Yes Master: Ten Essential Chris Squire Tracks

Here's a collection of 10 essential Chris Squire cuts

“No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed”

Yes, Time And A Word [Atlantic, 1970]
With a Jack Bruce-like approach to this Richie Havens-penned cover, Squire’s bass is exquisitely front and center—not just musically but sonically, when the engineer mixes the album on headphones that lack bottom end, instantly creating the early “Yes sound”.

“Starship Trooper”
Yes, The Yes Album [Atlantic, 1971]
Here Chris makes innovative use of tremolo and fuzz effects, and displays his penchant for well-placed descending scales. The song’s slow-build final section features cleverly-layered multi-tracked bass parts.

Yes, Fragile [Atlantic, 1972]
The band’s breakout hit, Squire’s spirited bass line is perhaps his most iconic. What bass player hasn’t attempted to play it? If you listen closely, you’ll hear Chris doubling his own part an octave higher on a Gibson acoustic guitar.

“Close To The Edge”
Yes, Close To The Edge [Atlantic 1972]
The classic four-part suite captures the bassist’s brilliant sense of syncopation as he and Bruford take unexpected rhythmic twists at every turn. When the cosmic dust finally settles in the third movement, Squire delivers a sublime supporting vocal performance.

“Gates Of Delirium”
Yes, Relayer [Atlantic, 1974]
One of the most complex pieces ever recorded by Yes, Squire’s contrapuntal approach and expert ability to navigate difficult time signatures are hallmarks of this epic masterpiece. Delirium indeed.

“Safe (Canon Song)”
Chris Squire, Fish Out Of Water [Atlantic 1975]
A wonderfully orchestrated arrangement from his first solo album, this 15-minute opus may the bassist’s grandest musical statement of all.

Yes, Yesterdays [Atlantic, 1975]
Originally released on a 1972 Atlantic Records sampler, Chris and company pay homage to one of his favorite groups, Simon & Garfunkel, albeit with a wild arrangement and a blistering bass attack. This full ten-minute version includes Squire’s subtle nod to Leonard Bernstein’s “America” in the extended intro.

“Lightning Strikes”
Yes, The Ladder [Beyond Music, 1999]
A deliciously quirky tune by Yes standards, Squire powers this 7/8 romp that shifts gears midway, where he unleashes a furious two bar solo break.

“The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (live version)”
Yes, Live At Montreux 2003 [Eagle 2007]
Squire one-ups his original studio version with this exhilarating live performance that segues into “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom”, another bass showcase that originally appeared on 1978’s Tormato.

“A Life Within A Day”
Squackett, A Life Within A Day [Esoteric Antenna, 2012]
The title track from Squire’s collaboration with Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett is like a Pink Floyd-meets-Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” affair, which breaks out into a 32nd note chops-busting middle section. Check it out but strap yourself in. 


Chris Squire: A Wonderous Journey

It was a troubling announcement that caught the music world by surprise in May of this year: Chris Squire of Yes had been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and would be forced to take a leave of absence from the band’s busy touring schedule.