edge, Canon Song is a flat packed epic (but like all furniture produced in this fashion, invariably short of the requisite number of screws and bolts for robust longevity) This is perhaps the only real disappointment on the album, as despite a shedload of good thematic ideas and an arrangement that lacks neither daring or ambition throughout, it just doesn't hang together as a unified composition in its own right. That is not to say there is anything remotely shoddy afoot, as it does withstand repeated listening to reveal the significant detail contained therein. Unfortunately however, it smacks of platform boots too small for their owner but tolerated for the increase in height gained. The yawning trap of fusing the orchestral sources and electronic band into a unified whole is fallen into here, hook line and sinker with the whole sheboodle audibly creaking under the weight of competing timbres and duelling counterpoint. Squire's spiritual preoccupations are further expounded upon and in this light, the cover art of his features behind what could be deemed a confessional grill is possibly indicative of his intentions with this album. Notwithstanding your own religious orientation, I certainly think Chris sincere and although I genuinely abhor what I feel is a delusional and evangelical world-view, do respect same as valid. Mr S cannot be accused of cloistered virtue as his own past betrays that of a man who has learned some salutary lessons from the dangers of turning on and tuning in to forbidden frequencies.

It seems a pity that when Yes reconvened after their solo sabbaticals, the lessons learned from such indulgences were not taken on board i.e. to survive with a vestige of credibility in the music industry 'post-punk' they should have made some hard choices: Dispense entirely with the scratchy fussiness of Howe, retain Moraz for his jazzy restraint, kidnap Bruford from Crimson but use Anderson as the hostage.

Despite my habitual scorn I would like to reiterate that this is an excellent album and perhaps one of the few Yes solo outings that enhanced the reputation of its creator.

Finally, in homage to the master milkman of metaphors (Chicapah) I will attempt same: From this point on not only did Yes became prog's fish out of water (Tormato) but half baked to a golden crispy brown (Big Generator) until eventually prefaced with 'You want fries with that?' (Open Your Eyes)

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#231491) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars In the relentless search of Yes fans to unearth more masterpieces from the Yes golden years, even this ill-conceived excuse for an album seems to be embraced with open arms.

It's an unexpected disappointment as this album has both Squire and Bruford, my main sources for regular Yes-enjoyment but, as with Yes, Squire should keep his mouth shut. Not only because he has a terrible voice but also because he must be deaf not to hear how off-tune he sings.

Squire is an excellent bass player of course and some of the instrumental sections rock out very convincingly. However, it isn't till halfway into Silently Falling that they truly go for it. But if you thought it would be the start of a half-enjoyable album you're wrong again. Squire spoils the song with the unremarkable vocal melodies that his grating tune-deaf voice can handle. Lucky Seven would be the gem here. With the saxophone and Bruford's stubborn against-rhythm drumming it immediately catches your attention. It even inspired Squire to some nicely built vocal melodies. But still his voice is not adequate enough to save it. Safe has an orchestral workout that isn't without merit either, but the melodies are not appealing enough for lasting pleasure.

So two stars for trying and failing. Avoid unless you really want to hear every note ever played by a Yes member.

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Posted Friday, October 02, 2009

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So, coming from a guy of which Yes was a band that changed his musical outlook and Chris Squire changed his viewpoint of bass playing, you'd expect a guy like me to praise this as a masterpiece well before first listen.

NOT!

Sure, Chris Squire put out a great album in FISH OUT OF WATER; it has his bass playing to the forefront complete with technically brilliant solos and foot tapping licks. Soundwise, I might suspect hardcore Yes fans will find this trinket delightful as it (to me) sounds like what Yes might have sounded like if they directly followed up RELAYER. It's loaded with spurts of orchestra, brash synth solos (to be expected from Mr. Patrick Moraz), occasional flute and saxophone and drumming that can only be described as Bill Bruford.

If anything, this sounds like a halfway Yes album, just missing bunches of guitar riffs and Jon Anderson vocals. Instead, we get Chris Squire vocals...not exactly welcome in my book. He's done great backing vocals for Yes before and after, but his lead vocal attempts sound only halfway decent at best. The bass more than makes up for that shortcoming though.

