Bass pedals cover for “Madrigal”. A lot of the work consisted in getting a sound on the bass pedals close to the original. I think Chris also was very thoughtful in that respect – he didn’t choose the usual “Taurus” sound which has more contour with raspy highs. That’s why I think he went for the “Tuba” preset, which sounds much more discrete. Of course I wanted to underline the bass line but I realized that too loud would be overpowering all the song, so I tried to find a balance. It’s possible that Chris would like the pedals to sound louder in the album. Unfortunately, the video clip version has bad audio – perhaps a good quality of that mix would be as Chris liked. In any case, the notes are what I hear from that version, so it’s Chris’ choice (discounting any mistake from me). I especially like the B he plays over G major, (1st inversion) which he uses to descend to D, in the final verse – that was mixed out of the album version.
Dear friends, this is a very special video for me because I’m presenting the bass I have built in the memory of Chris Squire. The #bassforChris project is my first attempt to construct a bass and it took me about one year. Finally it’s ready.
Another important part of the cover is the use of the 8-string bass on the intro and first two verses of the song. Although there isn’t any report of Chris using an 8-string in this song, while studying the bassline, I concluded that it was indeed the Rickenbacker 4008 that was used, with a wah-wah effect pedal. I underline that this statement is just from my listening, but it fits in the chronology, as the first prototypes were issued in 1973, according to the Rickenbacker Electric Bass Book (Paul D. Boyer/Hal Leonard) and Chris was given one of the first copies.
Music Light for one of his basses which had that range and I chose his beautiful blue Alembic Essence. The tone of the bass is wonderful and I really couldn’t seem to achieve the same “middy” timbre of the Triumph bass. Doing a lot of EQ would rather spoil the Alembic’s tone, so I opted to let the bass speak by itself. The bassline is, again, exquisite – not a single note is played with less care than the other, and often seems to leave the main chord tones, to derive as a counter melody, sometimes beautifully dissonant. In addition, the bass pedals work bring even more drama – as Chris plays also some very bold passages with scales provoking chord inversions, suspensions and yet more dissonance. I listened to several bootlegs and footage of the 1976 sessions to try to compute how the bass pedal line could be played, as the album version is almost criminally undermixed on the pedals (as it happened on some other Yes albums such as Tormato). In fact, I believe that there are more bass pedal passages on the song but the ones I played were the ones I thought had the best chance to be right. Let’s hope that more new formats of mixes will come out, as it seems to be a trend nowadays, and they this part of Chris Squire’s work will come to the surface so we finally get to hear more of his treasures!
Turn Of The Century – Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Yessongs of all, and again, with one of the most fascinating basslines by Chris Squire. Many peculiarities about it as well. Chris played a Gibson Triumph bass, which is a short scale bass. The tone is quite different from the usual, more discrete and less aggressive. However, it allowed Chris to play the higher registers a lot, due to the large number of frets, going to a high F sharp. I asked my good friend Américo Silva at
Bass: Alembic Essence
Strings: Rotosound Swing Bass RS66LD (45-105, stainless steel)
Signal conditioning: Boss LM-2 (limiter)
Preamp: Sansamp Bass Driver DI (BDDI)
Signal path: Bass→LM-2→BDDI→PC
16/07/2014 in Chris Squire bass covers
Tagged Alan White, Alembic Essence, bass pedals, Boss LM-2 Limiter, Chris Squire, Gibson Triumph, Going For The One, Jon Anderson, Moog Taurus, Rick Wakeman, Rotosound, Sansamp Bass Driver DI (BDDI), Steve Howe, Turn Of The Century