Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Rush spent months in the studio working out the battle between heart and mind on the complex extended suites of their final purely progressive proclamation.  Continuing to build on the achievements of  'Caress of Steel', '2112', and 'A Farewell to Kings'; 'Hemispheres' shows them improving their production and complexity.  The album was arranged and produced by Rush and Terry Brown at Rockfield Studios in Wales and Advision Studios in London with Geddy Lee on vocals, bass guitar, Oberheim polyphonic, Mini Moog, and Moog Taurus pedals; Alex Lifeson on electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitar, guitar synthesizer, and Moog Taurus pedals; and Neil Peart on drums, orchestra bells, bell tree, timpani, gong, cowbells, temple blocks, wind chimes, and crotales.

Lifeson recalls:    "It was the longest time we'd ever spent on an album.  By the time we got to Trident studios in London for the mixing, we'd been in Britain for two and a half months, one month longer than we'd expected. But the thing is that Hemispheres was a different album altogether and it headed off in various directions."

Lee says:  "We've had long pieces of music on three straight studio albums.  'Hemispheres' is well-paced, a little more bouncy than 'A Farewell to Kings'.  Certainly we're satisfied with it; but I miss writing tunes...Our last albums have been weighty works to digest; but they've been necessary in our evolution as a progressive rock outfit.  Still, I miss singing songs...After recording 'Hemispheres' we all felt so drained and sapped of our energy.  The album required a lot more attention than we have ever given to recording.  The title song was a dense piece of music.  With the exception of 'Xanadu'(on 'A Farewell to Kings' , it was the first time we tried to layer the sound on our albums ...We don't think in terms that we have to make this album better because the last one was good or sold well.  This is another album of ours and every album in a point in Rush's history and if it'snot getting better, something's wrong.  Every album has to be the perfect Rush album."

Peart came up with the lyrics after reading Adam Smith's 'Powers of Mind'.   Peart considers:   "The initial focus of our music has to always change to keep us interested ...  It depends really on what we're coming at it with. Often times. Alex and Geddy will have a musical idea, maybe individually. They'll bring it into the studio and we'll bounce it off one another, see what we like about it, see if we find it exciting as an idea and then we get a verbal idea of what the mood of it is. What the setting would be. If I have a lyrical idea that we're trying to find music for, we discuss the type of mood we are trying to create musically. What sort of compositional skills I guess we'll bring to bear on that emotionally. The three of us try to establish the same feeling for what the song should be. Then you bring the technical skills in to try to interpret that properly, and achieve what you thought it would...I came into [being the band's lyricist] by default, just because the other two guys didn't want to write lyrics. I've always liked words. I've always liked reading so I had a go at it. I like doing it. When I'm doing it, I try to do the best I can. It's pretty secondary. I don't put that much importance on it. A lot of times you just think of a lyrical idea as a good musical vehicle. I'll think up an image, or I'll hear about a certain metaphor that's really picturesque. A good verbal image is a really good musical stimulus. If I come up with a really good picture lyrically, I can take it to the other two guys and automatically express to them a musical approach."

'Hemispheres' went to number forty-seven in the US, and fourteen in Canada and the UK.  


full album:

Side one
1. "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres" 18:08
    I. Prelude - 0:00
    II. Apollo (Bringer of Wisdom) – 4:30
    III. Dionysus (Bringer of Love) – 7:00
    IV. Armageddon (The Battle of Heart and Mind) – 09:06
    V. Cygnus (Bringer of Balance) - 12:00
    VI. The Sphere (A Kind of Dream) – 17:02"

Side two

2. "Circumstances"   3:42
3. "The Trees"   4:46
4. "La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise in Self-Indulgence)"  9:35
    I. Buenas Noches, Mein Froinds! - 0:00
    II. To Sleep, Perchance to Dream... - 0:27
    III. Strangiato Theme - 2:00
    IV. A Lerxst in Wonderland - 3:16
    V. Monsters! - 5:49
    VI. The Ghost of the Aragon - 6:10
    VII. Danforth and Pape - 6:45
    VIII. The Waltz of the Shreves - 7:26
    IX. Never Turn Your Back on a Monster! - 7:52
    X. Monsters! (Reprise) - 8:03
    XI. Strangiato Theme (Reprise) - 8:17
    XII. A Farewell to Things - 9:20"

No comments:

Post a Comment