RUSH …. It’s time

Andrew Paul

The cat's meow
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The other night, kicking back, I throw the headphones on, and I listen to the entire Hemispheres album. The true masterpiece by the trio.

I am a huge Rush band. They are my desert island band. I was introduced to their music when I was in middle school by my older brother. Saw them live for the first time in 1983 at Radio City Music Hall when I was in high school. I was so blown away by the concert I never missed a tour from 83 to their last (40th anniversary tour) sometimes seeing them multiple times in the tri-state NYC area.

It’s time……. The way we listen to music these days seems to be more in bits and pieces, single songs and not an entire album work. I am guilty of that anyway. The convenience of music on our phones, iPads, computers has changed a listening experience, it’s less CDs, less LPs, and cassettes. So, I am going to listen to every Rush studio album in their entirety,(no greatest hits or live albums) in chronological order, uninterrupted one per day. I will reacquaint myself with the true Rush experience of their music and bodies of work. The transition from John Rutsey to Neil Peart… lyrics influenced by Ayn Rand, concept pieces to shorter song formats, guitars and bass to the synthesizer era and back, the evolution of their music the way it was meant to be listen to, complete albums.

I don’t think I will be able to do this every single day. I might have to skip a day or two before moving onto the next album. For fun I will report back in this thread thoughts regarding each album, I bet some songs will move me differently at 56 years old than they did, when I was in middle school, high school, college, and throughout my life journey.
 
Love it! My introduction to Rush was via my best friend’s older brother in the late 70s. We wore out Farewell to Kings, 2112 and Fly By Night. I didn’t get to see them live until the Time Stand Still tour. Like you, I never missed one after that, and sometimes saw multiple shows on a tour. Got to experience the last tour with my best friend from my youth. It was like being a 14 year old in his basement all over again.

I did what you’re starting to do a couple of years ago. Loaded them all up on my phone, donned the headphones, and took off walking the dog. It took several weeks, but it was a grand experience.

If I haven’t already turned you on to YYNOT, check them out. Best Rush tribute I’ve ever seen. Plus, they have 3 CDs of original music out that is very Rush inspired. Watch some of their older vids with Rocky on vocals. I always sat “Rush with Gwen Steffani on vocals.” She nails the early stuff.

And, while we’re at it, happy 70th birthday to Alex.
 
Dang, did I go to high school with you two? Found Rush I think my sophomore year. They supported 2112 with a stop in Stevens Point, WI, playing in my high school gym in either ‘75 or ‘76. I’m pretty sure it was a date between like Minneapolis and Milwaukee or something. I’ve seen them once or twice more over the years. I favor the earlier music, and I also love the Hemispheres album.
 
For fun I will report back in this thread thoughts regarding each album, I bet some songs will move me differently at 56 years old than they did, when I was in middle school, high school, college, and throughout my life journey.
What could be even more interesting is to get a couple other guys in for the ride. I’d do it. Then come in and share/compare thoughts. I listen to Rush regularly, but it’s been a few years since I did a chronological discography playthrough. If you’re interested, say something. I’ll join in and maybe a couple others will too. If this is a personal journey and you don’t want anyway riding shotgun, that’s cool too and I’ll watch with interest.
 
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Love it! My introduction to Rush was via my best friend’s older brother in the late 70s. We wore out Farewell to Kings, 2112 and Fly By Night. I didn’t get to see them live until the Time Stand Still tour. Like you, I never missed one after that, and sometimes saw multiple shows on a tour. Got to experience the last tour with my best friend from my youth. It was like being a 14 year old in his basement all over again.

I did what you’re starting to do a couple of years ago. Loaded them all up on my phone, donned the headphones, and took off walking the dog. It took several weeks, but it was a grand experience.

If I haven’t already turned you on to YYNOT, check them out. Best Rush tribute I’ve ever seen. Plus, they have 3 CDs of original music out that is very Rush inspired. Watch some of their older vids with Rocky on vocals. I always sat “Rush with Gwen Steffani on vocals.” She nails the early stuff.

And, while we’re at it, happy 70th birthday to Alex.
I knew you are a rush fan, so it’s cool to hear the story behind it.
Love it! My introduction to Rush was via my best friend’s older brother in the late 70s. We wore out Farewell to Kings, 2112 and Fly By Night. I didn’t get to see them live until the Time Stand Still tour. Like you, I never missed one after that, and sometimes saw multiple shows on a tour. Got to experience the last tour with my best friend from my youth. It was like being a 14 year old in his basement all over again.

