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Permanent Waves

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Japanese only paper sleeve SHM pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies’ research into LCD display manufacturing SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. Warner. 2009.One of Rush’s finest moments, second only to Moving Pictures. This album includes two classic songs, ”The Spirit of Radio” (which has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in all of rock) and ”Freewill.” There’s also the epic-feeling ”Jacob’s Ladder,” as well as ”Entre Nous,” a sort of intellectual love song (if such a thing can be said to exist). The introspective ”Different Strings” and the anthemic ”Natural Science” (which clocks in at over nine minutes) close the album. Though there are only six songs on Permanent Waves, it’s enough; the material is rich enough that more of it would be like overdosing on chocolate. — Genevieve Williams

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  • What can I say take one of Rush’s greatest album’s master it to a Gold Disc…Only greatness can happen! The sound it crisp, clean and clear. There is actually a noticeable difference between this and my older disc.

    Welcome addition to my Gold Disc Collection.

    I’d still love to see a gold disc of Hemispheres someday!

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album marked the transition between old Rush (Hemispheres, long songs, sci-fi lyrics) and new Rush (Moving Pictures, shorter songs, more mainstream lyrics). In turn, it ends up having the best of both worlds. For example, the great opening combo of Spirit of The Radio and Freewill gave a taste of what was to come on Moving Pictures with Tom Sawyer, Limelight, etc. And Natural Science was a sort of mini-epic comparable to (and actually better than) Hemispheres. Those three songs are absoulte classics, but Jacob’s Ladder is nearly as good, and Different Strings and Entre Nous are about as close as Rush ever got to a ballad, and they are both adequate songs. Geddy arguably turns in his best performance ever on bass here (with the possible exception of MP), and, the lyrics are, of course, excellent (especially Natural Science with it’s usage of tide pools as a metahpor for the human race in a sort of future Utopia). Overall, just an excellent album.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Rush contains three of the greatest musicians ever formed in a rock band. With Geddy Lee’s unique voice and awesome bass playing, Alex Lifeson’s superb guitar solos, and Neil Peart’s excellent lyrics and fantastic drumming, they knocked out fans and fellow musicians with their complex arrangements and lengthy epics. But with the release of their 1980 album PERMANENT WAVES, Rush’s songwriting and musicianship began to take a new turn.With the ’80s, the trio said goodbye to the concept albums and 18-minute-plus marathons of their ’70s past. Although their songs were shorter, the complexity and intelligence were still there. As a band, Rush were stronger than ever. The album kicks into high gear with the energetic “The Spirit of Radio,” Rush’s first ever hit single. Featuring more time changes and switches than any other Rush song, this dedication to a Canadian radio station is a great intro to what will follow. “Free Will,” another classic, features one of Alex Lifeson’s most magnificent guitar solos as well as some of Neil Peart’s best lyrics. The 7 minute epic “Jacob’s Ladder” is mostly instrumental and the playing by all three is great, most notably Geddy Lee’s bizarre synthesizer piece in the middle. “Entre Nous” is one of the most realistic love songs I’ve ever heard and contains a lot of catchy hooks. “Different Strings” is one of the most powerful songs the band has ever laid down. It should get more credit than it deserves; it’s one of their all-time best. The album ends with the 9 minute opus “Natural Science,” which starts out as a slow acoustic piece, then picks up speed like a bullet train. There are only six songs on PERMANENT WAVES and it’s a very short record (35 minutes), but adding extra bonus tracks or anything else would seem very wrong. Although I still believe MOVING PICTURES is the band’s greatest album (and the best album ever made), PERMANENT WAVES comes awfully close. This is one of Rush’s finest masterworks.