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Hemispheres [Hybrid SACD - DSD, Limited Edition]

RushAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)

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Rush – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart – is without question one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, equally famed for both its virtuoso musicianship and provocative songwriting.

Just last year, a career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature praised the band for its continuing artistic vitality, noting that “It’s true that Rush ... Read more in Amazon's Rush Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 1, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 1978
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Limited Edition
  • Label: Audio Fidelity
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Limited 24kt gold SACD Hybrid pressing. Hemispheres was the Canadian Rock trio's sixth studio album and was originally released in 1978. On Hemispheres lyricist Neil Peart continues to heavily rely on fantasy and science fiction motifs. Similar to their 1976 release, 2112, Hemispheres contains a single, epic song broken into chapters as the first side of the album while the second half contains two more conventionally executed tracks.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And so ends the first book of Rush... December 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Hemispheres marks the end of Rush, Book 1, "the full-blown art-rock conceptual piece". On future releases, the band would condense their complex song structures into shorter songs, sacrificing self-indulgence for the sake of melody to create more accessible songs.And this is a fine closing chapter, for it bridges to where Rush was heading in the 80's. In the span of 36 minutes, they said goodbye to the side-long suite ("Cygnus X=1, Part II"), said hello to tighter song structures ("Circumstances"), introduced us to the new condensed prog-rock ("The Trees"), and gave us a first glance at the fusionesque instrumental ("La Villa Strangiato").Neil Peart's lyrics also began to change here. After completing the Cygnus X-1 story, he would abandon the mythological and science fiction themes for good, and concentrate on more human themes, such as fear, isolation, the pressures of fame, prejudice, and loss, to name a few. Thus, as the years passed, he became more introspective, and the lyrics really took on deeper meaning and connected more effectively. There is a glimpse of the new direction here on "Circumstances", one of his more underrated lyric pieces.You have to own this album if you want to hear Rush at their most "progressive". If it is your first buy (highly unlikely), you must also pick up A Farewell To Kings, for you need to have "Cygnus X-1" to fully understand the story behind the concept. Then proceed to Permanent Waves, and so on... Heck, buy them all, preferrably in chronological order, and take note of the directions Rush took with each in terms of music composition and lyrics. It will be well worth the money you spend, if you truly appreciate what these three extremely talented musicians have to bring to the table.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Let the love of Truth shine clear' August 14, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Not that I begrudge Rush their tremendous success or anything, but I really liked liking them back before they got popular.

_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.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Musicianship With Concept To Match November 16, 2001
By Samhot
Format:Audio CD
As the closing album of Rush's classic progressive period, this is possibly the album where they reached their peak in composition and concept. Starting from 1976's _2112_, and up to this album from 1978, one can see how the band's performance & writing skills had progressed.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 12 days ago by Nick Zosa
5.0 out of 5 stars CD/SACD - Goodbye HISS!!!
Those familiar with Rush need no background info on Hemispheres. For the unfamiliar, the band had decided before recording that Hemispheres would be their last album with a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joe F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic !!!!
Do yourself a favor and listen to this , If you are already a Rush fan , you already know . If not , I envy you , to hear this for the first time again is like opening a whole... Read more
Published 2 months ago by frank
2.0 out of 5 stars Paying double the price
Have much of the Hemispheres CD on Rush Greatest Hits. So you could say that I doubled up what I paid for on Hemispheres.
Published 3 months ago by buzz57
5.0 out of 5 stars Hemispheres
I bought Hemispheres on vinyl back in 1979 and loved it then and love it now. It is a definite needed album for your Rush collection.
Published 4 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most enjoyable Rush album
Disclaimer: I don't have anything after Signals.
Other Disclaimer: when there are only 4 songs, it's easier to not have a lesser quality song. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DS
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect !
Perfect !
Because the product is very good .
I liked a lot .
Would recommend to my friends from Brazil .
Published 5 months ago by Rafael - Brazil
5.0 out of 5 stars i Love collecting casette tape's…i've been doing that for the last 30...
That is an excellent album all around.i love listening to old vintage classic rock.
Music you just can't find.…"Great" fantastic.!
Published 5 months ago by wildbill
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush
Not really much to say but it's just one of the greatest albums on earth! this version is really clear. a must have!!
Published 6 months ago by Samuel Stiltner
5.0 out of 5 stars HEMISPHERES
Published 6 months ago by michael
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Topic From this Discussion
5.1 is overdue for Hemispheres!!!!
I agree completely!! For now, looks like we will have to settle on this SACD version. I just hope it gets handled properly. I would love to have 5.1 on Blu-ray.
Jul 10, 2013 by Drumguy |  See all 15 posts
Audio fidelity magnificent quality Be the first to reply
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