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CHRIS SQUIRE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Chris Squire biography
Christopher Russell Edward "Chris" Squire (4 March 1948 - 27 June 2015)

It's hard to make a bio about Chris because his 40+ years career with YES and his solo albums speak more of him than just a couple of paragraphs, but we will try to be as impersonal as we can.

Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born in a northwest London suburb called Kingsbury on March 4, 1948, started as a choirboy in Haberdasher Aske's public school. Made his early career as bass player in two small bands called THE SELFS and THE SYN (with Andrew Jackman and Peter Banks) before he was introduced to Jon Anderson with whom he played in MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP, where the seeds of YES started to grow.

On August 4, 1968 they gave the great step and offered the first concert under the name of YES with Bill Bruford, and the rest is well known history that doesn't need to be told.

After the release of "Relayer" Chris decided to start a solo career so he wrote "Fish Out of the Water" that was released in 1975 with the participation of Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz, and his old friend Andrew Jackman.

Despite the good critics and acceptance of the fans, he gave priority to his life commitment with YES (He's the only YES member who has been present in every album) and short lived projects as XYZ with Alan White and Jimmy Page or CONSPIRACY with Billy Sherwood plus guest appearances with well-known artists and bands like RICK WAKEMAN, EDDIE HARRIS, GOV'T MULE and ESQUIRE among others.

With this busy life his solo career had to wait until 2007 when he released his second album called "Chris Squire's Swiss Choir" in which Steve Hackett was invited and lead to a new project called SQUACKETT.

Probably Chris will have to place his personal career in stand-by for some time due to his compromises, but I guess that in some moment he will give us another solo album that will be received with expectation by the Progressive Rock community.

Iván Melgar-Morey::::Perú

Chris Squire official website

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Fish Out of WaterFish Out of Water
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CHRIS SQUIRE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CHRIS SQUIRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 387 ratings
Fish Out Of Water
1975
3.05 | 22 ratings
Chris Squire's Swiss Choir
2007

CHRIS SQUIRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CHRIS SQUIRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Lucky Seven
1975
2.56 | 12 ratings
Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
1981

CHRIS SQUIRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by uduwudu

2 stars Avoiding the traps of idolatry and nostalgia and even more quietly prevalent in those factors that govern our human perception, namely false equivalency we turn to what is often regarded as the best solo Yes album.

So I updated my old long gone LP with the CD / DVD version. The DD is a nice bonus but not essential. Has videos and interviews. I wondered why I was not that keen on this album. Given the enthusiasm it generates among the Yes fans (me too) then I thought what was I not hearing. Perhaps I don't like it for whatever reason but is it that bad?

Not a disaster this album but there are caveats.

1. The songs are not that memorable. Strong melodies are more the field of Jon Anderson. Squire made a much better musical adjutant than leader.

2. Oft criticized is the orchestra. I think the orchestra is well used but that there is a problem somewhere may be the instrumental variety and requirement for counterpoint. There is little of either. How (sic) I wanted to hear Steve Howe's guitar turn up. Still, Squire's orchestrations are more crisp than the soggy arrangements that ruin Howe's Beginnings at times.

3. Instrumental balance. Dare I say it but when he does play those lovely fleet footed / fleet fingered riffs then Bruford kicks into gear and everything sounds fine. Then things slow down or changes happen and the results are half baked. Happens a lot in the longer songs. They are well arranged but somehow the idea of being a lead bassist has allowed the prominence of his the bass to be too much so. One note staccato is all very well on a chord change not for verse accompaniment. Or again. Just when you thought it'd been done it turns up. Especially when its so way up in the mix.

I thought that Squire may not be as good or interesting a bassist as his contemporary bass whizz John Entwistle until I recalled the album he did with Joe Walsh Too Late The Hero. Two witty minds with tons of talent I thought ... that produced a snore-fest of an album. No idea why, probably creativity and a hired producer / engineer whose job does not include telling his employers their out put sucks.

