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Album: Permanent Waves

Permanent Waves is the seventh studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released January 1, 1980 (see 1980 in music). The album was recorded at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec, and was mixed at Trident Studios in London, UK. Permanent Waves became Rush's first US Top 5 album hitting #4 and was the band's fifth Gold (eventually Platinum) selling album. The album also marks a distinct transition into more accessible, radio-friendly numbers and consequently, a significant expansion in the band's record sales with perennial favorites such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" seeing quite a fair bit of radio airplay. Lee's singing style changed, too; his range is much lower than the previous albums. Music "The Spirit of Radio" featured the band's early experiments with a reggae style, which was explored further on Moving Pictures and Signals. A notable track on Permanent Waves is "Jacob's Ladder", a song style reminiscent of their earlier art rock period. Exploring odd time signatures, the song possesses a dark, ominous feel. The song's lyrics are based on a simple concept; a vision of sunlight breaking through storm clouds. The title is a reference to the natural phenomenon of the sun breaking through the clouds in visible rays, which in turn is named after the Biblical ladder to heaven on which Jacob saw angels ascending and descending in a vision. "Entre Nous" ("Between Us") is similar in style to "Freewill," yet it did not receive heavy radio airplay. The ballad "Different Strings" would polarize many Rush fans and critics; some radio stations would feature the song, while others never played it. While the band began stepping back from the epic song format on this album, "Natural Science" does clock in at over nine minutes and is composed of three distinct movements. The lyrics are driven by concepts of natural science, examining themes of evolution, genetics and civilization, as well as man's responsibility to the arts and sciences. Cover art The cover art sparked some controversy due to the appearance of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline on the newspaper. Due to pressure from the Chicago Tribune, still embarrassed by that fiasco, Hugh Syme changed the text to "Dewei Defeats Truman".[1] Background The writing of the album began in July 1979, at a farmhouse at Lakewoods Farm in Ontario, Canada on the Georgian Bay, Lake Huron while Peart started his lyrics in a cottage near there. They began with an instrumental jam, which they nick-named "Uncle Tounouse". Parts of this were used in the songs on the album. While Peart worked on lyrics, Lifeson and Lee would work on musical ideas in the basement. Within a few days they had put together "The Spirit of Radio", "Freewill", and "Jacob's Ladder", which came very natural to them, and it was recorded on a Slider JVC mobile unit. "Entre Nous" was the only lyric complete ahead of time. Neil was working on making a song out of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the medieval epic from King Arthur's time. Based on the story written in the 14th century, he was trying to keep its original style. It was deemed too out of place with the other material and was discarded. They moved into Sound Kitchen studio in Toronto to record demos, joined by producer Terry Brown. "The Spirit of Radio", "Freewill", and "Jacob's Ladder" were further polished on the warm-up tour during soundchecks. Rush headed to Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec and began tweaking the settings of instruments and positioning of microphones. They recorded basic tracks with multiple takes until they captured the best performance. While Lee, Lifeson, and Terry Brown began overdubs, Peart began attempting to write another epic song to replace the discarded "Green Knight", and after enduring three days of writer's block, "Natural Science" was born. Fin Costello was then brought in to photograph the band in the studio. Cover art director Hugh Syme was also brought in and added a piano solo to "Different Strings". Music was composed for "Natural Science", with some leftover parts from "Green Knight". The tide pool effects for the song were created by splashing oars in the private lake, and the natural echo outside was used to record various instruments. The rough mixes on the album were complete, and the final mix was completed in a week at Trident studios, London.[2][3] Track listing All songs written by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart except where noted. "The Spirit of Radio" – 4:56 "Freewill" – 5:21 "Jacob's Ladder" – 7:26 "Entre Nous" – 4:36 "Different Strings" (Lifeson, Lee) – 3:48 "Natural Science" – 9:17 "Tide Pools" – 2:21 "Hyperspace" – 2:47 "Permanent Waves" – 4:08 Personnel Geddy Lee - Bass guitars, Oberheim polyphonic; OB-1; Minimoog; and Taurus pedal synthesizers, vocals Alex Lifeson - Six and twelve string electric and acoustic guitars, Taurus pedals, vocals Neil Peart - Drums, tympani, timbales, orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, bell tree, triangle, crotales, cover concept Erwig Chuapchuaduah - steel drums Hugh Syme - piano on "Different Strings", art direction, design, cover concept Deborah Samuel - photography Fin Costello - photography Flip Schulke - photography Terry Brown - arranger, producer, mixing Paul Northfield - engineer Robbie Whelan - assistant engineer Craig Milliner - mixing assistant Adam Moseley - mixing assistant Cover girl couturière: Ou la la Paula Turnbull - cover girl Ray Staff - mastering on original album Bob Ludwig - remastering Charts Album - Billboard (North America) Year Chart Position 1980 Billboard's Pop Albums 4 Singles Information "The Spirit of Radio" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown Chart positions: #51 US Hot 100; #1 US Mainstream Rock "Freewill" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown Chart positions: "Entre Nous" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown Chart positions: Remaster Details A remaster was issued in 1997. The tray has a picture of star with man painting with THE RUSH REMASTERS printed in all caps just to the left. All remasters from Rush through to Permanent Waves are like this. This is just like the cover art of Retrospective I. Also includes the original back cover of the album which was missing from the original CD of the band in the recording studio in addition to the inner-sleeve pictures, credits and lyrics which appeared on the original album. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs released gold CD and "audiophile" LP remasters in early 2008. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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