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Permanent Waves (Remastered) Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

294 customer reviews

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Permanent Waves
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 6, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of Rush's finest moments, second only to Moving Pictures. This album includes two classic songs, "The Spirit of Radio" (which has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in all of rock) and "Freewill." There's also the epic-feeling "Jacob's Ladder," as well as "Entre Nous," a sort of intellectual love song (if such a thing can be said to exist). The introspective "Different Strings" and the anthemic "Natural Science" (which clocks in at over nine minutes) close the album. Though there are only six songs on Permanent Waves, it's enough; the material is rich enough that more of it would be like overdosing on chocolate. -- Genevieve Williams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 6, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B000001ESN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Samhot on September 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
...excluding Neil Peart's entry into the band.
Mostly recorded in 1979, PERMANENT WAVES (1980) marked the starting point for Rush's full-blown entry into condensed, accessible progressive rock. They abandoned the 20-minute suites and mystical lyrics for catchy progressive song structures, and more human, worldly-related topics. But, Geddy Lee (vocals/bass/synths), Alex Lifeson (guitars) and Neil Peart (drums/lyrics) didn't lose their brilliance in composition, even if most of the track lengths were fit for radio.
"The Spirit of Radio" is an ever-popular track, and seems to still get as much radio airplay as it did over two decades ago. A catchy, melodic track with cerebral lyrics dealing with no other than the radio, and it's effect on us listeners (i.e. music fans.)
"Freewill" is a philosophical rocker dealing with personal beliefs (e.g., god, fate, stars) and the consequences - positive or negative - of them. Neil Peart seems to be quite ambiguous in his lyrics, and you can't necessarily tell what *his* personal beliefs are at times. He seems to be playing more a role of devil's advocate, which in some cases is probably the smartest part to play.
"Jacob's Ladder" brings slight resemblance to Rush's 70s period, as this is the most *proggish* on the album, and more than likely can please fans of that particular period. Mostly instrumental, it's an atmospheric rocker which leans toward the darker and heavier side. Highlights of the track are the instrumental section in 5/4, and later, a spatial, instrumental section featuring guitarist Alex Lifeson (later joined by band) playing a snaky riff in 13/8, while Neil is keeping time nicely, and Geddy lends some darkly airy synths on top it all.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Permanent Waves photographs Rush at the perfect moment--still young and hard-rocking but, six years after their recording debut and the requisite dues-paying of long tours, wielding razor sharp progressive songwriting experience melded with tremendous technical skills.
Yes, this album "only" has six tunes, but they are all richly crafted. There's no filler to be found on this album. Rush at this point had evolved beyond doing space-rock concept albums, but while they were admittedly moving to mildly more radio friendly songwriting, they still liked fairly long songs. Even these, however, were skillfully pared down to the essentials, centered around cohesive lyrical ideas that allowed for stretching-out musically. Cases in point: Freewill, Jacob's Ladder, and especially the intense "Natural Science" (don't let the bland title dissuade you from enjoying the full force of the trio wash over you). Even the most commercial tune on the album, "The Spirit Of Radio," is an instrumental workout that also radiates the sincerity of redoubtable musicians who are hardly "selling out."
This album resembles Hemispheres in the mind-boggling *huge* sound conjured up by only three people on the traditional guitar/bass/drums. Part of this is because Geddy's bass and Neil's drums are equally kinetic but more importantly synced up so deeply on rhythmically difficult passages. It's also because Alex chased down some of the hugest analog guitar sounds I've ever heard, a real benchmark even today. Synths are usually relegated to background pedal points and uncluttered atmospherics that subtly fill out the upper sonic reaches.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A.F. on June 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Rush contains three of the greatest musicians ever formed in a rock band. With Geddy Lee's unique voice and awesome bass playing, Alex Lifeson's superb guitar solos, and Neil Peart's excellent lyrics and fantastic drumming, they knocked out fans and fellow musicians with their complex arrangements and lengthy epics. But with the release of their 1980 album PERMANENT WAVES, Rush's songwriting and musicianship began to take a new turn.
With the '80s, the trio said goodbye to the concept albums and 18-minute-plus marathons of their '70s past. Although their songs were shorter, the complexity and intelligence were still there. As a band, Rush were stronger than ever. The album kicks into high gear with the energetic "The Spirit of Radio," Rush's first ever hit single. Featuring more time changes and switches than any other Rush song, this dedication to a Canadian radio station is a great intro to what will follow. "Free Will," another classic, features one of Alex Lifeson's most magnificent guitar solos as well as some of Neil Peart's best lyrics. The 7 minute epic "Jacob's Ladder" is mostly instrumental and the playing by all three is great, most notably Geddy Lee's bizarre synthesizer piece in the middle.
"Entre Nous" is one of the most realistic love songs I've ever heard and contains a lot of catchy hooks. "Different Strings" is one of the most powerful songs the band has ever laid down. It should get more credit than it deserves; it's one of their all-time best. The album ends with the 9 minute opus "Natural Science," which starts out as a slow acoustic piece, then picks up speed like a bullet train.
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RUSH Return To This Quality Sound On Future Albums?????
To answer Robert, I think Snakes and Arrows comes close if not surpasses the Crisp Clear Quality of Pemanent Waves. But since we are reviewing Permanent Waves let me just say: Buy this CD! Permanent Waves doesn't disappoint! It is a one of those CD's you listen the whole way through, every... Read More
Dec 16, 2008 by Busy Feet |  See all 6 posts
Recording quality
Go to the Steve Hoffman forums. This has been discussed and most feel this version is too bright. To much treble. The consensus on all Rush recording of this era is that the original cd release was the best. Not any remasters. Check out Discogs for the disc numbers. The only remastered disc I... Read More
May 9, 2015 by Buzz Smith |  See all 3 posts
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