Montreux’s Theme is one of the most graceful bass lines written and performed by Chris Squire, with such a great interplay along with Alan White and Steve Howe. Do you know which bass did Chris play? Would you like to have a guess? Please take a listen to the sample more below and take your vote. Thank you very much!
New year has begun! I have been busy with work and new projects and, with the few time I had, I did yet another “remaster”, this time with Looking Around, from the very first Yes LP. As we approach the first anniversary since our dear Peter Banks passed away, I took the opportunity to decorate the green screen in the memory of Peter.
I also discovered on my computer that I had kept a test video which I had recorded on the day before while I was still practicing. Strings are out of tune and camera loses focus but still I thought it would be interesting to show you how I was rehearsing.
Towards the end you will be able to see how I was beginning to experiment with very rudimentary graphic effects. I used a Yes cartoon designed by brazilian graphic artist Milton Trajano, which featured on The Ladder Tour program. Milton is in fact who suggested me that I should go and try to make a video clip of Chris’ basslines on YouTube, and helped me with the artwork of my early videos, like Parallels and A Venture.
Bass: Rickenbacker 4001CS
Strings: Warwick Red Label (45-105, stainless steel)
This is one of my old bassline attempts from back in 2001. Fortune Seller has always been on of my favourite tunes in “Open Your Eyes”. The song is very dominated by it’s bass riff which, to me, has a strange “odd-meter” feel, although in reality it’s in plain 4/4.
The effects applied were also notable since flanger and octaver effects were rarely used by Chris with his Rickenbacker (more often with his MPC Electra on Cinema, Leave It or City Of Love). However, on the Open Your Eyes album, especially the flanger was used on some other tracks: Open Your Eyes (Rickenbacker) and Wonderlove (flanger and octaver, maybe here it’s really the Electra).
While I don’t have time to complete the next video, I have tried to produce a slightly better quality audio/video version of my first upload. I had to use some different settings for the fx and fixed sync issues. This time I used Amplitube’s “Nu-Tron” to emulate the Mu-Tron III pedal. I also added some chorus, which I found out to be somewhat close to the “harmonised” sound used here and elsewhere on Tormato.
Last week, Chris Squire received questions from fans all over the world so he could answer via Yesworld.
Luckily enough my question was answered. Here is what I asked and what Chris replied:
Question – “Dear Chris. You mentioned on interviews about ‘Roundabout‘ bass line being doubled by yourself playing a guitar. It seems to me that you might have applied the same technique previously on ‘All Good People‘. Can you confirm this? Thank you.”
Answer – “No, the bass guitar on ‘All Good People’ was not doubled, as far as I can remember; I think that’s purely just a bass guitar. But you are indeed correct that ‘Roundabout’ was me doubling the bass line with a big Gibson electric guitar that belonged to Steve Howe.”
In this clip I had to find the fine line between playing note by note and getting a natural feel. As a result there is some “ad-libbing” but I hope the feeling should compensate that :) “Looking Around” is one good example of how Chris Squire was inspired by elements of soul/R&B from the era: syncopated playing, incorporating octave leaps, yet adapting it to his own taste, picking style and that thunderous Rickenbacker timbre, resulting in a wonderful groove and great fun to play along. I hope you enjoy it like I did!