Exclusive Interview: Chris Squire Reflects On Yes And Talk

Almost 30 years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Yes bassist Chris Squire just before the band’s latest album, Talk, was released. The magazine I was writing for at the time did not think Yes was a suitable band for them to cover, so this interview has remained in my personal archives until now. 

Spirit Of Unicorn Music will release a 30th-anniversary edition of the Talk album on 24 May 2024, so my interview with Chris Squire will finally appear on MetalTalk.

I was told by the press agent for Yes that Chris Squire would call me at home on the day in question. You have to remember that this was way before Zoom or even online conversation was a thing. There I was, waiting eagerly for the phone to ring with my list of questions prepared.

I had been given a pre-release cassette of the Talk album and was completely blown away by it. Little did both Chris and I know what disasters the future held for this wonderful album.

A few minutes past my designated time slot, my phone rang. “Hello, is this Robert Adams I’m speaking to?” asked a deep English accent. “It is,” came my reply. 

“Is this Mr Squire?” I asked. “No, Mr Squire is my father,” came his reply. “I’m Chris.” What a complete gentleman putting me at ease like that.

I explained to Chris that I wasn’t a diehard Yes fan, but I was familiar with tracks like Roundabout, I’ve Seen All Good People, Heart Of The Sunrise and quite a few others. He understood and actually appreciated my candour. 

I told him that the first Yes album I bought was 90125, which I thought was an incredible album. He again thanked me for the compliment and said he liked it too, followed by a hearty laugh.

90125 opened up a brand new avenue of commercial success for a band that many had written off as dinosaurs. I asked Chris Squire how it felt to be a pop star now. He laughed heartily at that. “It’s a very strange situation to be in,” Chris said. “Obviously, we are delighted at the success of 90125, and our audiences have grown dramatically, especially here in the USA. 

“We were selling out arenas for the first time in quite a few years. It was great spotting the diehard Yes fans from the stage and watching them go nuts when we played older songs in the set. 

“The Owner Of A Lonely Heart section of the crowd looked aghast as we played As You And I and Starship Trooper. It was great fun for me to see that, and hopefully, it made a lot of our newer fans investigate our earlier material.”

We then get on to chatting about the Talk album. I told Chris I was given a pre-release cassette of the album a few weeks prior to our interview, and it blew my mind. He was delighted to hear that. 

I asked him what it felt like to be part of recorded music history, given that Talk was one of the first albums to be recorded entirely digitally. 

“You’ll have to ask Trevor [Rabin, Yes guitarist at that time] about that. For the rest of the band, it was business-as-usual recording. But I know Trevor had a hard time with the technology.”

I had the privilege of interviewing Trevor Rabin in 2023 for MetalTalk, and I told him what Chris had said about the recording of Talk. “I remember that well,” Rabin said. “It was such a crazy experience as I had people constantly writing new computer code as we were recording as the program wasn’t quite finished. 

“Also, the computers kept crashing, and that was a pain, especially if you just got a great take. You would have to ask them to go again as the computer hadn’t recorded it. I’m still very proud of the Talk album, and I still think it stands up today.”

Chris Squire was justifiably proud of the Talk album and had taken on board the more commercial sound that Yes had in 1994. “The whole commercial sound that Yes has now has been coming for a while,” he said. “The majority of the 90125 album was written as an album for a new project myself, Trevor, drummer Alan White and Tony [Kaye, keyboards] started called Cinema. 

“We played some of the songs for Jon [Anderson, Yes vocalist], and he loved them. It was suggested by management that 90125 should be a new beginning for Yes, and the rest is history.

“We were already starting to come away from our more expansive songs with the material for Cinema, which ultimately ended up on 90125.”

The Talk album features a few longer songs than those found on 90125. Chris Squire explained this by saying, “I agree there are longer songs on Talk than we put on 90125. But you have to remember that 90125 was supposed to be an album by a brand-new band. 

“With Talk, we chose to encompass what we thought made Yes unique and incorporate that with a more commercial outlook. There’s a track on Talk called State Of Play, which to my mind combines modern sounding grooves with a heavy rock guitar. 

“All of us played out of our skins for this album, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

I asked Chris Squire if the writing process for Talk was similar to the sessions for 90125. “As I said before,” he said, “the material for 90125 was written for a new band [Cinema] and was written by Trevor, myself and Allan. Tony and Jon also added some input when they came on board, but by that time, all of the songs were pretty much finished. 

