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Rush - 2112 Deluxe Edition

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Deluxe Edition
Originally Released: March 1976
Deluxe Edition Release: December 18th, 2012

Certified Gold by RIAA: November 16, 1977 -- Certified Platinum by RIAA: February 25, 1981
Certified 2x Platinum by RIAA: December 1, 1993 -- Certified 3x Platinum by RIAA: November 17, 1995
View All Album Certifications

Highest Billboard Chart Position: 61

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The Year 2112 Arrives In
2111-12-31 28:00:00 GMT+00:00 (EST)

Liner Notes



bass and vocals
The only justification I need for what I'm doing with Rush is that we finish an album and we love it," singer-bassist Geddy Lee told me one afternoon in the fall of 1978. "Then we take it to the fans, and they respond to it. If what we were doing wasn't right, we wouldn't be where we are. "There may be ways of becoming bigger," he added, "but I'm not complaining."

Lee was sitting in the living room of his home in a suburb of Toronto, Canada, the city where he was born and his band was founded. He wore a promo sweatshirt for the British art-rock band Barclay James Harvest, and there was a vintage mellotron against one wall.

There was also ample evidence of Rush's recent, accelerating success, after a decade of hard touring, musical advance and baffled, sometimes vicious reviews: gold and platinum albums for the 1976 live set, All the World's a Stage; the 1977 studio LP, A Farewell to Kings; and 1976's 2112, Rush's fourth album and the group's creative and commercial breakthrough.

Lee was still only 25. He and guitarist Alex Lifeson began playing together shortly after they met in 1967, in a Toronto junior high school. Lifeson was already in a band called Rush when he asked Lee to join. Lee quit school in the eleventh grade to be in Rush full time.

"Club owners didn't want to hear it," Lee said with a laugh, recalling Rush's Cream-and-Led Zeppelin-inspired racket with original drummer John Rutsey. "Their big concern was that the waitresses couldn't hear the beer orders." He remembered a club gig in Oakdale, a town near the Ontario-Michigan border, which lasted half a set. "They got so many complaints from the neighbors next door we decided it was best just to get out of there."

But Rush really started when: Neil Peart replaced Rutsey in the summer of 1974, just before a U.S. tour to promote the debut album, Rush. Born outside Hamilton, Ontario, Peart came with a furious Keith Moon streak in his precise, orchestral drumming. He soon became Rush's lyricist as well, drawing on his avid reading of science-fiction writers such as Samuel R. Delany and Ray Bradbury and the controversial novelist Ayn Rand. Lee, Lifeson and Peart quickly worked their way up from the bottom of arena bills, playing power-blues about trouble and women, to headlining status and the epic storytelling and instrumental complexity on Fly By Night and Caress of Steel, both released in 1975.

"Every album is a point in Rush's history," Lee said that afternoon in 1978. "And if it's not getting better, something's wrong. Every album has to be the perfect Rush album."

The first, perfect Rush album, everyone in the band now agrees, was 2112 - "the first record," Lifeson has said, "where we sounded like Rush." Peart recently described it as "the beginning of everything for us a seed that spread out and grew." But this may be the most remarkable thing about 2112 Rush almost didn't get to make it.

2112 was released 36 years ago, by Mercury Records in April, 1976. It was Rush's first gold, then platinum album and has never been out of print. The band still plays the title track, in some form, in every live show.

"2112" - the 20-minute suite that covered all of Side One on the original vinyl LP - is also 100 years young. It is set in a cold dystopian century - empty of music and joy, run by a totalitarian priesthood that fears spontaneous expression and crushes individual spirit too distant for most of us to dread or comprehend. Anyone listening to 2112 now is unlikely to-live long enough to see that turning of the calendar. Those who follow still have an eternity to prove this record wrong.

But 2112 was not science fiction. Everything in the main tale - youth and discovery; the mutinous power of music; oppression and silence; the choice between sacrifice and surrender - was and remains absolutely contemporary. In March, 1976, a couple of weeks before 2112 came out in North America, a military coup in Argentina marked the start of a seven-year dictatorship there that claimed thousands of victims - the so-called "Disappeared" including writers, poets and musicians. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the ruling Imans banned concerts and broadcasts of classical and popular music. Years later, in Afghanistan, the Taliban went further, prohibiting all musical instruments.

