Archive for Signals

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Rush- Grace Under Pressure

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

Nearly everyone and their sibling says that the “Grace Under Pressure” album was the beginning of Rush’s synthesizer period. In reality, the band had started to go in that direction with their previous album, “Signals.” What was popularly believed at the time was that as a result of my favourite Rush album, “Moving Pictures,” some misguided persons heard songs like “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” and called Rush a heavy metal band. Therefore, in reaction to that, they went for the more synthesizer sound to squash the stereotype. At first I believed it but now in my old age, I don’t really care if it was true at the time or not. I just like the album.

While Rush are not heavy metal, it doesn’t stop many metalheads like myself from liking them, a lot. In the opening pages of “Rock And Roll Children,” the main characters play “Grace Under Pressure” to mellow out a bit after an evening of heavy metal records. I have to admit, when I heard the first single, “Distant Early Warning,” I wasn’t too sure about them. Maybe they had sold out and gone commercial. I guess in my naivety, I expected them to continue in the same vein as my favourite Rush album. But believe me, “Grace Under Pressure” was no sell out and it was many levels above some of the other synthesizer music that was manifesting at the time.

What Rush did with “Grace Under Pressure” was take the emerging synth sound and made it into something of their own. I’ve said a number of times that all three members are talented musicians and together, they can create some fantastic music which all will enjoy no matter what camp you’re in. For me, sure I was slightly disappointed at first that the guitar takes a back seat on the album, but it doesn’t go away completely. You can clearly hear Liefson’s licks laying down the foundation along with Peart’s beat in support of Lee’s keyboard skills and vocals. I have always stated that Lee has been underrated as a keyboards player. As for Alex, he does nail solos on “The Body Electric” ¬†and the closer, “Between the Wheels,” and I do like his intro on “The Enemy Within.” That has to be my favourite track on the album. Now, I won’t break down the album into individual songs because they all are good on their own and all compliment each other and that makes a good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Distant Early Warning
  2. Afterimage
  3. Red Sector A
  4. The Enemy Within
  5. The Body Electric
  6. Kid Gloves
  7. Red Lenses
  8. Between the Wheels

Rush

Geddy Lee- vocals, synthesizers, bass

Alex Liefson- guitars

Neil Peart- drums, percussion

I think that “Grace Under Pressure” achieves what Rick, Frankie, Jeff and Bob were going for in “Rock and Roll Children.” They were looking something to just kick back and listen to. The album allows you to do that because that’s when you begin to hear and appreciate all the small intricacies contained there in and that’s when you know how good it is.

Next post: Rod Stewart- Camouflage

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Rush- Signals

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Rush_Signals

Rush’s 1982 album “Signals” is almost another album in that year that escaped my attention. Fortunately, there was somebody in my platoon who was a huge Rush fan so thanks to him, I got to listen to this album. My first reaction to “Signals” was that it wasn’t as hard rock as some of the songs on their previous “Moving Pictures” album but it was an enjoyable album nonetheless.

In the eyes of many, “Signals” marked the beginning of Rush’s turn towards more synthesizer oriented music. While I won’t dispute that belief, I can say that some of the old Rush is still present in some of the songs. You just have to listen carefully. Alex Leifson’s guitar is definitely there underneath the keyboards of Geddy Lee. ¬†Together, they make a definite statement for progressive rock not long before it gave way to more synth pop later in the 80s were quality musicianship wouldn’t count for much. What is good is that every song on this album follows along in this formula although I can say that Liefson does hammer out great guitar solos on tracks 2, 3 and 4. That’s probably why those songs stand out for me even though it was “Subdivisions” and “New World Man” that got the most radio airplay at the time. Those two songs probably deserved it anyway. If I were to compare this album to anything, it would be the second side of the “Moving Pictures” album and that’s definitely a good thing.

Track Listing:

1. Subdivisions

2. The Analogue Kid

3. Chemistry

4. Digital Man

5. The Weapon

6. New World Man

7. Losing It

8. Countdown

Rush

Rush

Geddy Lee- vocals, bass, keyboards, Moog Taurus pedals

Alex Liefson- guitars, Moog Taurus pedals

Neil Peart- drums, percussion

Whether or not you liked Rush or thought they sold out during what was now commonly called, “their synthesizer period,” you can’t fault this album. “Signals” in my mind, will always be considered a great progressive rock album.

Next post: Michael Stanley Band- MSB

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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