Great album. True, it reaks of the eighties, but can you name a more progressive and innovative album from this time period? No, I’m sure you can’t, if you’ve heard POWER WINDOWS. While most other Rush fans would dismiss this album as a new-wave sellout piece, I believe Rush were just trying to progress (you know, like progressive rock artists should?). Geddy Lee’s Wal bass, which he introduced on this LP, gives off funky bottom-end flare in Marathon; Alex Lifeson’s guitar work is tasteful and sharp, as always, and, of course, Neil “The Professor” Peart dishes out crackling snare drum hits and thundering bass-drum kicks, along with his signature time signature changes and flawless percussion. Oh, and the synths aren’t to shabby either. Haters be hatin’, while I be listenin’.
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.
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I had never heard of RUSH until the “The Big Money” came on the radio one night in the fall of 1985. It immediately caught my attention. I remember thinking that the song sounded so… “BIG”! Sorry, no pun intended. The sound was aggressive yet melodic and (it seemed to me) a little over the top. But I immediately decided that I liked it. It was like nothing I had ever heard before. Soon afterwards I learned that it was just three guys making all of that music! I was impressed. I purchased the album and loved it. I have since looked forward to all RUSH album releases. They are outstanding musicians.
If the Albums Rush through Hemispheres can be called, the ‘Classic Era’, then Permanent Waves through Hold Your Fire can be known as the ‘Golden Era’ of Rush. The time when Rush evolved musically into more than just a Guitar based, progressive rock band. Power Windows clearly marks the pinnacle of this period in the band’s songwriting. The delicate balance between Keyboards and Open-Ended Melodies here are married very well with classic, tight song-writing, and the enigmatic themes that have personified the lyrical context of their music. From the powerful openning chord of the ‘Big Money’, to the thought-providing ideals of the ‘Manhattan Project’, and continuing with the adrenaline inducing elements of ‘Marathon’, this album delivers more than just music for your ears, but also rhythms for your soul. In addition, the music showcase what rush fans already know so well, the superior musical abilities of the band. Songs like ‘Mystic Rhythms’ demonstrate why Neil Peart is quick to come of the lips of many fans when the question of Best Rock Drummer is asked. Alex’s guitar works is as solid and cohesive as ever. But it is Geddy who really shines on this compilation. Adding the keyboard element to his typical impressive Bass Lines and solid vocals, he reveals why he may be the most versatile and talented musician in all of progressive rock. Like a good movie, a great music album is one that continues to ring in your ears and your mind long after the music has stopped. And this album, has kept my mind wandering for many a night. If not to be liked, this album must at a minimum be experienced by any true rock fan.
Throughout the 1970’s, bassist / vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart built a reputation on their live performances and technical fluorishes. But things change, people grow and our love sometimes shifts focus, if not object. And as their careers progressed, their love for creating music began to focus on the writing rather than the performing. So by 1982, the 10-minute epics had given way to tighter, more focused, yet equally challenging pieces. That the songs had become more melodic was a useful byproduct of the shift in focus. However, this era in Rushtory, which began with 1980’s “Permanent Waves,” has endured countless criticism from snotty rock journalists, who would apparently seem content to listen to recorded verses of sublime literature recited over two dissonant chords played alternately over and over again. Much of the criticism has even come from Rush’s own fans.The pinnacle of Rush’s output during this era was 1985’s “Power Windows,” which, not too surprisingly, has (unfairly) become the whipping boy for Rush’s 1980’s oeuvre. Always one to touch on powerful subjects, Peart (who is also the band’s lyricist and one of rock’s finest at that) devoted the entire album to dwelling on the subject of power and its many manifestations. Peart takes his lyric writing seriously, and with good reason. When the music is this good, you better have something meaningful to say to back it up.The production duties were co-handled by the band and Peter Collins, beginning a fruitful relationship that (so far) has yielded 4 albums. The sound quality is superlative. The music lacks the raw aggression found in their earlier albums, but it more than makes up for it in the subtle, layered and intricate arrangements that include bass, guitars, drums, electronic percussion, bongos, keyboards, strings and a moving choir effect (at the end of the soaring “Marathon”).Particularly noteworthy among the songs are “Emotion Detector,” (dealing with the way in which emotions can alternately make us powerful and frail); “Grand Designs” (a highly elegant way to say “stick to your guns!”); and “Territories,” in which Peart touched on the subject of globalization years before the term became fashionable. The opener (and first single), “The Big Money,” the title of which was Peart’s homage to Dos Pasos, is a deceivingly catchy song that provides a blistering commentary on its subject matter.Now, having made much of Rush’s emphasis on songwriting, let me remind all you kiddies that these guys can play! “Power Windows” found them all at the top of their game: their technical abilities were at their peak and all three members matched them with brilliant writing, excellent production and lyrical meaning light years ahead of their musical peers. The result was “Power Windows,” which, in my opinion, along with “Hemispheres” and “Moving Pictures,” stands as Rush’s best album.
This is Rush at perhaps their most powerful, both musically and lyrically. This is a trend that would continue into Hold Your Fire. However, unlike that album, this one rocks much more.Power Windows is an even more radical departure from Grace Under Pressure as Signals was from Moving Pictures.The keyboards on this album sound beautiful and add so much texture. From the sweeping symphonies of Manhattan Project to the majestic chorus’ of Marathon this album packs a powerful punch.The rhythm section here is at it’s tightest ever. Neil turns in some of the most complex and powerful drumming of all time and Alex’s guitars are at their emotional peak…just listen to the heartfelt solo in Marathon. This album also marks the first use of overdubbed chorus’ by Lee…something that will dramatically increase over the next few releases.Again, there is a theme to this album…this time it’s power. Power in money (Big Money), talk (Grand Designs), weapons (Manhattan Project), persistance (Marathon), world domination (Territories), dreams (Middletown Dreams), emotions (Emotion Detector) and the unknown (Mystic Rhythms).This album ranks among the best Rush albums ever. The music ties in with the lyrics and the lyrics tie in with an overall theme…a masterful work that should not be overlooked.