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No bad Rush album

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#1 Fordgalaxy

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 09:50 PM

According to this article, there isn't a truly bad Rush album, just varying degrees of inspired genius.

When asked for the definition of “guts” in a long-ago magazine profile, author Ernest Hemingway replied that he meant “grace under pressure.” With that, he not only coined a popular phrase but unwittingly named the 10th studio album released by Rush, which arrived some 55 years later, on April 12, 1984.

The title of Grace Under Pressure may have seemed like an admission of an embattled state of mind within Rush. After all, their sound was evolving away from the heavy prog of yesteryear towards more commercial forms, which alienated some of their fans, particularly as they embraced technology. But the truth was far less complex, and the album’s title simply alluded to the escalating Cold War tensions of the mid-'80s, and their role in inspiring many of the themes penned by Neil Peart.
Ironically, the lyrics designate Grace Under Pressure as one of Rush’s bleakest, most pessimistic albums.

That stands in direct contrast to the clean production concocted by the band and engineer Peter Henderson, who had replaced original choice, Steve Lillywhite, in a pinch. These bright sounds were, of course, largely executed on the virtual battalion of synthesizers which had captured Rush frontman Geddy Lee's imagination of late.
Synths provided much of the melodic thrust on Grace Under Pressure over Alex Lifeson’s once-pivotal guitar. And yet, the infinitely-versatile six-string god was clearly complicit with Rush’s technology-obsessed agenda, because he abandoned power chords and showy solos for sharp strums that evoked jazz and reggae (see "The Enemy Within").

Regardless of their composite parts, new songs like "Distant Early Warning," "Afterimage," "Red Sector A" and "Between the Wheels" were all assembled to Rush’s typically exacting and meticulous standards. Yet they somehow managed to combine inventive arrangements with easily digestible hooks, even as they delved into the predominantly dark and disconcerting lyrical concepts. No wonder, then, that Grace Under Pressure easily duplicated the No. 10 Billboard placing of its predecessor, Signals (if not the Top 5 achievements of Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves) while cruising to platinum certification.

Rush’s commercial musical direction through the '80s remains a topic of hot debate within their fan base. But a single spin of Grace Under Pressure is enough to remind us there’s no such thing as a truly bad Rush LP. There are simply different versions of inspired genius, fit to suit a sweep of musical tastes.

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#2 thizzellewashington

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:19 PM

How do we define "bad"? There are definitely Rush albums that are weak or mediocre, but every one of their albums has at least a handful of great songs. Test for Echo is their weakest album IMO and even that one has Driven, Virtuality and Resist.

#3 goose

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:01 PM

View PostFordgalaxy, on 15 April 2018 - 09:50 PM, said:

According to this article, there isn't a truly bad Rush album, just varying degrees of inspired genius.

When asked for the definition of “guts” in a long-ago magazine profile, author Ernest Hemingway replied that he meant “grace under pressure.” With that, he not only coined a popular phrase but unwittingly named the 10th studio album released by Rush, which arrived some 55 years later, on April 12, 1984.

The title of Grace Under Pressure may have seemed like an admission of an embattled state of mind within Rush. After all, their sound was evolving away from the heavy prog of yesteryear towards more commercial forms, which alienated some of their fans, particularly as they embraced technology. But the truth was far less complex, and the album’s title simply alluded to the escalating Cold War tensions of the mid-'80s, and their role in inspiring many of the themes penned by Neil Peart.
Ironically, the lyrics designate Grace Under Pressure as one of Rush’s bleakest, most pessimistic albums.

That stands in direct contrast to the clean production concocted by the band and engineer Peter Henderson, who had replaced original choice, Steve Lillywhite, in a pinch. These bright sounds were, of course, largely executed on the virtual battalion of synthesizers which had captured Rush frontman Geddy Lee's imagination of late.
Synths provided much of the melodic thrust on Grace Under Pressure over Alex Lifeson’s once-pivotal guitar. And yet, the infinitely-versatile six-string god was clearly complicit with Rush’s technology-obsessed agenda, because he abandoned power chords and showy solos for sharp strums that evoked jazz and reggae (see "The Enemy Within").

Regardless of their composite parts, new songs like "Distant Early Warning," "Afterimage," "Red Sector A" and "Between the Wheels" were all assembled to Rush’s typically exacting and meticulous standards. Yet they somehow managed to combine inventive arrangements with easily digestible hooks, even as they delved into the predominantly dark and disconcerting lyrical concepts. No wonder, then, that Grace Under Pressure easily duplicated the No. 10 Billboard placing of its predecessor, Signals (if not the Top 5 achievements of Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves) while cruising to platinum certification.

Rush’s commercial musical direction through the '80s remains a topic of hot debate within their fan base. But a single spin of Grace Under Pressure is enough to remind us there’s no such thing as a truly bad Rush LP. There are simply different versions of inspired genius, fit to suit a sweep of musical tastes.
Great review of GUP. :)

#4 goose

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:01 PM

View Postthizzellewashington, on 15 April 2018 - 10:19 PM, said:

How do we define "bad"? There are definitely Rush albums that are weak or mediocre, but every one of their albums has at least a handful of great songs. Test for Echo is their weakest album IMO and even that one has Driven, Virtuality and Resist.
You tell'em, Net Girl!

#5 J2112YYZ

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:08 PM

I don't think they have any bad albums. Bad songs certainly but no overall bad albums.

