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What are your thoughts on Power Windows?


Segue Myles
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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.

 

Yeah Big Money is one of their “kitchen sink” songs like TSOR or RTB. Or Show Me Don’t Tell Me.

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I'm gonna disagree with virtually everyone on this board. PW is bottom 5 for me.

 

THE REASON

It's the sequencer.

I don't know what godawful thing Ged was programming, but it hurts my ears.

It makes Grand Designs almost unlistenable. Manhattan Project (a great song) sounds like it was recorded on a children's Casio keyboard. Several parts in Marathon make me wince.

Middletown Dreams, Emotion Detector -- ugh.

If they'd rerecorded the synths, I'd probably like it more.

 

THE GOOD STUFF

I love the way Alex is always trying to break his way through the synths. He's like a kid trying a bunch of things during a party to get attention.

Ged ripping on the Wal bass rocks.

Neil is brilliant, but that's like saying water is wet.

 

It's really just the synths. Bottom 5 for me.

Edited by Weatherman
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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.

 

Yeah Big Money is one of their “kitchen sink” songs like TSOR or RTB. Or Show Me Don’t Tell Me.

 

It IS one of those kitchen sink songs...but that's not my issue with it. Spirit Of Radio is actually one of their super popular songs that I never really tire of (the studio version, that is). Not to go too far off topic, but Show Don't Tell was another one I was thinking of - an emblematic song from that record that is one of my least favourite songs from it. (In the case of that song, I think it's the sort of group vocal chorus that turns me off - "show me don't tell me" - it's very un-musical to my ear...)

 

Big Money just sounds kinda...nerdy to me. The opening keyboard riff bugs me, and then as I said the lyrics for me just don't sing well. There are some really good parts, the solo section is great, and the verse is musically pretty cool (Geddy's bass in particular.). I wish they'd used some of those parts in a better song - or that Neil had written something else for Ged to sing.

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Their 2nd best album of the eighties. The more I think about it I think it was their last truly great album. Maybe it's my age but I know every nuance of every song, and I can't say that that is true for any of the albums that followed it. I haven't listened to counterparts or test for echo in over 20 years. Subsequent albums had great moments but nowhere near the top to bottom quality. Edited by edhunter
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Honestly, when Power Windows came out, I listened to it on cassette in my Walkman every single day for 1 year straight. Needless to say, I loved it then and still love it now. I also got lucky to see them 4 times in 8 days (Buffalo, Hamilton and then two shows in Toronto...the best of the shows was in Hamilton with the awful sounding Aud in Buffalo being the worst). Back then, Q107 radio in Toronto had the Top 10 at 10 (pm) and The Big Money was number 1 for 13 straight weeks. Another cool thing, The Big Money, Territories and Mystic Rhythms were featured for a few weeks together on the Top 10 at 10.

 

The guitar/sync balance was terrific on Power Windows and the lyrics were are so well written with songs many of us can relate to. Territories and Mystic Rhythms certainly doesn't sound like any song from anybody. Emotion Detector, what a terrific sleeper song and as always been one of Rush's most underrated tracks (with some of Geddy's most emotional singing).

 

One of their best!

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PW used to be one of my least favorite Rush album for a long time because it sounded so sterile processed and cold compared to previous albums and the ones after. Especially the heavy reverb on Geddy's voice that makes it sound like he's singing from inside a manhole cover on 5th Avenue.
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I love love love PW. To borrow a slang word from Generation X, it was a very "tight" album.

 

Geddy Lee's statements about what they were trying to do with the album are the fairest reviews (for fans.)

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Didn't like it after Grace Under Pressure because I was hoping for something heavier. But I've grown to love it.

I've always preferred Grand Designs, Middletown Project and Manhattan Project which, apart from The Big Money, are probably the more rock-type songs compared to the rest.

So I think it suggests that those who prefer all the other synth-heavy, lush songs really do like the synth aspect of this album. And conversely, shows it's not really my favourite aspect of Rush.

