Squire's early influences were diverse, ranging from church and choral music to the Merseybeat sounds of the early 1960's. Squire's first musical groups Syn, and later, Mabel Greer's Toyshop, would introduce him to his early Yes collaborators Peter Banks and Jon Anderson. Yes released its first record in 1969, and though the band has had many personnel changes over the years, they have continued to record and tour for over 30 years. Squire is the only member who has remained in the lineup throughout the band's tenure.
Squire's bass playing is noted for being aggressive, dynamic, and melodic. Squire's main instrument is a Rickenbacker 4001, which he has owned and played since 1965. This instrument, with its warmth and distortion, is a significant part of Squire's sound. Squire's vocals are also key to Yes' music, providing important harmonization with Jon Anderson's distinctive countertenor.
Squire has concentrated overwhelmingly on Yes' music over the years, and his solo works have been few and far between. His first and only true solo record was 1975's Fish Out of Water, a record in the vein of Yes' Relayer, and featuring Yes alumni Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards. He was later a member of the short-lived XYZ in 1981, a group composed of Alan White (Yes) on drums and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) on guitar. However, this group quickly disbanded and never released any material. Later, Squire would join with Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood in a side project called Conspiracy. This band's self-titled debut album contained the nuclei of several songs that had appeared on Yes' recent albums. Squire's latest recording is Conspiracy's The Unknown, released in 2003.
Chris Squire is commonly known by his nickname Fish, and the name is associated with many of his works (for example his solo record, and his solo piece Schindleria Praematurus (The Fish) from the 1972 Yes record, Fragile). The name has a double origin. First, his astrological sign is Pisces, and he is apparently a believer in astrology. Second, in the early days of Yes career, he once accidentally flooded a hotel room in Oslo, Norway while taking a shower, and Bill Bruford gave him the nickname.