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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


LeaveMyThingAlone
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It would be fascinating to hear the 'Gawain' material, both the stuff that eventually became part of Natural Science and the stuff that was completely scrapped. I'm sure there is some lost magic there.

 

By all accounts there are no unreleased Rush songs (they don't save what doesn't make it to a record), which is a shame. There's usually material that doesn't make it to the record, and to hear any Rush reject would be a real treat.

 

When I took a recording course years back,the professor was a guy that did a lot of work with Phil Ramone, and he said that they ALWAYS ran a 2-track during sessions just in case something accidental was played during the course of the day, and it wasn't picked up on anything else. he also said that 99% of the guys he knew that were in the business KEPT those 2-track recordings, for posterity (later on it was a DAT now I'm sure it goes direct to some hard drive...) But I would LOVE to see if any of the engineer's during those Rush sessions still had their tapes with them noodling around with stuff!

 

My recording prof played some "out takes" from some of his Billy Joel sessions, and the best one was Billy going "Ok, I'm F*CKING DONE! SOMEONE ORDER A F*CKING PIZZA I'M STARVING!"

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This would have ruined their career. Nerdom to the highest degree. And definitley did not fit in with what was going on.

 

Though I consider Natural Science to be one of their best songs (a serious contender for number one in my opinion), it's still pretty nerdy. I don't think it would have ruined their career if Natural Science were instead a substantially similar song with a King Arthur theme. What drove the record sales was the FM staples Spirit of The Radio and to a lesser extent Freewill.

 

Now, if the entire record was a King Arthur concept album (which I think was the plan at some point in the production of PeW) then maybe yes, it could've killed them.

 

I'm not saying I wish they stayed with the planned Arthurian theme anyway; I'm just saying it would be fascinating to hear today.

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This would have ruined their career. Nerdom to the highest degree. And definitley did not fit in with what was going on.

 

Though I consider Natural Science to be one of their best songs (a serious contender for number one in my opinion), it's still pretty nerdy. I don't think it would have ruined their career if Natural Science were instead a substantially similar song with a King Arthur theme. What drove the record sales was the FM staples Spirit of The Radio and to a lesser extent Freewill.

 

Now, if the entire record was a King Arthur concept album (which I think was the plan at some point in the production of PeW) then maybe yes, it could've killed them.

 

I'm not saying I wish they stayed with the planned Arthurian theme anyway; I'm just saying it would be fascinating to hear today.

 

The dungeons and dragons theme shit was just not cool in 1980. Dio could get away with it in sabbath, but Rush was still up and coming. And their reputation wasn't established yet.

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This would have ruined their career. Nerdom to the highest degree. And definitley did not fit in with what was going on.

 

Though I consider Natural Science to be one of their best songs (a serious contender for number one in my opinion), it's still pretty nerdy. I don't think it would have ruined their career if Natural Science were instead a substantially similar song with a King Arthur theme. What drove the record sales was the FM staples Spirit of The Radio and to a lesser extent Freewill.

 

Now, if the entire record was a King Arthur concept album (which I think was the plan at some point in the production of PeW) then maybe yes, it could've killed them.

 

I'm not saying I wish they stayed with the planned Arthurian theme anyway; I'm just saying it would be fascinating to hear today.

 

Yeah..might have been a better fit thematically with A Farewell to Kings...but I agree...Natty Sci has always been one of my all time favorite tracks (along with La Villa Strangiato) glad it morphed into what it morphed IN to!

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A well-done bump of this thread, mikecronis.

 

A footnote to add: In addition to reading Sir Thomas Malory, and being familiar with Chrétien de Troyes, Neil also read a rather obscure, posthumously published work by John Steinbeck--The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. (So far as a work by Steinbeck might be considered obscure. Not nearly so obscure as some works from the rich panoply of Arthurian tales.)

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Sir Gawain atGK missed it's calling by about 4 years...on a basic level that title is a stick in the mud,so outta place with the PeW album theme...by 1980, Rush were

"streamlining" their music, they were done with that epic length progressive rock boat anchor.I think Neil at this stage still had one foot in the mid 70's writing style.I can almost guess that Geddy put a kibosh on that title.Sir Gawain and SoR? ugh!...

