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Unpopular Opinion: The 80s songs sounded best live in the 80s.


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#1 fraroc

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:59 AM

Seriously, I think that every single song from the synth era sounded best being played live in that era. You know why? Because that was when Geddy was willing to experiment with keyboards and had a more positive attitude towards playing the keyboards live, and as a result, there was much less cheating around that time period. Instead of faking the keyboard parts and continuing to play bass where the bass doesn't belong, he actually played the parts as they should have been played. Case in point being Between The Wheels during the GUP tour vs any other modern tour where BTW was played.

To be honest, I'm surprised Geddy didn't attempt to play the bass during Red Sector A, which is the song that everybody Rush fan associates with Geddy playing just keys.

There also wasn't this pressure to make the music sound more modern. A lot of the Power Windows songs on the Clockwork Angels live album had instances where the guitar would drown out any other part, leading to the song not sounding right. An example would be Middletown Dreams.

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#2 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

I  kinda of agree.  but i have a soft spot for the records.  but your not wrong.

Mick

#3 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:14 AM

Oh i see what you really mean.I misread a bit.  and now i'm on the fence.  yes they sounded great in the 80's but i think they also got heavier and a tad more balls in future tours which i also loved.

Mick

Edited by bluefox4000, 06 March 2018 - 04:08 PM.


#4 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:14 AM

View Postfraroc, on 06 March 2018 - 10:59 AM, said:

Seriously, I think that every single song from the synth era sounded best being played live in that era.

I can’t think of a single synth era song that sounded better live in this century compared to in the 80s when they were first played live.

So, for once, I think I can agree with one of your “absolute” ((“every single...”)) statements. :P

#5 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:16 AM

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 March 2018 - 11:14 AM, said:

Oh i see what you really mean.I misread a bit.  and now i'm on the fence.  yes they sounded great in the 80's but i think they also got heavier and a rad more balls in future tours which i also loved.

Mick

You’re influencing me to read fraroc’s post a second time! And right after I just agreed with him (in my previous post) for the first time?!!

:lol:

#6 lifeson90

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:24 AM

Power windows and HYF sound fresh as a daisy to me totally superb and timeless albums. Presto & RTB will always sound a bit weak due to Rupert Hine's involvement but still superb albums. Obvs Signals a masterpiece and  you could make an argument that Al's ska-influenced guitar sound at times maybe of that era but still sounds very fresh to me due to his mastery of it.

Waves will always be timeless, sounds like could be knocked out in 40 years time, nevermind nearly 40 years ago, but wont get into the 'is it an 80s album' thing. Funnily enough, the only 80s album that cries out 80s for me is Moving Pictures, although.obviously brilliant

#7 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:30 AM

View Postlifeson90, on 06 March 2018 - 11:24 AM, said:

Power windows and HYF sound fresh as a daisy to me totally superb and timeless albums. Presto & RTB will always sound a bit weak due to Rupert Hine's involvement but still superb albums. Obvs Signals a masterpiece and  you could make an argument that Al's ska-influenced guitar sound at times maybe of that era but still sounds very fresh to me due to his mastery of it.

Waves will always be timeless, sounds like could be knocked out in 40 years time, nevermind nearly 40 years ago, but wont get into the 'is it an 80s album' thing. Funnily enough, the only 80s album that cries out 80s for me is Moving Pictures, although.obviously brilliant

lol.  i thought he just meant they sounded better live than on record.  but he meant they sounded better live in the 80's than any future decade, lol

which as i said i'm on the fence about.  i like how they bulked them up a bit.  for Examble i loved Mission way more on the Snakes tour than the HYF tour.  Al's solo was just killer.

so it depends for me i guess.

Mick

#8 Alien Girl

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:29 PM

View Postfraroc, on 06 March 2018 - 10:59 AM, said:

There also wasn't this pressure to make the music sound more modern. A lot of the Power Windows songs on the Clockwork Angels live album had instances where the guitar would drown out any other part, leading to the song not sounding right. An example would be Middletown Dreams.

Well, Middletown Dreams never sounds right.  













(to me)

#9 Lurkst

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:49 PM

The HYF / Windows stuff sounded great on the 1988 tour. The old stuff not so much. Alex should've kept some Gibsons in his arsenal for that.


#10 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:52 PM

View PostLurkst, on 06 March 2018 - 12:49 PM, said:

The HYF / Windows stuff sounded great on the 1988 tour. The old stuff not so much. Alex should've kept some Gibsons in his arsenal for that.

