Great Rock Albums of 1980: Rush- Permanent Waves

220px-Rush_Permanent_Waves Living proof that my mind is going in my old age. Two posts ago, I stated that no other band with the possible exception of Kansas could equal Styx in the fusion of progressive and hard rock. There is another who should never be left out when talking about this category and I’m posting about them right now. Throughout the mid to late seventies, Rush have brought their unique blend of progressive and hard rock to the ears of many with great success. Some of the albums I have visited in the past like “2112” and “Farewell to Kings” bear witness to this. Rush are truly one of the all time greats.

The 1980 album “Permanent Waves” is no different. Back then, I knew and loved the song “Free Will”  but it was later before I really came to appreciate this album. That happened in 1986 when I used to frequent a night spot in London called Oscar’s (it’s a McDonald’s now) on their Friday night heavy metal nights. “Spirit of the Radio” was often played and it always got me out onto the floor, headbanging away to it and into many a floor pile up during the guitar solo. FFI, on what I mean, you’ll have to read “Rock And Roll Children.”

“Permanent Waves” is not a heavy metal album as it has a definite progressive sound to it. “Jacob’s Ladder” begins with what I would call an intriguing guitar intro but as a complete song, can definitely stand on it’s own. Then there’s the leaning to the harder side “Entre Nous,” which is another good song. The final song, which is in the tradition of previous albums, is broken into different parts and has the keyboard sound that I have always identified with Rush and not to leave it out, “Different Strings” is a good song too.

Track Listing:

1. Spirit of the Radio

2. Free Will

3. Jacob’s Ladder

4. Entre Nous

5. Different Strings

6. Natural Science

I. Tidal Pools

II. Hyperspace

III. Permanent Waves



Geddy Lee: vocals, bass, synthesisers

Alex Lifeson- guitars, taurus pedals

Neil Peart- drums, bells, chimes, percussion

Rush have always been the ultimate rebuttal to the silly proposition that Canada is the land of shitty music. They have shown is for nearly four decades now that it’s simply not the case. “Permanent Waves” is just one of their many albums to demonstrate what a great act they are and the sooner they are inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, the better.

Next post: The Ramones- End of the Century

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Rush- Permanent Waves”

  1. Awwww a brilliant album from an even more brilliant band! I can’t wait to see them next month! Enter nous is a lovely track btw xxxxx


  2. Brilliant album. I think Natural Science might be my all-time fave track of theirs.


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