Compositionally, there's a lot going on. In order, ''Hold Out Your Hand'' is very funky, ''You By My Side'' is a sappy, orchestra-led ballad, ''Silently Falling'' sound like any typical prog piece, ''Lucky Seven'' is back to funky rock and ''Safe'' sounds like sappy prog with an interesting orchestra/bass contrast right when the instrumental affair starts. It's a mixed bag, but it surprisingly exerts one overall sound, something I really enjoy from artists.

Not great because of Squire's prog star power, but very good by what it exerts. A mighty good ''filet of prog'' to put it lightly.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#251833) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars 2.5 stars really"

Seems incredible that after more than 30 years of listening Progressive Rock, never had the chance to put my hands on "CHRIS SQUIRE'S" almost universally proclaimed magnum opus "Fish Out of the Water" (Yes, heard it casually in a couple of reunions, but never with real attention) , so, despite not being particularly a fan of YES or their solo members works (except Rick Wakeman's), decided to give the album a chance and see what's all the noise about it.

The sad thing is that instead of a Progressive Rock masterpiece, I found an unsuccessful attempt of making a transcendental album with multiple influences, the fact is that in my opinion "Fish Out of the Water" sounds like a mix of YES, Rock, Pop and some boring pastoral leanings all lumped in a sack without any coherence.

The album starts with "Hold Out Your Hands", the preeminent bass in the intro sounds excellent, but when Chris vocals enter in the scene, the track looses any coherence, at one point I don't know what I'm listening, sounds like some disjointed collection of orchestral effects all blended with acute vocals "a la" Jon Anderson and no structure that I can find.

"You by My Side" is a hybrid between blues Rock, Celtic and some Country touches, again mixed rather than blended, the flute by Jimmy Hastings is the only highlight, the rest pretty forgettable, a boring rack with no interest...At least for me.

"Silently Falling" shows us the difference between an epic and a long song, in the first case we're before a solid and well structured song in which the musician uses all the available time to make a coherent work, in the second case (as in "Silently Falling") we're before an extremely long song in which the musician unsuccessfully tries to fill the silent spaces with everything he has at hand but without any logic. I believe the real problem is that SQUIRE wanted to leave the YES and JON ANDERSON sound behind, but wasn't able to create something imaginative enough, so he kept returning to familiar ground, but without the magic of YES.

Being honest some of the frenetic moments are extremely good, but being so uneven and lack of ideas, the song falls bellow the average.

I'm still trying to discover what did CHRIS SQUIRE tried to do in "Lucky Seven", it seems some sort of jazzy track with YES feeling, but only was able to create a repetitive an unimaginative track that bored me after a couple of minutes.

Well, at last it was worth not taking off the CD before the end, "Safe (Cannon Song)" is an excellent track with interesting ideas, and the advantage of being almost totally instrumental. Chris was able to capture the pompous and elaborate sound of the best Prog bands with an interesting development, the highest point of the album.

Yes, it's a bit incoherent by moments and in some sections sounds as if ANDREW POWELL had made the orchestral arrangements, but at least it's imaginative and has strength, just in the moment when I was starting to fall asleep.

Before closing this review, I want to ask if PATRICK MORAZ really plays here, because I read his name in the credits, but never listen the peculiar style that allowed him to take YES, MOODY BLUES and THE NICE (REFUGEE) to their peak.

If it wasn't for the last song, I would had rated "Fish Out of the Water" with one star, but "Safe (Cannon Song)" grants the album at least an extra star and even a bit more....Still I will place "Fish Out of the Water" in a location where I won't listen it frequently, being that I don't want to deteriorate the image I have of CHRIS SQUIRE as excellent backing vocalist even better bassist and icon of Progressive Rock.

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Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review by octopus-4
COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars A Yes album with more emphasis on the bass. This is the first impression. I think there's a bit more. The composing is less pretentious than most of the YES works of that period (mid 70s), and contains very interesting things. The line-up contains both Mel Collins and Jimmy Hastings. I think it's probably the only time when the saxes and flutes of Caravan and Camel play together in the same album.