2112 is ultimately about giving everything you've got to the thing you love most, against all odds. Lee, Lifeson and Peart knew what they were talking about. In late 1975, on the eve of making this album, they were in their own dire straits: about to lose their record deal and, one night between gigs, talking of calling it quits.

Lee remembered that flicker of doubt in a 1980 interview with Guitar Player. "We were on an overnight drive to Atlanta, Georgia, and we were all real depressed, saying, 'Oh, this is never going to work! What are we doing here?' We were still getting pressure from people to commercialize our sound. But we always felt that if your music is interesting, people will like it."

Caress of Steel had been a test of that faith, with two multi-part concept pieces - "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth" - totaling 32 minutes. Reviews were scathing, the album sold poorly and Mercury threatened to drop Rush if they didn't cool the extremes. The band had trouble getting bookings, and the shows they played were not well attended. According to Peart, Rush's road crew drolly dubbed that run "The Down the Tubes Tour."

After the last show, a homecoming at Massey Hall in Toronto on January 10th, 1976, Rush went into the studio there with engineer and co-producer Terry Brown. The band still had a contract - barely - but there was no compromise. The five shorter tracks on Side Two - from "A Passage to Bangkok," an explorer's memoir wreathed in primo-weed smoke, to the heavy-rock finish "Something for Nothing" echoed the themes and frustrations in "2112" with more concision but no less daring in arrangement. "The whole theme of that album," Lee said in the 1980 interview, was "individuality...a passionate statement saying, 'Leave us alone, we're okay, we will still get along.'"

Also talking to Guitar Player that year, Lifeson ran down the typical birth of a Rush song. "Neil will go off and work on the lyrics," the guitarist said, "while Geddy and I sit together and throw ideas back and forth. Neil usually has one or two songs written before there are melodies to them, and that gets us started.

"We were pretty straightforward rock until 2112," he noted. After the crisis and doubt of Caress of Steel, 2112 "was like coming back with a vengeance," Lifeson contended. "That album still feels like that to me when I listen to it today. I can feel the hostility hanging out."

It doesn't hit you right away. "2112" begins in electronic mist and menace created on an ARP synthesizer. Then the thunder cracks. A staccato riff, played in crisp trio unison, and a tumbling ménage of hooks and flourishes from the later movements. There is heavy blues in "Overture" - the arcing sighs and biting-treble shots in Lifeson's soloing. You also hear the distance Rush have travelled from their roots and that first album, as composers and players.

Lee makes his vocal entrance in a commanding alpine register, as the holy police in "The Temples of Syrinx." But he was, In 1976, already a more melodic and nuanced singer than his critics claimed, and Lee plays the seeker, stumbling upon a guitar in "Discovery," with authentic wonder. The band echoes the emotional dynamics in Peart's story with the same fluid contrast: the swerve in temper from hopeful folk-rock to vindictive fury as the priests bring the hammer down in "Presentation"; the jangling guitar in clear-night echo in "Oracle: the Dream"; the furious closing instrumental as Peart's tense tight rolls and Lifeson's growling guitar evoke a last stand with no clear victor.

On the gatefold sleeve, under his credit for the lyrics of "2112," Peart acknowledged "the genius of Ayn Rand." In her epic and controversial novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), Rand advocated rational thought and individualism over collective force and conventional religion, a philosophy she called Objectivism. As Peart wrote the story and words of "2112," he recognized an unintended resemblance to Rand's 1938 novella, Anthem, in which a young rebel-genius is trapped in a society ruled by a council of tyrannical, reactionary scholars.