Well Fish Out Of Water is better than that but, well... not that much. His singing is useful at a 2nd or third banana level in Yes but he becomes grating either instantly or after a while. Your tolerance may be higher. Saying he's better than Howe at lead vocal is a bit like saying you're better off losing a toe than a leg.

The sophistication of the symphonic rock is there but flatters to deceive due unmemorable songs and lyrical content that is largely uninteresting. Everyone does what they're supposed to but I guess once the albums were out they were forgotten as the next tour turned up. And if you get a good 1976 live bootleg (download off a reputable torrent site for cost of some band width) then you will be well better off. Roosevelt Stadium 1976 for instance. Yes (with Moraz) as you and I need to hear them.

Olias from Anderson needed the instrumental input from his band to give it the necessary power, dynamics and identity it, and many of his demos deserve. Fish Out Of Water needed the melody and stronger vocal from Anderson as well as his sense of occasion. This is what makes his more, um, arcane lyrics tolerable. It also really needed Howe's dazzling styles and techniques to make it sparkle and give it much needed excitement. It may be that White may have been the more appropriate drummer here. Bruford is fine of course but White can kick songs into some semblance of energy rather than just finding the most intricate way of making lack luster material listenable. Which reminds me, this sounds like CTTE than White's dreadful Ramshackled which would have benefited from being left next to magnets than foisted upon the public. Or me.

It's often remarked upon that Fish Out OF Water is the lost Yes album. Well frankly all the solo albums were. They would have been better taking these albums and getting a double volume studio album, or a series of them after considerable work than having a bunch of reasonably sophisticated demo albums. A spare volume of material might have come in handy around the time of the aborted Paris '79 sessions. I heard the bootleg versions of those before much of those got released with the CD remaster or Tormato and it sounds like their solo albums, only even more devoid of ideas and inspiration. The official releases support that notion. Curses. No undiscovered gems.

The solo albums only sold on merit of association. Had these albums been by unknowns they would not even be given the grace of a review. If they had been new releases by hopefuls then maybe with help from friends these worthy efforts could have been made compelling; they're ok but veer from awful to interesting to rather good in parts. Few but Ramshackled are without merit entirely. Fish Out Of Water underlines the importance and value of a great singer, great material and the critical appraisal of a producer who should have the authority to tell his client / employer that his music is tanking as it plays. I'd recommend to anyone trying this sort of album in symphonic (aka prog) rock to check out the third movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony first.

So the virtuosity of Yes can work against them if the material is not great. The sum of the parts exposed when the components cannot measure up to the sum. And this one is okay but flawed. The fanatics will have it but if you're curious then see if a copy is going for a song; you may be one of those who give this a 4 - 5 star review and wonder how I can be so ungenerous.

2 maybe 2.5.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 81

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

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

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

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

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

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars When one interviews a person who is dead, it isn't too much different from a conversation with the living. In fact, according to Chris Squire, eminent instrumentalist/composer and one of the founders & drivers behind legendary prog rock band Yes, you are pretty much exactly the same person you were when you were alive. But with maybe a few lessons firmly under the belt. Mr. Squire was generous enough to allow my intrusion on a cool misty English morning to a gorgeous but moderate old mansion he'd been, well, haunting. He proved to indeed be the same convivial, highly intelligent, enormous man he'd always been with a shock of bleach-blond and a face that had seen more than its share. We spoke over mugs of hot, dark tea and a tray of delicious if unknown little goodies.

A - So Chris, we're approaching one year since you passed on June 27, 2015, let's get the obvious first question out of the way: What's it like being dead?

C - (smiling) I don't really think about it in those terms. "Being dead" sounds so static, when actually life goes on. You have the same feelings, views, issues, the only thing that changes is that you have to create your life. I mean physically create it. It's quite a challenge.

A - Would you say that it's like composing?

C - I suppose, yeah, in a way, but it's ... tangible, it's consequential. A bad song won't change your existence, but a wrong move now and it could be months before I find my way back on course.

A - I see. Okay tell me about your writing approach and how it's utilized on your Fish Out of Water album from 1975.

