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Revisiting Every Rush Album In Order: Power Windows (1985)

Segue Myles

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#41 laughedatbytime

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:59 AM

View PostJ2112YYZ, on 06 December 2018 - 08:09 AM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 05 December 2018 - 05:33 PM, said:

It's hard to take seriously any lyric that argues that the peak is never passed by a band whose peak had long passed, and is at full avalanche speed down the side of Everest.

So you don't like anything from Power Windows onward?
A few bright spots, Dreamlike and Driven, some on HYF is not too bad, though not up to the level of  the classics, then a slight bounce with VT, before the rebound of CA.   But to describe S&A as a dead cat bounce dishonors the memories of the cats that we've lost.

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#42 tks95747

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:53 AM

View PostNarps, on 05 December 2018 - 08:05 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 05 December 2018 - 04:02 PM, said:

I can see why some fans were jumping ship after Signals and by the time of Power Windows they were truly gone.Why?Because everything had changed completely.Alex's tone (single coil pickup guitars and no Marshalls)and style had changed as had Geds,synths,electric drums,haircuts,trendy clothes and above all tightly arranged almost pop songs.By Tor and the Snowdog it wasn't.But i loved Power Windows and wore the vinyl out as i did with Grace because this was a band that wasn't standing still and making Son of Moving Pictures.I love every song on PW but Marathon is the pick.I can quite easily play Xanadu,La Villa,Natural Science,Red Barchetta,Countdown,Afterimage,Middletown Dreams all in row and not get fidgety and give up like my heavy/prog mates do.
The single guitar coil pick ups really was the last straw for me... :)
The wimpy, glassy sound seemed so unlike Alex.. He really took a seat in the back of the station wagon as time went on...

#43 Planet X-1

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:10 AM

View Posttks95747, on 06 December 2018 - 09:53 AM, said:

View PostNarps, on 05 December 2018 - 08:05 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 05 December 2018 - 04:02 PM, said:

I can see why some fans were jumping ship after Signals and by the time of Power Windows they were truly gone.Why?Because everything had changed completely.Alex's tone (single coil pickup guitars and no Marshalls)and style had changed as had Geds,synths,electric drums,haircuts,trendy clothes and above all tightly arranged almost pop songs.By Tor and the Snowdog it wasn't.But i loved Power Windows and wore the vinyl out as i did with Grace because this was a band that wasn't standing still and making Son of Moving Pictures.I love every song on PW but Marathon is the pick.I can quite easily play Xanadu,La Villa,Natural Science,Red Barchetta,Countdown,Afterimage,Middletown Dreams all in row and not get fidgety and give up like my heavy/prog mates do.
The single guitar coil pick ups really was the last straw for me... :)
The wimpy, glassy sound seemed so unlike Alex.. He really took a seat in the back of the station wagon as time went on...

If you squint long enough, you can see Alex....

Posted Image

Edited by Planet X-1, 06 December 2018 - 11:10 AM.


#44 Segue Myles

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:20 AM

So I played this again today, and found I disliked it even more than I did yesterday.

The songs I enjoys shine individually. Taken as a whole, this is a synthetic bore. It just sounds so...bland...

Again not knocking the good tracks here. Just the album experience, which leaves me seriously wanting.

I feel as if my 6/10 was very generous.

#45 Narps

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:32 AM

View PostPlanet X-1, on 06 December 2018 - 11:10 AM, said:

View Posttks95747, on 06 December 2018 - 09:53 AM, said:

View PostNarps, on 05 December 2018 - 08:05 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 05 December 2018 - 04:02 PM, said:

I can see why some fans were jumping ship after Signals and by the time of Power Windows they were truly gone.Why?Because everything had changed completely.Alex's tone (single coil pickup guitars and no Marshalls)and style had changed as had Geds,synths,electric drums,haircuts,trendy clothes and above all tightly arranged almost pop songs.By Tor and the Snowdog it wasn't.But i loved Power Windows and wore the vinyl out as i did with Grace because this was a band that wasn't standing still and making Son of Moving Pictures.I love every song on PW but Marathon is the pick.I can quite easily play Xanadu,La Villa,Natural Science,Red Barchetta,Countdown,Afterimage,Middletown Dreams all in row and not get fidgety and give up like my heavy/prog mates do.
The single guitar coil pick ups really was the last straw for me... :)
The wimpy, glassy sound seemed so unlike Alex.. He really took a seat in the back of the station wagon as time went on...

