Written by Phil Ashdown.
At the end of Rush’s colossal world tour in support of their epic Hemispheres album in June 1979 each member agreed to take a six-week sabbatical before work would begin on a follow up record. This was a first for the band and showed the toll the grueling eight month trek had taken on the members. They finally got together in mid-July 1979 at Lakewoods Farm near Flesherton., Ontario to write and rehearse new material for two weeks. The band set up their equipment and put down what drummer Neil Peart described as “a giant hodge-podge of instrumental mish-mash”. This was not fully developed but some parts were used during passages of other songs recorded. Typically guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist Geddy Lee would work on musical ideas while Peart would walk to a nearby cottage to write lyrics.
New songs would take the band into a more straightforward style with tracks taking on a more concise structure whilst retaining their trade-mark time changes and complex arrangements. The Spirit Of Radio, Enre Nous, Freewill and Jacob’s Ladder were put together within several days without much effort. Peart attempted to write a song based on the King Arthur myths but abandoned the ides after it felt out of place among the new material. At this stage they moved into Sound Kitchen Studio in Toronto with their producer Terry Brown to get some ideas and finished songs on tape. In September 1979 Rush went to Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec to record Permanent Waves with Brown and engineer Paul Northfield.
The recording sessions involved the band tweaking the settings of instruments and positioning of microphones and recording tracks with multiple takes until they had the best performance. While Lee, Lifeson, and Brown began overdubs, Peart began attempting to write another longer song that would evolve into Natural Science. The water sounds used in the opening of the song was recorded by splashing oars in the private lake and the natural echo outside was used to record some instruments. Photographer Fin Costello was brought in to take pictures of the band during recording and long-term cover art director Hugh Syme even recorded a piano solo on the song Different Strings. With rough mixes complete the final mix was completed at London’s Trident Studios in just two weeks.
Permanent Waves became the band’s seventh studio album and was finally released on 14th January 1980. It received a mostly positive reception from critics and it became their most successful album to date, reaching number 3 in both the UK and Canada and number 4 in the US.
An edited version of The Spirit Of Radio was released as a single in March. This song saw the band experimenting with reggae rhythms and sounds and lyrically the song is a lament on the change of FM radio from free-form to commercial formats during the late 1970s. the single was an unlikely hit in the UK peaking at number 13 in the singles charts.
“Jacob’s Ladder” uses multiple time signatures, and possesses a dark, ominous feel in its first half. Its lyrics are based on a simple concept: a vision of sunlight breaking through storm clouds. The title is a reference to the natural phenomenon of the sun breaking through the clouds in visible rays, which in turn is named after the Biblical ladder to Heaven on which Jacob saw angels ascending and descending in a vision.
While the band began stepping back from the epic song format on this album, the closing track “Natural Science” is more than nine minutes long and is composed of three distinct movements: I) Tide Pools, II) Hyperspace, and III) Permanent Waves.
The cover artwork was once again designed by long-time band associate Hugh Syme and attracted some controversy because of the newspaper headline ‘Dewey Defeats Truman. The Chicago Tribune complained so the text was changed to Dewei Defeats Truman. Some later versions have the headline blanked out and appears as a white box. The billboards in the distance were changed from Coca-Cola to include each band members’ name in a similar font. The background scene comes from a photo, taken by Flip Schulke, of the Galveston Seawall in Texas during Hurricane Carla on September 11, 1961. The woman in the foreground is Canadian model Paula Turnbull and the man waving in the background is Syme himself. The title is a play on words on the crashing waves, the waving man and the waves in the woman’s hair.
The Permanent Waves tour saw the band perform to over 650,000 fans over the course of 96 shows from January 17th to June 22nd 1980. The tour included several ‘evening with’ shows as a special treat that several years later would become a Rush norm. Their growing popularity was reflected in the size of the new production that included sixty tons of equipment. They toured with a 25-member road crew and the lighting included Boeing 707 landing lights, a $50,000 mixing desk and for the first time, a projector behind the band. The tour cost $12,500 each day and the three band members earned $1,000 per show. The ‘evening with’ shows included five sold-out shows at London’s Hammersmith Odeon and were recorded for future use. It was also the first time a Rush tour turned a profit.
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- Rush - Grace Under Pressure - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £12.00, $16.32, €13.44 (Back In Stock) (arrived 18-Feb-2021 06:32)on February 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm
RUSH Grace Under Pressure (1984 UK 8-track LP, including Distant Early Warning, Kid Gloves and Between The Wheels, picture sleeve with lyric inner. The inner shows some light foxing, otherwise the sleeve and vinyl are in excellent condition VERH12)
- Rush - Hold Your Fire - UK - vinyl LP - £20.00, $27.20, €22.40 (New Item) (arrived 11-Jan-2021 10:53)on February 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm
RUSH Hold Your Fire (1987 UK 10-track vinyl LP from the essential third phase synth-era Rush, including the brilliant single Prime Mover and the classic Time Stand Still featuring Aimee Mann, glossy picture sleeve with lyric inner. The sleeve shows only minor wear with a 1" seam split to the top edge and the vinyl has just a few cosmetic scuffs to highlight play VERH47)
- Rush - R40 - UK - Blu Ray - £95.00, $129.20, €106.40 (New Item) (arrived 11-Dec-2020 16:53)on February 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm
RUSH R40 (2014 UK Deluxe 6 x Blu-Ray Set [region B/2, 16:9 aspect ratio, 1147 mins], marking the 40th anniversary of the release of Rush's eponymous debut album in 1974. This superb collector's box set brings together live performances from each decade of Rush's career. It includes Rush In Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland & Clockwork Angels Tour plus a bonus disc of previously unseen live material stretching from 1974 to 2013. Also contains the rarely performed full 7-part version of 2112 filmed in 1997 amidst over three hours of largely unseen material including previously unreleased tracks from 1974 performed with original drummer John Rutsey. All discs are contained in a 12" x 9" 56-page hardback book filled with memorabilia & photographs documenting 40 years of Rush live in concert. The cover displays some light general wear and includes the tracklisting insert, overall an excellent example ERBRD5236)
- Rush - Beyond The Lighted Stage - UK - Blu Ray - £24.99, $33.99, €27.99 (New Item) (arrived 11-Dec-2020 17:23)on February 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm
RUSH Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010 UK BLU-RAY DISC. The first ever in-depth look at the history and incredible influence of the legendary multi-million selling rock band Rush. From the makers of Iron Maiden's epic 'Flight 666', this remarkable film takes you on a unique journey exclusively documenting their illustrious career and fascinating musical evolution from conception to present. Ccombines candid band member interviews and performance footage with material from the massive Rush audio-visual archive and many more; standard case with picture inlay and remains factory sealed)
- Rush - Changing Hemispheres - UK - DVD - £19.99, $27.19, €22.39 (New Item) (arrived 14-Dec-2020 11:35)on February 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm
RUSH Changing Hemispheres (2010 UK 116-page hardback book & Four NTSC DVD set. The true story of Rush, from humble Canadian beginnings to international super stardom. This is certainly one band for whom time does not stand still. Featuring a masterful and comprehensive text packed with great photographs of the band, this unique package also includes four documentary DVDs packed with candid audio interviews with the band members, andcompared and contrasted with the views of a leading team of music journalists, insiders, and musicologists)