Grand Designs - Rush - Power Windows (CD, Album)
Peart officially joined the band on July 29, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11, people at the Civic Arena in PittsburghPennsylvania on August In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career.
Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by NightRush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first mini-epic tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format.
Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature. However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut. Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 's Caress of Steela five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth.
Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour.
However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.
The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.
These albums saw the band members pushing the prog rock envelope for Rush even further than before by expanding their use of progressive elements. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songsand highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions.
To achieve a broader, progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of trianglesglockenspielwood blocks, cowbellstimpanigong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones.
However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose Grand Designs - Rush - Power Windows (CD their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements.
The lyrics up to this point most of them written by Peart were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Randas exhibited most prominently by their song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 's Permanent Waves shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.
Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as " The Spirit of Radio " and " Freewill ", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.
Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements.
Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit Stage Leftin The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours.
As with their first live release, Exit Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in The synthesizer period — The OBX synthesizer used by Geddy Lee on the album Signals While Geddy Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic frontlines as evidence by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track " Subdivisions ".
Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.
Subdivisions Sample of "Subdivisions" from the album Signals. This song is notable for demonstrating the band's foray into their synthesizer period. Problems listening to the file? See media help. Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U. More specifically, Alex Lifeson's guitar tone and playing style on Signals were very reminiscent of contemporary acts of the time who were well known for incorporating such rhythms into their music.
Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.
It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart.
Lee has said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word Musically, although Geddy Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Neil Peart's adaptation of Simmon's electronic drums and percussion.
Alex Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals. Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", " Red Sector A " and "The Enemy Within" serving as prime examples.
The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Geddy Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", the album's modest-charting single with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon.
Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic Guide critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush. Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in Novemberalthough it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1. After Rush's departure inMercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles This song is notable for demonstrating the band's return to a more standard three piece instrument style, where synthesizers are used more sparingly and the guitar returning to the forefront of the sound.
Rush started to deviate from their s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hinethese two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums.
Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles.
This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mids, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula. The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the album Counterparts and its follow-up, 's Test for Echoagain both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.
Superb way to lead off an album. If you first bought Caress of Steel on cassette, as I did as a young lad, this epic prog composition was actually just cut up into multiple tracks and sprinkled throughout the album. But despite the full fades-to-black, it is one tune.
Parts of it absolutely rule, other parts never quite take off. As such, it's hard to place on a list like this … but you don't need to hear about my woes. The first section is classic morse code-style Rush riffing and the "Didacts and Narpets" section is some glorious dark drug, art-rock weirdness.
The "Panacea" section has practically been disowned by Alex Lifeson. A mixed bag, but an epic Rush mixed bag and therefore is worthy of close study. Importantly, Rush had to stumble a little on "The Fountains of Lamneth" to make "" happen. This has a great loping bass-line and Neil Peart is back there showing Stewart Copeland who is boss. Lifeson's guitar is spinning sheets of sound.
It's so good, and it's not even the best song on Signalsthat's how amazing Rush was in the early '80s. But you'll need plenty of room to air-bass with Geddy on this one. The first seventeen seconds practically sound like R. This is an unusual song and a great one. One-upping "The Trees," this time it's the Clouds prepping for battle. Lifeson is in pure axe-man mode, shredding it to pieces during the first instrumental break. Then come the synthesizers and the time signature changes and the dizzying descent into pure mathematical Rush mayhem.
It was ! You get it? The Future! Computers were here! And a band like Rush was making tunes with all kinds of digital glyphs and sparkles and lyrics in boolean! The opening riff has some menacing clang to it. Lyrically, the theme is how everyone carries psychological damage, and maybe we should all cut one another a break.
The last ever Rush song. There will be no others. And it is so unusual in their repertoire. An emotional, bittersweet ballad about an old man facing retirement, looking back on his accomplishments. It's got a little bit of a Broadway quality, I'm not gonna' lie, but look at all that Rush has given us. Let them take a moment and have their curtain call. And that amazing, expressive guitar solo.
Excuse me, there must be something in my eye…. A loud, clangy tune with cymbal crashes all over the place, a bass line that would make Steve Harris weep and riffs a-plenty one of which sounds an awful lot like the Minutemen tune "Corona," which is better known as the theme from Jackass. This is a band bursting at the seams. Lyrically, it is a thinly veiled screed about American Exceptionalism mired in the Military Industrial Complex, which is perhaps a little weird coming from a Canadian band, but whatever.