"It's always difficult to trace those lines, because so many things tend to coalesce," Peart said in a 1991 radio Interview. "I didn't realize it while I was working on it, [but] the parallels became obvious to me. So I did give credit to her writings." But the free will and fighting spirit in "2112" also came from close to home: Lifeson, born Alex Zivojinovic, was the son of Serbian immigrants, while Lee's parents were Polish Jews who had survived the Nazi concentration camps. Ayn Rand was "at some point in my life a formative influence," the bassist, born Gary Lee Weinrib, admitted in 2004. "But one of many," he quickly added.

Side Two of 2112 is, nominally, the commercial half of the album. It also points ahead to the tonal adventure and melodic craft on 1980's Permanent Waves and Rush's second acknowledged classic and biggest seller, 1981's Moving Pictures. Lee flexes his vocal range, in pitch and character, amid the harmony-metal guitars in "The Twilight Zone." He also makes a rare appearance as a lyricist in "Tears," a spare ballad of sorrow and comfort with a pillowy mellotron played by album designer Hugh Syme, who created 2112's memorable "Starman" logo. The electronics and matured production of 2112 led Rush to briefly consider expanding then lineup, to play the music on stage; instead, they embraced multi-tasking. As Lifeson soloed in "A Passage to Bangkok," Lee would play rhythm guitar on a double-necked Rickenbacker while recreating the bass part on a Moog Taurus synthesizer, triggered by a pedal board. (Once, at a Rush show, I saw Lee get a thunderclap effect on a synthesizer with his ass - sitting on the keyboard as he continued playing bass.)

"Something For Nothing" ends 2112 like the suite in miniature. Peart wrote the lyrics after a ride to a gig in Los Angeles, where he spotted graffiti that declared "Freedom Isn't Free." "Let your heart be the anchor/And the beat of your own song," Peart wrote - and Lee sang at the end. But Rush knew that already "At our heaviest, we were touring seven months of the year and recording for two months," Lee told me in another interview, remembering the heavy weather before 2112. "It was hard, but we felt we had to do that because we weren't getting exposure any other way. Besides, we enjoyed playing, and what better way to learn your craft - to refine what you're doing - than to do it?"

I saw that pleasure and pride up close, shortly after my afternoon with Lee in 1978 - the following January, on stage in Pittsburgh. I was on tour with Rush as an honorary roadie, writing a story about crew life for the rock magazine Circus. At the end of the set, after the final climactic chord of "2112," Lifeson ran toward me with a huge grin and his Gibson guitar, which I grabbed and held ready until he ran back, flashing another big smile as the band returned for encores.

"People have this image of us," Lee remarked that day in his living room, "saying, 'You guys take yourselves too seriously.' And I say, 'You're full of shit.' We don't take ourselves too seriously, only what we do, because to us it's worth caring about."

In that way, 2112 is, more than anything, a record about being Rush. Loving music, moving it forward and taking it to the world, whatever the price. And it is perfect.

David Fricke / Rolling Stone / July, 2012

2112: Overture
2112: The Temples Of Syrinx

Moving Pictures Tour
Northlands Coliseum - Edmonton, AB, Canada
June 25, 1981

A Passage To Bangkok
Permanent Waves Tour
Manchester Apollo - Manchester, England
June 17 1980


Produced by Rush and Terry Brown
Engineered by Terry Brown
Arrangements by Rush and Terry Brown
Recorded and stereo mixed at Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada
Roadmaster Howard (Herns) Ungerleider
Roadcrew Major Ian Grandy, L.B.L.B., Skip (Detroit Slider) Gildersleeve

Graphics: Hugh Syme
Photography: Yosh Inouye, Gerard Gentil (Band)

Management: Ray Danniels
Executive Production: Moon Records

A very special thank you to Ray, Vic, Terry, Howard, Ian, Liam, Skip, and Hugh for sharing the load.