I did what you’re starting to do a couple of years ago. Loaded them all up on my phone, donned the headphones, and took off walking the dog. It took several weeks, but it was a grand experience.

If I haven’t already turned you on to YYNOT, check them out. Best Rush tribute I’ve ever seen. Plus, they have 3 CDs of original music out that is very Rush inspired. Watch some of their older vids with Rocky on vocals. I always sat “Rush with Gwen Steffani on vocals.” She nails the early stuff.

And, while we’re at it, happy 70th birthday to Alex.
I knew you are a rush fan, so it’s cool to hear the story behind it. You would be the perfect person to join in with @DreamTheaterRules suggestion, which I absolutely love. Several of us join in and discuss the album the next couple days! In a later post I think I’m going to suggest tomorrow night Monday night for Rush (1st album) and everyone comment Tuesday and Wednesday in this thread. Will move on to fly by night after that, maybe Thursday?
 
Dang, did I go to high school with you two? Found Rush I think my sophomore year. They supported 2112 with a stop in Stevens Point, WI, playing in my high school gym in either ‘75 or ‘76. I’m pretty sure it was a date between like Minneapolis and Milwaukee or something. I’ve seen them once or twice more over the years. I favor the earlier music, and I also love the Hemispheres album.
Wow! That’s awesome! Join in with the listening sessions :)
 
What could be even more interesting is to get a couple other guys in for the ride. I’d do it. Then come in and share/compare thoughts. I listen to Rush regularly, but it’s been a few years since I did a chronological discography playthrough. If you’re interested, say something. I’ll join in and maybe a couple others will too. If this is a personal journey and you don’t want anyway riding shotgun, that’s cool too and I’ll watch with interest.
More the merrier riding shotgun!!!
I love the idea!

MONDAY. RUSH album

Comments in this thread Tuesday and Wednesday..

Sound good?
 
The other night, kicking back, I throw the headphones on, and I listen to the entire Hemispheres album. The true masterpiece by the trio.

I am a huge Rush band. They are my desert island band. I was introduced to their music when I was in middle school by my older brother. Saw them live for the first time in 1983 at Radio City Music Hall when I was in high school. I was so blown away by the concert I never missed a tour from 83 to their last (40th anniversary tour) sometimes seeing them multiple times in the tri-state NYC area.

It’s time……. The way we listen to music these days seems to be more in bits and pieces, single songs and not an entire album work. I am guilty of that anyway. The convenience of music on our phones, iPads, computers has changed a listening experience, it’s less CDs, less LPs, and cassettes. So, I am going to listen to every Rush studio album in their entirety,(no greatest hits or live albums) in chronological order, uninterrupted one per day. I will reacquaint myself with the true Rush experience of their music and bodies of work. The transition from John Rutsey to Neil Peart… lyrics influenced by Ayn Rand, concept pieces to shorter song formats, guitars and bass to the synthesizer era and back, the evolution of their music the way it was meant to be listen to, complete albums.

I don’t think I will be able to do this every single day. I might have to skip a day or two before moving onto the next album. For fun I will report back in this thread thoughts regarding each album, I bet some songs will move me differently at 56 years old than they did, when I was in middle school, high school, college, and throughout my life journey.
DUDE. Hemispheres is unlike any other album I've heard, from any band. It's an utter masterpiece. By far my favorite as well. I wish someone would decode how many rhythm guitars are playing in the 7/8,5/8,6/8 motif in the beginning. It's like the Great Wall of Lifeson. And those chords...
0
0
4
4
2
3

0---------------0
2---------------0
0-------------- 4
2---------------2
0---------------4
2 ---- OR------2 OR BOTH!!!

I discovered Rush randomly by checking out Power Windows on cassette at the local library. I was just searching for music. When I found that album, I recalled seeing some of their videos on MTV and wanted to learn more. My buddy down the street got a red Yamaha strat for Christmas, I brought the album over and the rest is history. When we formed our band, I became the de facto bass player (we already had a drummer) and we've been slaughtering Rush annually for the last 35 years plus.