The songs:

"Hold out your head" is a typical YES song. Chris sings on high tones and the effect is not too far from Anderson.

"You by my side" is not bad and contains a nice flute section at the end. The melody is nice and the voice, too, is very appropriate.

"Silently falling" is my favourite track. Other than YES, it contains echoes of Genesis and a lot of Canterbury, mainly thanks to the flute in the background. The middle section contains a nice organ solo whose volume is low enough to leave Bass and drums in evidence. The result is something that flows very well until it stops leaving piano and voice starting the last section. The initial theme is reprised and a slow sequence of just 3 chords leads it to the end. Chris sings. "Silently falling....falling down...down..down" . It couldn't be more appropriate to the music. I think it's the b est moment of the album.

"Lucky Seven" starts with an electric piano that could have been placed on a Camel album. Bass and Sax follow. Only the singing reminds to YES. between the singing, the Bass is very in evidence, as we can expect from a bassist's album. A nice "light dark" song, good for the evenings. Sax, Bass and drums close this jazzy song. Very Canterbury.

"Safe" is the longest track (about 15 mins). The intro makes me think to some Soft Machine late works (Land of Cockayne as example). Here is where Chris tries to make his voice sound like Jon Anderson's. Far from being an epic, it's in any case a very enjoyable track on which winds and strings are the counterpart to the dominating bass.

I would rate it between 3 and 4 stars, as it doesn't add anything to the story of YES, but contains Canterbury elements that make it enjoyable not only by YES fans. It's played by very skilled musicians and the composing is good enough. 4 stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#277851) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Great basslines in search of riffs" is the greatest description of this album I've ever come across, and I must say I agree with that assessment. Chris Squire's first and only solo album is usually regarded as the best of the many, many Yes-related solo albums, but if that was the case I'm not sure I'd have been hungry for more (so far that title belongs to Criminal Record). The raw materials are in place - good vocals (Chris manages to sound like a cross between himself, Jon Anderson and Trevor Horn on this album), the expected killer basslines, decent guitar (from Chris, of course), appearances by Bruford and Moraz - but it doesn't all quite come together.

The album consists of but five tracks, two of which are lengthy behemoths and three of which are shorter length, normal numbers. Now, I love Yes' lengthy epics as much as anybody, but these suggest pretty strongly that, er, Chris wasn't the driving creative force behind stuff like "Gates" and "CTTE." "Silently Falling" does feature a bizarre Moraz passage in the middle, but beside that it seems the band is jamming mindlessly with no desire but to show off chops (with the exception of some actual emotion coming out of the piece over the last third of the piece, as Moraz lays the foundation with some pretty piano, while Chris' vocals really provide the feel of slowly falling to the ground). You know, the sort of thing that people routinely accuse Yes of doing but that they never actually did. Go on, take a listen to this album and you'll have better idea of what mindless noodling REALLY sounds like.

As for the closing "Canon Song," I know that lots of Yesfans love it, but I just can't figure out the greatness of this one. It's not even just lack of "catchiness" - I mean, a good prog epic can, under the right circumstances, overcome a lack of directly catchy themes - but there's just not really any sense to the whole thing. It's pleasant background music, but there's no real sense of build or waxing/waning of intensity and themes or any of those pleasant tricks Yes used to hook in the listener. It just keeps going and going for 15 minutes, and loses my attention in a way that "The Revealing Science of God" never ever could. Bleh.

Now the shorter songs, that's a different matter entirely. The opening duo of "Hold Out Your Hand" and "You By My Side" are catchy and compact *gasp* pop songs, each punctuated with the expected killer basslines and well-conceived keyboard and drum parts (not to mention appropriate doses of orchestration, which pop up occasionally throughout the album). The latter in particular might give a hardcore "pop sucks prog rules" fan a heart attack, but the wonderful, swaying piano-driven melody would have fit in well on The Yes Album and not changed the quality of that album one iota.

