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Revisiting Every Rush Album In Order: Hold Your Fire (1987)

Segue Myles

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#1 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:59 AM

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The eighties is definitely a patchy decade for Rush. But for the most part, it was A great era for them. But Power Windows was an enigma. An album with a lot of fine moments, but little impact. Hold Your Fire on the other hand is an album I have loved unquestionably since the day I first bought it (coincidentally, it was also the last studio album I bought).

So how highly do I rate this album?

Find out!

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#2 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:03 AM

1. Force Ten

Look in —
look the storm in the eye
Look out —
to the sea and the sky
Look around —
at the sight and the sound
Look in look out look around —

Seriously stunned by this song. It ebbs and flows, with both a force that matches it's title and a more serene, thoughtful contrast at others. A beautiful and powerful album opener. After the disappointing The Big Money, this song brings back the depth and the musical power of the Rush I love, but at the same time shows them improving all the ideas that weighed the former album down a little.

A great song.

9/10

#3 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:09 AM

2. Time Stand Still

PERFECT SINGLE MATERIAL RIGHT HERE!

I remember when I first bought Hold Your Fire. I found it in a second hand shop, and it was only £1.00. On vinyl. I had not read or heard anything positive about it, and thought I would buy it just to complete my collection.

Now Force Ten was fine. I suspected the worst was yet to come. But it didn't with the second song. Time Stand Still is Rush perfection. They made their name with huge, epic sounding songs like 2112 or Tom Sawyer, but Time Stand Still is Rush for the more introverted and thoughtful. I love it. It carries so much weight emotionally and musically, it sounds so much more simple than it actually is. Aimee Mann is a singer I know nothing about, but her small contribution to this song suits the song perfectly. It's just...glorious...

One of the worst music videos I have ever seen though. But the song is just wonderful. In my opinion, one of the greatest Rush singles.

Here are some of the best lyrics Neil has ever written:

I let my past go too fast
No time to pause —
If I could slow it all down
Like some captain,
Whose ship runs aground —
I can wait until the tide
Comes around

Make each impression
A little bit stronger
Freeze this motion
A little bit longer
The innocence slips away…

Summer’s going fast–
Nights growing colder
Children growing up —
old friends growing older
Experience slips away…

10/10

#4 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:12 AM

3. Open Secrets

This is easily one of my other many favourite Rush songs. Open Secrets is overflowing with sadness and beauty. Beauty is a word I will use a lot in describing this album.

I lie awake with my secrets
Spinning around my head
Something that somehow
Escaped me —
Something you shouldn’t have said
I was looking out the window
I should have looked
At your face instead…

I have felt these words myself. We all have regrets, pain and memories of missed opportunities. This song...it's cathartic for me. Also three songs in, I find the synths and the core elements of the trio work perfectly in harmony. This sounds like a band, and Neil in particular is on fine form. Their is a heavier side to this album than people give it credit for.

10/10

#5 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:16 AM

4. Second Nature

I have said before that for a long time this album was my number one. Four songs in, it may still be my favourite Rush album.

Powerful, beautiful songwriting. The synths sound so glorious here and it is just...well...it hits me hard emotionally. I find this album very therapeutic.

You could apply these words here to the world at large, or as I do, to how life is for each of us as individuals. We all want to see things in life change. But we can't always, but we can still try.

Today is different,
And tomorrow the same
It’s hard to take the world
The way that it came
Too many rapids
Keep us sweeping along
Too many captains
Keep on steering us wrong
It’s hard to take the heat —
It’s hard to lay blame
To fight the fire —
While we’re
Feeding the flames

9/10

#6 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:20 AM

5. Prime Mover

This song is another really great song. It carries all the flavour of what came before, but once again I have to note the greatness of Peart's contribution to this song, because his drumming really helps ground this song. All the atmospheric elements involving keys and effects are kept in check by the fantastic groove. Here you can tell that all three band members are working as a tight unit. After Power Windows took the keys to insane levels, Hold Your Fire really finds that perfect balance, with the keys complementing the ideas, both lyrically and musically, in such a perfect way that it doesn't sound overwhelming.

Prime Mover is a great song. As a side closer, it works perfectly.

9/10

#7 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:23 AM

6. Lock And Key

The albums most infectious and catchy moment. Seriously the chorus here is unbelievably hooky!

Don’t want to silence
A desperate voice
For the sake of security
No one wants to make
A terrible choice
On the price of being free
I don’t want to face
The killer instinct —
Face it in you or me
So we keep it under lock and key…

Amazing lyrics and yet you can sing along to this and forget it has a deeper message. I could imagine in an alternate universe this song being a big hit. One of the best sounding songs on the while album, Alex is an absolute beast on this track!

Beautiful and for the synth era, quite heavy.

And six songs in I need to just say that Geddy sounds absolutely wonderful vocally. I love his eighties voice. More restrained and so rich!

10/10

#8 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:29 AM

7. Mission

It's getting to that point where I feel almost bored of writing my thoughts because all I have is super high praise.

I love Mission.