 

 

 

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Sir Gawain and the GK missed it's calling by about 4 years...so outta place with the PeW album theme...by 1980, Rush were

"streamlining" their music, they were done with that epic length progressive rock boat anchor.

 

I suspect your comment resembles a conversation the amigos would have had while in the composing phase of Permanent Waves. Additionally, we don't know how long Neil had these lyrics marinating. Stylistically, it resembles his work from the '76-'77 era. (Steinbeck's take on the Arthurian tale was first published in '76, so perhaps this is what first sparked his interest in exploring the theme.)

 

"Epic length progressive rock boat anchor"? I'm guessing Bruckner and Mahler are absolutely banished from your playlist. :no:

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Well I think the lyrics are very interesting to read after all these years! Wasn't some of the music from SGATGN added into Natural Science? I'm trying to hear Geddy sing some of this stuff in my head, but I don't know what section they might correspond to.
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I really don't understand why the band is so dead set on not releasing abandoned tracks or demos or outtakes. Given some of the inferior live recordings that have had an official release, they really can't argue about it diminishing their legacy. But the time for releasing these things is quickly coming and going. Whatever is left of Gawain (I'm sure there are some rehearsal takes on tape somewhere) should have made the 40th Permanent Waves box. It's a shame they aren't more open about this stuff.
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I really don't understand why the band is so dead set on not releasing abandoned tracks or demos or outtakes. Given some of the inferior live recordings that have had an official release, they really can't argue about it diminishing their legacy. But the time for releasing these things is quickly coming and going. Whatever is left of Gawain (I'm sure there are some rehearsal takes on tape somewhere) should have made the 40th Permanent Waves box. It's a shame they aren't more open about this stuff.

It’s not that they don’t want to release stuff. They’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing to release. As in nothing exists in the vaults. Anything that didn’t work wasn’t kept. It was all thrown out. Geddy said the only thing that might still exist would be unfinished bland demos that the band hated. Key word. Might. And honestly not much has leaked in over 40 years. We have Fancy Dancer and Garden Road, but live versions only. And we have a demo version of Power Windows that only exists because the guy who received the tape preserved it. That’s it really. I’m all for hearing new music, but the band has always been pretty truthful regarding what does and doesn’t exist. If Geddy says there’s nothing there’s probably nothing.

Edited by TheGhostRider
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I really don't understand why the band is so dead set on not releasing abandoned tracks or demos or outtakes. Given some of the inferior live recordings that have had an official release, they really can't argue about it diminishing their legacy. But the time for releasing these things is quickly coming and going. Whatever is left of Gawain (I'm sure there are some rehearsal takes on tape somewhere) should have made the 40th Permanent Waves box. It's a shame they aren't more open about this stuff.

It’s not that they don’t want to release stuff. They’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing to release. As in nothing exists in the vaults. Anything that didn’t work wasn’t kept. It was all thrown out. Geddy said the only thing that might still exist would be unfinished bland demos that the band hated. Key word. Might. And honestly not much has leaked in over 40 years. We have Fancy Dancer and Garden Road, but live versions only. And we have a demo version of Power Windows that only exists because the guy who received the tape preserved it. That’s it really. I’m all for hearing new music, but the band has always been pretty truthful regarding what does and doesn’t exist. If Geddy says there’s nothing there’s probably nothing.

 

It's not that I want to argue - particularly about something that neither of us can verify - and I imagine you are quite possibly right. But...

 

This is a band that has stated that for a long time they recorded their soundcheck jams so they could go back later and mine them for song ideas. It is hard for to imagine that those tapes no longer exist. The existence of the Power Windows demos makes me think it it likely that there are demo recordings of most of the albums. As I said, it's conjecture, but Geddy Lee does not seem like a guy who throws stuff out - if anything, he seems like a slightly obsessive pack rat.