The minute track jumps between Greek mythology and sci-fi, an admixture that ought to send any self-respecting teen geek into an apoplexy of delight. There are some weird, early Album) effects and great riffs, but the truth is there are some passages that feel maybe stretched out just to cover a whole album side. That's what it sounds like in my head. The song exudes a Rubik's Cube energy to me, but I may just be having an 80s flashback.
All I know is it could spawn a Ready Player Two out of thin air if you gave it time. The rest is a solid, Led Zep-inspired blues scorcher. Their next album, Hold Your Firecontinued with the synths, but not with this level of complexity.
They'd never record a song quite like this again. A straight-up banger, as the kids say. Solid fun way to introduce the band, with Geddy singing those high notes, an easy-enough-to-imitate guitar riff, thumping bass line, and a rhythm just waiting to get air-drummed.
Their penultimate album starts off with a headbangin' rocker with a killer bass line and nice flange-y guitar. Well, with a live album. But after that? You try to replicate it and … come close.
It isn't "Tom Sawyer" but that's lightning in a bottle. The themes are classic Rush: in praise of individuality, scorning conformity. Definitely the type of thing to appeal to a kid at computer camp. Much of this song is a fairly typical synth-led New Wave hit, until those crazy bass fills come in. Lifeson's solo is brief, but crystalline and perfect.
Lots of weirdo effects what do you call a "pre-echo"? The sub-divided subdivisions? We have a perfect '80s-era album opener. An urgent beat, catchy hook, space-age synths, and a Album) solo wet with effects. I don't really know what this song is about but I love bobbing my head to it. It isn't one of their weird prog epics with multiple sections, it's just an outstanding groove where they give themselves some s p a c e.
Their sonic texture, if I may use such an obnoxious expression, was and remains so unique at this period. The desire to rock your face off still exists, but synthesizer-led New Wave pop is right around the corner.
An ideal headphones song. Lifeson adds a Middle Eastern element to one of the many guitar lines and Peart is grooving a slick beat while also going nuts on all the tom-toms. They recorded a song everyone could enjoy. A simple, not-very-heavy tune and, importantly, hella short at two-minutes-and-fifty-three seconds.
This is gateway drug Rush, maybe even more so than "Tom Sawyer. The poppy-synth-New Wave-reggae beats are a little deceiving in this regard.
This tune, on paper, could easily be a tossed-aside 80s tune in the hands of a lesser band, but Rush takes these elements and turns them into absolute gold. The lyrics make sly winks to the more magick elements of Tolkien, though "three travelers from Willow Dale" is a little less foreboding when you know it is a Toronto suburb.
The spoken word is put through an eerie horror movie filter then come those booming, low riffs. Everything switches gear for the sunny conclusion. Extra points for continuity and an appearance by Prince By-Tor!
Rush has chronologically arrived. The jump in quality from the end of Rush to the beginning of Fly by Night is recognizable in milliseconds. With Neil Peart replacing John Rutsey, this is now the Power Trio of the ages, a pounding, brute riff with rich texture and complex rhythms.
I think this song is some kind of ode to Libertarianism it is named for an Ayn Rand book but I've never stopped banging my head long enough to try and make sense of it.
It also self-quotes "Bastille Day" a bit. It's a spectacular Rush song, and what's amazing is that it isn't because it harkens to their glory days. At seven minutes and 20 seconds, it is entirely of a piece with their later work, despite the "Bastille Day" wink. Rush was still evolving, even at the end, and making great music. Nineteen Eighty-Five!
The bass riff is bordering on funk I wonder if Flea was inspired by this? The highlight of Power Windows. You can practically see the stage smoke and lasers when you listen to this one. Then, for the kids who paid attention in class, a deep dive into Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
I love Rush so much. Counterparts was their heaviest album up until that point and kicks off with this outstanding track. The low, thrumming bass and Peart going to town on that ride cymbal make for a nice pairing.
This isn't just a great Rush song, it's a great rock song. Quite frankly you listen to Alex Lifeson shred and you wonder why The Police never hired a guitar player. Everything snaps together perfectly here. Well, he loves to get it wrong. He'll never get it. The lyrics which, no, are not Fascist, they merely explain how true Communism will always be in conflict with man's Will to Power are humiliating; they are like being caught reading comics on the bus.
In sweat pants. But "The Trees" still rips. Rush fans love it, and if you can't handle "The Trees" then get off our message board. Technically, "Bravado" isn't that different from a lot of songs on albums like Hold Your Fire or Counterparts. And yet, for some reason, this one just kills me. Kills me! It's a song about going out swinging, and Peart's lyrics are touching and clear. Now, it's possible that I am over-ranking this tune because of when Roll The Bones came out in my life e.