If their lives were
Exotic and strange
They would likely have
Gladly exchanged them
For something a little more plain
Maybe something a little more sane

We each pay a fabulous price
For our visions of paradise
But a spirit with a vision
Is a dream with a mission…

How the bloody hell can anyone hate an album that carries so much depth lyrically, back it up with beautiful music...I mean this album honestly BLOWS MY MIND.

It's almost a religious experience.

9/10

#9 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:32 AM

8. Turn The Page

Many people think that Hold Your Fire really should have ended after eight songs. Considering the eight track format worked really well for them in the past, it is hard to argue against this.

And Turn The Page would have made for a great album closing! But it isn't. What does this change? Nothing. A great song is a great song.

I hear a little bit of Power Windows in this song. It would have really benefited that album had it been on it. I think its a really catchy song with a boisterous energy that helps keep the album flowing perfectly. Is it one of my favourite Rush songs? It's well up there, along with the rest of the album.

You here me?

The rest.

9/10

#10 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:36 AM

9. Tai Shan

So many hate this song.

I mean...ok...sure...hate my Tai Shan but it gives me late eighties epic movie drama soundtrack vibes, and the lyrics bring to mind that feeling you get before going on holiday and your imagination gets fired up in anticipation.

It's cheesy as hell. Its pure fantasy.

I love it.

7/10

Edited by Segue Myles, 11 December 2018 - 08:59 AM.


#11 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:41 AM

10. High Water

So...I get why one might hate Tai Shan (but probably still listens to absolute shit music by other bands that are ridiculously bland and by numbers but, whatever, Tai Shan must truly be worse than the worst worst ever). But High Water? Nooooooooooooooo!

It's such a great song! I do feel like Tai Shan and High Water end the album together in a manner completely at odds with the first eight tracks. They each add a slight eclectic nature that puts me more in mind of the following album (Presto), but perhaps if we look at them like Vital Signs off of Moving Pictures, we can see them with a little more value.

But High Water is a great song. I love the chorus! But I still feel personally that as much as I do love this song, Turn The Page would have veen a more fitting closer.

8/10

Edited by Segue Myles, 11 December 2018 - 08:54 AM.


#12 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:54 AM

I struggle to know how to review Hold Your Fire. It fills me with a lot of joy when I here it, because as a deep overthinker, I get a lot from the lyrics. I swear I really connect with the more introverted, personal side of Rush than I do their more epic and OTT side. This is a beautiful pop album, with great arrangements, melodies and in all honesty it is to my ears one of the bands greatest achievements. But I do struggle to review it.

An album full of highlights, and to my ears major career highlights.

But it does take a slight detour in the last two tracks. For this reason, I feel it works ever so slightly less well as a complete album than other, even more eclectic albums (Moving Pictures comes to mind). For this reason, I shall give it two ratings:

Personal rating: 10/10
Objective rating: 8/10

Final rating: 9/10

Best tracks: Time Stand Still, Open Secrets, Lock And Key
Worst: Tai Shan, High Water

Edited by Segue Myles, 11 December 2018 - 09:07 AM.


#13 Segue Myles

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:06 AM

.

Edited by Segue Myles, 11 December 2018 - 09:07 AM.


#14 Permanent-Rush

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:22 AM

I love HYF too!

#15 J2112YYZ

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

I used to like Tai Shan at one time but it's worn off as the years have gone by. High Water I think gets unfair hate due to the fact it follows a song so highly disliked by many fans. The drumming on High Water is great and really makes the song for me.

The first eight songs are fantastic. I have nothing but the highest praise for them.

#16 MalformedEarthborn

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:48 AM

It can't be denied that out of Signals, GUP, PoW, and HYf, the keyboard sit the most comfortably on this album.

#17 MalformedEarthborn

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:48 AM

I still wish they used the juggler for the cover though

#18 tks95747

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:59 AM

My favorite album between p/g and CP

#19 tks95747

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:00 AM

View PostMalformedEarthborn, on 11 December 2018 - 09:48 AM, said:

I still wish they used the juggler for the cover though
Makes so much more sense

#20 tks95747

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:12 AM

View PostSegue Myles, on 11 December 2018 - 08:54 AM, said:

I struggle to know how to review Hold Your Fire. It fills me with a lot of joy when I here it, because as a deep overthinker, I get a lot from the lyrics. I swear I really connect with the more introverted, personal side of Rush than I do their more epic and OTT side. This is a beautiful pop album, with great arrangements, melodies and in all honesty it is to my ears one of the bands greatest achievements. But I do struggle to review it.

An album full of highlights, and to my ears major career highlights.

But it does take a slight detour in the last two tracks. For this reason, I feel it works ever so slightly less well as a complete album than other, even more eclectic albums (Moving Pictures comes to mind). For this reason, I shall give it two ratings:

Personal rating: 10/10
Objective rating: 8/10

Final rating: 9/10

Best tracks: Time Stand Still, Open Secrets, Lock And Key
Worst: Tai Shan, High Water
Sounds so weird to associate the word "pop" with the band. I will have to, at least, defend Force Ten as staying this side of the line demarcating rock from pop. Everything else ... I will admit resides on the far side of that line...





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