If you squint long enough, you can see Alex....

Posted Image
He met the fate as the dog lol...

#46 theredtamasrule

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:40 AM

I freaking love PoW. It’s so damn synth, so damn mid-80’s. There’s some really unusual shit here...Territories has quite an odd structure, Emotion Detector is Neil at his Simmons Pads best, Mystic Rythyms has some of Neil’s more inventive compositions...Geddy is playing his ass off and Alex is too (regardless of “tone”). It still has that crystalline, digital sheen to it all. Love it.

I also love By-Tor, Cygnus and all the rest.

Edited by theredtamasrule, 06 December 2018 - 11:40 AM.


#47 tks95747

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:42 AM

View PostNarps, on 06 December 2018 - 11:32 AM, said:

View PostPlanet X-1, on 06 December 2018 - 11:10 AM, said:

View Posttks95747, on 06 December 2018 - 09:53 AM, said:

View PostNarps, on 05 December 2018 - 08:05 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 05 December 2018 - 04:02 PM, said:

I can see why some fans were jumping ship after Signals and by the time of Power Windows they were truly gone.Why?Because everything had changed completely.Alex's tone (single coil pickup guitars and no Marshalls)and style had changed as had Geds,synths,electric drums,haircuts,trendy clothes and above all tightly arranged almost pop songs.By Tor and the Snowdog it wasn't.But i loved Power Windows and wore the vinyl out as i did with Grace because this was a band that wasn't standing still and making Son of Moving Pictures.I love every song on PW but Marathon is the pick.I can quite easily play Xanadu,La Villa,Natural Science,Red Barchetta,Countdown,Afterimage,Middletown Dreams all in row and not get fidgety and give up like my heavy/prog mates do.
The single guitar coil pick ups really was the last straw for me... :)
The wimpy, glassy sound seemed so unlike Alex.. He really took a seat in the back of the station wagon as time went on...

If you squint long enough, you can see Alex....

Posted Image
He met the fate as the dog lol...
LMAO :laughing guy:

#48 New World Kid

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:09 PM

One thought I've held about Power Windows is that, compositionally, I feel like it's a very mature Rush album.

What I mean by that is most Rush albums and songs have an almost frantic sound in places. Where, through writing and production, it sounds like your radio is literally coming apart, crackling and popping with raw tones and quick strikes that sound almost like the strings unraveling. I'm not sure how to really describe the mental image. But think about the intro to the studio version of Spirt of Radio. That guitar tone that opens not only is quick notes on the higher end of the fretboard, but there's an interesting combination of bright, tinny effect and reverb that makes it sound like your radio is about to explode. When the rhythm section joins in the intro, everything gets very stringy, like the music could peel apart like string cheese. The Geddy's vocals, usualy they're raw, with some sort of "choir of Geddys" effect on them that somehow feels even more raw. More of that bright, tinny production.

I dunno, I'm trying.

With Power Windows, Geddys voice feels very controlled. And with the deep end synths used to give it some bass rumble, everything feels much more grounded. The guitar, the driving force of that overly bright sound previously, is playing a more complementary role. Everything homogenizes, even if you've got notes all over the scale, it all feels like it's wrapped up in a warm glow.

A good example: On emotion detector, Geddy is reaching really high when he sings "feelings run high!" But it doesn't sound strained. He's not shrieking it, he very much sounds controlled, maybe even restrained there. And you can really here the pronunciation. "Fe-elings" rather than something like "fe-linx" like he maybe would have sung it on albums prior.

Neil is so wrapped up in his electronic percussion, and very much is trying to compliment the music rather than stand out above it... fills aren't rare, but they don't extend or have add a momentary singular bombast. He's still Neil back there, but he's not trying to be distracting, or flashy.

And so all of that makes it feel very mature. This isn't a band trying to prove itself anymore. No longer showing off like a kid shouting "look Mom, no hands!" Instead, it's a group confident in their abilities, and unconcerned with whether outsiders will give them credit for their abilities. No need to show off, they know what they have technically.

And in the Rush catalogue, this is all together very unique. I mean, they were obviously mature in later albums. But they were often trying to reach back and grab some energy from their younger selves.