C - Well as a lead instrument the bass has certain limitations but those are also its strengths, because in limitation you have necessity, and that breeds invention. In the case of Fish Out of Water, I usually started with the piano, bass parts over that, and later the highs, the vocals, lead lines and harmonics. I tend to write from the bottom up, if you'll forgive the pun. I start with the compositional ground and then work my way up.

A - Is that the way Yes tended to function?

C - No not really. Yes was a real group. It was a collaboration. So sometimes Jon would come in with a nearly finished song, or Steve would have something that was largely formed already.

A - Andrew Jackman helped a lot in putting the album together, describe that relationship.

C - Andrew and I were both keen on doing a big, symphonic thing, and he'd been doing orchestration much of his life so it worked out. We got Barry Rose to play organ at St. Paul's Cathedral with Andrew conducting, and it just all came together really. The LSO, everything. In those days, symphony players weren't all that fond of rock 'n roll. But later I realized they enjoyed the meeting of the two forms cause it was so much fun.

A - Let's talk about the first cut, 'Hold Out Your Hand'.

C - Yeah well the bassline came out of the keyboard part. Andrew did the arranging. It was great having an arranger; like an automatic organizer, it helped things move along. This was a good establishing track for the project with the bass solo, Barry's organ solo, and symphonic flourishes.

A - 'You by My Side'. A love song, and of course the CSN influence in the vocals and tempo.

C - Right, I mean I wanted something well-rounded, you know, and what CSN were doing was a sort of irresistible mix of Beatles pop with American folk.

A - And segueing into 'Almost Falling'.

C - Yeah, nice smooth changeover. Mel Collins on, I think, tenor sax, and Patrick's bass part on the Minimoog. And of course a huge Brian Wilson influence here which, by the way, I've always had. Another thing here, with the whole record, is the almost complete lack of guitar throughout the set.

A - Was that intentional?; I mean was it part of the original plan?

C - Oh yeah, I think so. Nothing against guitar but I wanted an avenue away from what I'd been doing with Yes and leaving out guitar was an effective way toward that. The little guitar accents I do are fine, I think. Shows the value of a good-sounding rhythm guitar in small doses. A little goes a long way.

A - Bill Bruford's drumming is just outstanding on the album, he seems to contribute a very important element. Would you agree?

C - Absolutely. It isn't just brilliant playing but you can hear how the drums are completely integral. In other words, they're an entirely equal component rather than just a dazzling rhythm instrument.

A - Moving on to 'Lucky Seven'.

C - Yeah well it turned out good, you know. Andrew worked his magic, and it's in 7/4 of course and somehow, largely thanks to Bill, it ended up sounding damn good, better than I'd anticipated.

A - You couldn't tell it worked right after you'd written it?

C - Not in the same way, no. But when we were all in the studio and Bill started pumping out that time and we started getting the playback, I knew it was working. Wonderful here with the sax working off of the drums. And then into 'Safe'. Not an easy song to sing, especially back when you had to actually sing everything (chuckles). 11/16, 13/16, and several other unusual time signatures appear, something more musicians were drawn to back then.

A - Chris I want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk. I know you're a busy man. By the way, the World wants to know: Do you ever play music, and with whom?

C - (big wide smile) I do play as often as I can but it's not with, y'know, Hendrix or Keith Moon or anyone (laughter). I mostly play with other musicians, regular guys, who passed around the same time I did. I guess the shared experience creates a simpatico that goes well with jamming ~~~

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Quinino
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #1

Chris Squire was the main driving force in the Symphonic Prog flagship band YES and in his own right one of the most influential rock bass players of his generation.
This one is his first, and one could say the only propper solo album, and what an album it is, my friends !
(I write this only two months after his sad depart, so there will be no more from him apart this gem here)

Global Appraisal

It's 1975 (what a year!) and CS, between touring dates with Yes to promote their album Relayer released the year before, finds the time to finish his home-studio in rural England.
There in the Spring he will start to record with fellow Yes members Patrick Moraz and Bill Brufford, some guest musicians, and specially with the guidance of Andrew Jackman, what to my eyes and ears will become the epitome of proggyness.
CS composed, arranged and produced 5 songs (others will be discarded, for example Parallels will resurface on YES' Going for the One), with orchestrations by his childhood friend and former fellow choir-boy, classical trained conductor Andrew Pryce Jackman, who besides plays the piano, acoustic and electric.

