Sadly, the world lost one of the original forefathers of progressive music this past Saturday when Yes bassist/founding member Chris Squire passed away from a rare form of lukemia. Squire's health issues had already prompted the band to enlist former Yes member and mixing engineer Billy Sherwood to fill in for Squire on Yes' upcoming co-headlining tour with Toto (dates here). This would have been the first time that Squire had ever not performed with the band, and he is the only member to play on every single Yes release (including 21 studio albums and over a dozen live recordings).
Along with Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, King Crimson and Rush, the British band Yes was a pioneer in progressive rock and influenced many artists.
Said the band in a statement:
"For the entirety of Yes' existence, Chris was the band's linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today's well-known artists. Chris was also a fantastic songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes' most endearing music, as well as his solo album, Fish Out of Water."
Unsurprisingly, countless progressive metal bands have been influenced by Yes, from Opeth to Dream Theater to Mastodon to BTBAM and beyond, and news of Squire's death has affected many of our greatest musicians (read some seminal rock/metal artist responses here).
Take a listen to two of the band's masterpiece albums, Fragile and Close To The Edge, which they fittingly performed in their entirety on a tour last year. Fragile's final track "Heart of the Sunrise" truly changed the way I looked at music, and I am forever grateful.
Rest In Prog, Chris Squire, and thanks for the musical magic ...