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Fish Out of Water Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Fish Out of Water
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Audio CD, Import, 1 Jan 1996
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000005S6Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,690 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

BBC Review

By 1975 progressive giants Yes were resting following the release of Relayer, their eighth album in five years. Inveterate workaholics, the five members decided the best way to take it easy was to work on their own solo albums. Discussion amongst fans still rages as to whose was the best (Jon Andersons' Olias Of Sunhillow being the most cosmic and Steve Howe's Beginnings being the most technically proficient), but bass player, Christopher Russell Edward Squire's Fish Out Of Water was the one that pleased most people who'd come to love the band's mixture of sumptuous vocals and tricky time changes.

The reasons for this are simple: Squire was a founder of the band and had, probably more than any other member, forged the sound that was to make them world-beaters. Vocally similar to Anderson, on Fish! (the title's a reference to his nickname) he displays his choral background, and love of West Coast harmonising on the paired opening tracks 'Hold Out Your Hand/You By My Side'. And while not lyrically as knotty or technically as dazzling as his band's output, Fish! stands as a consistently fine piece of proggery.

The album boasts an array of top 'heavy' names of the time. There are links here to not only his own band (Patrick Moraz on keyboards) but also King Crimson (ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford, and sax player Mel Collins), the Canterbury scene (Caravan's Jimmy Hastings, who plays some tasty flute on 'You By My Side') and even Squire's own psychedelic past (old bandmate from The Syn, Andrew Jackman, on keyboards).

The album veers away from Yes' then-current fusion tendencies, leaning heavily on lush orchestral arrangements ('Silently Falling', 'Safe (Canon Song)') though the time signatures still get adequately messed with (7/8 on 'Lucky Seven'!). And while Squire's patent growling Rickenbacker is well up in the mix it never gets in the way of the actual songs. It's this restraint that makes Fish Out Of Water still eminently enjoyable to modern ears: A rare feat in such a genre. Strangely and sadly, Squire would never be tempted to repeat it, instead remaining true to the band he formed in 1968. --Chris Jones

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great deal
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album on vinyl when it was originally released and it immediately became and has stayed as one of my favourite albums. This new version has been put together with thought and attention and the remastering has not taken anything away from the original but has given the songs a deserved upgrade in sound quality to modern standards. The DVD is excellent and in his video commentary Chris shows with his generous compliments of others involved in the project that this was a combined effort in crafting his music into the finished album. The interview is also excellent and Chris tells of his musical influences, technical details regarding his studio and instruments plus tales of the time of the recording in detail and with humour.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent album. Yes bassist Chris Squire created a solo work as grandiose as much of his work with that band but with a twist. His virtuoso bass work is very much to the fore and an orchestra accompanies him much of the time rather than synths or guitar. The best thing about this work is that you get to hear plenty of Squire`s wonderful singing voice, which blends perfectly with Jon Anderson in Yes, but here he shows what an excellent lead singer he is in his own right. The highlights for me are the spacey prog of "Hold out your hand", the quasi jazz/classical fusion of "Silently falling" and the over-the-top "Safe (Canon song)". This has been due the remastering treatment for a long time and the bonus DVD with the rare promos for "Hold out your hand" and "You by my side" will be most welcome. The only pity is that Squire has never made a follow up. This CD, much like Jon Anderson`s "Olias of Sunhillow" and Steve Howe`s "Beginnings", shows what talents Chris brought to Yes in the mid 70`s.
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Format: Audio CD
Surprisingly, "Fish Out Of Water" is the only solo album to date from the Yes bassist. Recorded during the band hiatus between "Relayer" and "Going For The One" when all members recorded a solo album, this still stands up pretty well. Though lyrically the subject matter is more "straightforward" than Jon Anderson's oblique opaqueness, musically this is as solid and sweeping as the best of Yes music. Squire's pumping bass is well to the fore throughout and is ably supported by a host of excellent musicians. These include fellow Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz on Hammond and bass synthesiser, Mel Collins, playing some wonderful sax, the ever impressive Jimmy Hastings on flute and surprisingly ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. It was so good at the time to hear the old Yes rhythm section back together again!

Opening with "Hold Out Your Hand" which could have been a Yes classic in the making, this grand opening shows how important Squire was to the Yes sound. With Barry Rose on church organ this is a stirring and emphatic start and sort of pre-empts "Parallels" from "Going For The One". Though Anderson is renowned for his vocal arrangements within Yes, Squire's multi-tracked vocal parts on this album are quite spectacular.

A highlight for me is "Lucky Seven". Beginning with a nice electric piano intro from Squire's ex-Syn partner, the late Andrew Jackman this leads into a typically tight and inventive bass part with Bruford equally sharp on drums. Mel Collins really shines on this with some beautifully lyrical sax soloing.

This newly remastered version is released on Squires own label and the care that has gone into putting all this together is clearly evident. The album is packaged in a beautiful glossy fold-out digipack which house the CD and bonus DVD.
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4 Comments 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I originally bought this CD on a Jap import in the early 90's.
Once I heard this remastered deluxe package was coming out I had to get it.

Comparing the remastered version to the original, I cannot honestly hear
any improvement in the sound. I was more expecting a major improvement along the lines
of the Led Zeppelin Remasters or more recently the excellent Genesis stereo remixes. I guess
it comes down to available budget etc. Now I haven't heard the more recent Wounded Bird
Records version so please don't let this put you off.
The DVD more than makes up for this.

As for the DVD you get the following :-
Promo videos for Hold Out Your Hand and You By My Side in pretty good quality for the age.
41 minute interview with Squire conducted in Nov 2006. Some great anecdotes!
52 minute film of Squire doing an audio commentary with more insight
into the making of the album, backing tracks, recording process - everything you pretty
much needed to know.

Parallels was originally intended for FOOW but due to time contraints of
vinyl ended up on Yes - Going For The One.
Brian Lane took the cover photograph at the Detroit Hilton elevator doors -
Always wondered about that cover.
Squire also talks a little about his upcoming solo album and how he has 29 min of
musical ideas (as at Nov 06)and how although not aiming at another orchestral
influenced album it is leaning in that direction but different.

I can highly recommend this package. Of the Yes solo albums from the mid 70's this is generally
regarded the best. Probably as Squire says it is
the most Yes like due to Brufords jazz drumming and also having Patrick Moraz on keyboards.

One of the best 70s prog albums!!!
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