Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rush-Permanent Waves, 1980

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My favorite Rush albums are Fly by night, 2112, Moving pictures and this one. If forced to choose an absolute favorite I would say it's which ever one these I heard last. So that would this one at this point. This was Rush's seventh studio album so they were becoming veterans at this point, but they were still growing and exploring their musical direction. The band was getting away from the science fiction epics that had defined them a few years earlier. Now they were becoming a bit more accesible, but no less interesting. Their sound had often been a wall of music at times, but by 1980 their sound was becoming very huge and extremely busy. There are times here where I feel like I am being led through a maze as the music cuts this way and that at unexpected turns yet it always leads me to a satisfying end. Still it has an undeniable smoothness to it, but I think it helps rather than holding the material back. "The spirit of radio" and "Freewill" both received a great deal of airplay. Both are well played musically, but definitely catchy and more accesible than some of their earlier material. I love the solo on "Freewill" as it's just crazy and all over the place. "Entre Nous" is similar in style to the two radio songs, a little more serious and reserved maybe. "Jacob Ladder" starts out at sort of a plodding pace, but picks up to a steady pace. Then it's a rather airy middle and then goes to a more upbeat, mid-tempo pace and it marches on to an end. Maybe a little more basic than other songs here, but no less interesting and slightly heavier. "Different strings" clocks in at under four minutes and is fairly slow and low key until around the three minute mark and then gets into some gritty jamming. The slower parts make me think of looking out the window on a rainy day. The solos for some reason remind me a little of early Alice Cooper. "Natural science" comes on last and it's over nine minutes and the band doesn't waste any time here either. It's crammed packed of pace changes, Geddy using his full vocal range, Peart hitting everything in reach and Alex squeezes like three tracks worth of guitar into this one song. This track simply charges on and never lets up. A fine way to end a great album. This album is still like a great ride that has never gotten old.

***Rush week will wrap up with a review of the new album on Friday.


Blogger David Amulet said...

Another great album--and one of the last in a long string of amazing ones for the band. This is also where Rush's sound begins to sound dated sometimes, given the keyboard effects in songs like "Natural Science." But still outstanding.

-- david

3:07 AM  
Blogger captain corky said...

Another great review. I think Rush might be a regional band. They don't get a whole lot of air time in Kentucky, but lots of people liked them when I lived in NJ.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today! I'm a Rush fan by default as hubby is a HUGE fan. I have heard 2112 more times than I can count, I think that's his favorite.
True story, a friend of mine from St Catherines actually knew those guys and partied at Neil Peart's house (this would be late 70s). Cool huh?

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

This was part of a great run of albums that for me started with 2112 and went through Moving Pictures...

Great review and I know what I will be listening to tonight when I get home from work. This has been a fun week!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Aunt Jackie said...

Not a big RUSH fanatic, but I know they're talented... I guess Fly By Night is probably my favorite one.

Makes me miss high school though because every guy in my band was obsessed with Rush!

Time flies, dammit!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...

Can't wait to hear your review. I am going to do a post comparing reviews from different bloggers !!!

4:39 PM  

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