Fish Out Of Water 1975
It’s now over five years since we lost Chris Squire. With the obvious exception of Bonzo, his passing affected me much more than almost any artist at that time. The music in and around Yes has been extremely important to me since I was a teenager and I guess Chris Squire’s’ incredible bass playing, and vocals, had impacted me far more than I realised.
I saw Yes on the Drama Tour at Lewisham Odeon in 1980. This was a time of turmoil for the band, but there was Chris Squire belting out the most fabulous bass lines in a way that was uniquely his, driving the band towards yet another highly successful period – the much respected 90125 era during the 1980s.
Five years before Drama, Chris Squire produced this, his first solo album, and what an utter triumph it was/still is.
Featuring Yes alumni Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz, Fish Out Of Water could easily have been a full fat Yes album, and actually one of the very best, even though it is arguably a more diverse collection of styles, with wonderful orchestration and even jazz leanings.
I love each and every second of this LP, seen here as a very near mint 1975 original UK pressing on Atlantic. The musicianship is of an amazing standard, with Chris as the fulcrum both in terms of bass playing and singing.
The opener ‘Hold Out Your Hand’ sets the scene for a wonderful musical journey with so many twists and turns, elevating the record into the refined air of the very best progressive rock albums.
Rather than having highlights, the whole thing is one big highlight. That being said, the bass playing in the middle section of ‘Silently Falling’ is so breathtaking.
When you think of the very best rock bass players, I guess the first names that spring to mind are Chris Squire, John Paul Jones and of course the late John Entwistle. Fish Out Of Water tends to suggest that he might even have been the best of them all, though how can you say any of these legends is inferior to the other.
Following its re-release as a lavish box set, Fish Out Of Water has been undergoing a long-overdue reassessment in recent times. What emerges is a record that doesn’t seem to have aged at all and which stands as an astounding testament to Chris Squire’s’ amazing musicality.
Chris Wright | Now Spinning