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Synthesized Grace takes on the organic Snakes


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Poll: Grace Under Pressure vs Snakes and Arrows (41 member(s) have cast votes)

Which album do you prefer?

  1. Grace Under Pressure (33 votes [80.49%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 80.49%

  2. Snakes and Arrows (8 votes [19.51%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.51%

Which track do you like the most?

  1. Distant Early Warning (3 votes [7.32%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.32%

  2. Afterimage (5 votes [12.20%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.20%

  3. Red Sector A (4 votes [9.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.76%

  4. The Enemy Within (3 votes [7.32%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.32%

  5. The Body Electric (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  6. Kid Gloves (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  7. Red Lenses (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  8. Between the Wheels (9 votes [21.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.95%

  9. Far Cry (6 votes [14.63%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.63%

  10. Armor and Sword (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  11. Workin’ Them Angels (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  12. The Larger Bowl (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  13. Spindrift (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  14. The Main Monkey Business (4 votes [9.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.76%

  15. The Way the Wind Blows (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  16. Hope (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  17. Faithless (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  18. Bravest Face (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  19. Good News First (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  20. Malignant Narcissism (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  21. We Hold On (1 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

Grade both Grace and Snakes (choose two)

  1. Grace is somewhere between an A- to A+. (21 votes [25.61%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.61%

  2. Grace is between a B- to B+. (17 votes [20.73%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.73%

  3. Grace is between a C- to C+. (4 votes [4.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.88%

  4. Grace is between a D- to D+. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Grace Under Pressure is an F! (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Snakes is somewhere between an A- to A+. (4 votes [4.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.88%

  7. Snakes is between a B- to B+. (17 votes [20.73%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.73%

  8. Snakes is between a C- to C+. (13 votes [15.85%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.85%

  9. Snakes is between a D- to D+. (4 votes [4.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.88%

  10. Snakes and Arrows is an F! (2 votes [2.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

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#1 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:12 PM

In regards to Snakes in the “Controversial Rush” thread...

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 02:49 AM, said:

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 01:07 AM, said:

I like about half of it, which isn't too bad.  The other stuff I can tolerate.  At least it's organic sounding
There’s nothing organic about Grace Under Pressure but that album annihilates Snakes. Probably not too controversial an opinion I think. Should make a poll out of that.

Wikipedia quote:
“Alex Lifeson once described Grace Under Pressure as the ‘most satisfying of all our records.’ “

Pretty sure he said the same thing after Snakes came out....and also about every other album when they were released. :P

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#2 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

Grace Under Pressure’s back cover band portrait has gotten some negative comments over the years on TRF. Here’s Yousuf Karsh, the photographer responsible for it:

http://en.m.wikipedi...ki/Yousuf_Karsh

#3 Lucas

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:52 PM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 09:12 PM, said:

In regards to Snakes in the “Controversial Rush” thread...

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 02:49 AM, said:

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 01:07 AM, said:

I like about half of it, which isn't too bad.  The other stuff I can tolerate.  At least it's organic sounding
There’s nothing organic about Grace Under Pressure but that album annihilates Snakes. Probably not too controversial an opinion I think. Should make a poll out of that.

Wikipedia quote:
“Alex Lifeson once described Grace Under Pressure as the ‘most satisfying of all our records.’ “

Pretty sure he said the same thing after Snakes came out....and also about every other album when they were released. :P

That quote from Alex comes from Guitar Player mag August 1984, so I would think it definitely just that - Alex promoting the latest album ...  

( Unless of course Alex felt great satisfaction pissing off 90% of the band's hardcore audience at the time )


Grace does have some nostalgic value, but over time, I have come to appreciate most of the songs - more so than I did

Grace has a lot of good solid songs, so picking one is tough .. Afterimage, Between The Wheels, Distant Early Warning, Enemy Within - all good stuff .... But I went with Red Sector A ..

Snakes to me is the epitome of average Rush album

#4 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:00 PM

View PostLucas, on 23 January 2018 - 09:52 PM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 09:12 PM, said:

In regards to Snakes in the “Controversial Rush” thread...

