Rush – “Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary”

Rush – “Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary” Super Deluxe Edition (UMC/Mercury/Anthem)

Battle Helm Rating

Recorded in January 1980, coincidentally the same month that drummer Neil Peart would pass away 40 years later, “Permanent Waves” became the Canadian rock trio’s most successful album in their career at the time, catapulting their name worldwide through its more concise and radio friendly songs, while still retaining their progressive rock blueprint. Ultimately attaining platinum status, this 7th studio album has long been a fan favorite, and so to commemorate its 40th anniversary comes this expanded reissue comprising the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album, along with previously unreleased and newly restored bonus content newly mixed from the original analog live multi-tracks by the band’s original producer, Terry Brown. Touring across North America and Europe in support of its release, the unreleased bonus live tracks come from 3 stops on the Permanent Waves World Tour 1980: Manchester Apollo in Manchester, England; Hammersmith Odeon in London, England; and the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri. Available to fans in four distinct configurations, including a Super Deluxe Edition, two-CD Deluxe Edition, three-LP Deluxe Edition and Deluxe Digital Edition, the Super Deluxe Edition includes 2 CDs, 3 high-quality 180-gram black vinyl LPs and will also include several exclusive items: a 40-page hardcover book with unreleased photos; re-imagined artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme; an extensive & exclusive 12,000-word essay; a replica of the Permanent Waves 1980 official tour program; The Words & Pictures Volume II; a replica of the band’s rare 1980 UK-only tour program; a 24 x 36 inch two-sided wall poster of the original album cover model photo shoot and photos of the band recording at Le Studio; 3 replica band member 1980 tour backstage laminates; 3 Neil Peart handwritten lyric sheets for ‘The Spirit Of Radio’, ‘Entre Nous’, and ‘Natural Science’; and a 20-page 5 x 7 inch notepad emblazoned with Le Studio letterhead! With an absolute roar from the Manchester crowd greeting ‘The Spirit Of Radio’, a legendary song in itself, this live version holds nothing back as Lifeson’s reggae influenced riffs irresistibly mesh with Lee’s falsetto vocals and Minimoog synth, all of which are masterfully completed by Neil Peart’s percussion, including some serious cymbal bashing, although nothing can take away from the crowd’s massive clap alongs and an absolute roar to the lines ‘..for the words of the profits were written on the studio wall…CONCERT HALL!!!!..’ simply unforgettable! Capitalizing on the momentum that had commenced since the band’s self titled debut in 1974, ‘A Passage To Bangkok’, taken from the band’s second highest selling album “2112” in 1976 with its exotic riffs and oriental cow bells, sees the crowd needing no encouragement whatsoever to singalong right from the off until its prophetic final line ‘..we only stop for the best..’. “A Farewell To Kings”, released in 1977 contained a series of classics including the 11 minute epic ‘Xanadu’, the band’s most complex undertaking at the time, greeted here with huge applause and singing from the London audience as its extensive synthesizer arrangements (through both pedals and keyboards) and various percussion instruments (temple blocks, tubular bells, bell tree, glockenspiel, and wind chimes) take this Samuel Taylor Coleridge inspired quest for immortality into becoming one of rock’s most sublime concertos. Released as the lead single to “A Farewell To Kings” and one of Rush’s most popular songs that has been performed live regularly since 1977, ‘Closer To The Heart’ has Manchester singing along to Lee and his bass lines, as tubular bells add to the song’s emotion, while cheers from the crowd are abundant as Lifeson’s guitar takes the song off, building to culmination through Peart’s drum rolls along to even more rapturous applause. Taken from 1978’s platinum album “Hemispheres”, ‘The Trees’ is another Rush staple and crowd pleaser, as judged by the cheers to Lifeson’s classical guitar intro, before another roar as the song takes off to deep bass pedals, more power drumming and cymbal smashing from Peart, while offset by its ambient synth mid song piece before being led back to intensity by Lifeson’s guitar and even more crowd cheers to an incredible ending. Indeed, you too would be hard placed not to be moved by the lifetime performances on show here, captured superbly and truly testifying to one of rock’s greatest legends in the Canadian rock trio known as Rush.

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