I agree.  i LOVED the HYF tour.  but the older stuff took a hit soundwise on that tour

Mick

#11 cygnify

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:29 PM

I would agree with you.  For me, it's about the drums though.  IMO, Neil's drums sounded much better in the 80's - and those tunes with the massive drum fills just crushed with that sound.  Additionally, I much preferred Neil's original electronic set-up (with real cymbals!) to the V-drums he used on more recent tours (and FYI, I am a V-drums owner and user - I like them for what they are, but I can't stand the cymbal sounds on Rush songs!!)  To me, the most egregious examples on recordings include:

1.) Red Sector A on Rush in Rio.  The V-drum electronic cymbals - especially the high hat - are just horrible.  Didn't care for the V-drum tom sounds for those fills either!  Compared to the P/G live disc - much better when he was using real cymbals and the Simmons drums.

2.) Any of the set 2 songs on R40 Live.  It was really super cool that he brought back the old kit design as "el Darko" - However, it's as if he forgot to tune his concert toms!  His high tom sounds - used on so many fills of so many songs, were iconic (in the 70's and 80's).  All of his "El Darko" concert toms sound de-tuned, with none of the high pitched attack that was a signature sound of Neil's classic kits.  Also, and I think this is the recording (the drum sound has so many issues on R40; and again, coming from a huge David Bottril fan as I am) - but what happened to the China cymbal sound?? Another iconic sound of Neil's classic kits - seems like they screwed up with the mic-ing of the cymbals, because the china is just not there.  For me, having these iconic sounds missing were a big let down for the the R40 set.

#12 thirteen

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:46 PM

IMO the peak of live 80's Rush was A Show of Hands.
It still sounds (and looks) bloody amazing. I'll take ASOH live on VHS over Clockwork Angels DVD every time.

#13 tangy

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:33 PM

View Postfraroc, on 06 March 2018 - 10:59 AM, said:

Seriously, I think that every single song from the synth era sounded best being played live in that era. You know why?

Because that was always the case in their career.

Young dudes rock harder than old dudes.

My opinion is that in terms of live discs the first was the best. The second was 2nd best, the third was the 3rd best. Blah blah blah

#14 Alien Girl

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:36 PM

View Postthirteen, on 06 March 2018 - 04:46 PM, said:

IMO the peak of live 80's Rush was A Show of Hands.
It still sounds (and looks) bloody amazing. I'll take ASOH live on VHS over Clockwork Angels DVD every time.

YES!!

#15 Permanent-Rush

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:32 AM

View Postcygnify, on 06 March 2018 - 02:29 PM, said:

I would agree with you.  For me, it's about the drums though.  IMO, Neil's drums sounded much better in the 80's - and those tunes with the massive drum fills just crushed with that sound.  Additionally, I much preferred Neil's original electronic set-up (with real cymbals!) to the V-drums he used on more recent tours (and FYI, I am a V-drums owner and user - I like them for what they are, but I can't stand the cymbal sounds on Rush songs!!)  To me, the most egregious examples on recordings include:

1.) Red Sector A on Rush in Rio.  The V-drum electronic cymbals - especially the high hat - are just horrible.  Didn't care for the V-drum tom sounds for those fills either!  Compared to the P/G live disc - much better when he was using real cymbals and the Simmons drums.

2.) Any of the set 2 songs on R40 Live.  It was really super cool that he brought back the old kit design as "el Darko" - However, it's as if he forgot to tune his concert toms!  His high tom sounds - used on so many fills of so many songs, were iconic (in the 70's and 80's).  All of his "El Darko" concert toms sound de-tuned, with none of the high pitched attack that was a signature sound of Neil's classic kits.  Also, and I think this is the recording (the drum sound has so many issues on R40; and again, coming from a huge David Bottril fan as I am) - but what happened to the China cymbal sound?? Another iconic sound of Neil's classic kits - seems like they screwed up with the mic-ing of the cymbals, because the china is just not there.  For me, having these iconic sounds missing were a big let down for the the R40 set.

Getting all drum technical, I LOVE it mate!! I am a drummer as well :)

#16 Bhawk2112

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:34 PM

Geddy's modern era bass tone doesn't fit 80s material very well in many instances.

Listen to Distant Early Warning on ASOH, then check it out on S&A Live. Whoa. Like with so many other songs the bass carries the melody, and the noisier recent tone is, well, noisier and muddled.

