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Fish Out Of Water by Chris Squire – 255 – Yes Music Podcast

Fish Out Of Water Deluxe Expanded Edition
Fish Out Of Water Deluxe Expanded Edition

Produced by Preston Frazier, David Gordon and Bill Govier.

We’ve reached the final record in our solo album survey and in some people’s view it’s the best, Fish Out Of Water by Chris Squire. There’s also a 2 pence about 90125 and another ARW review!

  • Is this prog?
  • Does it feel like a solo album?
  • Is there a concept?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

15 replies on “Fish Out Of Water by Chris Squire – 255 – Yes Music Podcast”

Hello Kevin , Mark,
Great show as always just a comment or two on Fish, This is true Chris hands down love this album to this days 40 years on outstanding I do like all tracks on this album however my favorite song is Lucky 7 this song is Chris at his finest. Also I don’t think it hurts having the others in that band to make this record what it was and is to this day!

Great show

awesome job but that is why we listen to this podcast for all the hard work really pays off in this show.



Kevin, I’m surprised you needed this album to convince you of flute having a place in rock. It’s been a staple since before prog really began. Think Peter Gabriel era Genesis, Jethro Tull, Focus right through to modern era bands like Big Big Train – flute is fundamental to these bands and used very differently in each.

I think I’ve said it before but does anyone else find the main theme of You By My Side very reminiscent of the Moody Blues’ “Go now”? It has a similar chord structure with descending bass, piano chords on each of the three beats of the bar and a sequence that seems to go round and round endlessly (cf the Ouroborus, referenced so frequently by Yes, at least according to Scott O Reilly in his book). Chris, of course, is more imaginative and breaks out of the circular sequence, taking the tune of in an unexpected but beautiful direction.

I wonder how much Partic Moraz influenced the very jazz/rock feel of Lucky Seven. Of course this was at the height of the more accessible jazz fusion period with many prog artists crossing over. Bill Bruford always had jazz inclinations and around this time we had the sadly short-lived UK and Phil Collins playing with Brand X.

I think I enjoy FOOW more each time I hear it. It’s probably the only Yes related album I can remember buying. Back in the early 80s a bunch of us used to hire a cottage just outside Truro (Cornwall, UK) for a summer holiday, take our instruments and pretend we were at Headly Grange or some such. Truro had an excellent second hand record shop and I remember vividly finding the album there. This was only a few months after getting into Yes (I was a late developer) I can remember immediately getting into the early tracks, even if I tended to dismiss them as rather “poppy”. It was only in later years that I learned to appreciate the greater depth of those tracks and to enjoy the longer tracks which to this day, I’d still argue are a bit rambling.

Mark’s comments about the Yes tribute band recreating past shows made me wonder whether Yes tribute bands might not make a good topic for discussion one week. I know you’ve touched on it a couple of times before, but not for a while, I think.
Coincidentally, only two weeks ago I went to see “Musical Box” a band who recreate specific Gabriel era Genesis shows. You couldn’t fault them musically and “Peter Gabriel” in particular had clearly studied every clip available of early Genesis – a great Gabriel voice as well (I wonder if anyone can really do Anderson?). The only down side, if there was one, was that Gabriels antics between numbers, so innovative at the time, seemed embarassingly childish 40 years on. But I guess that’s the point.
Staging a Yes recreation with Mike Tait and Martin Dean’s light and stage designs might be rather costly. Would they include intentional technical difficulties, I wonder.

Sorry if I’m a bit late this week, Guys – I was busy with my oldest son’s wedding over the weekend… (about frickin’ time!)… listened to the podcast on the flight home from Seattle, then I listened to “Safe (Canon Song)” during our final approach – at dusk – to Salt Lake City… that music and the dramatic sunset will be fused together in mind from now on… and we landed “Safe.”

First, this is my theory of the classic “Yes Choir” and why it works so well: listen to each individual voice (Jon, Chris, Steve) and then listen to something that they’re all together on. Jon’s voice is a woodwind – flute or clarinet; Chris is the strings – violin and viola; Steve is (to be kind) French or English horn. Separately they’re all just fine; when you combine them it’s magic.

Second – ranking the solo albums, I have to go 5 – Ramshackled, 4 – Beginnings, 3 – Fish Out Of Water, 2 – “i”, 1 – Olias. That’s just me.