I also find the side-two opener, "Lucky Seven," quite enjoyable. It has a bit of a jazz/funk (!!) feel to it, courtesy of a slightly off-kilter keyboard riff that Chris delights in playing off of (not to mention Bruford's mastery, of course). Naturally, of course, it would have sounded completely out of place on any given Yes album, as saxophones and other elements of "sleaze" hardly fit in with what fans expected out of the band. Here, though, it only adds a slice of "down-to-earth" feeling to help prop up the listener's ears between the two epics.

Alas, though, with the epics taking up 60% of the album and only being intermittently entertaining, it's hard not to be somewhat harsh on the album as a whole. But still, I'd hate to remain a Yes-fan who hasn't, at some point, partaken of the vast entertainment that comes from the three good songs on here.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#279255) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As my favorite member of Yes, picking up this album was a no-brainer; however, at the time I wasn't prepared for the direction Squire decided to take with his solo-effort. I was hoping for a showcase of his aggressive riffing and creative fretwork, but found instead a set of finely crafted compositions showcasing Squire's skills as a songwriter and band leader.

The album opens with the catchy "Hold Out Your Hand", which is a sort of '70's light-prog. The prevelance of organ and the orchestra in the background fit right into the prog sound of the time, but Chris' fat bass sound and exhuberant lyrics make it a very approachable piece of music. Squire's bass is at the forefront, clearly providing the momentum and foundation for the numerous organ and symphony interplay, but is a far cry from his amazing playing in Yes; it sounds like he's playing it safe.

The grand composition "Silently Falling" is the easy standout track, with variety, intensity, and excellent integration of symphony. While simplistic, Squire's bass is still a lot of fun to listen to. His singing feels quite polished as well. The groovy "Lucky Seven" is also fun, giving me images of a '70's cop show as Squire cleans up the mean streets of Chicago. The closer, "Safe", is a big let-down though, being 14 minutes of symphonic repetition desperately in need of judiscious editing and direction.

For those wondering how Fish Out of Water compares to the key Yes works, I feel compelled to say that it falls very short; although, this album is as good or better than everything Yes put out after "Going for the One". Fish Out of Water feels like a cross between Time and a Word and Yes Allbum, though with a more approachable sound.

While a worthy album in itself, Fish Out of Water mostly made me want to listen to Yes-- which says that in that band's case, the sum is definitely greater than it's parts.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#280171) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 01, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Of all the solo albums produced by former, current or ex-members of Yes, 'Fish Out Of Water' by the group's only ever-present member and bassist Chris Squire proves to be the most original and surprising. A consumate bass-player who's best work underpins the classic Yes epics with rock-steady assurance, Squire was never viewed in the same light as the group's apparent creative nucleus, that of singer Jon Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe, and therefore was always cast as the quiet man of the group. However, he was one of the first to issue his own solo effort along with keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and his debut proved to be both a critical and commercial success that would overshadow later efforts by other members of the band. Indeed, 'Fish Out Of Water' is a vastly superior album to both Jon Anderson's light-as-a-feather 'Olias Of Sunhillow' and Steve Howe's hollow 1975 effort 'Beginnings', as well as being far more accesible and a hell of a lot funkier than any of Wakeman's bombastic solo efforts, proving just what a versatile and talented player Squire was. 'Fish Out Of Water' does retain elements of the Yes sound, but also features a darker, more muscular tone, a development apparent on two of the album's stand-out tracks, the darkly-hued jazz-rock of 'Lucky Seven', which features former Circus and King Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins, and the epic, ever-shifting symphonic rock of the fourteen-minute-plus 'Safe(Canon Song)', which gives a grandiose finish to a highly satisfactory first stab at solo recording by one of the prog world's most iconic bassists. Elsewhere on the album the Yes sound is, again, sometimes very noticeable, especially on the neo-classicl ballad 'Hold Out Your Hand', but overall Squire has managed to nurture his own impressive and unique signature style. The album also features some impressive cameo's from the likes of fellow Yes-members Bill Bruford(drums) and Patrick Moraz(keyboards), as well as former Soft Machine, National Health and Caravan man Jimmy Hastings(flute), ex-The Syn, Rush and Barclay James Harvest session musician Andrew Pryce Jackman(piano) and Barry Rose(organ) who would go on to play at the St. Paul's Cathedral for Charles and Diana's royal wedding a few years later(!). Squire would not record another solo effort again until the late-1990's, but considering that he is the only member of Yes to have been there since their 1960's inception and also taking into account the group's chequered and argument-filled history, it's understandable that he didn't find the time to produce a follow-up to this excellent album. However, in creating 'Fish Out Water' Squre showed not only what great musician he was(he played all the bass and guitar parts on the entire album), but also what a valuable member of Yes he is, with many of the group's fans re-evaluating Squire's part in creating some of the group's best-loved albums. 'Fish Out Of Water' is, without a doubt, the apex of the Yes solo sub-genre. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#282825) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Let me have a guess why you're here. You love Yes, but you've already heard all the good albums and you are now tentatively looking into the 'Yes solo albums' period of '75-'76 to see if there's anything that can quench your symphonic thirst. The answer, of course, is YES. As you probably know, all the members of Yes released their own solo material to varying degrees of success, but in my opinion, Chris Squire's 'Fish Out Of Water' beats the lot. Although I don't know a lot about bass players, I can easily say that Chris Squire is my favourite bass player, as he uses his instrument in such a unique way which adds so much to the music. If any bass player was going to release a solo album, I'd want it to be him.

