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What are your thoughts on Power Windows?


Segue Myles
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I've always loved it. Great lyrics all the way through. One of Geddy's best vocal performances and some fantastic melodic hooks. A bit heavy on the keyboards but it's a very layered sound with a lot going on. Also, Geddy rules on the bass here too. Some may not like Alex taking a little bit of a backseat to the synths but everything he plays is perfect and adds greatly to the overall sound.
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It's a great album! Top five for me, easily. Power Windows is the first one I bought the day it came out, and the first tour I saw. So many great riffs, hooks, and lyrics, with "Grand Designs" winning my personal award for the match-up of lyrics and melody.

 

I've never not had Power Windows as part of the rotation, and the fade-out jam at the end of "Big Money" still makes me happy . . .

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I either binge it or don't listen to it for a while. Great album. Typically within my top 10 Rush albums. Edited by The Analog Cub
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It's an exceptional album despite the fact that it is drowning in synths at certain points.

 

Stand out tracks for me are:

 

The Big Money

Marathon

Territories

Manhattan Project

 

I was actually very surprised and pleased with how much of the album they played at the Clockwork Angels show that I saw. I think they played at least 4, maybe even 5 songs from it. It was a pretty powerful statement about what they thought of those songs 27 years later.

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Easy top 5 for me, Hold Your Fire as well probably. Things do change every so often, but for the most part, both of them are in. The synth era is probably my favorite overall Rush era. All 4 albums would make my top 10, with Grace Under Pressure probably being the lowest.
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It’s my All time No.6 Rush album

I love the ‘ synth ‘ area ... it’s very nearly almost

on a par with their amazing peak ‘ 77-‘81 Prog era :-)

Prog Era ... best for Lerxst Riffs

Synth Era .... best for Lerxst solos

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Peak synth Rush, IMO. Still plenty of both yourhfulness and bottom end. Kind of heavy with a touch of prog and interesting sounds.

 

Unlike say the next one HYF, which while a good record overall is just kind of ..thin sounding.

 

IMO, Rush didn't come back to greatness, on record, till the CP days. So to me, PoW is the end of good young Rush.

Edited by grep
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It’s my All time No.6 Rush album

I love the ‘ synth ‘ area ... it’s very nearly almost

on a par with their amazing peak ‘ 77-‘81 Prog era :-)

Prog Era ... best for Lerxst Riffs

Synth Era .... best for Lerxst solos

 

Especially on GUP and PoW.

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It’s my All time No.6 Rush album

I love the ‘ synth ‘ area ... it’s very nearly almost

on a par with their amazing peak ‘ 77-‘81 Prog era :-)

Prog Era ... best for Lerxst Riffs

Synth Era .... best for Lerxst solos

 

Especially on GUP and PoW.

 

Exactly. I think on SIG he was still trying to figure out how to cut through the synth layer.

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Peak synth Rush, IMO. Still plenty of both yourhfulness and bottom end. Kind of heavy with a touch of prog and interesting sounds.

 

Unlike say the next one HYF, which while a good record overall is just kind of ..thin sounding.

 

IMO, Rush didn't come back to greatness, on record, till the CP days. So to me, PoW is the end of good young Rush.

 

Agreed. HYF, Presto, and RtB pale in comparison to PoW.

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Peak synth Rush, IMO. Still plenty of both yourhfulness and bottom end. Kind of heavy with a touch of prog and interesting sounds.

 

Unlike say the next one HYF, which while a good record overall is just kind of ..thin sounding.

 

IMO, Rush didn't come back to greatness, on record, till the CP days. So to me, PoW is the end of good young Rush.

 

Agreed. HYF, Presto, and RtB pale in comparison to PoW.

 

RTB does have a couple of tasty bits though. Dreamline, Bravado. can't really day that about HYF and PRS.

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It’s my All time No.6 Rush album

I love the ‘ synth ‘ area ... it’s very nearly almost

on a par with their amazing peak ‘ 77-‘81 Prog era :-)

Prog Era ... best for Lerxst Riffs

Synth Era .... best for Lerxst solos

 

Especially on GUP and PoW.

 

Exactly. I think on SIG he was still trying to figure out how to cut through the synth layer.

 

The synths on SIG were much different, too. PoW synths were much more varied in sound and texture. It's really interesting to think about the evolution of the synth sounds from SIG to GUP to PoW. I agree with you that PoW is the peak of the era.

