Thursday, October 25, 2012

1980 in music - part 1 - Rush - Permanent Waves

The Seventies, thankfully, were over. I think ELP personally killed them off with their 70 piece orchestra tour of '77. Disco was dying. Analog keyboards were on their way out and digital pieces of garbage like the Yamaha FM-7 were about to place their evil mark on an entire decade of top 40 hits.

But some good music, here and there, under the radar, was being made.

Canadian prog rock trio Rush, including 3 of the greatest musicians of all time in bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart, had already been relentlessly touring and releasing albums for 5 years to great success when they recorded "Permanent Waves", released towards the end of 1980.

Arguably, "Moving Pictures" is the greatest Rush album of all time, but "Permanent Waves" is a close close second. "Spirit of Radio", is for my money the signature track of all time for the band - and "Freewill" another one in the top 5 all time. Fantastic real guitar, bass and drumming on this one (as opposed to later Rush efforts of the decade) and a first stab at some world music here (Reggae break in "Spirit").

Side 2 is perhaps a bit weaker than side 1, but "Natural Science" is an epic prog journey in the Rush 70s style.

Enjoy the virtuoso playing and extremely high vocals on this one...

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