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Presto: Rush's most awkward era


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#1 fraroc

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:06 PM

When you see how Rush evolved musically and visually througout the 70s into the 80s and then the 90s, I think that the most awkward era out of all of them would be the Presto era. The reason being was that Rush was in a transitory state, the 80s had come to a close and the 90s had come, the sound on Presto the album is reminiscent of Hold Your Fire and a bit of Power Windows, but with the bass guitar being brought back into the forefront and the keyboards becoming more background in nature, with Ged opting to use backing tracks for keyboard parts on Presto as opposed to playing them (Of course, with the exception of Show Don't Tell). Their live show and image was also in an awkward in-between state. Alex still had his 80s hairstyle, Geddy still had a ponytail,but didn't perm the top of his hair anymore and wore glasses after years of contacts, Ged reduced his keyboards from four to two live, and Neil still played double bass. So while Rush was slowly transforming their live show into something more modern and scaled back, some vintage elements still remained.

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#2 Mystic Slipperman

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:13 PM

It was clear that they were heading in another direction... I remember what Rupert Hine said about them being a "power trio" but being awash in keyboards... and yet the records he made with them aren't terribly "powerful"... nuanced, classy, but not powerful!  


Definitely a transitional phase.

#3 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:15 PM

Transitory yes.

Awkward maybe.

Great yes.

Show Don't Tell, Chain Lightning, Available Light. Great stuff. More scaled back than PoW and HYF, but just as tight and catchy.

#4 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick

#5 Lorraine

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:23 PM

Presto has some really good songs on it.

No Rush album is a complete failure.

#6 Blue J

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:44 PM

I love Presto! Just a couple of ho-hum songs, but I do love the sound of it, thin as it is...Rupert Hine’s production is just a product of that particular era.

I ❤️ the piccolo snare, which is also a hallmark of that era- just Presto and Roll the Bones, and then gone for good.

Great material, and if you can’t separate it from the band they were ten years prior, that’s on you. No band stays the same over that period of time.

#7 Na na na

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 05:16 PM

There is only one Rush album I feel is slightly awkward...and that is Counterparts. Presto is a really good album.

#8 goose

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

#9 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 06:57 PM

View PostNa na na, on 06 July 2019 - 05:16 PM, said:

There is only one Rush album I feel is slightly awkward...and that is Counterparts. Presto is a really good album.

Counterparts is awkward....

#10 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:01 PM

View Postgoose, on 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

and.......unpopular opinion.  but Neil's best drumming.  and the last time he'd do anything that different and interesting.

Mick

#11 Lorraine

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:10 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

and.......unpopular opinion.  but Neil's best drumming.  and the last time he'd do anything that different and interesting.

Mick

Yes, before that ballet slipper man Freddie got hold of him.

#12 Blue J

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:13 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

and.......unpopular opinion.  but Neil's best drumming.  and the last time he'd do anything that different and interesting.

Mick

Hmm, I’ll call that an interesting opinion- his drumming on the more concise songs (verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus) is generally thought of as simpler, but especially on the stretch from Power Windows through Roll the Bones, he was doing some very intricate and technically (and deceptively) difficult things.

As far as Presto being the last time he would do anything as inventive or interesting, I don’t think I agree with that. But right on, Mick.

Josh

#13 RUSHHEAD666

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:20 PM

View PostLorraine, on 06 July 2019 - 04:23 PM, said:

Presto has some really good songs on it.

No Rush album is a complete failure.

"Presto" is a masterpiece.  Every song is great.  Neil's drumming is off the charts.  A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

#14 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:23 PM

View PostLorraine, on 06 July 2019 - 07:10 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

and.......unpopular opinion.  but Neil's best drumming.  and the last time he'd do anything that different and interesting.

Mick

Yes, before that ballet slipper man Freddie got hold of him.

Yup i think ol Fred dumbed his drumming down.

but i'm not a musician, lol

Mick

#15 Lorraine

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:30 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 07:23 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 06 July 2019 - 07:10 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

View Postbluefox4000, on 06 July 2019 - 04:20 PM, said:

Awkward?

depends are how you yourself define that

Great? Fukk yea.  one of my all time fav rush albums.

Mick
Tight arrangements, great vocals, mostly solid lyrics, and more Alex up front.  I love it.

and.......unpopular opinion.  but Neil's best drumming.  and the last time he'd do anything that different and interesting.

Mick

Yes, before that ballet slipper man Freddie got hold of him.

Yup i think ol Fred dumbed his drumming down.

but i'm not a musician, lol

Mick
I always thought Neil drummed better before Freddie got a hold of him but I'm not a musician either.

#16 Blue J

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:39 PM

I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of better or worse, but Freddie definitely refined his drumming, introduced some different technique, and sent it in a direction that it had not gone before.

And I am a musician. But I don’t think that necessarily qualifies my opinion any more than a non-musician.

Edited by Blue J, 06 July 2019 - 07:40 PM.


#17 bluefox4000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:50 PM

View PostBlue J, on 06 July 2019 - 07:39 PM, said:

I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of better or worse, but Freddie definitely refined his drumming, introduced some different technique, and sent it in a direction that it had not gone before.

And I am a musician. But I don’t think that necessarily qualifies my opinion any more than a non-musician.

i'm just going by what sounds good, lol

Mick

#18 edhunter

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:09 PM

It was recorded without a bass guitar. Bet y'all didn't know that

#19 HemiBeers

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:47 PM

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#20 Geddyleegenes

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:12 AM

Since Freddie Gruber was brought up here, I thought I'd add my thoughts.  I also think Freddie softened Neil's drumming.  I'm certainly no musician, so I can only go by what I hear and what I feel.  And what the heck, what I think.

Neil seemed more powerful behind the drums prior to Freddie.  I also wonder if the change in technique could possibly have hurt Neil physically.  Nope, I certainly don't have any proof to offer.  All I have is wonder.  Neil would have had a certain physical way of drumming since the first day he picked up a drumstick and struck it down.  His arms, hands, shoulders, muscles (etc.) would have "acclimated" (if that's the right word) to that way of drumming for decades.

Is it possible that when Freddie re-taught him how to drum, that Neil's muscles and arms and all that, would have been like, "What the Hell is this sudden change, Neil?"  Could that change have really affected him?  Is it possible that if Neil hadn't changed his techniques that he may not have suffered such physical pain and had to retire at such a relatively young age?  (I still can't imagine what it would be like to have had such incredible talent and love for drumming and then having to just give it all up due to the physical challenge.)

Perhaps some drummers on here would have some personal input on that.




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