But Power Windows was Rush putting the adult in adult contemporary.

#49 goose

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

View PostSegue Myles, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

Also Big Money is a big stink. One of their worst singles.
A much better song when seen live, imo.  80s cheese otherwise.

#50 tks95747

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:52 PM

View Postgoose, on 06 December 2018 - 12:47 PM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

Also Big Money is a big stink. One of their worst singles.
A much better song when seen live, imo.  80s cheese otherwise.
Interesting, as I love Big Money... I'm interested to know how you feel about Time Stand Still?

#51 tks95747

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:55 PM

View PostNew World Kid, on 06 December 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

One thought I've held about Power Windows is that, compositionally, I feel like it's a very mature Rush album.

What I mean by that is most Rush albums and songs have an almost frantic sound in places. Where, through writing and production, it sounds like your radio is literally coming apart, crackling and popping with raw tones and quick strikes that sound almost like the strings unraveling. I'm not sure how to really describe the mental image. But think about the intro to the studio version of Spirt of Radio. That guitar tone that opens not only is quick notes on the higher end of the fretboard, but there's an interesting combination of bright, tinny effect and reverb that makes it sound like your radio is about to explode. When the rhythm section joins in the intro, everything gets very stringy, like the music could peel apart like string cheese. The Geddy's vocals, usualy they're raw, with some sort of "choir of Geddys" effect on them that somehow feels even more raw. More of that bright, tinny production.

I dunno, I'm trying.

With Power Windows, Geddys voice feels very controlled. And with the deep end synths used to give it some bass rumble, everything feels much more grounded. The guitar, the driving force of that overly bright sound previously, is playing a more complementary role. Everything homogenizes, even if you've got notes all over the scale, it all feels like it's wrapped up in a warm glow.

A good example: On emotion detector, Geddy is reaching really high when he sings "feelings run high!" But it doesn't sound strained. He's not shrieking it, he very much sounds controlled, maybe even restrained there. And you can really here the pronunciation. "Fe-elings" rather than something like "fe-linx" like he maybe would have sung it on albums prior.

Neil is so wrapped up in his electronic percussion, and very much is trying to compliment the music rather than stand out above it... fills aren't rare, but they don't extend or have add a momentary singular bombast. He's still Neil back there, but he's not trying to be distracting, or flashy.

And so all of that makes it feel very mature. This isn't a band trying to prove itself anymore. No longer showing off like a kid shouting "look Mom, no hands!" Instead, it's a group confident in their abilities, and unconcerned with whether outsiders will give them credit for their abilities. No need to show off, they know what they have technically.

And in the Rush catalogue, this is all together very unique. I mean, they were obviously mature in later albums. But they were often trying to reach back and grab some energy from their younger selves.

But Power Windows was Rush putting the adult in adult contemporary.
I would agree that the album is "grown-up" musically and lyrically. I just have a problem with the "glassy" guitars and some of the songs are a little too "grown-up" for me (Emotion Detector, Territories, Middletown Dreams)

#52 Todem

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:34 PM

View PostSegue Myles, on 05 December 2018 - 11:12 AM, said:

7. Emotion Detector

Not meaning to be harsh, but the album really does wind down towards the end.

The intro reminds me of the next albums Tai Shan. The song itself has beautiful, soothing synths and Alex really adds texture and a little grit to a song that whilst lacking all traces of the bands former hard rock bombast, retains all the heart and passion that made songs like Limelight and Losing It such sensitive highlights. But this song is easy to forget.

A nice album track. Some might argue that this is filler. On an album with only 8 songs, this comes off a little too lightweight.

Not a bad song. But it is very nice.

And "very nice" is a little to aneamic a compliment for a mighty band like Rush. Whilst I do love the band when they write from the heart, this one is just a little too wussy for my liking.

A solo could have really beefed this song up.

5/10

Ummm Alex has a blazing solo on this tune bro. Blazing.

I disagree with your thoughts on Big Money and Middletown Dreams (a brilliant Rush song and so different from anything they had ever done up to this point IMO. A contemporary masterpiece in fact). Big Money is a driving rocker with very urgent lyrics, incredible playing and a bombastic Rush tour de force solo section and outro to cap off this crowd pleaser.