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 02:49 AM, said:

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 01:07 AM, said:

I like about half of it, which isn't too bad.  The other stuff I can tolerate.  At least it's organic sounding
There’s nothing organic about Grace Under Pressure but that album annihilates Snakes. Probably not too controversial an opinion I think. Should make a poll out of that.

Wikipedia quote:
“Alex Lifeson once described Grace Under Pressure as the ‘most satisfying of all our records.’ “

Pretty sure he said the same thing after Snakes came out....and also about every other album when they were released. :P

That quote from Alex comes from Guitar Player mag August 1984, so I would think it definitely just that - Alex promoting the latest album ...  

( Unless of course Alex felt great satisfaction pissing off 90% of the band's hardcore audience at the time )


Grace does have some nostalgic value, but over time, I have come to appreciate most of the songs - more so than I did

Grace has a lot of good solid songs, so picking one is tough .. Afterimage, Between The Wheels, Distant Early Warning, Enemy Within - all good stuff .... But I went with Red Sector A ..

Snakes to me is the epitome of average Rush album

Snakes to me can’t be average since it’s at the bottom of the Rush pile. I still wouldn’t give it an F though as there are 4 songs on it that I enjoy. It might be an average rock album for me though. I just tortured myself er, uhh...I mean, LISTENED TO it yesterday.

#5 goose

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:04 PM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 09:18 PM, said:

Grace Under Pressure’s back cover band portrait has gotten some negative comments over the years on TRF. Here’s Yousuf Karsh, the photographer responsible for it:

http://en.m.wikipedi...ki/Yousuf_Karsh
Posted Image

Classic 80s!

#6 toymaker

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:31 PM

I'm going to have another listen to Snakes and Arrows.  It's been awhile.  Maybe my opinion has changed.

Far Cry is great.  Peart is in fine form on this tune.

Armor and Sword.  Still like it - love the groove of the heavy bit, and dig the chimey-sounding guitars.  I'm not bothered by Peart's themes of organized religion.  There is a lot of bullshit and hypocrisy.  But if you don't like the topic, you don't like the topic, I guess.  I love Lifeson's lead stuff on this tune, too - a lot of ascending bends.

Workin' Them Angels.  Not as sold on this one.  Sort of a nothing three chord riff, and maybe a bit too similar to the previous tune, which is better.  I think the little bouzouki thing is cool, though.  The guitars sound great.

Larger Bowl.  I get why people are bugged by this one.  Musically it's just not Rush's usual calibre.  I'm not wild about the vocal (not just the whoa-whoa-ho junk).  I do remember it was a bit of an earworm for me when the album was released, though.  Picks up a bit with the solo, which has Lifeson's unique style all over it.

Spindrift is great.  Love how it starts with the background stuff, and this is a better example of Lifeson's musical inventiveness.  I'd love a version without the "whooo-hooo" junk, but Lee's vocal is pretty damned solid here - he's got lots of power and range.

Main Monkey Business is great - liked it from the start - just a really interesting mix of sounds (with the exception of the vocalizations, which I'd've removed if I were in charge and replaced with some atmospheric lead stuff or, in an ideal world, Moog synthesizer...)

Way the Wind Blows is awesome.  Love the opening lead, love how the pace picks up for a bit and then there's a mix of moods - again, though, it has those sort of irritating "whoo-ooh" things in the background.  I think I recall from the documentary that Nick the Rascal had Peart redo his drums over the faster parts; say what you want about Rascal as a producer, I think he did good here - there's some fine drumming.  Gotta love the 12 string, too - or it might be the Nashville tuned guitar.  Lifeson's lead stuff is great here - I particularly dig the bit with the three different guitars, which is mixed really well.

Hope - very pleasing to my ear.  It's cool to hear Lifeson do something like this.  His attack and articulation on the acoustic are so great here.

Faithless - I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I'm not wild about how it starts, but I think Lifeson has some very interesting parts (especially in the "all the preaching voices" bit).  I'm underwhelmed by the chorus.  Lee's voice is strong.  Great guitar solo - fantastic tone, and well structured.

Bravest Face - I have to struggle a lot harder to like this one.  I can't get past the "preshuss" and many of the other vocal choices.  Again, though . . . great solo - seriously great groove in this part.

