Sunday, September 16, 2012
Favorite Albums: Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water
As a young bassist, one of my favorite bass players was, and still is, Chris Squire of Yes. His classical sounding melodic bass lines are unmistakable and have influenced a couple of generations of bassists, including Rush's Geddy Lee. Squire is especially associate with the Rickenbacker Bass.
He is one of the founding members of Yes, one of the progressive rock bands of the late sixties and early seventies. Squire will always be associated with such Yes songs as Round About and Owner of a Lonely Hearts, and the Fish.
Squire's nickname is the Fish, which comes from a incident where he flooded a hotel room by accident while he was in a shower. He was also known for spending a lot of time in the bathroom when he lived with fellow Yes band mate Bill Buford.
Fish out of Water has only five tracks but they are sublime. This is a case of a very creative and interesting album, which while, not a great commercial success (#25 in UK, #69 in US), has had some longevity. The structure of the music blends rock, jazz, and classical in one cohesive sound. The album features a full orchestra as well as rock instrumentation.
The bass is made to be prominent in the mix of the album, and rightfully so. It is melodic but holds down the bottom. Squire puts on a clinic for bass work.
Squire's vocal work does not sound much different from Yes band mate Jon Anderson, singing in the higher register with a lot of power and discipline.
The first track, Hold Out Your Hand, is a opens the album with the organ from the London Cathedral, and then a stunning stereo bass riff by Squire.
The song flows into the next track, You by My Side.
Side one concludes with Silently Falling, an 11 minute track with full orchestration.
Side 2 opens with the track, Lucky Seven, so named for its 7/8 time signature. It has a jazz feel to it with minor keys and saxophone.
The album closes with Safe, a fifteen minute track that reprises a theme from Yes's song, Close to the Edge.
Fortunately, Fish out of Water is still available for down load, a little more difficult to obtain on CD, although an enhanced import is available but is pricey.
Fish Out of Water is a personal favorite of mine, by one of my greatest bass influences.
All songs written by Chris Squire.
"Hold Out Your Hand" – 4:13
"You By My Side" – 5:00
"Silently Falling" – 11:27
"Lucky Seven" – 6:54
"Safe (Canon Song)" – 14:56
Purchase Fish Out Of Water:
Chris Squire Web Sites
Chris Squire My Space
Chris Squire Facebook
Video for Hold Out Your Hand and You by My Side:
Chris Squire – basses, lead and backing vocals, additional drum fills on "You By My Side", 12-string electric guitar on "Silently Falling" and "Safe"
Andrew Jackman – acoustic and electric pianos, conductor, orchestration
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Patrick Moraz – bass synthesizer and organ on "Silently Falling"
Jimmy Hastings – flute
Mel Collins – alto saxophone on "Lucky Seven", tenor saxophone on "Silently Falling"
Barry Rose – pipe organ on "Hold Out Your Hand"
Adrian Bett – woodwinds leader
Jim Buck – horns leader
Julian Gaillard – strings leader
John Wilbraham – brass leader
Nikki Squire – backing vocals on "Hold Out Your Hand"
Chris Squire: Producer
Greg Jackman: Engineer
Nigel Luby: Assistant Engineer
Phil Carson: Overdubs, Mastering
Trevor Spencer: Mastering
Graham Preskett: Mastering