I first heard Chris Squire’s amazing bass tone on the album “Yes” (their first) which I discovered in a cut-out bin at Records Hawaii way back in 1970. I believe I paid 99 cents for it, and at the time I may have been the only person in Hawaii who was absolutely blown away by this band.
In the years to come, the early promise of this record was more than fulfilled with album after album full of incredible music that smashed the barriers between genres and styles, always anchored by Chris Squire’s powerful, innovative bass lines. And that tone! A growling, deep bass that somehow cut through all of the other instrumentation and existed in its own unique sonic space. I’d never heard anything like it.
As a young musician I was influenced by this group perhaps more than any other, and tried in my own way to explore the same endless landscapes of imaginative music they pioneered. (And I used to badger every bass player I worked with, to try to get them to duplicate Chris’s tone.) The video above is a fantastic live performance of “I’ve Seen All Good People,” from their 2002 reunion concert with a full orchestra.
Today we got word that Chris Squire has died at the age of 67 of a rare form of leukemia, and in a way I feel like part of my young adulthood died with him. It’s hard to express how much the music he created meant to me.
So long, Chris. You were one of the all-time best.