Good News First - not wild about this.  There are some interesting sounds here, and I like some of the lyric lines, but this one is guilty of what a lot of folks have said - the verses are fairly plodding (although it picks up).  The bridge bit is pretty decent - sweet sounding acoustics and a subtle keyboard line - is that the mellotron?  Decent solo, too.  Lifeson's guitars sound great on this record.

Malignant Narcissism - I think this is a great little jam.  I love the story behind this, that Rascal recorded Lee noodling around and encouraged them to fab up something in the studio.  Would have been a great one to end the record with.

We Hold On - pretty cool.  Love the riffing in the chorus, with a bit of squeal in there.  I wish they'd have fixed the timing thing with the drums - although it's not as noticeable on the 5.1 mix.

Over all, not a bad record at all.  I can tolerate Workin Them Angels and Good News First, but the Larger Bowl . . . can't warm to it.

Edited by toymaker, 23 January 2018 - 11:36 PM.


#7 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 02:40 AM

View PostLucas, on 23 January 2018 - 09:52 PM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 09:12 PM, said:

In regards to Snakes in the “Controversial Rush” thread...

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 02:49 AM, said:

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 01:07 AM, said:

I like about half of it, which isn't too bad.  The other stuff I can tolerate.  At least it's organic sounding
There’s nothing organic about Grace Under Pressure but that album annihilates Snakes. Probably not too controversial an opinion I think. Should make a poll out of that.

Wikipedia quote:
“Alex Lifeson once described Grace Under Pressure as the ‘most satisfying of all our records.’ “

Pretty sure he said the same thing after Snakes came out....and also about every other album when they were released. :P

That quote from Alex comes from Guitar Player mag August 1984, so I would think it definitely just that - Alex promoting the latest album ...  

( Unless of course Alex felt great satisfaction pissing off 90% of the band's hardcore audience at the time )


Grace does have some nostalgic value, but over time, I have come to appreciate most of the songs - more so than I did

Grace has a lot of good solid songs, so picking one is tough .. Afterimage, Between The Wheels, Distant Early Warning, Enemy Within - all good stuff .... But I went with Red Sector A ..

Snakes to me is the epitome of average Rush album

This exactly.

#8 vaportrailer

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 02:51 AM

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 10:31 PM, said:

I'm going to have another listen to Snakes and Arrows.  It's been awhile.  Maybe my opinion has changed.

Far Cry is great.  Peart is in fine form on this tune.

Armor and Sword.  Still like it - love the groove of the heavy bit, and dig the chimey-sounding guitars.  I'm not bothered by Peart's themes of organized religion.  There is a lot of bullshit and hypocrisy.  But if you don't like the topic, you don't like the topic, I guess.  I love Lifeson's lead stuff on this tune, too - a lot of ascending bends.

Workin' Them Angels.  Not as sold on this one.  Sort of a nothing three chord riff, and maybe a bit too similar to the previous tune, which is better.  I think the little bouzouki thing is cool, though.  The guitars sound great.

Larger Bowl.  I get why people are bugged by this one.  Musically it's just not Rush's usual calibre.  I'm not wild about the vocal (not just the whoa-whoa-ho junk).  I do remember it was a bit of an earworm for me when the album was released, though.  Picks up a bit with the solo, which has Lifeson's unique style all over it.

Spindrift is great.  Love how it starts with the background stuff, and this is a better example of Lifeson's musical inventiveness.  I'd love a version without the "whooo-hooo" junk, but Lee's vocal is pretty damned solid here - he's got lots of power and range.

Main Monkey Business is great - liked it from the start - just a really interesting mix of sounds (with the exception of the vocalizations, which I'd've removed if I were in charge and replaced with some atmospheric lead stuff or, in an ideal world, Moog synthesizer...)

Way the Wind Blows is awesome.  Love the opening lead, love how the pace picks up for a bit and then there's a mix of moods - again, though, it has those sort of irritating "whoo-ooh" things in the background.  I think I recall from the documentary that Nick the Rascal had Peart redo his drums over the faster parts; say what you want about Rascal as a producer, I think he did good here - there's some fine drumming.  Gotta love the 12 string, too - or it might be the Nashville tuned guitar.  Lifeson's lead stuff is great here - I particularly dig the bit with the three different guitars, which is mixed really well.

