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Album Themes


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It seems like every album from A Farewell To Kings on has a theme, whether loose or distinct, suggested by its title.


A Farewell To Kings: Explores history versus modernity, looks back upon the old with a nod to the future.


Hemispheres: Comments upon the different sides of society and humanity, shows cause and effect of their interactions and conflicts.


Permanent Waves: Displays the concept of freedom within a set system, notes the constance of the universe and movement within those boundaries.


Moving Pictures: Discusses the effect of the spotlight, examines the actions of the human spirit under different lights and in different situations.


Signals: Cautions against the recklessness with which people (particularly the young) face society and civilization, mourns the people (particularly the old) who have retreated from it altogether.


Grace Under Pressure: Examines how people (and androids) respond to duress, alerts listeners to the imminent dangers of cracking under strain.


Power Windows: Analyzes how people and societies respond to one another, explores the relationships between people and societies.


Hold Your Fire: Advises listeners on how to succeed in life and how to get ahead through determination and self-motivation, takes a look at the elements and their metaphorical applications to the Voyage of the Hero.


Presto: Examines human reactions to change and the effects that change can bring upon people, notes the differences in those reactions under various circumstances.


Roll the Bones: Discusses mortality and death frankly, gives a darkly humorous eye to the cycle of life before the point of dying.


Counterparts: Compares and contrasts differences between people and things, looks at dark emotional themes such as prejudice and hate.


Test for Echo: Questions the responses that people get (if they get any at all) to their actions and words, concludes in advising on how to deal with tough situations independently.


Vapor Trails: Remarks upon what actions are taken and what they leave behind, analyzes the triumph of the concept of legacy expressed through freedom and determination.


Am I crazy? Grasping at straws? What do you guys think?

Edited by Kudzu
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I think those are generally spot on with what I think about their respective 'themes' as well. smile.gif I enjoy that about this band.


It's funny that people sometimes ridicule the lyrics on Counterparts, but I find them quite sincere and insightful....(duh, it's Peart). But I think it's Neil at the top of his game.

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And I get the feeling that the album titles arent coincidental either


A Farewell to Kings

-Dictatorships are practically non-existant.

-Several times in history did we bid kings farewell



-Different sides could be referred to as hemispheres


Permanent Waves

-I'm sure this has some sort of intricate scientific or mathematical meaning that I'm too dumb to be aware of

-The girl on the cover feels free to flash her undies


Moving Pictures

-Movies+media --all ties in

-When a celebrity is altered enough by media, their actions almost become like moving pictures, as they are no longer a person, but just a celebrity portrait



(won't comment; I don't own the CD)


Grace Under Pressure

"Cracking under Strain"

Strain --> Pressure

Some people may react gracefully to strain, or some may break and melt down to the floor gracefully


Power Windows

How remotes and windows react to each other?


Hold Your Fire

A command/ an imperitive clause, instructing you to do something



The reactions and changes brought about onto us can sometimes seem like dark, black magic performed by some sort of evil higher power


Roll the Bones: Apart from Dreamline, this CD makes me sick. Does that mean anything?


Counterparts: More self-explainitory than any of the others, except maybe RTB and AFTK. Agree?


Test for Echo: Questions the responses --using an echo as a represeentation for any sort of response



On a side note, all pre Rio live CDs carry a subtle reference to live shows


All the World's a Stage

--> Not only a shakespeare quote that also shows up in Limelight, but also contains the word "Stage", indicating live shows


Exit...Stage Left

--> A command given by managers of the stage during a play or other staged production. Also fits the theme of Moving Pictures


A Show of Hands

--> Contains "Show", deriving that it is a live CD. Fits the given theme for GUP and PoW, as a show of hands is a response to a question or poll.


Different Stages

--> Contains "Stage" again. Explores three different stages of Rush's Career; taking recordins frorm 3 different concerts. Fits the theme of Counterparts quite nicely.



Yeah, i think im crazier.

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Here's mine:


Rush - Rock n' Roll gives one a "rush"


Fly By Night - truths from lies. The spirit of the moment.


Caress of Steel - swords, guillotines, midway rides


2112 - Freedom and independence


A Farewell to Kings - several monarchies in history have met doom.


Hemispheres - Our subconscious drives


Permanent Waves - Integrity and being true to ones self which outlasts the latest fad or fashion.


Moving Pictures - each song a very visual mini-movie


Signals - How each of us interacts with others


Grace Under Pressure - surviving tough times and learning from it


Power Windows - Each song is about a form of power. Power of emotion, money, dreams, governnment, mystic....


Hold Your Fire - Time and events, temperments, turning our dreams and goals into reality.


Presto - You can't just wave a wand to get rid of your problems


Roll the Bones - Fate, chance, etc...


Counterparts - the "nuts and bolts" of our lives


Test for Echo - communication breakdown


Vapor Trails - vivid memories


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My take on the themes. I agree with what several others have said, generally, but I think a couple things have been missed:


2112: An anti-collectivism political statement


AFTK: No real overarching theme here, just a few disconnected ones


Hemispheres: The duality of mankind - reason/emotion


PeW: Nature and science/technology and their relationship


MP: A collection of vivid musical portraits


Signals: Human communication


GuP: How we respond to external stress


PoW: The various forms of power in our lives


HYF: This is about controlling our instincts. Ask yourself why that word shows up in many songs on this CD but rarely on any other CDs. The "Fire" is instinct. Hence, hold your fire.


Presto: The ways in which we pretend to be magical


RTB: The roles of chance and probability


Counterparts: The concepts of opposites and pairs.


T4E: As far as I am concerned, T4E has no theme at all.


VT: Loss, finality, and finding the determination to carry on in an uncaring world

Edited by Wandering Hermit
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