One particular aspect of solo albums I enjoy is the line-up of musicians. Usually on solo albums, the artist will either choose fellow bandmembers, or musicians from other groups. 'Fish Out Of Water' is particularly exciting! In addition to Bill Bruford (who was undoubtedly Yes's better drummer), Patrick Moraz from 'Relayer' returns to play the synthesizers here. Surprise guests include Canterbury-scene flautist Jimmy Hastings, who has frequently popped up in bands like Caravan, Soft Machine and Hatfield and the North, and Mel Collins, who is best known for appearing in the first batch of King Crimson albums and also was an integral part of Camel later on. With a full orchestra also on tap, this is a very exciting prospect.

The weakest point on this album is the opener Hold Out Your Hand which is short enough to be a pop song, and vaguely resembles one too. However, this track does a good job of introducing us to the albums sound. The most striking aspect of the music is Squire's voice. He is using the same voice as when he does backing vocals for Yes. This album really makes you appreciate Squire's overall contribution to the Yes sound. There are changing time signatures, but this track comes off as being too repetitive, and rather uncatchy. On the other hand, there is a good bass solo in the instrumental, and Bruford's drums sound just as crisp as they did on any Yes album. Squire's sister Nikki also lends a hand with the vocals here, but you can barely hear her. Not an awful song, but the album gets better from here on.

The first song segues straight into You By My Side, which is a beautiful pop ballad. The lyrics are quite weak, but nothing to complain about, as I still find myself singing along to this! There is a verse, a flute solo, another verse which is the same as the first but replaces 'I' with 'we', and then a symphonic outro which employs the orchestra. The flute solo is beautiful, and the orchestra are so moving, with Squire's bass giving depth to the piece.

Silently Falling is when the real prog really starts. This is an epic track which is bound to get your attention. Hastings' flute acts as wonderful decoration to the laid-back first verse. The centrepiece of the track is the 3 minute plus instrumental which is highly chaotic. This is Moraz's moment on the album, and he shows off his impressive skills just as he did on 'Relayer'. There is time for one final verse before the symphonic, melancholy outro. Chris Squire's pronunciation of the title to this track is rather bizarre. This is a really good track, and fans of Yes should have no problem enjoying this.

Looking up and down the reviews, a lot of people seem to be knocking Lucky Seven as dull and repetitive. While it's true that this track is repetitive, it is certainly not dull! This is a jazzier track played entirely in 7/8 (hence the title). This track would certainly be dull if the main riff wasn't so good. As far as time signatures go, I have to say 7/8 is my favourite, and I love tapping along to this track. This is the only track with Mel Collins so you should enjoy his saxophone while you can! If you want to convince someone that 7/8 can sound great, this track is for you.