#6 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:14 PM

View PostFordgalaxy, on 15 April 2018 - 09:50 PM, said:

According to this article, there isn't a truly bad Rush album, just varying degrees of inspired genius.

When asked for the definition of “guts” in a long-ago magazine profile, author Ernest Hemingway replied that he meant “grace under pressure.” With that, he not only coined a popular phrase but unwittingly named the 10th studio album released by Rush, which arrived some 55 years later, on April 12, 1984.

The title of Grace Under Pressure may have seemed like an admission of an embattled state of mind within Rush. After all, their sound was evolving away from the heavy prog of yesteryear towards more commercial forms, which alienated some of their fans, particularly as they embraced technology. But the truth was far less complex, and the album’s title simply alluded to the escalating Cold War tensions of the mid-'80s, and their role in inspiring many of the themes penned by Neil Peart.
Ironically, the lyrics designate Grace Under Pressure as one of Rush’s bleakest, most pessimistic albums.

That stands in direct contrast to the clean production concocted by the band and engineer Peter Henderson, who had replaced original choice, Steve Lillywhite, in a pinch. These bright sounds were, of course, largely executed on the virtual battalion of synthesizers which had captured Rush frontman Geddy Lee's imagination of late.
Synths provided much of the melodic thrust on Grace Under Pressure over Alex Lifeson’s once-pivotal guitar. And yet, the infinitely-versatile six-string god was clearly complicit with Rush’s technology-obsessed agenda, because he abandoned power chords and showy solos for sharp strums that evoked jazz and reggae (see "The Enemy Within").

Regardless of their composite parts, new songs like "Distant Early Warning," "Afterimage," "Red Sector A" and "Between the Wheels" were all assembled to Rush’s typically exacting and meticulous standards. Yet they somehow managed to combine inventive arrangements with easily digestible hooks, even as they delved into the predominantly dark and disconcerting lyrical concepts. No wonder, then, that Grace Under Pressure easily duplicated the No. 10 Billboard placing of its predecessor, Signals (if not the Top 5 achievements of Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves) while cruising to platinum certification.

Rush’s commercial musical direction through the '80s remains a topic of hot debate within their fan base. But a single spin of Grace Under Pressure is enough to remind us there’s no such thing as a truly bad Rush LP. There are simply different versions of inspired genius, fit to suit a sweep of musical tastes.

Author's clearly never ventured past HYF

#7 thizzellewashington

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:19 PM

I would consider the following albums to be lower-tier:
Rush
Fly by Night
Presto
Roll the Bones
Test for Echo

And there are probably 20 all-time great songs between those albums still.

#8 Texas King

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 03:40 AM

They don't have crappy albums, but definitely some subpar albums.

Edited by Texas King, 16 April 2018 - 02:59 PM.


#9 laughedatbytime

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:39 AM

Bad albums?   Only two in my opinion, Presto and Snakes.   And even Snakes has Far Cry, so it wasn't a complete waste of matter.

#10 Wil1972

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:42 AM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 16 April 2018 - 06:39 AM, said:

Bad albums?    And even Snakes has Far Cry, so it wasn't a complete waste of matter.

Was going to say the same thing.

#11 bluefox4000

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:11 AM

Bad is in the ear of the beholder.

i for instance think these are kinda bad

Vapor Trails
Grace Under Pressure
Clockwork Angels

but......they have their fans.  so....que sera sera

Mick

#12 JohnRogers

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:14 AM

View PostJ2112YYZ, on 15 April 2018 - 11:08 PM, said:

I don't think they have any bad albums. Bad songs certainly but no overall bad albums.
End the thread here, move on...

#13 Geddy Jazz

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:38 AM

There is no good or bad in Art appreciation :wacko: ...everything is a matter of taste...who likes what :finbar:

#14 goose

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:06 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 16 April 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

Bad is in the ear of the beholder.

i for instance think these are kinda bad

Vapor Trails
Grace Under Pressure
Clockwork Angels

but......they have their fans.  so....que sera sera

Mick
Doris Day has no bad albums?

#15 Fordgalaxy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:10 PM

View Postgoose, on 16 April 2018 - 02:06 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 16 April 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

Bad is in the ear of the beholder.

i for instance think these are kinda bad

Vapor Trails
Grace Under Pressure
Clockwork Angels

but......they have their fans.  so....que sera sera

Mick
Doris Day has no bad albums?
Maybe, but she for sure didn't lose her singing ability in her later years.

#16 lifeson90

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:16 PM

Closest got to bad album for me Clockwork Angels,3 or 4 tracks just a bit sub for me. Mindyou rest of album brilliant

#17 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:36 PM

"Bad" as compared to what?  Every other album released?  Sure, then one of my favorite bands doesn't have "bad," albums IMO.  But HYF is "bad" compared to MP.  RtB is "bad" compared to PeW.

#18 diatribein

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:29 PM

Moving Pictures and Roll The Bones are 5 & 6 on my personal RUSH album Top 10! If Roll The Bones is less good it is not by a lot!

#19 Red3angel

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:58 PM

All the albums are top shelf. Even hyf and sna. Today I played caress on a car trip and felt so proud that I discovered this band. All the albums are unique. Random listening to signals or fly make me drop my jaw. They aren’t a normal rock band. Their geniuses and I think they balance each other. I also think ca ranks up with the first 7 albums.

#20 Mr. JD

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:05 AM

I like them all. I’ve always said that any Rush is good Rush.




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