Thursday, January 1, 2015

permanent waves

Rush chose a path that's clear with the emotional feedback of new wave modern music.   The band would debut some new material during a mini-tour of the US supporting their previous album 'Hemispheres'.  For 'Permanent Waves', Terry Brown did the arrangements, production, and mixing with engineer Paul Northfield and assistant engineer Robbie Whelan.  The sessions at  at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec featured Geddy Lee on lead vocals, bass guitar, Oberheim polyphonic, Minimoog, Taurus pedal synthesizer, and OB-1;   Alex Lifeson on electric and acoustic six- and twelve-string guitars, and Taurus pedals;   and Neil Peart on drums, timpani, timbales, orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, bell tree, triangle, crotales, and cover concept;    with Erwig Chuapchuaduah on steel drums;  Hugh Syme providing piano on "Different Strings", as well as art direction, design, and cover concept.  Paula Turnbull was the cover girl.  

Peart reveals:    "Le Studio is a wonderful place, nestled in a valley of the Laurentian Mountains about sixty miles north of Montreal. It is situated on 250 acres of hilly, wooded land, surrounding a private lake. At one end of the lake is the studio, with the luxurious and comfortable guest house situated at the other, about a mile away. We commuted by bicycle, rowboat, on foot, or in laziness or bad weather, by car. We arrived in the full, ripe glory of autumn, and were there through a genuine Indian Summer, and we heralded the coming of snow and winter, all in our four week stay! The recording facilities are, of course, nothing les than excellent in every way. The room itself features one whole wall of glass, overlooking a spectacular view of the lake and the mountains. This is in direct contrast to most studios, which are more in the way of being isolated, timeless vaults, which in that respect of course, are not necessarily bad. Here, though, we worked in the light of the sun, and one could watch the changing seasons in idle moments, rather than a dimly lit, smoky view of musical and electronic hardware. Our engineer, Paul Northfield, soon proved himself to be a helpful, capable, and congenial member of the project, as did all of the excellent people who were employed there. I don't think we have ever been so well treated anywhere...We began our great labors by working on the individual sounds of the instruments. This consists of the musician banging away at his particular object, while the engineering types experiment with different microphones, mic positionings, and their own arcane world of knob-twiddling, faders, echoes, equalization, etc., refining the sound to a true and/or pleasing reproduction of the original. Once this has been accomplished, the three of us will play together, probably going over the song we plan to record first, and considerably more work is put into the sounds, to make them sit together properly ... 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 [writing the lyrics] 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 ... The work continued as we plowed through a mountain of overdubs. Alex and I splashed oars in the lake with shivering hands to record the "Tide Pool" effects, voices and guitar sounds were sent out over the lake to make use of it's natural echo, the tympani was recorded outdoors, guitar amps were strung all over the building to take advantage of as many different sounds as possible. The parade of guitars, synthesizers, vocals, percussion, and experiments went on, and the days wore away. But... we finished early! We had about three days at the end to spare, in which we could make some rough mixes of the songs to take home and listen to before the real mixing began. As straightforward and logical as this again must sound, it was the first time that such a thing had ever happened. In the past we had always had to begin mixing the day after the recording was finished, giving no opportunity to get away from the material, and return to it with a fresh, objective ear."

'Permanent Waves' became a major breaththrough, charting at number thirty-eight in the Netherlands;  twenty-six in Sweden;  twenty-one in Norway;  four in the US; and number three in Canada and the UK.  

"The Spirit of Radio"

Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood 

Off on your way
Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude 

Invisible airwaves 
Crackle with life 
Bright antennae bristle 
With the energy 
Emotional feedback 
On a timeless wavelength 
Bearing a gift beyond price, 
Almost free

All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty 

One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity 

For the words of the profits 
Are written on the studio wall, 
Concert hall,
Echoes with the sounds, of salesmen


There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance

A planet of play things
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
'The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign...'
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

There are those who think
That they were dealt a losing hand
The cards were stacked against them
They weren't born in Lotusland

All preordained
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate
Kicked in the face
You can't pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

"Jacob's Ladder"

"Natural Science"

'Permanent Waves'
full album:

Permanent Waves from Rush on Myspace.

All lyrics written by Neil Peart; all music composed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

Side one
1. "The Spirit of Radio"   4:59
2. "Freewill"   5:24
3. "Jacob's Ladder"   7:28
Side two
4. "Entre Nous"   4:37
5. "Different Strings"   3:50
6. "Natural Science"  9:17
I: Tide Pools  2:09
II: Hyperspace  2:22
III: Permanent Waves  4:46

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