Over all Power Windows in a top 5 Rush album for the ages. The production on it was fanfuckingtastic.

#53 grasbo

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:30 PM

I compare this era of Rush with Yes and the same reaction from fans.The Trevor Rabin Yes albums had that bright guitar sound and 80s production.And they had tightened up the arrangements and come up with a hit single!!!But as much as i love Close to the Edge and Going For The One with their epics(is there none better epic than Awaken?) i love 90??? and Big Generator.Rabin's solo on Shoot High Aim Low is straight out of what Alex was doing on PoW.Alex complains now that he got buried with synths during that time but part of the blame must go to him for changing from Gibsons and Marshalls((heavy rockers gear of choice)to Fenders and any amp that gave him a clean glassy sound.And solos were well thought out .I think he may have been listening to David Gilmour on Comfortably Numb.Also he had been listening to Andy Summers a guitarist who lays down complex rythmns andplays for the song with no grandstanding.As i said before all this and more upset the "heavy crowd".But i love Alex's work on  GuP and PoW.I am listening now to Comfortably Numb and U2s New Years Day and Marathon for comparison.And then theres Neil's electric drums and Ged's Wal bass and blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah black sheep,blzh,blah,blah :zzz:

#54 tks95747

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:19 PM

View Postgrasbo, on 06 December 2018 - 02:30 PM, said:

I compare this era of Rush with Yes and the same reaction from fans.The Trevor Rabin Yes albums had that bright guitar sound and 80s production.And they had tightened up the arrangements and come up with a hit single!!!But as much as i love Close to the Edge and Going For The One with their epics(is there none better epic than Awaken?) i love 90??? and Big Generator.Rabin's solo on Shoot High Aim Low is straight out of what Alex was doing on PoW.Alex complains now that he got buried with synths during that time but part of the blame must go to him for changing from Gibsons and Marshalls((heavy rockers gear of choice)to Fenders and any amp that gave him a clean glassy sound.And solos were well thought out .I think he may have been listening to David Gilmour on Comfortably Numb.Also he had been listening to Andy Summers a guitarist who lays down complex rythmns andplays for the song with no grandstanding.As i said before all this and more upset the "heavy crowd".But i love Alex's work on  GuP and PoW.I am listening now to Comfortably Numb and U2s New Years Day and Marathon for comparison.And then theres Neil's electric drums and Ged's Wal bass and blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah black sheep,blzh,blah,blah :zzz:
I like your correlation to Rabin. An extraordinary talent. I prefer Alex's style and I think Alex is far more diverse, but Rabin is a monster.

#55 tas7

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:55 PM

I personally prefer Power Windows to Grace Under Pressure, song construction is more fluid although Marathon and Mystic Rhythms could have been a bit shorter. This is the album that screams out for a 5.1 version as it blast out of the speakers, I call it the everything but the kitchen sink album. Agree the guitar sounds very thin and the live versions of the songs as with the Hold Your Fire songs are miles better.

#56 jnoble

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:35 PM

Power Windows has such a sterile sound with everything drenched in reverb. Geddy sounds like he's singing in a garbage can. I don't know why anyone would hate on Big Money, its one of the few songs on the album that really "rocks" and has any pizzazz to it in that Rushian way of a lot of dynamics and mood changes between chorus and verses and guitar solo.

#57 goose

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:59 AM

View Posttks95747, on 06 December 2018 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 December 2018 - 12:47 PM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

Also Big Money is a big stink. One of their worst singles.
A much better song when seen live, imo.  80s cheese otherwise.
Interesting, as I love Big Money... I'm interested to know how you feel about Time Stand Still?
80s cheese, but great lyrics.  More melodic as well.

#58 jnoble

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:33 AM

Marathon was one of those songs meant to be played live. The ending of the studio fades out way too soon especially if you heard the ASOH one first

#59 tks95747

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:24 AM

View Postgoose, on 07 December 2018 - 01:59 AM, said:

View Posttks95747, on 06 December 2018 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 December 2018 - 12:47 PM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

Also Big Money is a big stink. One of their worst singles.
A much better song when seen live, imo.  80s cheese otherwise.
Interesting, as I love Big Money... I'm interested to know how you feel about Time Stand Still?
80s cheese, but great lyrics.  More melodic as well.
That video didn't help either





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