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Permanent Waves photographs Rush at the perfect moment–still young and hard-rocking but, six years after their recording debut and the requisite dues-paying of long tours, wielding razor sharp progressive songwriting experience melded with tremendous technical skills.Yes, this album “only” has six tunes, but they are all richly crafted. There’s no filler to be found on this album. Rush at this point had evolved beyond doing space-rock concept albums, but while they were admittedly moving to mildly more radio friendly songwriting, they still liked fairly long songs. Even these, however, were skillfully pared down to the essentials, centered around cohesive lyrical ideas that allowed for stretching-out musically. Cases in point: Freewill, Jacob’s Ladder, and especially the intense “Natural Science” (don’t let the bland title dissuade you from enjoying the full force of the trio wash over you). Even the most commercial tune on the album, “The Spirit Of Radio,” is an instrumental workout that also radiates the sincerity of redoubtable musicians who are hardly “selling out.”This album resembles Hemispheres in the mind-boggling *huge* sound conjured up by only three people on the traditional guitar/bass/drums. Part of this is because Geddy’s bass and Neil’s drums are equally kinetic but more importantly synced up so deeply on rhythmically difficult passages. It’s also because Alex chased down some of the hugest analog guitar sounds I’ve ever heard, a real benchmark even today. Synths are usually relegated to background pedal points and uncluttered atmospherics that subtly fill out the upper sonic reaches. The guest piano added by long-time album cover artist Hugh Syme on the ballad “Different Strings” is a perfect counterpoint in texture, a respite before the force of “Natural Science,” and an example of how deft use of space paradoxically adds density. Not to mention the fact that the tune–lyrics and all–is a bit of a rarity, written by Geddy in a display of matured sophistication (usually it’s Neil who writes the lyrics while the other two concentrate on the music).Moving Pictures, the other “peak” Rush album in the Hemispheres-Permanent Waves-MP period, is considerably darker by comparison to this bittersweet yet warm, probing, mature masterpiece. And it is a welcome example of the remasters, which have generally greatly improved the presence and warmth of all the Rush catalog, where applied. To me, Permanent Waves is the perfect “summer” album (welcome any time of year!), with a great overall groove and blend of musicianship that can’t help but get the blood flowing, or make a road trip pulse just a little bit faster. As a refined, yet powerful and intriguing harder rock that not only stays with you past adolescence but also helps you reminisce with energetic warmth, this is it.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • …excluding Neil Peart’s entry into the band.Mostly recorded in 1979, PERMANENT WAVES (1980) marked the starting point for Rush’s full-blown entry into condensed, accessible progressive rock. They abandoned the 20-minute suites and mystical lyrics for catchy progressive song structures, and more human, worldly-related topics. But, Geddy Lee (vocals/bass/synths), Alex Lifeson (guitars) and Neil Peart (drums/lyrics) didn’t lose their brilliance in composition, even if most of the track lengths were fit for radio.”The Spirit of Radio” is an ever-popular track, and seems to still get as much radio airplay as it did over two decades ago. A catchy, melodic track with cerebral lyrics dealing with no other than the radio, and it’s effect on us listeners (i.e. music fans.)”Freewill” is a philosophical rocker dealing with personal beliefs (e.g., god, fate, stars) and the consequences – positive or negative – of them. Neil Peart seems to be quite ambiguous in his lyrics, and you can’t necessarily tell what *his* personal beliefs are at times. He seems to be playing more a role of devil’s advocate, which in some cases is probably the smartest part to play.”Jacob’s Ladder” brings slight resemblance to Rush’s 70s period, as this is the most *proggish* on the album, and more than likely can please fans of that particular period. Mostly instrumental, it’s an atmospheric rocker which leans toward the darker and heavier side. Highlights of the track are the instrumental section in 5/4, and later, a spatial, instrumental section featuring guitarist Alex Lifeson (later joined by band) playing a snaky riff in 13/8, while Neil is keeping time nicely, and Geddy lends some darkly airy synths on top it all. This track bears considerable King Crimson influence, though clearly, it’s still Rush’s trademark sound.”Entre Nous” is something of a ballad, but with intellectual-oriented lyrics. Alex Lifeson’s trademark atmospheric arpeggios, Geddy’s subtle, but commanding vocal combine nicely to make a highly compelling track.”Different Strings” is the soft tune on the album. Though possibly seen as a warm up to the following track, it stands nicely on it’s own. Poignant as well.”Natural Science” is the other most *proggish* number on the album. Written in three sections, the lyrics mostly deal with nature and the enviornment. Complex musicianship is very apparent, but doesn’t overshadow the strangely catchy and addicting elements found here.This would be a perfect place to start for anyone interested in Rush. Features a nice balance of complex musicianship and accessibility that’s hard to beat. Recommended.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now