The final track Safe is a staggering 15 minutes long, making this a real epic. I have to admit, writing a track this long was a good way to entice Yes fans or indeed any prog fans into buying this record. If you want to get yourself noticed in the prog world, you need to write a longer song! Fortunately, this track is also amazing the entire way through. This is essentially a 5 minute song with a 10 minute instrumental attached to the end. The song and the instrumental are linked by an instrumental within the first part, so the song feels entirely cohesive. The first part starts slow and gets more exciting. The instrumental that follows is extremely remarkable. The 'canon' is in fact an 11/8 riff that repeats for most of the 10 minutes of this instrumental. Although it repeats, this instrumental is hardly repetitive. The theme is played on many different orchestral instruments, with various levels of intensity in the background. It's difficult to explain just how intricate and riveting this track is, so I suggest you listen to it yourself. This is symphonic prog at it's finest.

While 'Fish Out Of Water' is a good play on words, and reflects the fact that Squire was performing outside of Yes, the title suggests that he is uncomfortable. The strength of the material on this record proves otherwise! This album is (dare I say it) as good as some of the Yes albums from that period, and should be considered a masterpiece. At times very dark, at other times beautiful, and overall very complex, 'Fish Out Of Water' is a must-have for fans of the symphonic side of prog.

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#438176) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars When Yes took a break in the mid-seventies, and each member released their own solo album, it was Chris Sqire's that proved to be the best. While "Fish Out Of Water" retains much of the sound that we know of as Yes, he also imprints his own unique view over the entire album.

His vocals, up to that point only heard as background to Jon Anderson, are in a similar range as Anderson's but distinctly different in tone. A little less full, but still with the power to carry off these tunes.

The songs are all pure symphonic rock, with, of course, strong bass lines. And Squire gets some assistance from an all-star band, including Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz, Mel Collins and Jimmy Hastings.

The best track is the longest. Safe (Canon Song) is an orchestral piece, that also allows Squire to perform a section with his bass playing multiple track simultaneously (as he did on a few classic Yes tracks) to great effect.

While not quite a masterpiece, this album belong in any serious prog collector's library.

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Posted Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Squire's triumph.

Squire's solo album that has really impacted his career, is "Fish out of Water" and, although Squire obviously was out of his depth on his own finally, and released to produce a solo album, along with fellow band members Anderson, Wakeman, Howe, Moraz and also Bruford, the result is a very refreshing approach to music.

'Hold Out Your Hand' begins proceedings and the very accomplished percussion of Bill Bruford is noteable immediately. Squire's vocals are extraordinary, very high in the register as much as Anderson. Patrick Moraz is always a wizard on keyboards, Andrew Pryce Jackman handles acoustic, organ, and orchestrations. The harmonies are strong and excellent always. The time sigs change constantly and this could easily fit onto a Yes album. It seems that Squire is one of the main components of the Yes sound as is obvious here. 'You By My Side' continues the Yes sound seamlessly from the opener, and features mesmirising beauty with Jimmy Hastings' flute. The orchestra is a symphonic embellishment that works so well with this style of music.

Mel Collins on saxophone and Hastings on flute opens the wondrous 'Silently Falling', a longer song at 11 ½ minutes. The warbling flute is joined by the high falsetto vocals. A crash of sound ushers in the rhythmic figure with a bass pulsation and soaring harmonious musicianship. The flute chimes back in with Barry Rose on pipe organ. There is a freak out of Moraz manic keyboards, a hypnotic groove with piano and bass, and Bruford is awesome with percussion accents and jazz explosions. This instrumental section is absolutely mind bending and it stops suddenly as divine horns come in, and Squire's vocals return, so pleasant to the ear. This is spell binding music weaving a spell on the listener.

'Lucky Seven' is a song with jazz keyboard and Squire's dominant Rickerbacker bass sound. Again his vocals are exquisite, and the snare sound of Bruford is a welcome augmentation to the feel. The song is a sensational jazz fusion piece with Moraz maintaining a strong rhythm. Squire is an accomplished bass magician and he almost launches into a solo over the soundscape. The alto sax is lovely, played so delicately by Collins and this track is really a showcase for the sax. The rhythm has totally locked in with the odd 7/8 meter and the sax is able to pour into the musicscape supplementing the splendour of the sound.