Hope - very pleasing to my ear.  It's cool to hear Lifeson do something like this.  His attack and articulation on the acoustic are so great here.

Faithless - I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I'm not wild about how it starts, but I think Lifeson has some very interesting parts (especially in the "all the preaching voices" bit).  I'm underwhelmed by the chorus.  Lee's voice is strong.  Great guitar solo - fantastic tone, and well structured.

Bravest Face - I have to struggle a lot harder to like this one.  I can't get past the "preshuss" and many of the other vocal choices.  Again, though . . . great solo - seriously great groove in this part.

Good News First - not wild about this.  There are some interesting sounds here, and I like some of the lyric lines, but this one is guilty of what a lot of folks have said - the verses are fairly plodding (although it picks up).  The bridge bit is pretty decent - sweet sounding acoustics and a subtle keyboard line - is that the mellotron?  Decent solo, too.  Lifeson's guitars sound great on this record.

Malignant Narcissism - I think this is a great little jam.  I love the story behind this, that Rascal recorded Lee noodling around and encouraged them to fab up something in the studio.  Would have been a great one to end the record with.

We Hold On - pretty cool.  Love the riffing in the chorus, with a bit of squeal in there.  I wish they'd have fixed the timing thing with the drums - although it's not as noticeable on the 5.1 mix.

Over all, not a bad record at all.  I can tolerate Workin Them Angels and Good News First, but the Larger Bowl . . . can't warm to it.

This makes me want to listen to the whole damn plodding thing again. Maybe now with less plod?


#9 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 03:02 AM

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 10:31 PM, said:

I'm going to have another listen to Snakes and Arrows.  It's been awhile.  Maybe my opinion has changed.

Far Cry is great.  Peart is in fine form on this tune.

Armor and Sword.  Still like it - love the groove of the heavy bit, and dig the chimey-sounding guitars.  I'm not bothered by Peart's themes of organized religion.  There is a lot of bullshit and hypocrisy.  But if you don't like the topic, you don't like the topic, I guess.  I love Lifeson's lead stuff on this tune, too - a lot of ascending bends.

Workin' Them Angels.  Not as sold on this one.  Sort of a nothing three chord riff, and maybe a bit too similar to the previous tune, which is better.  I think the little bouzouki thing is cool, though.  The guitars sound great.

Larger Bowl.  I get why people are bugged by this one.  Musically it's just not Rush's usual calibre.  I'm not wild about the vocal (not just the whoa-whoa-ho junk).  I do remember it was a bit of an earworm for me when the album was released, though.  Picks up a bit with the solo, which has Lifeson's unique style all over it.

Spindrift is great.  Love how it starts with the background stuff, and this is a better example of Lifeson's musical inventiveness.  I'd love a version without the "whooo-hooo" junk, but Lee's vocal is pretty damned solid here - he's got lots of power and range.

Main Monkey Business is great - liked it from the start - just a really interesting mix of sounds (with the exception of the vocalizations, which I'd've removed if I were in charge and replaced with some atmospheric lead stuff or, in an ideal world, Moog synthesizer...)

Way the Wind Blows is awesome.  Love the opening lead, love how the pace picks up for a bit and then there's a mix of moods - again, though, it has those sort of irritating "whoo-ooh" things in the background.  I think I recall from the documentary that Nick the Rascal had Peart redo his drums over the faster parts; say what you want about Rascal as a producer, I think he did good here - there's some fine drumming.  Gotta love the 12 string, too - or it might be the Nashville tuned guitar.  Lifeson's lead stuff is great here - I particularly dig the bit with the three different guitars, which is mixed really well.

Hope - very pleasing to my ear.  It's cool to hear Lifeson do something like this.  His attack and articulation on the acoustic are so great here.

Faithless - I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I'm not wild about how it starts, but I think Lifeson has some very interesting parts (especially in the "all the preaching voices" bit).  I'm underwhelmed by the chorus.  Lee's voice is strong.  Great guitar solo - fantastic tone, and well structured.

