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Permanent Waves (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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
songs like the spirit of radio and freewill make this cd well worth listening toPublished 18 days ago by arnold
I purchased this album as a gift for a super Rush fan, he LOVES it!Published 1 month ago by C. J. Rose
It was brand new and what can I say, one of my favorite albums.Published 4 months ago by Matthew Beveridge
Awesome CD! Very satisfied with my purchase. Would definitely recommend seller to others. Great customer service.Published 5 months ago by tengelking