Yes was a progressive rock band known for its complex compositions, virtuoso musicianship, and ever-shifting lineup changes. In fact, the group had nearly twenty distinct lineups through the forty-five year period when it recorded studio albums. But through that period, there was one constant, bassist Chris Squire, who played on all 21 of Yes’s original studio albums from 1969 through 2014. Squire died of leukemia on June 27, 2015.
Born in London in 1948, Squire cut his teeth with several fledgling bands through the early and mid 1960s. In 1969, Squire co-founded Yes with vocalist Jon Anderson and, over the next five years, the band recorded and released seven of the most important and indelible progressive rock albums ever. Throughout this period, Squire constantly evolved, even changing his approach to the bass when the group changed drummers in 1972. Squire also co-wrote much of the band’s music during this time.
In 1981, Yes temporarily broke up and Squire participated in the short-lived XYZ supergroup. Standing for “eX-Yes & Zeppelin”, the group featured drummer Alan White along with former Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page but unfortunately fell apart before they could record any material.
Yes re-formed in 1983 with an updated sound and Squire was an integral part of their highest ever commercial success throughout that decade. While Squire did participate in several side projects through the 1990s and into the new millennium, he was present and important for every new Yes album right up until their final 2014 album, Heaven & Earth, released one year ago today.