“With Big Generator, most if not all of the material was written by Trevor with Jon, Tony, Alan and myself adding suggestions afterwards. Trevor was keen to write material with Jon right from the start for Talk, so both of them had a few weeks bouncing ideas around.

“When we came together as a band to listen to their ideas, the songs were once again pretty much completed. Again, Tony, Alan and myself made a few suggestions for some of the tracks but Trevor especially wanted Jon to be involved in the writing process for this album right from the start.”

I asked Chris if there were plans to tour the Talk album. “Plans are already underway for the tour,” he said, “and Trevor has a wonderful idea for the live sound. So we’re in the process of finding suitable companies that can make his vision a reality.”

My time with Chris was up, so I signed off the interview by thanking him for his time and wishing him every success for what, in my mind, was a truly magnificent album.

“Thank you so much for talking to me,” Chris said, “and thank you so much for your kind words about Talk. Hopefully, we’ll get to meet each other somewhere down the road.”

With that, my interview with the great Chris Squire was finished. 

Unfortunately, we never met somewhere down the road, but I’ll never forget that interview. He put me at ease straight away and was such a funny and generous guy and the perfect gentleman towards me. 

Phil Carson approached Trevor Rabin at the culmination of the Yes Union tour in 1992 and asked him if he would consider writing a new Yes album for his new independent label Victory Music. Talk was the album that resulted and was released on the Victory Music label on 21 March 1994. 

Soon after Talk was released, the label went bust, and Talk never got the promotion it deserved, resulting in relatively poor sales of what was, in my opinion, a fantastic album. 

Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye left Yes at the end of the Talk tour, and one of the most successful commercial times for Yes came to a rather ignominious end.

The music world lost one of its true innovators when Chris Squire died of acute erythroid leukaemia on 27 June 2015. 

I consider the above interview I had with Chris in 1994 to be one of the highlights of my journalistic career, and I want to dedicate this to his memory and to my brother from another mother, Mr Harry Young.

Chris Squire - Yes - Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Yes – Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Yes – Talk – 30th Anniversary Edition

Deluxe box set edition featuring 8 bonus studio tracks and previously unreleased live concertavailable as 2-LP limited edition white vinyl/4-cd/1-cd.

Expanded 4-CD Edition: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/yes-talk-30th-anniversary-4cd-expanded-edition.

Single CD Edition: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/yes-talk-30th-anniversary-cd.

Limited Edition White Vinyl:
https://www.cherryred.co.uk/yes-talk-30th-anniversary-2lp-gatefold-white-vinyl-limited-edition.

Yes - Talk 30th Anniversary Edition - White Vinyl
Yes – Talk 30th Anniversary Edition – White Vinyl

2-LP LIMITED EDITION WHITE VINYL

A1 The Calling
A2 I Am Waiting
B1 Real Love
B2 State Of Play
B3 Walls
C1 Where Will You Be
C2 Endless Dream
a) Silent Spring (Instrumental)
b) Talk
c) Endless Dream
Bonus Track
D1 The Calling (Special Version)

4CD DELUXE BOX SET EDITION

CD1
ORIGINAL ALBUM
The Calling
I Am Waiting
Real Love
State Of Play
Walls
Where Will You Be
Endless Dream
a) Silent Spring (Instrumental)
b) Talk
c) Endless Dream

CD2
TALK VERSIONS
The Calling (Special Version)
The Calling (Single Edit)
The Calling (Radio Edit)
Untitled – Trevor Rabin Instrumental
Endless Dream (Demo)
Where Will You Be (Instrumental)
Walls (Instrumental)
Endless Dream (Excerpt) (Instrumental)

CD3
LIVECANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK 19/06/94
I Am Waiting*
The Calling*
Rhythm Of Love*
Hearts*
Real Love*
Changes*
Heart Of The Sunrise
Roundabout

CD4
LIVE CANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK 19/06/94
Cinema*
City Of Love*
Make It Easy*
Owner Of A Lonely Heart*
Trevor Rabin Piano Solo/And You And I*
I’ve Seen All Good People*
Walls*
Endless Dream*

Yes - Talk 30th Anniversary Edition - CD Boxset
Yes – Talk 30th Anniversary Edition – CD Boxset

CD
ORIGINAL ALBUM
The Calling
I Am Waiting
Real Love
State Of Play
Walls
Where Will You Be
Endless Dream
a) Silent Spring (Instrumental)
b) Talk
c) Endless Dream

*Previously unreleased

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