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Happy 35th Birthday - Hold Your Fire


Maverick
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September 8th, 1987 - Hold Your Fire is released. 

 

Almost three months later, on November 30th, I would see Rush in concert for the first time. 

 

Interesting thing is, I really thought the concert was earlier in the month, on the 17th or 18th. As it turns out, I saw Rush for the first time thirteen days before I saw Yes for the first time. 

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I really didn’t like this album for the first few years I started getting in to Rush.  As I’ve gotten older, I really like some of the songs, especially Mission and Time Stand Still.  It’s still not a top album for me, but I do enjoy it.

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3 hours ago, NoahLutz said:

Harsh.  Not wrong, but harsh.

Truth hurts especially on Tai Shan and the band will agree.

 

Not as bad as the adult contemporary production values on Presto but it's a mixed bag.  I want :rush:, not Michael Bolton and post Phil Ramone Billy Joel.

Edited by invisible airwave
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Yeah, I remember being excited about this album and making a special trip to town just to buy it, and listening to it on the way home in the after-market cassette deck I'd installed in my first car. 

 

I was underwhelmed then, and I still can't work up much enthusiasm. HYF was the first Rush album I was actually disappointed in. While I enjoy the occasional "Mission" or "Turn the Page," it's still a bottom five for me. I was relieved when their next album was a live one because I didn't really have to agonize over buying it or not (it was a yes).

Edited by Nova Carmina
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By this stage I was in my 'Rush - the wilderness years' phase. 

Thankfully I got out of it ...... eventually.

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This is when the technology of the cd and its' increased capacity and the expectation of longer albums, kicked in and I felt this album suffered because of it. Drop Tai Shan and High Water and the album improves quite a bit. I think I still feel that way. 

 

Lower tier record for me but I really like the live video from that tour. The live album was too short and doesn't feel like a complete show like their other live albums but the video was aces. 

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On 9/9/2022 at 1:25 PM, Nova Carmina said:

Yeah, I remember being excited about this album and making a special trip to town just to buy it, and listening to it on the way home in the after-market cassette deck I'd installed in my first car. 

 

I was underwhelmed then, and I still can't work up much enthusiasm. HYF was the first Rush album I was actually disappointed in. While I enjoy the occasional "Mission" or "Turn the Page," it's still a bottom five for me. I was relieved when their next album was a live one because I didn't really have to agonize over buying it or not (it was a yes).


“ Yeah, I remember being excited about this album and making a special trip to town just to buy it, and listening to it on the way home in the after-market cassette deck I'd installed in my first car. 

I was underwhelmed then, and I still can't work up much enthusiasm. HYF was the first Rush album I was actually disappointed in “


… that is exactly , word for word , my exact same experience ! 

I persevered further with the boys with their next studio releases , based upon the fact/hope that their musicianship was too good for there not to be at some point a return to form … and me that album was Counterparts. 

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20 hours ago, taurus said:

This is when the technology of the cd and its' increased capacity and the expectation of longer albums, kicked in and I felt this album suffered because of it. Drop Tai Shan and High Water and the album improves quite a bit. I think I still feel that way. 

 

Lower tier record for me but I really like the live video from that tour. The live album was too short and doesn't feel like a complete show like their other live albums but the video was aces. 

If Open Secrets , High Water and Tai Shan didn't exist the album would be one of their best of the '80s IMHO. Yes it was soft lush and decidedly not hard rock but the arrangements melodies and music itself were very very good.  The of-its-era production with everything soaked in a thick layer of reverb especially the drums and vocals didn't help it from sounding dated years later. 

I like to pretend that the album ended appropriately with Turn The Page and the last two songs were bonus extras not intended for the original album. 

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21 hours ago, taurus said:

This is when the technology of the cd and its' increased capacity and the expectation of longer albums, kicked in and I felt this album suffered because of it. Drop Tai Shan and High Water and the album improves quite a bit. I think I still feel that way. 

 

Lower tier record for me but I really like the live video from that tour. The live album was too short and doesn't feel like a complete show like their other live albums but the video was aces. 

I did a re-listen and I don't find it as bad as some do.  I will agree Tai-Shan was a dud, even Geddy says that.  I enjoy High Water, the drumming is great.  There are a couple of others I skip, Second Nature and Lock and Key.  Overall I liked it because I came to Rush after listening to Grace Under Pressure so I wasn't as familiar to their early recordings.  Turn the Page has some of Geddy's best bass so I would rate it higher than say Test for Echo, they seemed to be phoning that one in.

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Couple years ago on this forum somebody complained that the studio production of HYF made it sound "like cardboard". I totally understand that as I mentioned in my previous comment on this topic here there's just way too much reverb on everything. I wonder if the master tapes could be remixed to strip some of that out and make it sound more dry and natural and powerful?

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6 hours ago, jnoble said:

Couple years ago on this forum somebody complained that the studio production of HYF made it sound "like cardboard". I totally understand that as I mentioned in my previous comment on this topic here there's just way too much reverb on everything. I wonder if the master tapes could be remixed to strip some of that out and make it sound more dry and natural and powerful?