I will never forgive myself for missing the R40 tour. I was knee-deep in running my business and let the opportunity pass me by, thinking I'd see them on the next one. I did see them on the Hold Your Fire, Presto, Roll the Bones, Test For Echo, Counterparts and Snakes and Arrows tours, multiple times. Primus opened one of the shows. I saw the Melvins get booed offstage in San Jose during the Counterparts tour. They were horrible! They only played 4 gigs that tour. Rush always put on an unforgettable show. My Rush cover band experience was incredible, including how incredibly hard it was to recreate some of the video content during some of the songs! Hats off to my bass player for handling most of that.

I have the Hemispheres remixed CD in my truck. It's going in the slot tomorrow. Thanks for the motivation.
 
Now y’all are speaking my language. Been my favorite band since 1980. I’ve seen Rush live so many times I’d have to count the ticket stubs (which I still have) to give an accurate tally. Met Alex and Geddy once. I still find it tough to believe I’ll never see the band live again.
 
DUDE. Hemispheres is unlike any other album I've heard, from any band. It's an utter masterpiece. By far my favorite as well. I wish someone would decode how many rhythm guitars are playing in the 7/8,5/8,6/8 motif in the beginning. It's like the Great Wall of Lifeson. And those chords...
0
0
4
4
2
3

0---------------0
2---------------0
0-------------- 4
2---------------2
0---------------4
2 ---- OR------2 OR BOTH!!!

I discovered Rush randomly by checking out Power Windows on cassette at the local library. I was just searching for music. When I found that album, I recalled seeing some of their videos on MTV and wanted to learn more. My buddy down the street got a red Yamaha strat for Christmas, I brought the album over and the rest is history. When we formed our band, I became the de facto bass player (we already had a drummer) and we've been slaughtering Rush annually for the last 35 years plus.

I will never forgive myself for missing the R40 tour. I was knee-deep in running my business and let the opportunity pass me by, thinking I'd see them on the next one. I did see them on the Hold Your Fire, Presto, Roll the Bones, Test For Echo, Counterparts and Snakes and Arrows tours, multiple times. Primus opened one of the shows. I saw the Melvins get booed offstage in San Jose during the Counterparts tour. They were horrible! They only played 4 gigs that tour. Rush always put on an unforgettable show. My Rush cover band experience was incredible, including how incredibly hard it was to recreate some of the video content during some of the songs! Hats off to my bass player for handling most of that.

I have the Hemispheres remixed CD in my truck. It's going in the slot tomorrow. Thanks for the motivation.
Thanks for sharing your stories! We all have our Rush cover songs with bands we were in. Hell I even covered an acoustic version of The Trees at my acoustic shows for a couple years back in the 90’s. Always performed in acoustic version of Closer to the Heart. My voice doesn’t cooperate anymore without tuning Guitar down a whole step.

BTW Hemispheres in my opinion is a perfect album.

Thanks for your reply
 
Now y’all are speaking my language. Been my favorite band since 1980. I’ve seen Rush live so many times I’d have to count the ticket stubs (which I still have) to give an accurate tally. Met Alex and Geddy once. I still find it tough to believe I’ll never see the band live again.
I to find it hard to believe I’d never see them live again. Neil, such a loss. Think of all the rockstar‘s over the years that didn’t take care of themselves and they’re still alive and he goes with a brain tumor. Not fair.

I wish I retained my ticket stubs, although I do have a few later tour T-shirts like from Test for Echo, possibly Counter Parts might still exist, hmmmm and I still have my Snakes and Arrows concert tee…. I have to look for others.
 
Unfortunately, I have never been able to listen to Rush for more than 30 seconds.
The tonal qualities of Geddy Lees voice have the same effect on me as chewing aluminum foil.
This is an annoying situation because from what I understand they were really good and I have missed out.

Such is life.
 
Unfortunately, I have never been able to listen to Rush for more than 30 seconds.
The tonal qualities of Geddy Lees voice have the same effect on me as chewing aluminum foil.
This is an annoying situation because from what I understand they were really good and I have missed out.

Such is life.

Check out their tracks La Villa Strangiato and YYZ. Two of the best rock instrumentals you'll ever hear.
 
I did it once, went through the entire Rush catalogue. My favorite record varies between Hemispheres and Permanent Waves, but really any of the big four (PW, Hemi, Moving Pictures, Farewell to Kings) could be anyones top.