What you get here is 44 plus minutes of music in the Progressive most pompous style, full orchestra and all, but first and foremost the immediately recognizable (for the initiated, at least) trademark bass playing of the highest grade.
Right from the first notes you get to sense the powerful style of master Squire sounding his Rickenbacker like no one else ever matched, and so many have tried believe you me, mixed much in front and wonderfully supported by his former rhythm partner in Yes Bill Brufford, himself a truly original musician; in fact BB developed a jazzy style of drumming, much beyond the usual rock canon, and his performance in this record is nothing short of phenomenal - if you already know the man you'll love his work here.

In the first song you also get a wonderful church organ solo, recorded on site in a late-night session at St. Pauls Cathedral.
Moraz, on his side, plays wonderful Hammond and introduces a novelty: Moog synthesized bass, that you can hear more expressively in "Silently falling".
But you'll get more: tubular bells, gongs, lovely flute and sax solos (these by Mel Collins of KC fame), and our man CS always there playing the Rickenbacker & Gibson & Fender basses, and even the odd 12-string guitar, and his beautiful voice leading as well as harmonizing.
Most notably in the long "Canon Song", almost 15 minutes composed in fugue form where you can recognize (?) sections in 11/4, 16/4 and more, along the whole album you are amazed by the succeeding tempo changes; but this never happens gratuitously and throughout all the songs most of all you get the feeling of ever present melody and beauty.

That's it, Beauty! - this music is BEAUTIFUL and Ladies & Gentlemen, the place to start a wondrous journey...welcome to Progland!

Goodies

"Hold out your hand" has the legendary Rickenbacker bass, here with a Jack Bruce (one major influence, the other being John Entwistle) fuzzy kind of sound, coupled with excellent drumming from Bruford and you'll never forget the church organ solo too, for sure.

"You by my side" features sublime vocal harmonies "a la" CS&N, whose vocal style CS explicitly admired, and a wonderful flute solo.

"Silently falling" gets a Hammond solo by Moraz, a sax solo, formidable drumming by Bruford and the odd guitar playing by CS with a 12-string (he happens to play again in the last track).

"Lucky seven" is a 7/4 tempo song and you have to hear Bruford on this one! Add a Fender Rhodes, CS here with a Fender Telecaster bass, a sax solo, and the ever present orchestra and you begin to have an idea.

"Canon song" has a classical tone, much due to the elaborated orchestration specially in the final section, a long climaxing culmination of a musical journey without a single second of dullness. On this one CS excels in the vocal harmonies, plays a Rickenbacker 8-string bass, a Gibson Thunderbird bass and again a 12-string guitar.

On the cover is an excellent picture of CS taken by Brian Lane in front of the Detroit Hilton escalator during the US 1974 tour.

If you choose the 2007 Expanded Edition, besides the remastered album you'll also get a DVD with an interview and full length step-by-step audio commentary by CS which, believe me, you don't want to miss: the great musician was one-of-a-kind character and is already sorely missed.

 Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White) by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.56 | 12 ratings

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Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Beware of the rocks"

Run With The Fox is a non-album single released by Chris Squire and Alan White in 1981. The title song that forms the a- side of the single features lead vocals and bass guitar by Squire and drums and keyboards by White. I have often seen the song being described as a Christmas song, but this is not something that is very obvious to me. It does have a folkier sound compared to the music of Yes and I can readily imagine this being performed by Jethro Tull (which would have been interesting to hear). The flute-like keyboard lines could have been well played by Ian Anderson. While it may not appeal to all Yes fans, I like this song.

The title song appeared on CD for the first time ten years later on the Yesyears box set, but the b-side Return Of The Fox has so far never been released on CD and perhaps never will. As the name indicates, Return Of The Fox is a variation on the main theme from the title song and is basically an instrumental version of the same. Most of the vocals have been replaced by keyboards. This one is not essential, but worth a listen for the curious.