 

It's not a matter of too much reverb, it's that all the damn instruments are crammed into the midrange.  The kick drum sounds like a muffled thump, the guitars have such a crazy upper mid boost that they're painful at high volumes, the bass is thin and twangy, and everything else sounds kind of grainy and indistinct.  It's a terrible sounding album, especially compared to the lush and full sounding Power Windows.  I don't know what happened to Peter Collins between 1985 and 1987, but he forgot how to use a mixing board.  Presto is actually a huge step up from HYF.

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4 hours ago, Rush Didact said:

 

It's not a matter of too much reverb, it's that all the damn instruments are crammed into the midrange.  The kick drum sounds like a muffled thump, the guitars have such a crazy upper mid boost that they're painful at high volumes, the bass is thin and twangy, and everything else sounds kind of grainy and indistinct.  It's a terrible sounding album, especially compared to the lush and full sounding Power Windows.  I don't know what happened to Peter Collins between 1985 and 1987, but he forgot how to use a mixing board.  Presto is actually a huge step up from HYF.

Lee was recording with a Wal bass, of course it sounded thin and twangy :tongue:

HFY and RTB are Rush's softest wimpiest sounding studio albums out of all of them. Presto was thin too but not as lush and overproduced 

Edited by jnoble
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9 hours ago, jnoble said:

Lee was recording with a Wal bass, of course it sounded thin and twangy :tongue:

HFY and RTB are Rush's softest wimpiest sounding studio albums out of all of them. Presto was thin too but not as lush and overproduced 

 

For me it isn't a matter of soft and wimpy, it's that HYF hurts my ears.  The difference between HYF and the two albums that came after it is that its problems were created during mixing, not mastering.

 

RTB and Presto were mixed just fine (albeit with a certain style in mind - more Talk Talk, less Black Sabbath), but neither one has ever been mastered properly.  I did a personal "remaster" of both using the Audio Fidelity discs as a starting point.  For RTB I cut about 3dB out of the upper mids (3 - 8 kHz) and added 1dB to the bass cloud (250 - 500 Hz), and I did something similar for Presto, albeit a little less dramatic.  Both were greatly improved and sound fine to my ears.  Clear, punchy, and full.  Would I have preferred a thicker guitar tone on those albums?  A chunkier bass?  Sure.  But that's a question of style, a matter of personal taste.  The albums were mixed with a clear vision in mind, and they achieved what they set out to do.  They're objectively well-mixed, even if people don't particularly like the concept the band and Rupert Hine had in mind.

 

HYF, on the other hand, had a vision and failed to achieve it.  It's objectively a bad mix.  The instruments just don't sound right: the kick drum is weak and flabby, the guitars are harsh and grating, etc.  The whole effect is to make the album sound thin and muddy at the same time; it's an awful combination.  It sounds like a demo tape rather than a finished album.  Listen to the drums on Presto and compare them to HYF, there's a world of difference there.

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I've said it before and I will say it again: I love HYF. :heart: The mixing is what it is but the softness feels very comforting to me. HYF in it's entirety puts me in a creative mood. Most songs are energetic and beautiful, and the bass lines are delicious. Tai Shan has a different feel to it than the previous songs on the album but usually I listen to it as well.

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2 hours ago, Chicken hawk said:

Happy 35th Birthday  Hold Your Fire    !   :yes:

:yes::cake1::heart::heart::heart:

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I still think this is the pinnacle of Lee's bass playing. I love the lines, wish the sound was thicker, and wished he continued in this vein. Great melodies as well, but definitely dated. Still, I have a soft spot for it.

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4 hours ago, micgtr71 said:

I still think this is the pinnacle of Lee's bass playing. I love the lines, wish the sound was thicker, and wished he continued in this vein. Great melodies as well, but definitely dated. Still, I have a soft spot for it.

Yeah I didn’t really care for the flamenco style Lee adapted starting with Counterparts.  He was playing too many notes too fast from then onto the end of the bands career And the lines weren’t nearly as well thought out and melodic

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7 hours ago, jnoble said:

Yeah I didn’t really care for the flamenco style Lee adapted starting with Counterparts.  He was playing too many notes too fast from then onto the end of the bands career And the lines weren’t nearly as well thought out and melodic

Absolutely agree!

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I loved HYF on first listen and still do to this day.  The most underrated song is High Water, a great way to end the album.   Time Stand Still, Second Nature and Mission are classics to me. 

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On 9/8/2022 at 6:10 PM, NoahLutz said:

I really didn’t like this album for the first few years I started getting in to Rush.  As I’ve gotten older, I really like some of the songs, especially Mission and Time Stand Still.  It’s still not a top album for me, but I do enjoy it.

Opposite for me.  In the midst of the 80's,  I like most of it.  For me it hasn't aged well at all.

 

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