#17 Todem

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:53 PM

View Postcygnify, on 06 March 2018 - 02:29 PM, said:

I would agree with you.  For me, it's about the drums though.  IMO, Neil's drums sounded much better in the 80's - and those tunes with the massive drum fills just crushed with that sound.  Additionally, I much preferred Neil's original electronic set-up (with real cymbals!) to the V-drums he used on more recent tours (and FYI, I am a V-drums owner and user - I like them for what they are, but I can't stand the cymbal sounds on Rush songs!!)  To me, the most egregious examples on recordings include:

1.) Red Sector A on Rush in Rio.  The V-drum electronic cymbals - especially the high hat - are just horrible.  Didn't care for the V-drum tom sounds for those fills either!  Compared to the P/G live disc - much better when he was using real cymbals and the Simmons drums.

2.) Any of the set 2 songs on R40 Live.  It was really super cool that he brought back the old kit design as "el Darko" - However, it's as if he forgot to tune his concert toms!  His high tom sounds - used on so many fills of so many songs, were iconic (in the 70's and 80's).  All of his "El Darko" concert toms sound de-tuned, with none of the high pitched attack that was a signature sound of Neil's classic kits.  Also, and I think this is the recording (the drum sound has so many issues on R40; and again, coming from a huge David Bottril fan as I am) - but what happened to the China cymbal sound?? Another iconic sound of Neil's classic kits - seems like they screwed up with the mic-ing of the cymbals, because the china is just not there.  For me, having these iconic sounds missing were a big let down for the the R40 set.


Great post Cyg.

On the guitar front, I am a huge fan of Alex's Gibson's. I own both his 355 and Le Play Signature models. Brilliant guitars with incredible tone. His 355 is without a doubt the best guitar I have ever played and own. Such an amazing progressive rock guitar.

With that said....his playing in the 80's was far more concise. His attention to detail (fret work) was at it's highest level between 1981 and 1996. Picture through T4E. His playing then became far more for lack of a better term "looser".

But his tone starting with the Snakes For Arrows tour was simply fat and juicy!!! I love it!.

I would have to pick and choose different songs from the 80's that sounded better back in the day vs today.


Signals

Subdivision - R30
The Analog Kid - RTB Tour
Digital Man - Signals Tour
The Weapon - Only played on two tours in the 80's
New World Man - GUP Tour

Grace Under Pressure

DEW - HYF Tour
Red Sector A - GUP Tour
The Body Electric - CA Tour
BTW - Snakes Tour


Power Windows

The Big Money - ASOH
Grand Designs - CA Tour
Manhattan Project - ASOH
Marathon - ASOH
Territories - ASOH
Middletown Dreams - PoW Tour
Mystic Rhythms - R30

HYF

Force 10 - R30
Time Stand Still - ASOH
Mission - S&A Tour


So mostly the 80's I prefer for those tunes......but modern versions were also very good and ballsy.

Also Presto and RTB's sounded much better live to me. Far more crunchy and it really allowed the songs to breathe more.

#18 fraroc

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:28 PM

I know that everybody's like "Geddy's the best bass player in the world and only a somewhat good keyboardist, everybody would rather he play bass than just a few chords on the piano."

I don't know, but to me it's kind of frustrating to see a man so talented and so amazing at multi-tasking between instruments opting to Milli Vanilli certain keyboard parts. Its not like in the 80s, he was using pre-recorded bass guitar parts, certain portions of the synth songs required synth bass, and not bass guitar.

#19 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:57 AM

View Postfraroc, on 07 March 2018 - 10:28 PM, said:

I know that everybody's like "Geddy's the best bass player in the world and only a somewhat good keyboardist, everybody would rather he play bass than just a few chords on the piano."

I don't know, but to me it's kind of frustrating to see a man so talented and so amazing at multi-tasking between instruments opting to Milli Vanilli certain keyboard parts. Its not like in the 80s, he was using pre-recorded bass guitar parts, certain portions of the synth songs required synth bass, and not bass guitar.

Geddy always was a lazy hack!

In addition to the bass, vocals, and keyboards, he should’ve superglued some cymbals to his buttocks and clinched on occasion in order to get more sounds. He could’ve done so much more!

Girl you know it’s true!

Signed,

Rob & Fab

#20 cygnify

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:42 AM

View PostTodem, on 07 March 2018 - 01:53 PM, said:


BTW - Snakes Tour


Agree with 99% of your post - except for this one!  IMO, BTW was far superior on the P/G tour - proper driving tempo and Neil actually wailed on a China cymbal through the chorus as it should be (don't give me that wimpy X-hat chorus!)  Lights were cooler on the Snakes tour though!  :)




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