A Fish Out of Water That Swims On

chris-squire-fish-out-of-water

I have been meaning to write in praise of Chris Squire’s solo album Fish Out of Water for some time now. In fact, I wanted to publish a review after his sudden passing last June, but I feared I would not do his album justice (or something to that effect). I suppose now would be as good a time as any to call attention to this somewhat obscure gem of an album. As I write this, I am listening to “Silently Falling”, a hauntingly beautiful, eleven minute masterpiece featuring dramatic and complex keyboards, a driving bass guitar, and the melodic vocals of Mr. Squire, whose voice lies somewhere between Jon Anderson’s and Peter Gabriel’s. The album also features the talents of Yes alums Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz, King Crimson‘s Mel Collins, and a small orchestra conducted by Squire’s friend Andrew Jackman.

If you are not already familiar with this album, I suggest you give it a listen. Here are brief notes on each song:

“Hold Out Your Hand” – The album opener is driven by Moraz’s organ and Squire’s melodic Rickenbacker bass. It’s a relatively fast-paced tune, but it transitions smoothly to the softer…

“You by My Side” –  A well-orchestrated piece that features a beautiful flute solo. The next song,

“Silently Falling” – I have already discussed, but I’ll mention the name again in case you forgot it! Squire then switches gears to the jazzier…

“Lucky Seven” – A tune which features the talented Mel Collins on alto sax. Squire shifts gears one more time before the grand finale…

“Safe (Canon Song)” – A majestic fifteen minute piece that deserves a spot among some of prog’s better epics.

Fish Out of Water is without question the finest solo album by a Yes member, and I would go so far to say it is one of the best prog albums of the early 1970s. Unlike the solo albums of other Yes members (Anderson and Howe, in particular), Fish Out of Water has a distinctive sound, and it has aged well. If you do not yet believe me, watch the promo video below:

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “A Fish Out of Water That Swims On

    1. connormullin94

      Olias is a good album, but not as strong as Fish. And as much as I love Steve Howe, his albums never quite reached the level of Fish or Olias. Vocals are not Howe’s strong suit.

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  1. graeme56

    I have been listening to this great album since the mid 70s when I bought it on vinyl. I’m not in total agreement about it being the best solo album by a Yes member – Six Wives Of Henry VIII, Olias of Sunhillow and Beginnings are all very listenable even now – but Fish is a great reminder of that magical run of Yes albums throughout the seventies and the undeniable genius of Mr Squire

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