A worthy single release

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Given the sad departure of the one and only CHRIS SQUIRE (4 March 1948 - 27 June 2015), bassist extraordinaire and key figure to the most dominant forces amongst early British progressive rock bands, i find it appropriate to remember this musical genius not by the band that he spearheaded into superstardom and mega-classic status, but to pay respect by reviewing his one and only progressive solo album outside of Yes. True, he did a Christmas album much later, so i guess he technically has two solo albums. FISH OUT OF WATER came out the year after Yes' "Relayer" album and tour. The band had just gotten off of a whirlwind of a five year run with one classic album and tour after another and they opted to take a well-deserved break. With this restless bunch of talent lurking about, it was only inevitable that each member would channel their attention to the solo projects that didn't quite fit into the Yes scheme of things.

Well, not really. It seems all the Yes solo projects weren't a terribly distant musical expression from the musical mothership and CHRIS SQUIRE was probably the one whose solo project reminds the most of Yes, especially the opening track and lead single "Hold Out Your Hand." The fact that this album sounds so much like Yes is testament to CHRIS' instrumental role in being the backbone to its very sound and was in fact the only member to be on every single studio album the band released (it's apparent who owned the Yes name given the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe projects). FISH OUT OF WATER is clearly a CHRIS SQUIRE project with his classic Rickenbacker bass sound and unmistakable progressive rock style that no one else could ever come to duplicating exactly. This album includes a huge cast of primo musicians helping out including Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel, Alan Parsons Project), Jimmy Hastings (Soft Machine, Caravan, Hatfield and the North etc), fellow Yes members Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on synths and organs and Andrew Pryce Jackman from SQUIRE's former band The Syn.

FISH OUT OF WATER consists of only five tracks with two being over the eleven minute mark. CHRIS himself handles vocals on this one, which for better or worse is one of the biggest flaws of this album, at least for me. His style is to imitate his close ally Jon Andersen in style, however he doesn't quite have enough strength in the old wind pipes to come close to pulling it off. Luckily a big chunk of the longer tracks are extended progressive rock workouts which sound very much like they could have been leftover tracks from the "Relayer" album at times. "Silently Falling" is probably my favorite track where delightful flute led rock builds into a progressive frenzy and ratchets down again through many movements. "Lucky Seven" is a bona fide jazz-rock fusion and probably sounds the most distant from any Yes album but then again there's that giveaway baseline that links the projects. "Safe (Canon Song)" is the other lengthy track and is also a favorite. It has a beautifully orchestrated progressive ending that wends and winds notes and rhythms and harmonies in super cool ways.

The album is heavily orchestrated at times even tends to overdo it. The musicianship is outstanding and there is lots of jamming where band members feed off of each other into musical frenzies that peak and trough. It's all very pleasant stuff to say the least. This album is only a recent purchase that just happened to find its way into my hands a mere few weeks before CHRIS SQUIRE's unfortunate passing from acute erythroid leukemia. I have not had a lot of time to really let this one sink in, but have listened enough to get a good sense of what's going on. I was wanting to like this one a lot more given all the lofty praise heaped upon it but i did find it somewhat disappointing overall. It is a very decent album for sure, but as mentioned CHRIS SQUIRE was no vocalist, at least not an extremely gifted one. That knocks a whole star off for me. The music is much better and i wish this had been an instrumental album or at least had several guest vocalists take over the lyrical duties. Despite it all, the music is quite good and this is definitely an enjoyable album if you can put the vocals aside. There also could have been a greater effort to distance the album's overall sound from a Yes album as well. Overall an album worth hearing from one of the greatest bass players and progressive rock giants ever to have lived. He has left a wealth of music for all time and will live on throughout generations to come. R.I.P. Chris, you will surely be missed by all.

3.5 stars but rounded up for sure. This is CHRIS SQUIRE we're talking about!