Finally, that crazily interesting note from Mark about the final notes of “(Canon Song)” and how Chris went about crafting them – the tone he achieved reminds me of nothing so much as Claude Debussy’s “La Cathédrale engloutie” (The Submerged Cathedral) – it sounds like the muted ringing of church bells, as if from under water… where a certain Fish might long to return…

I’ve seen The Musical Box too, musically spot on and perfectly re-created The Lamb show which I saw back in 1975. I was disappointed by the singer as he has a french canadian accent, nothing like Gabriel.

Hello Jeremy,

Good to hear from you again.
I agree Musical Box is brilliant. ..I’ve had the pleasure of seeing their Lamb show as well as their Foxtrot tour show.
There is one time I regret missing them as they did their very rare Trick of the Tail show…damn.

But really…after seeing such a great show…you will find fault in his french accent?

Thanks again for your comments and look forward to next week.

Mark Anthony K

It is a bit churlish of me to comment on his accent after such a brilliant show. I was responding to Tim’s comment that it was like seeing and hearing Peter Gabriel who was lithe and english not stocky and Quebequois 🙂

Excellent reviews chaps. Definitely an = first between Olias and Fish. Olias is magical but FOOW musically nails it. I’d have described it as more Jazz rock than Progressive, especially with Bill’s great drumming along with the sax flute and jazzy keyboards. Does anyone still have the poster which came with the LP record? It was rather splendid. Mark, how did you get that nugget of info regarding the sound of the bass at the end of the album? I love these geeky bits of knowledge, though you could have left out the reference to your favourite band 🙂

It’s true that 90125 resurrected Yes. I thought they’d disbanded and was amazed when the new album appeared. Your chat made me wonder how you felt at the time Kevin as the Yes lineup changed so much between the period of Tomato, Drama and 90125. Did you think that they were just a random bunch of musicians under a name or were you aware of the seismic nature of change?
I thought Progressive Rock was all about the nature of the music progressing beyond the basic chord and rhythm structures. I don’t think it meant a literal progression in the way you defined it. Yes’s music reached its zenith at Relayer then sort of went backwards from then. 90125 is not what I’d call a Prog Rock album which is probably why it became their best seller.

Greetings Paul,
Sorry for the delay in my response. Working on some cool things for the future YMP episodes. Can’t speak about it yet..but if it guys will be the first to know.

First off..thank you for the very kind words regarding the show. It is something both myself and Kevin enjoy doing very much…and will keep working on to make the best possible show for the listeners.

This album is definitely a fan favorite…I find it fascinating which song people feel are the best. I feel the whole record is brilliant. you do…but I am surprised you like Lucky 7 the best. For some reason I was thinking you’d have picked Silently Falling. It was just a hunch.

Anyways good to hear from you…look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Mark Anthony K

Hello Tim,

I have to say that’s a great idea…and one that I’m sure we will tackle sometime in the very near future. (Tribute bands).

Musical Box is a tribute band I’ve seen a few times. Since they are a Canadian band. .they seem to be in my neck of the woods a little more often. And while the stage banter does seem a little odd nowadays. ..they do pride themselves in recreating the ENTIRE show experience. Haha…Although I haven’t heard the technical faults ….yet.

Thanks for the comments and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Mark Anthony K

Hello Joseph,
Good to hear from you. Don’t apologize. .family comes first always.
As for your description of your flight listening to the episode and then listening the Cannon Song on final approach….this is a great example of what I talked about before…where music and imagery become one…and has a big effect on the listener. I’m glad you experienced this.

Very interesting theory on the Yes choir. I can agree with that assessment. Good job.

And yes the muted church bells description is pretty close to the theory of what Chris did….without submerging his bass of course. LOL!!

Mark Anthony K

Hey Jeremy,

In regards to the “Geeky bit of knowledge”..I’ve read it in a few different sources…one I believe was a bass guitar online forum where bass players spoke about different studio tricks that bass players have done over the years…this one was brought up…as was Tony Levin’s “Nappy Bass sound” which was achieved using his new born child’s diapers placed behind the bass strings….I’m not making this up. So yeah..that was one source. ..and another was a magazine interview by Chris himself…years ago…oh and also it is mentioned on the Wikipedia page for a Fish Out of Water.

Mark Anthony K

I think I saw the video below before I heard FOOW. Kimono? Ha! Chris is playing the red Rick; does that have any effect on the music? There were also other promo videos. I know Steve did one. You can find it on YouTube.

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