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It’s my All time No.6 Rush album

I love the ‘ synth ‘ area ... it’s very nearly almost

on a par with their amazing peak ‘ 77-‘81 Prog era :-)

Prog Era ... best for Lerxst Riffs

Synth Era .... best for Lerxst solos

 

Especially on GUP and PoW.

 

Exactly. I think on SIG he was still trying to figure out how to cut through the synth layer.

 

The synths on SIG were much different, too. PoW synths were much more varied in sound and texture. It's really interesting to think about the evolution of the synth sounds from SIG to GUP to PoW. I agree with you that PoW is the peak of the era.

 

Well that's Rush. They kept changing the sound. It's one of the things we loved about them. Even if some of it didn't agree with all of us all the time.

Edited by grep
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I also feel like Neal still had a really strong message for PoW. Yes, there were themes to HYF, RtB, even Presto. But his statement wasn't this strong again until CP.
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Power Windows and Moving Pictures are my goto feel-good rush albums, they just have a happy feel about them whereas most others more of a dark edge
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I've always loved it. Great lyrics all the way through. One of Geddy's best vocal performances

 

For my money, his best vocal.

 

I think this is also the first album where Neil was writing his best lyrics.

 

Sometimes, our big splashes ARE just ripples in the pool.

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Power Windows was the first Rush album I got on vinyl, so there's at least a bit of sentimental value in it for me there.

 

But beyond that, I think it's stellar. Maybe their most consistent record song for song. Even the weakest track (in my opinion Emotion Detector) isn't any kind of a serious drop in quality. It's a very fitting direction for prog to go in the 80s, and perhaps a more fruitful one than, say, Marillion and bands of their ilk. I do enjoy that kind of neo-prog sound, but to me it's vastly less interesting than approaching post punk, new wave, or synth pop with a prog sensibility, essentially fusing new sounds into the genre's palette. Rush pulled this off spectacularly on Power Windows, forging a new sound I've never really heard another band approach (except maybe Saga?).

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Peak synth Rush, IMO. Still plenty of both yourhfulness and bottom end. Kind of heavy with a touch of prog and interesting sounds.

 

Unlike say the next one HYF, which while a good record overall is just kind of ..thin sounding.

IMO, Rush didn't come back to greatness, on record, till the CP days. So to me, PoW is the end of good young Rush.

 

1000% agree with you grep !

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Peak synth Rush, IMO. Still plenty of both yourhfulness and bottom end. Kind of heavy with a touch of prog and interesting sounds.

 

Unlike say the next one HYF, which while a good record overall is just kind of ..thin sounding.

 

IMO, Rush didn't come back to greatness, on record, till the CP days. So to me, PoW is the end of good young Rush.

 

Agreed. HYF, Presto, and RtB pale in comparison to PoW.

Yep , you’re 1000% correct IMHO :-)

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Interesting responses!

 

I've honestly never been able to explain why I didn't love PoW, because I regard GUP and HYF as two of my top favourite Rush albums.

 

Now it appears PoW is as well! Another curious coincidence, Permanent Waves was never an album I was obsessed with but right now it's the one I play the most aside from PoW. I absolutely love Rush, and finding myself continually in love with them over time makes me so happy!

 

Similar to me and Iron Maiden and Nightwish, I actually love Rush more a decade later than I did the first time I became obsessed.

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Out of Rush's post Signals output, I would rate PoW highly, with only Counterparts and Clockwork Angels ahead of it in my personal rankings.

 

Of the tracks on the album, my personal favourites would be The Big Money, Manhatten Project, Marathon and Middletown Dreams.

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I think it's a fabulous album, and the best sounding of the "keyboard era" (Signals not included for me in that category). I think everyone's playing is stellar on it. I am actually a big fan of the way Lifeson made choices in playing around the dense keyboard structures - it's some of my favourite playing of his.

 

I don't know why this is...but on many Rush records, the most popular or enduring song is my least favourite...and this record is no exception. The Big Money is an ok piece of music ( I like the "sometimes pushing people around" section musically) but the lyrics and the music don't mix well for me. "Big Money" is just not singable to me...it grates every time he says it in the song....which is a lot! I wish Grand Designs had been the lead off single - way cooler tune in my books.

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