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by iguana

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 each other and to clear out some accumulated but hitherto non- utilised material. As much as this period in the band's life is shrouded in mystery as logical was its occurrence. Yes had always been a conglomeration of highly individual talents and characters whose chemistry (for better or worse) constituted much of the band's attractiveness on stage and in the studio. The band's members, who in various bouts of megalomania had often employed their participation in Yes to showcase their craft to the best effect, were thus well-groomed for solo ventures ? and they went for it come hell or high water, often forging successful careers for themselves as individuals. Initial motivation must have been the erstwhile solo success of their wayward (and by then departed) keyboard wizz Rick Wakeman that led them to think along similar lines. Guitarist Steve Howe had enough interest in a wide array of instrumental stylings and guitar traditions to churn out albums worth of highy eclectic material while the band's figure head Jon Anderson probed even wider territories of creative loopiness. Yes' current keysman Patrick Moraz went further into his mode of jazzy cinemascope excellence while also contributing heavily to his bandmates' solo efforts; even their stalwart drummer Alan White, by many accounts the most modest and grounded Yes- member, dabbled with indigenous rhythms and calypso song structures on his own "Ramshackled". However, within this plethora of solo material bassist Chris Squire's singular album "Fish Out Of Water" is universally viewed as the best one. Why so?

While his colleagues very much built their solo work around their instrumental prowess while often lacking compositional finesse the lanky bass player went a distinctly different route. Both renowned and dreaded for his tedious meticulousness he set about crafting something which relies more on composition, arrangement and atmosphere while understanding that the last thing people would require is an album of bass guitar shredding from who had undoubtedly become one of Britain's finest four-stringers this side of John Entwhistle. Squire did have one element at the ready that would free him from a purely instrumental straightjacket: his voice. His erstwhile training as a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral in London had equipped him with sizable knowledge of harmony, counterpoint and backing arrangements which he would employ to best effect within Yes' ranks, often providing much needed bedrock for Anderson's and Howe's off-kilter ideas while not neglecting his own style and melodic capabilities. Indeed, by retreating to his initial role in Yes and providing very strong lead vocals Squire succeeds in making this album not too overbearing. Indeed, composition and collaboration is the key here. While all the songs are self-composed (and, at times, succumb to an undoubted degree of pompousness on his account) there is an array of notable collaborators at work here to make them a success. Drummer Bill Bruford returns in one of his lesser-known collaborations and in reuniting the very early Yes rhythm section provides a welcome touch of class. Patrick Moraz excells throughout on some jazz/classical hybrid keyboard work and the albums roots in quintessentially English musical traditions is augmented by a chamber orchestra, Canterbury scene regular Jimmy Hastings on flute and King Crimson's own Mel Collins on saxophone. Squire's old mate from the Syn days Andrew Pryce Jackman returned on tasteful piano and orchestral arrangement. Another notable participant is Sir Barry Rose, Squire's old choir leader on pipe organ. It is not a rock album, it is something else that eschews any pigeonhole. And it is very good indeed.

Indeed, that pipe organ sets the scene as it introduces the opening track with Squire's customary Rickenbacker bass ascending above it and it leads into 43 minutes of very diverse, stately material. The somewhat jazzy, off-beat "Hold Out Your Hand" does not deviate much from its downbeat funkiness with organ and orchestra forming a gently oscillating horizon cloudscape with Squires angular bass lines and vocals taking the lead. Its sister track "You By My Side", on the other hand evokes the uplifting harmony pop of the psychedelic late 1960s with more than a hint of heyjudeisms and an anthemic Procol Harum-type pastoralness and the orchestra tastefully employed in its coda. A delightful bridge which exquisitely features flautist Mel Collins segues into "Silently Falling", somehow acting as a sum-up of Side 1 albeit being rockier and with a fast-paced jazz bit in the middle which evokes very early Yes on speed as Patrick Moraz and Bill Bruford chase each other across the finishing line. Chris's vocals may be a bit grating by the end as he hardly deviates from his rather constructed phrasing but they need to be viewed as another instrumental capacity just like what Jon Anderson has attempted in Yes to various degrees of success.