Bravest Face - I have to struggle a lot harder to like this one.  I can't get past the "preshuss" and many of the other vocal choices.  Again, though . . . great solo - seriously great groove in this part.

Good News First - not wild about this.  There are some interesting sounds here, and I like some of the lyric lines, but this one is guilty of what a lot of folks have said - the verses are fairly plodding (although it picks up).  The bridge bit is pretty decent - sweet sounding acoustics and a subtle keyboard line - is that the mellotron?  Decent solo, too.  Lifeson's guitars sound great on this record.

Malignant Narcissism - I think this is a great little jam.  I love the story behind this, that Rascal recorded Lee noodling around and encouraged them to fab up something in the studio.  Would have been a great one to end the record with.

We Hold On - pretty cool.  Love the riffing in the chorus, with a bit of squeal in there.  I wish they'd have fixed the timing thing with the drums - although it's not as noticeable on the 5.1 mix.

Over all, not a bad record at all.  I can tolerate Workin Them Angels and Good News First, but the Larger Bowl . . . can't warm to it.

You've successfully reminded me how I don't really hate or mind most of these songs too much (aside from Faithless, which as a person of faith, is too much of Neil's preachy anti-religion schtick to enjoy, it's also not even a great song on its own terms). That said, I still agree with Lucas that, overall this album is more average than good or great (Far Cry might be the only undeniably great song here, and it still comes off as a bit of fan service), but thanks for reminding me average is nowhere near Roll The Bones level bad.

#10 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 04:12 AM

View PostEntre_Perpetuo, on 24 January 2018 - 03:02 AM, said:

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 10:31 PM, said:

I'm going to have another listen to Snakes and Arrows.  It's been awhile.  Maybe my opinion has changed.

Far Cry is great.  Peart is in fine form on this tune.

Armor and Sword.  Still like it - love the groove of the heavy bit, and dig the chimey-sounding guitars.  I'm not bothered by Peart's themes of organized religion.  There is a lot of bullshit and hypocrisy.  But if you don't like the topic, you don't like the topic, I guess.  I love Lifeson's lead stuff on this tune, too - a lot of ascending bends.

Workin' Them Angels.  Not as sold on this one.  Sort of a nothing three chord riff, and maybe a bit too similar to the previous tune, which is better.  I think the little bouzouki thing is cool, though.  The guitars sound great.

Larger Bowl.  I get why people are bugged by this one.  Musically it's just not Rush's usual calibre.  I'm not wild about the vocal (not just the whoa-whoa-ho junk).  I do remember it was a bit of an earworm for me when the album was released, though.  Picks up a bit with the solo, which has Lifeson's unique style all over it.

Spindrift is great.  Love how it starts with the background stuff, and this is a better example of Lifeson's musical inventiveness.  I'd love a version without the "whooo-hooo" junk, but Lee's vocal is pretty damned solid here - he's got lots of power and range.

Main Monkey Business is great - liked it from the start - just a really interesting mix of sounds (with the exception of the vocalizations, which I'd've removed if I were in charge and replaced with some atmospheric lead stuff or, in an ideal world, Moog synthesizer...)

Way the Wind Blows is awesome.  Love the opening lead, love how the pace picks up for a bit and then there's a mix of moods - again, though, it has those sort of irritating "whoo-ooh" things in the background.  I think I recall from the documentary that Nick the Rascal had Peart redo his drums over the faster parts; say what you want about Rascal as a producer, I think he did good here - there's some fine drumming.  Gotta love the 12 string, too - or it might be the Nashville tuned guitar.  Lifeson's lead stuff is great here - I particularly dig the bit with the three different guitars, which is mixed really well.

Hope - very pleasing to my ear.  It's cool to hear Lifeson do something like this.  His attack and articulation on the acoustic are so great here.

Faithless - I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I'm not wild about how it starts, but I think Lifeson has some very interesting parts (especially in the "all the preaching voices" bit).  I'm underwhelmed by the chorus.  Lee's voice is strong.  Great guitar solo - fantastic tone, and well structured.

Bravest Face - I have to struggle a lot harder to like this one.  I can't get past the "preshuss" and many of the other vocal choices.  Again, though . . . great solo - seriously great groove in this part.

