Excellent album, why did I wait so long?
Bobby C. | Connecticut, USA | 02/12/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If "Fish Out of Water" had a been a late-70s Yes album, the train might've stayed on the tracks a bit longer. Instead we got "Tormato" and "Going for the One". Not quite up to the standard of the Holy Trinity of "The Yes Album", "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge".
The songs on "Fish Out of Water" are very good compositions, the song structures are much more interesting than the slapdash affairs on the later Yes albums. This album has also aged much better than other prog excursions from this era, i.e. some of the Bill Bruford solo works."
'reaching for a new kind of wealth'
Deven Gadula | san francisco, ca, united states | 02/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is an abundance of music coming out of members of Yes. Rick Wakeman has been the most prolific. Jon Anderson's most interesting work outside of Yes comes either from his collaboration with Vangelis or is located on his 1976 album Olias Of Sunhillow. There are solo albums released by Steve Howe, Bill Bruford. Alan White and Patrick Moraz, as well as an interesting Two Sides Of Peter Banks, coming out of first guitarist of Yes. However, Fish Out Of Water by Chris Squire is my favorite album by a Yes member and one of my 5 favorite albums coming out of the entire Yes repertoire.
Fish Out Of Water allows us to take a closer look into the world of Yes. This album presents us with spectacular compositions, vocal lines, lyrical abilities and talent of bringing the perfect musicians to help Chris Squire deliver his personal vision and statement. The lyrics of Chris Squire are suspended in the balance of typical imagery of Yes and straightforwardness of his no nonsense personality coming to expression. Chris goes back to his childhood in one of England's most recognized church choirs and brings his choirmaster Barry Rose to play pipe organs during his chorister's masterful expression of his life's lessons learned and philosophy attained.
The beginning track, Hold Out Your Hand is my least favorite song of this album, although I find the organ solo of its ending moments quite remarkable. You By My Side could be our human anthem without a beginning, with a symphonic musical progression and an esoteric and poetic lyric addressing two inspirations affecting us, our emotional every days and spiritual always of our lives. Silently Falling is another great song of the album. It starts with a beautiful flute solo by Jimmy Hasting (of Caravan) and first progresses unto a fast paced song of definite strength. However it is the following slower section which I find so addictive. Chris' vocal overture is truly world class, reinforced by Andrew Pryce Jackson's piano (Andrew was Chris' fellow chorister at St. Andrew's Church). Bill Bruford's drumming finalizes this song in greatness. Lucky Seven proves to me that the inclusion of Mel Collins often was a decision which took the group's music to another level. That is how I feel about Robert Fripp's choice made in 1970, right after the break up of the original The Court Of The Crimson King group. The following 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums of King Crimson would not have been as great without the Mel's involvement, and I don't think he has received the credit he truly deserves for that fact. Chris Squire's decision was brilliant and Lucky Seven proves it. It is a beautiful song. Part of its beauty are saxophone solos but what makes Mel's playing so original, here as on those early Crimson albums is his holding an extended note and blowing the air and life into the atmosphere of songs for extended period of time. He is not the only musician whose work (besides Chris' bass obviously) shines here. Bill Bruford's drums as well as the organ and synthesizer work by Patrick Moraz are both excellent, as is this song. The final song, Safe (Canon Song) is in itself a concerto for a bass guitar and orchestra. To me Patrick Moraz never sounded more like Rick Wakeman than in this track.
There is minimal guitar work on this album, which is also played by Chris Squire. That allows the bass guitar of its master to shine through and make Fish Out Of Water another spectacular album of 1975.
A Review of the Remastering Effort
Skydog | South of the Mason-Dixon | 07/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't think that it was remastered! And I prefer it that way! It sounded fine to begin with! I had it pumpin' all day today and I swear that it was almost the same as my Japanese Import! So I switched back and forth between two decks (it's called an A/B test:) and again little difference! Fantastic! Actually there are some subtle differences but I can't find any documentation on the product to show who actually was responsible for the 3 or 4 changes and, well, according to my ears here they are: 2 dB boost in gain (a good thing) ; the vocals/cymbals get a little freshening of highs that give a feeling of an updated sound (also a good thing because it wasn't overdone) ; the bass is a little rounder and connects better with the kick drum because on the original the kick drum punches through a little too much in the mix so the overall feeling now is that the bass and kick go together better and actually sound bassier (possibly due to a bit of frequency-dependent compression I suspect).
If this was remastered then I would have to say it was a success because the air that was added improved everything from the vocals to the orchestra (which sounds intense). There's maybe a little too much pick noise now (for Chris Squire? NO!) and click on the kick drum, but it's not so much that it degrades the experience it just brings up past the dark 1975 tape sound a bit and lets you hear some of the instruments buried in the mix. I didn't suffer from fatigue even though I listened to the album and the hour or so of extras that were kindly provided. Chris also confirmed what I knew a long time ago about how he got that haunting ending sound as I used to own a double neck SG with bass and guitar neck and I enjoyed playing spacey bass sounds the same way he did with only the guitar pickup on. The other anecdotes were great too, Thanks Chris! I rarely hear a remaster that I would want to take home (because most of these engineers who weren't there at the time of the production always want to update a perfectly good sound) but even with the new, slightly edgier sound, every bit of tone still shines through on this "reissue"."