Side 2 starts inconspicously with the slightly nondescript "Lucky Seven" which flows along timidly and gives every instrument the opportunity to stretch out without dominating the proceedings. It is here that the album's crafty composedness may divide the listener into terminal boredom or appreciation of the varied musical undercurrents. It takes its time and it grows in stature just like its key proponent did within his band's ranks. "Fish Out Of Water" is thus a fair representation of Chris Squire as a musical person. He is firmly a second-rank acteur, but one who is capable to fill out his own creative space that he often self-restricts. As the album moves into its 15-minute long closing track "Safe" it elevates itself onto an even higher plateau. After a quiet, almost inaudible start it picks up momentum and ends in a frenzied orchestral waltz that seems to spin around its own axis with several instrumental leads ? and more of Squire's lethal bass ? coiling around it; almost hurling the listener to an impending point of impact. That point materialises in a huge band/orchestra crescendo which leads into a fading drone that consists of some lone, mournful bass notes disappearing into the post-listening void like the distant grumble of a departing vintage airliner.

This was also the last that would ever be heard of Squire as a true solo artist. When Yes resumed operations a year later he contributed heavily to every ensuing album (by "Drama" and "90125" he had become the de facto leader of the band) and, thus, transferred all of his own material into band sessions. Squire did remain open for collaborations outside of Yes such as Esquire, Conspiracy with later band alumnus Billy Sherwood, an unexpected The Syn reunion (reviewed elswhere here) and his most recent collaboration with Steve Hackett, the snappily named Squackett which, however, suffered much from the diluting capacities of artistic joint ventures. Some people are probably not cut for solo careers...

 Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White) by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.56 | 12 ratings

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Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I didn`t expect to find this single in the Prog Archives database, but I saw it today in the updates section of this website. So, I`m going to write a review about it. This single was released in late 1981 before Christmas, almost at the same time that the "Classic Yes" compilation album from Yes was released. By April 1981, Yes had split for the first time after the "Drama" album and tour of 1980, and after this Chris Squire and Alan White spent some time trying to form a band with Jimmy Page from the also then recently defunct LED ZEPPELIN. Despite they rehearsed and recorded some Demos for some months, the projected band called "XYZ" finally was found to be uncompatible in musical styles, and they split. So, some months later it seems that Squire and White had the idea to record this single with the help from Peter Sinfield who wrote the lyrics (while Squire and White maybe only wrote the music), and from the late Andrew Pryce-Jackman who did the orchestral and choral arrangements (and maybe played some keyboards too) for this Christmas song, which is good, with some choral arrangements which sound like inspired by a Church Choir. It also has some piano playing (maybe done by White), plus drums, percussion, bass guitar, and lead and backing vocals (with all vocals maybe only done by Squire). It also has a brief melody played with a recorder (soprano flute). I don`t know if this song was played in the radio in the U.K. then (and it seems that it wasn`t released in the U.S. then), but I listened to this song for the first time in 1991-92 when it was released in the "Yesyears" Box Set from Yes, and now it seems that it is the only release on which this single could be found on CD until this Box Set was discountinued some years ago. I don`t know why Squire and White wanted to record and to release a single like this. Maybe they only did it for fun. But I think that now it is mostly interesting for collectors only. Apparently the B-side was another version of the same song without vocals, but I never have listened to it.

Update (22-May-2015): "Return of the Fox", the "B" side of this single, is an instrumental version of "Run with the Fox", but played with keyboards (by Dave Lawson, former keyboard player with GREENSLADE) and with brief vocals by Nikki Squire (Chris Squire`s then wife), and also without the orchestral and choral arrangements.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

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.
 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

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 each section. There is a clear relationship with fellow Yes, added to the orchestral arrangements, the flute and sax parts here and there, including the trumpeter specializing in Baroque music, John Wilbraham.

I do not consider necessary to review every song. Obviously, the largest take the top laurels. The low figure in all the numbers on the disc, with energy and virtuosity but without being a one-man protagonist. The overall construction of the songs is the main thing.

Some also are remarkable vocals and lyrics. That is evidenced by Silently Falling and Safe (Canon Song).

After this statement, it is clear that there is no waste in this offering, at least for me.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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