Good News First - not wild about this.  There are some interesting sounds here, and I like some of the lyric lines, but this one is guilty of what a lot of folks have said - the verses are fairly plodding (although it picks up).  The bridge bit is pretty decent - sweet sounding acoustics and a subtle keyboard line - is that the mellotron?  Decent solo, too.  Lifeson's guitars sound great on this record.

Malignant Narcissism - I think this is a great little jam.  I love the story behind this, that Rascal recorded Lee noodling around and encouraged them to fab up something in the studio.  Would have been a great one to end the record with.

We Hold On - pretty cool.  Love the riffing in the chorus, with a bit of squeal in there.  I wish they'd have fixed the timing thing with the drums - although it's not as noticeable on the 5.1 mix.

Over all, not a bad record at all.  I can tolerate Workin Them Angels and Good News First, but the Larger Bowl . . . can't warm to it.

You've successfully reminded me how I don't really hate or mind most of these songs too much (aside from Faithless, which as a person of faith, is too much of Neil's preachy anti-religion schtick to enjoy, it's also not even a great song on its own terms). That said, I still agree with Lucas that, overall this album is more average than good or great (Far Cry might be the only undeniably great song here, and it still comes off as a bit of fan service), but thanks for reminding me average is nowhere near Roll The Bones level bad.

The toymaker is toying with you! You’ve been seduced by his wordage into thinking it’s better than it is!

:P

#11 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 04:18 AM

View Posttoymaker, on 23 January 2018 - 10:31 PM, said:

I'm going to have another listen to Snakes and Arrows.  It's been awhile.  Maybe my opinion has changed.

Far Cry is great.  Peart is in fine form on this tune.

Armor and Sword.  Still like it - love the groove of the heavy bit, and dig the chimey-sounding guitars.  I'm not bothered by Peart's themes of organized religion.  There is a lot of bullshit and hypocrisy.  But if you don't like the topic, you don't like the topic, I guess.  I love Lifeson's lead stuff on this tune, too - a lot of ascending bends.

Workin' Them Angels.  Not as sold on this one.  Sort of a nothing three chord riff, and maybe a bit too similar to the previous tune, which is better.  I think the little bouzouki thing is cool, though.  The guitars sound great.

Larger Bowl.  I get why people are bugged by this one.  Musically it's just not Rush's usual calibre.  I'm not wild about the vocal (not just the whoa-whoa-ho junk).  I do remember it was a bit of an earworm for me when the album was released, though.  Picks up a bit with the solo, which has Lifeson's unique style all over it.

Spindrift is great.  Love how it starts with the background stuff, and this is a better example of Lifeson's musical inventiveness.  I'd love a version without the "whooo-hooo" junk, but Lee's vocal is pretty damned solid here - he's got lots of power and range.

Main Monkey Business is great - liked it from the start - just a really interesting mix of sounds (with the exception of the vocalizations, which I'd've removed if I were in charge and replaced with some atmospheric lead stuff or, in an ideal world, Moog synthesizer...)

Way the Wind Blows is awesome.  Love the opening lead, love how the pace picks up for a bit and then there's a mix of moods - again, though, it has those sort of irritating "whoo-ooh" things in the background.  I think I recall from the documentary that Nick the Rascal had Peart redo his drums over the faster parts; say what you want about Rascal as a producer, I think he did good here - there's some fine drumming.  Gotta love the 12 string, too - or it might be the Nashville tuned guitar.  Lifeson's lead stuff is great here - I particularly dig the bit with the three different guitars, which is mixed really well.

Hope - very pleasing to my ear.  It's cool to hear Lifeson do something like this.  His attack and articulation on the acoustic are so great here.

Faithless - I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I'm not wild about how it starts, but I think Lifeson has some very interesting parts (especially in the "all the preaching voices" bit).  I'm underwhelmed by the chorus.  Lee's voice is strong.  Great guitar solo - fantastic tone, and well structured.

Bravest Face - I have to struggle a lot harder to like this one.  I can't get past the "preshuss" and many of the other vocal choices.  Again, though . . . great solo - seriously great groove in this part.