 

With that in mind, I just don't believe that after working on Gawain for however long, and then mining it for parts to make Natural Science, that they literally threw the tape in the garbage. Maybe they did...but it seems more likely to me that it is in a box somewhere next to the drum machine version of The Weapon and the Tough Break song they did with their tech friend.

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I really don't understand why the band is so dead set on not releasing abandoned tracks or demos or outtakes. Given some of the inferior live recordings that have had an official release, they really can't argue about it diminishing their legacy. But the time for releasing these things is quickly coming and going. Whatever is left of Gawain (I'm sure there are some rehearsal takes on tape somewhere) should have made the 40th Permanent Waves box. It's a shame they aren't more open about this stuff.

It’s not that they don’t want to release stuff. They’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing to release. As in nothing exists in the vaults. Anything that didn’t work wasn’t kept. It was all thrown out. Geddy said the only thing that might still exist would be unfinished bland demos that the band hated. Key word. Might. And honestly not much has leaked in over 40 years. We have Fancy Dancer and Garden Road, but live versions only. And we have a demo version of Power Windows that only exists because the guy who received the tape preserved it. That’s it really. I’m all for hearing new music, but the band has always been pretty truthful regarding what does and doesn’t exist. If Geddy says there’s nothing there’s probably nothing.

 

It's not that I want to argue - particularly about something that neither of us can verify - and I imagine you are quite possibly right. But...

 

This is a band that has stated that for a long time they recorded their soundcheck jams so they could go back later and mine them for song ideas. It is hard for to imagine that those tapes no longer exist. The existence of the Power Windows demos makes me think it it likely that there are demo recordings of most of the albums. As I said, it's conjecture, but Geddy Lee does not seem like a guy who throws stuff out - if anything, he seems like a slightly obsessive pack rat.

 

With that in mind, I just don't believe that after working on Gawain for however long, and then mining it for parts to make Natural Science, that they literally threw the tape in the garbage. Maybe they did...but it seems more likely to me that it is in a box somewhere next to the drum machine version of The Weapon and the Tough Break song they did with their tech friend.

 

It’s definitely possible. A full soundcheck of the Counterparts tour was released many years back and some other ones have surfaced too.

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I really don't understand why the band is so dead set on not releasing abandoned tracks or demos or outtakes. Given some of the inferior live recordings that have had an official release, they really can't argue about it diminishing their legacy. But the time for releasing these things is quickly coming and going. Whatever is left of Gawain (I'm sure there are some rehearsal takes on tape somewhere) should have made the 40th Permanent Waves box. It's a shame they aren't more open about this stuff.

It’s not that they don’t want to release stuff. They’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing to release. As in nothing exists in the vaults. Anything that didn’t work wasn’t kept. It was all thrown out. Geddy said the only thing that might still exist would be unfinished bland demos that the band hated. Key word. Might. And honestly not much has leaked in over 40 years. We have Fancy Dancer and Garden Road, but live versions only. And we have a demo version of Power Windows that only exists because the guy who received the tape preserved it. That’s it really. I’m all for hearing new music, but the band has always been pretty truthful regarding what does and doesn’t exist. If Geddy says there’s nothing there’s probably nothing.

 

It's not that I want to argue - particularly about something that neither of us can verify - and I imagine you are quite possibly right. But...

 

This is a band that has stated that for a long time they recorded their soundcheck jams so they could go back later and mine them for song ideas. It is hard for to imagine that those tapes no longer exist. The existence of the Power Windows demos makes me think it it likely that there are demo recordings of most of the albums. As I said, it's conjecture, but Geddy Lee does not seem like a guy who throws stuff out - if anything, he seems like a slightly obsessive pack rat.

 

With that in mind, I just don't believe that after working on Gawain for however long, and then mining it for parts to make Natural Science, that they literally threw the tape in the garbage. Maybe they did...but it seems more likely to me that it is in a box somewhere next to the drum machine version of The Weapon and the Tough Break song they did with their tech friend.

 

It’s definitely possible. A full soundcheck of the Counterparts tour was released many years back and some other ones have surfaced too.

 

Perhaps, but I think dress rehearsals for a tour and a run through of a song before they recorded it is comparing apples and oranges.

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