Chris Squire's Musical Legacy


Chris "Fish" Squire, the heart and soul and, yes, the foundation of iconic prog-rock band Yes, passed away Saturday at the age of 67. He had been battling leukemia, and last month had left the band for the first time -- he is the only member to appear on every Yes album (21 studio albums and a plethora of concert recordings). Squire, who played with a pick, achieved his unique sound by rewiring his Rickenbacker bass to stereo and sending the output of the bass and treble pickups into separate amplifiers. His sound -- and, let it be remembered, his vocals, usually heard in harmony or counterpoint to lead vocalist Jon Anderson's, but still prominent enough to be immediately recognizable -- was integral to the classic Yes albums of the 1970s.

What follows is basically a list of Yes’ best songs, but balanced somewhat by my desire to spread out the choices across more than just a few albums, and to include his solo feature, "The Fish." Squire’s underrated 1975 solo album, Fish Out of Water, is appended in its entirety.

"Time and a Word" from Time and a Word (1970)

"Starship Trooper" from The Yes Album (1971)

"Roundabout" from Fragile (1972)

"Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" – version on Yessongs

"Heart of the Sunrise" from Fragile

"Close to the Edge" from Close to the Edge (1972)

"Siberian Khatru" from Close to the Edge

"The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)" from Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)

"The Gates of Delirium" from Relayer (1974)

"Parallels" from Going for the One (1977)

"Onward" from Tormato (1978)

Fish Out of Water complete album

Steve Holtje


Mr. Holtje is a Brooklyn-based composer, poet, and editor. His soundtrack for director Enrico Cullen's film A Man Full of Days was recently heard at the film's debut screening at Anthology Film Archives. The CD release of the music by MechaBenzaiten Records (distributed by Forced Exposure) is coming the first week of August.