Having said that, I'll listen to one of the others from, say, a live album where they crop up and I really enjoy it and think, hey, that's pretty damn good actually.

 

So generally speaking, I really like the fact that they created albums that were a little different from each other from Signals until Hold Your Fire because they all kind of stand out for me. Whereas Presto to Test for Echo (excepting Counterparts) were all a bit 'samey' and a bit boring, for me, ultimately, even though they did have their moments.

 

Summary is that it stands out as their most synth-heavy album which was really well crafted allowing for long term enjoyment.

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I haven't listened to counterparts or test for echo in over 20 years.

Give Counterparts another chance. It's aged really well, unlike other recordings (cough**RTB**cough).

I'd put the top 5 or 6 songs on the record against anything in their catalog post-SIG.

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I feel this way about a few albums, the "middle albums" I call some of them.

It is not familiar to the ears, the sounds can be very treble/tinny and I right away want more oomph/kick, some hard grinding.

Then a time comes when a song catches my ear again, I listen more often and then it is played more than other albums.

 

That is why I love the band so much, every direction they explored was with honesty and experiments - as they have said, if a song was being worked on and it just never hit home, it was tossed.

So I have often asked myself "why was this put into the album?" and then it really clicks and I love it. As others have said, perhaps then it is not played for a while, then loved again.

So many albums!

 

Great album, thanks Segue Myles for mentioning it. Cheers!

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This was never one of my favourite Rush albums. I regard eighties Rush as possibly my favourite decade for their music, but Power Windows always felt...a little too much of a deviation from what I think Rush are best at.

 

Now, I can't stop playing it! I think it's a vibrant, brilliant new wavey prog album with killer songs left right and centre!

 

I love Grace Under Pressure and Hold Your Fire, and felt that Power Windows for the longest time was the weakest in this vein. Now it's emerging as another major favourite album of mine from a band I love more and more, and even differently, over time.

 

Strangely, the other Rush album I'm hooked on is Permanent Waves. A bit of a PW theme going on ������

 

A Brilliant Masterpiece.

 

It joins Roll The Bones as the album that went from near the bottom to near the top surprising me in the process!

 

Rush are phenomenal.

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I've always liked it, the songwriting (with one or two exceptions) and the production are great.

You have to remember that it was very much of it's time, and some of the sequencing and synths that haven't aged so well were pretty cutting edge at the time.

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I remember buying it the day it is was released. Getting baked. First listen was likely my biggest WTF rush moment ever.

 

Parts are good. I suspect my fave keys are not played by ged. I have always been slightly aggravated that the outside help is not clearly explained. Blah blah,blah

 

 

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I'm a Power Windows truther. As a teenage "metal head" I was somewhat disappointed by Signal and GUP and had kind of stopped keeping up with a band I had loved most of my life. Then in spring of 1986 I was at an friend's apartment and he put it on and I was blown away. I immediately went out and bought and again fell in love with Rush.

 

I consider it the seminal document of the band's "keyboard" stage, superior to Signals and GUP (both very good) and vastly superior to HYF and Presto (good albums).

 

I love every song. What I most enjoy is how they absolutely mastered the technology of the time and seamlessly worked it all together. Every songs is great and honestly, was the last time where every song was longer than 5 minutes; after PW every Rush album had multiple songs clocked in under 5 minutes. They were still doing extended intros or outros, or extended instrumental sections.

 

Finally, I wasn't happy in general about the ever decreasing presence of Alex's guitar. But on PW I feel her perfected how to compliment the song. His playing is phenomenal throughout, with a heavy emphasis of the staccato guitar work that would come in at weird angles and was very creative and imaginative. Also, it perfectly captured the sterile, corporate, machine-like quality that were the Reagan 80's.

 

Love, love, love PW. Not going to say I like more than any other Rush album but there's not another Rush album I like more.

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