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Hemispheres (Remastered) Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 6, 1997
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_Hemispheres_ is one of my old favorites from that time. After the release of their next album (_Permanent Waves_), you couldn't turn on an FM station without hearing 'The Spirit of Radio' or 'Freewill'. Those are both great songs, of course, but because of their frequent airplay they're very strongly associated with that period of time: whenever I'm reminded that I can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, I close my eyes and suddenly Reagan is in the White House again.
But I can't recall that anything from this album got any real airtime. And in a way that's nice, because I can listen to it today _without_ being transported back to my sophomore year of high school.
And I do listen to it. _Hemispheres_ has lots of good stuff on it.
Of course there's the 'rock opera' track to which the title refers. Ostensibly it's the second 'book' of a piece begun on _A Farewell to Kings_ (these guys are forever splitting up suites across albums) -- and for better or worse, it does include the guy who got sucked into the black hole in Book I. But thematically, it's a somewhat Nietzschean reworking of some ancient mythology (mostly Greek, but the Christian Armageddon is in there too), articulating the need for a proper balance between reason and feeling. It's a bit shorter (and in my opinion tighter) than the title track from _2112_ but very much along the same lines. (And it shows lyricist/percussionist Neil Peart stepping a bit further away from his Randian roots; for Ayn Rand, feeling was firmly subservient to reason and that was that.Read more ›
The concept here (or rather the title centerpiece) deals with the conflict of reason (the left hemisphere of the brain) and emotion (the right hemisphere of the brain), and the consequences of the lack of equilibrium between the two. It's divided into six movements: each (with the exception of the closing movement) represented by a mythological figure that correlates with the designated psychological/behavioral characteristics associated with each respective one.
The musicianship displayed here is nearly flawless and awe-inspiring, as the band here is nearly playing orchestral music - only in a hard rock/metal context. I could easily see this title-piece arranged for an orchestra. The first movement called Prelude plays out like an overture: giving subtle glimpses of what will appear in later moments. It bursts open with an F#7 sus 4 chord from Alex Lifeson, followed by full band interplay which then plays out in typical rhythm - albeit with some unpredictable chord changes. Shortly after, Lifeson plays some ethereal guitar arpeggios, then switches the atmosphere abruptly with a near-diatonic scale riff in descending mode. Later, Lifeson plays more wispy, atmospheric arpeggiated riffs, which are later followed by the band playing in full hard rock mode, and not to mention Geddy's infamous "shrieks."
The second movement called Apollo: Bringer of Wisdom opens up with that descending riff from Alex Lifeson found on the first movement.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rush was able to tell a story like the bards of old, through music and thought provoking lyrics... and they still entertain the Classic Rock fans of this day.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
Even after nearly 40 years, this album is a gem. Required listening for any Rush fan.Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Over-the-top sci-fi fantasy, fans either loved it or hated it. I'm in the former category, as they pushed their storytelling right over the edge of the cliff and of course the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Flavin
This repress of Hemisphere sounds fantastic! It's pressed on heavyweight 200 gram vinyl, making it less likely to warp. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Liam W
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It's funny how opinions changed about Lars Ulrich after the whole Napster fiasco. Coincidently, this was at around the same time that Metallica was going through a change in their approach to hard rock and metal. In my opinion, Lars Ulrich has always understood the idea of "tasty"... Read More
Jan 26, 2007 by N. Zickefoose | See all 12 posts
|Rush Remasters: worth buying them again if I already have them?||
They need to reamaster "Vapor Trails" big time !!! The 2 songs "One Little Victory & "Earthshine" sound great. But,would love to hear the rest of it.
Aug 8, 2009 by G FLEX | See all 14 posts
|Bands that are WAY OVER-RATED because of their popularity||
Hey, this a forum for a Rush album, guys. You're all long gone by now but I wish you had taken this somewhere else. Like, you know, a Metallica album or something? I'm gonna blame you Deluce or whatever, because you started this with your fan bashing. You know where that always ends up too, I... Read More
Aug 7, 2008 by L. Ricciuti | See all 8 posts