'Safe (Canon Song)' is a 15 minute epic with very strong bass, high falsetto vocals and orchestrated synths. The melody is bright and chirpy, very much like Yes in every respect, even the vocals sound a lot like Anderson. Squire certainly does not shy away from the Yes epic structure and even throws in some very nice flute and horn sounds. The interlude with thumping bass and whimsical flute and sax is one of the highlights of the album. This one really takes off into some bombastic territory and then is brought back with angular bassline and glorious violin sounds. The orchestral arrangement is stunning and lifts the music to the stratosphere. This continues for a long time and builds to a magnificent crescendo to finish with enchanting piano. Magnificent song.

The solo album for Squire is an incredible achievement, surpassing all expectations, even rivalling other Yes members' solo efforts as being the best of the bunch. It is even referred to as the "lost" Yes album. Every track on "Fish out of Water" is offering something extraordinary and as brilliant as Yes, and Squire showed he could produce something very special even though he may have felt like a fish out of water.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#622239) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, recorded in the Yes downtime between Relayer and Going For the One, takes Squire's incredible and highly individual bass skills and sets them against fine compositions and tasteful orchestral arrangements. With new pal Patrick Moraz and old buddy Bill Briuford lending a hand, Squire succeeds in creating perhaps the most Yes-like of the various solo albums band members knocked out in the break - Silently Falling is, in particular, an absolute classic, the sort of thing which at once measures up to anything Yes did and possesses a very Yes-like magic but at the same time, thanks to the different personnel and instrumentation and approach, doesn't sound like a mere attempt at producing "Yes by other means". A neglected classic.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#951703) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars An unlikely, very intriguing piece of work. In 1975 rock behemoths Yes, slightly worn out after years of recording, touring, haphazard stage prop behaviour and revolving-door politics took a year off to record a string of member solo albums; both to allow themselves some quality time away from ... (read more)

Report this review (#1157156) | Posted by iguana | Friday, April 04, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A solo album, played by a great band An excellent musician, surrounded by great companions wisely. If we add the almost unbeatable composition issues, we have a unique album. The excellence of those who accompany Squire, is evident in the masterful performance of ... (read more)

Report this review (#936695) | Posted by sinslice | Friday, March 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Of the solo YES members albums that did not sounded like Yes without the others (How will it be if Yes was me? project; Howe´s & Anderson´s) Chris Squire´s my favorite pick (Moraz one is good; but a bit too "Latin" for my likes, White´s is more like he had to come up with something; not to be lef ... (read more)

Report this review (#904357) | Posted by admireArt | Friday, February 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the few solo albums by a Yes group member that I think is absolutely essential for a prog collection. When I heard Squire's realatively Spartan approach to the music on this album (Squire on bass and vocals, Bruford on drums, Moraz on keyboards - although Squire does throw on some guita ... (read more)

Report this review (#904271) | Posted by wehpanzer | Friday, February 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It might sound strange, but I am kind of glad that back in 1974 Yes went on de facto 3-year hiatus and KC disbanded. Otherwise the skeleton crew of the Chris Squire's band, consisting of Bruford, Collins, Moraz and Squire, might have never come together the way they did to record Fish Out of Wat ... (read more)

Report this review (#849201) | Posted by Argonaught | Friday, November 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars From 1975, FISH OUT OF WATER by Chris Squire bassist of Yes. Is this a "lost" Yes album? Sorta. It does has a lot of the same vibe and musical tendencies, as well as Squire's voice being high in tone like Jon Anderson's. The opening duet, "Hold Out Your Hand", and "You By My Side" are the strongest ... (read more)

Report this review (#733619) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As we know, Chris Squire has this thing about making the vocals high frequency, so that they do not interfere with the lower tones of the rhythm section. Even so, I don't understand why he has compromised everything else that this music has to offer by doing the vocals himself, and sounding li ... (read more)