DUDE. Hemispheres is unlike any other album I've heard, from any band. It's an utter masterpiece. By far my favorite as well. I wish someone would decode how many rhythm guitars are playing in the 7/8,5/8,6/8 motif in the beginning. It's like the Great Wall of Lifeson. And those chords...

OK, time for my RUSH geekout dump. I figured out how to play the entire album a few years ago. Here's what I know.

Right, so from what I have researched over several years, his sound at this time was Hiwatts and I think he was primarily still using the 359 in the studio. Hiwatts are an odd duck, even then. From what I recall from an interview with Alex, he mentioned the amps were cranked LOUD. Hiwatts I guess are finicky on lower volumes. I am gonna go with simple double tracking for all rhythm guitars for this one. When I listen to them in isolation, I hear two, but I could be wrong.

Hemispheres sorta marks the true birth of the 80's Lifeson tone. Very chorus driven, less distorted than earlier records. I have tried to replicate the tone using the Hiwatt model in Amplitube, but alas...its never quite there and so when I play this one I use a plexi model. Alex plays some interesting chords too. Theres THE chord (F#7add11) but also some low root triads with low thirds, which is mighty unusual. Bear in mind there is some counterpoint going on with Geddy, who will sometimes play low thirds over a more conventional chord from Alex, so these chords can sorta play tricks on you. And there are sections where he doubles an arpeggio with an acoustic too. Its complicated to say the least.

One of the most fascinating things about Hemispheres is it was recorded at Rockfield, same as AFTK, yet it sounds totally different. Crisper highs, much higher fidelity, whereas AFTK sounds so much more raw and organic, like a bridge to earlier works. It sounds like a record made in like 72 or 71.

The part that gets me everytime is the harmonic section in the Prelude. Its the ones on the 9th fret, they never ring out as clean as I like. I never quite get the timing correct either., I think I've ended up getting stuck playing an alternate timing now.
 
I did it once, went through the entire Rush catalogue. My favorite record varies between Hemispheres and Permanent Waves, but really any of the big four (PW, Hemi, Moving Pictures, Farewell to Kings) could be anyones top.



OK, time for my RUSH geekout dump. I figured out how to play the entire album a few years ago. Here's what I know.

Right, so from what I have researched over several years, his sound at this time was Hiwatts and I think he was primarily still using the 359 in the studio. Hiwatts are an odd duck, even then. From what I recall from an interview with Alex, he mentioned the amps were cranked LOUD. Hiwatts I guess are finicky on lower volumes. I am gonna go with simple double tracking for all rhythm guitars for this one. When I listen to them in isolation, I hear two, but I could be wrong.

Hemispheres sorta marks the true birth of the 80's Lifeson tone. Very chorus driven, less distorted than earlier records. I have tried to replicate the tone using the Hiwatt model in Amplitube, but alas...its never quite there and so when I play this one I use a plexi model. Alex plays some interesting chords too. Theres THE chord (F#7add11) but also some low root triads with low thirds, which is mighty unusual. Bear in mind there is some counterpoint going on with Geddy, who will sometimes play low thirds over a more conventional chord from Alex, so these chords can sorta play tricks on you. And there are sections where he doubles an arpeggio with an acoustic too. Its complicated to say the least.

One of the most fascinating things about Hemispheres is it was recorded at Rockfield, same as AFTK, yet it sounds totally different. Crisper highs, much higher fidelity, whereas AFTK sounds so much more raw and organic, like a bridge to earlier works. It sounds like a record made in like 72 or 71.

The part that gets me everytime is the harmonic section in the Prelude. Its the ones on the 9th fret, they never ring out as clean as I like. I never quite get the timing correct either., I think I've ended up getting stuck playing an alternate timing now.

He was also using some kind of distortion pedal with the Hiwatts wasn't he? An MXR or something? Whatever it was, he got a really good balance between having some grit and sustain, and letting all those odd chord voicings ring out without turning to sludge. And yeah, that 9th fret harmonic, I find I have to dig that one extra hard to get it to ring out. One of my favorites ever to play. Some day I'll learn the whole thing through...
 
Also, WTH was I thinking? I play that harmonic on the A string, 4th fret. It's the same pitch and muuuuch closer to where my hand normally falls.

(You can also hit it on the 16th fret or over the edge of the neck pickup ring closest to the bridge. Maybe that's even less convenient)
 
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