Good News First - not wild about this.  There are some interesting sounds here, and I like some of the lyric lines, but this one is guilty of what a lot of folks have said - the verses are fairly plodding (although it picks up).  The bridge bit is pretty decent - sweet sounding acoustics and a subtle keyboard line - is that the mellotron?  Decent solo, too.  Lifeson's guitars sound great on this record.

Malignant Narcissism - I think this is a great little jam.  I love the story behind this, that Rascal recorded Lee noodling around and encouraged them to fab up something in the studio.  Would have been a great one to end the record with.

We Hold On - pretty cool.  Love the riffing in the chorus, with a bit of squeal in there.  I wish they'd have fixed the timing thing with the drums - although it's not as noticeable on the 5.1 mix.

Over all, not a bad record at all.  I can tolerate Workin Them Angels and Good News First, but the Larger Bowl . . . can't warm to it.

Great post. I do disagree with most of your thoughts here though.

Also, I’ve never been bothered by Peart’s religious opinions either. I’ve got problems with the phrasing and word combinations themselves. Then there’s my issue with some of the vocals and general album plodding. Ah well. Even Rush can’t win ‘em all imho.

What do I like? Monkey, Wind, Hope, and Malnar

Edited by JohnnyBlaze, 24 January 2018 - 04:18 AM.


#12 Stormtron

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:30 AM

Grace stomps the f**k out of Snakes. Not even close. Afterimage is my favorite.

I give Snakes a C- here, but that feels too high, while D seems too low. I dunno. I give it some imaginary grade between the two.

Snakes isn't my least favorite, but it's the one that feels the most like old man music to me.

Edited by Stormtron, 24 January 2018 - 06:32 AM.


#13 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:45 AM

View PostStormtron, on 24 January 2018 - 06:30 AM, said:

Grace stomps the f**k out of Snakes. Not even close. Afterimage is my favorite.

I give Snakes a C- here, but that feels too high, while D seems too low. I dunno. I give it some imaginary grade between the two.

Snakes isn't my least favorite, but it's the one that feels the most like old man music to me.

You don’t have to give it an imaginary grade between C- and D ——> Give it a D+. I haven’t voted yet but I’ll give it that OR a C-.

I’m definitely with you on the “most like old man music” thought.

#14 Texas King

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:45 AM

In my book P/G easily beats any Rush album that comes afterwards.
Fave track: Between the Wheels

Grade for P/G: A -
Grade for S&A: C

#15 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 07:19 AM

View PostTexas King, on 24 January 2018 - 11:45 AM, said:

In my book P/G easily beats any Rush album that comes afterwards.
Fave track: Between the Wheels

Grade for P/G: A -
Grade for S&A: C

For me it’s a close one between GUP and PoW...but I’d probably give Grace the slight edge there. And without hesitation, I think it beats everything after PoW.

#16 goose

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:30 PM

GUP gets the nod for best album, by a large margin.  Snakes is inconsistent and too damn long and loaded with filler tracks.  However, I do put the Main Monkey Business as my top track.  It's an excellent performance.

#17 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 07:18 PM

I like Snakes a lot.  Partly because they released it after more than 20 years of mediocre (or worse) albums.  For me, GUP is the first album of the "post golden era," because it was their first album I bought that I didn't love right away.  Still, GUP came out when they were musically in their prime (age-wise) so I probably like it a little more.  But not much more.  And Far Cry is better than anything on GUP.

#18 liquidcrystalcompass

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:47 PM

Grace Under Pressure A-
Snakes and Arrows a solid B

#19 Enemy Within

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:37 AM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 23 January 2018 - 09:18 PM, said:

Grace Under Pressure’s back cover band portrait has gotten some negative comments over the years on TRF. Here’s Yousuf Karsh, the photographer responsible for it:

http://en.m.wikipedi...ki/Yousuf_Karsh

To be fair any negative comments should be directed at their stylists, rather than the photographer. ;)

#20 diatribein

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 08:41 PM

I hate voting anything over Snakes & Arrows because it is so maligned on this forum, but it is going up against my favourite RUSH album here! It's funny though, even though I love every single song on Grace Under Pressure, my top 5 songs of the 21 available would ALL be from Snakes & Arrows. These are two of the best albums in their career.




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