Report this review (#626669) | Posted by sussexbowler | Sunday, February 05, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Get back in the water, Chris. I'm going to swim against the flow here and call Chris Squire's first and only solo album (I'm not counting Swiss Choir) a tragedy. Let me be upfront. Chris Squire brings that special sauce that makes Yes music magical. He can turn an interesting piece of prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#498861) | Posted by senor_velasco | Saturday, August 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Now I was only but a sperm when this album was out, but I think that this album really was an interesting point in the mid 70's. With Yes' superstardom only increasing, after cementing themselves with some real classic prog albums, and really defining prog...a solo album from the bands bass pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#465379) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, June 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 If you are a diehard fan of Yes as I can not stop listening to this album. The small gap between Relayer and Going for The One was a period where members of Yes invested in their solo projects. I did not get to hear the album Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Patrick Moraz, but by God, that a ... (read more)

Report this review (#413763) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very decent effort from the Yes bass player himself Mr. Chris Squire. Now before we dive right into the review one thing must be mentioned, this album just sounds like a lost Yes album that they decided to use for a soundtrack of some epic movie, with Sting on vocals (he sounds a little like Stin ... (read more)

Report this review (#282517) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thought Bruford and Moraz play on this album, it reminds just a bit of instrumental Yes. Other great instrumentists play here (Jimmy Hastings, brother of Pye Hastings, both played on Caravan) and Mel Collins (that played with King Crimson). First of all I would like to say that I prefer Squir ... (read more)

Report this review (#274609) | Posted by Thiago Hallak | Saturday, March 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I wish all solo albums made by band members were as good as this one! This 1975 disc proves two things: that Chris Squire's incredible bass playing with Yes belies a composer as capable as any other in the Progressive Rock idiom. And the other is that his influence in Yes songs has either gon ... (read more)

Report this review (#267572) | Posted by retrorocker | Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an excellent album in which Chris Squire, bassist for the Symphonic Progressive Rock band yes, shows off his talents. Never before have you heard a bass being played with some much distortion and so much power. Crisp production and a very wide range of musicians make this album a mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#254786) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Monday, December 07, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 1. Hold Out Your Hand - Moraz's majestic cathedral organ segues into a funky Squire/Bruford rhythm...a wonderful blend of pop and prog ensues...funky and fun.like the best Yes material of the 70's.lovely. ...segues into... 2. You By My Side - Another deceptively "poppish" song...a truly hear ... (read more)

Report this review (#133223) | Posted by Rutgers Joe | Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Squire Power I surely had read many good reviews of this album from many sites and some reviewers even considired it as the "lost Yes album" which is a very brave statement. After first listening I was slightly disappointed. Few bit weaker songs and really no masterpieces. After few more liste ... (read more)

Report this review (#114071) | Posted by gimsom | Friday, March 02, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Classic! If you like Yes and Chris Squire, you must have this album. It doesn't sound so much like Yes, but the sound is somewhat familiar. Regardless, brilliant compositions and songs, and a wonderful array of instruments played by some wonderful musicians. ... (read more)

Report this review (#113534) | Posted by onslo | Monday, February 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Much has been said in earlier reviews of the origins of this album -- basically, everyone in the former and current Yes lineup took time to record solo albums of their own. What's unusual is that almost all of the albums recorded by the various musicians stand up well on their own, and are, if n ... (read more)

Report this review (#63334) | Posted by Black Max | Thursday, January 05, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's easy to see how this album can be overlooked - released after Yes' controversial Relayer, bassman CHRIS SQUIRE's only solo effort Fish Out of Water could have been either an ambitious disappointment or a retread of well-established prog-rock ground. Surely a mere bass player wouldn't have t ... (read more)

Report this review (#42491) | Posted by morpheusdraven | Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What makes the Yes music so wonderful, unique and original is that under the umbrella of the band great and original musicians have used to summon. However, only one of them has been present for all the time and it is Chris Squire. Maybe this is the reason why he produced just one solo project ... (read more)

Report this review (#27148) | Posted by | Monday, April 04, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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