In Memoriam Neil Peart

RIP Neil PeartOn January 7 the world lost another iconic musician: Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Canadian legends Rush.

I fell in love with Rush through their 2112 album and from there on worked my way back into their back catalogue as well as buying every single album that they released afterwards.  And truth be told; Alex Lifeson is the reason I play PRS guitars nowadays. So yeah, I consider Rush a big part of my teenage days as well as part of my whole life.
Despite Rush not touring all that much in Europe, I still managed to go see them a couple of times. On stage 3 musicians that love what they do, obviously enjoying each others company as well as the audience reactions. And behind the mighty drum kit; the professor. The incredible rhythm- and wordsmith to many songs that, at least in my mind, are legendary.

The last couple of days were spent playing lots and lots of Rush albums, singing along to the words, trying to get back into the swing of life. Because life will go on, and the music of Rush will continue to inspire.

Rest in peace, the bell tolls for thee…

Rush, Clockwork Angels, 2012

Rush - Clockwork AngelsLet´s start with  a little confession: I am the type of guy that says hurray when news about a new Rush studio album is released. And especially in this decade, where we have mostly been treated to live albums and DVD´s…

To me every one of their album counts, and this is no exception. In fact, they have again broadened their horizon! Don´t know how they succeed in doing that, but they just did it. Again.
What´s the fuzz you say? Well Rush and orchestra is something isn´t it? I hear they are even taking some of that with them on tour. Must be a treat, as it works great here. Yet this is Rush instantly. So recognizable. So classy, so melodic and so well crafted. Everything, from lyrics to rhythmic patterns and riffing has the Rush signature. Less keyboards and more guitars (not something I am against, despite liking those synths also), and also a little more epic on for instance the title track, Headlong Flight or The Garden.

After listening to this back to back for the last week or so, I can only say this is another winner, and maybe even a tad more adventurous than I had hoped for. Respect for defining the game for so long and still trying to raise the bar. A safe buy if ever there was one…

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Classic: Rush, Signals, 1982

Rush - SignalsWhat better way to start the new year than with one of my favourite bands of all time, Canadian power trio Rush. With the back catalogue they have, it is virtually impossible to pick out that one outstanding album. They have a lot of those actually. So I decided to go for the album with the first song I ever learned to play, in this case 1982 album Signals and the song being Subdivisions, the albums’ opener.

Starting with that powerful sequence of brass typed keyboards, soon followed by guitar and drums, before Geddy Lee starts singing. Mid tempo, but still a damn catchy tune. Next is The Analog Kid, full on and with a inspiring story. Lyrics have always been important to the guys, and on this album we again find a couple of beauties (quite common for Rush). My personal fave being the lyric to Losing It. Which in itself is already a beautiful slow paced song, with a glorious violin solo, and the picture painted in the text only adding to the total result. Other topics are the exploration of space in Countdown, communication in Chemistry, and the Digital Man kinda speaks for itself.
This album showed Rush relying more heavily on keyboards, thus introducing the next stage. Still a fantastic album to listen to and a band that just won’t get old and continues to inspire many…

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