So I'm placing it in the top 20, even above "The Trees," and if you don't like it you can do your own epic Rush ranking. Just clear your schedule, because this takes forever. The cassette! Nazi atrocities are not typical fodder for synthesizer-enhanced rock songs, but Rush, as is surely evident by now, is no ordinary band.
They meant it as a tribute and it works. It's a staggeringly good song. It starts quiet, gets loud, keeps a pocket groove with great flange guitar, and has more "wooooOOOOOhhhh! I have no clue what it's doing lyrically, but I always interpreted it as being about maintaining dignity Album) getting mocked, something a lot of Rush fans need to do.
The band was allowed in the VIP section during the launch. Actual NASA chatter is sampled into the mix and the early 80s synth means something here, man. In we were finally in the future, "technology -- high, on the leading edge of life! Seriously, I love Rush so much. Great flangy hook, killer riff, a drum beat that demands you wave your arms around like an idiot on while you listen on headphones right there on the bus.
Like Boston's "More Than a Feeling," this is a side one, track one song about how great great songs can be! No surprise this was and still is a radio hit. The complex drumming patterns good luck memorizing them with your pencilsoddball guitar effects and Geddy's high notes took Fly by Night from being a great album to being an essential album, and was the first indicator that Rush was going to be the most important bards of nerddom ever to ride forth in glory upon this rock called Sol 3!
Its complex prog structure contains multiple sections, one of which can easily be called a bass and guitar solo happening simultaneously. When Rush is really cooking you don't know whether to air-bass, air-drum or air-guitar, and this is a good example of that. There are twelve different sections "A Lerxst in Wonderland" being the weirdest name if you don't know that Alex Lifeson's nickname is Lerxst and the composition is allegedly based on a series of Lifeson's troubling nightmares.
I guess when you are a genius you dream in odd time signatures! This is Rush's first substantial instrumental composition and a sip from a deep, dark well of prog plasma. But that incredible beat lends itself to jabbing your fist in the air.
This is Rush's Springsteen song in terms of energy, but with a gorgeous and playfully dissonant electric guitar solo. All this and it gave us the greatest "we're recording this song! But it's also a signal. Bang your pen against your binder and the other Rush nerds in the cafeteria will prick up their ears and wink back.
This is Rush's best instrumental and an important litmus test for kids who borrowed the Moving Pictures tape because they liked "Tom Sawyer. Welcome to the club. Well, this is sci-fi.
Hard sci-fi. Diamond hard sci-fi. The ship Rocinante a classic lit reference you can Google if you like challenges a black hole and the sonic texture of this song gets really tripped-out and scary.
A descending series of scales breaks through with a powerful boomand with a release and fury that Rush's early heroes Led Zeppelin would often achieve, but here it is on Rush's own terms, with their own unique sound. This track is a triumph. Rush's most famous song and deservedly so. It's the true, righteous blend of pure rock and early synths. It came at the perfect time: computers and vector video games were here and blowing our minds.
I have Album) doubt that some of its commercial success has to do with the phrase "and the space he invades" triggering thoughts of Space Invaders -- especially with those zooming, futuristic synths!
It's a pop song but it has serious bite, catchy enough for everyone, but still has a rocker's edge. That opening — a Wall of Sound with Lasers — is truly one of the best things Western Civilization has ever accomplished, and every time it comes up on the radio the instinct is to crank the volume. Catch the mystery, catch the drift! From the opening synthesizer gurgles to the final klaxon warnings from the Solar Federation, "" is a masterpiece of prog — perhaps the masterpiece of prog.
With an Overture winking to Pyotr Tchaikovsky, a cohesive story that appeals to anti-authoritarian youth, sections devised to both sing along to and pantomine to on air drums, "" was everything to me as a kid. And adult. And still will be after my corpse is interred beneath the Temple of Syrinx. When "Tom Sawyer" was a huge hit, newcomers were at a crossroads. Fans would say "try this" and it would be "," and it would either attract or repel.
These twenty-minutes-and-thirty-four seconds are pure sonic bliss, a space opera with pounding drums and flashing neon riffs. And Geddy's vocals on the quiet parts of "The Discovery" are some of the most striking-yet-accessible in the repertoire. I welcome domination of the Solar Federation if this is the glory that they bring! I'm also happy to kinda ignore the acknowledgement to "the genius of Ayn Rand" in the album's credits if you are.
When I listen to this song I am immediately transported to eight grade and, if "The Eyes" aren't watching, I'll sing along at full voice and start shaking my arms in all directions. So can one play the air-guitar, Album), air-drums and air-synthesizer at once? Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy.
Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes.
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