Special thanks to (insert your name here)

Special guest Hugh Syme: keyboards on 'Tears'

With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand


Supervised by Jeff Fura and Andy Curran

5.1 Surround Sound Mixed by Richard Chycki at Mixland, Ontario
Mastered by Andy VanDette at Masterdisk, New York NY

Blu-ray Production Facility: Sonic Pool
Menu Design: David Lange
Authoring: Marcus Ionis

Story Art: Tom Hodges
Color Assists: Terri Hodges

Art Direction and Design: Hugh Syme
Photos: Fin Costello and Bruce Cole

Production Manager: Monique McGuffin Newman
Product Manager: Rob Jacobs
Publicity: Sujata Murthy
Clearances: Andrew Labarrere

Management: Ray Danniels at SRO Management, Inc., Toronto

Special thanks: Pegi Cecconi, Meghan Symsyk, Bruce Resnikoff, Herb Agner, Vartan, Mike Diehl, Dave Wright, Carrie Hunt, everyone at SRO/Anthem, Strobosonic, UMD and UMe.

All lyrics ©1976 Core Music Publishing (SOCAN world ex USA / SESAC USA)
All music by Core Music Publishing. Used by permission.
Sheet Music: ©1976 (Renewed), 1981 CORE MUSIC PUBLISHING.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

© 2012 The Island Def Jam Music Group. B0017479-00 anthem

Comic Book Artwork and Lyrics: ©2012 Core Music.

Remastered Audio
Previously Unreleased Bonus Audio:

PCM & DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Surround Sound 96kHZ/24-bit
PCM Stereo 96kHz/24-bit

Additional Features:
Lyrics - English
Liner Notes - English
Photo Gallery
Digital Comic Book

PRODUCER'S NOTE: With this disc you are now able to hear at home what we hear in the studio. This disc contains all 6 tracks from 2112 in high resolution 96kHz 24-bit PCM stereo, PCM 5.1 surround sound and DTS-Hd Master Audio 5.1 surround sound. It is primarily an audio-only disc with basic navigation and song information displayed on-screen. The 96kHz 24-bit audio on this disc has 256 times more resolution than a CD, providing greater detail and reproducing the music's full dynamic range, from the softest to the loudest sounds.


© 2012 The Island Def Jam Music Group, 1755 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 - U.S.A.
Distributed by Universal Music Distribution. All rights reserved. B0017747-00

  • Big Time Rush: An Interview with Alex Lifeson - Guitar World Magazine, April 2013

  • Track Listing (click on any track for the lyrics)

    1. 2112 (20:34)
    2. A Passage to Bangkok (3:35)
    3. The Twilight Zone (3:20)
    4. Lessons (3:53)
    5. Tears (3:35)
    6. Something For Nothing (4:04)
    7. 2112: Overture (Live) (4:31)
    8. 2112: The Temples Of Syrinx (Live) (2:21)
    9. A Passage To Bangkok (Live) (3:57)

    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    I. Overture
    "And the meek shall inherit the earth."

    II. Temples of Syrinx
    "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every
    Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single
    facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our
    music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the

    We've taken care of everything
    The words you hear the songs you sing
    The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.

    It's one for all and all for one
    We work together common sons
    Never need to wonder how or why.

    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

    Look around this world we made
    Equality our stock in trade
    Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
    Oh what a nice contented world
    Let the banners be unfurled
    Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.

    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

    III. Discovery
    "Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath
    the cave, I found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up,
    holding it reverently in my hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was

    "I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make
    them sound differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced
    my first harmonious sounds, and soon my own music! How different it could be
    from the music of the Temples! I can't wait to tell the priests about it! ..."

    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

    See how it sings like a sad heart
    And joyously screams out its pain
    Sounds that build high like a mountain
    Or notes that fall gently like rain.

    I can't wait to share this new wonder
    The people will all see its light
    Let them all make their own music
    The Priests praise my name on this night.

    IV. Presentation
    "In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of
    grim, expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent
    voice echoed throughout the silent Temple Hall."

    "Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet
    rejection! Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror
    as Father Brown ground my precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet..."

    I know it's most unusual
    To come before you so
    But I've found an ancient miracle
    I thought that you should know

    Listen to my music
    And hear what it can do
    There's something here as strong as life
    I know that it will reach you.

    Yes, we know it's nothing new
    It's just a waste of time
    We have no need for ancient ways
    The world is doing fine

    Another toy will help destroy
    The elder race of man
    Forget about your silly whim
    It doesn't fit the plan.

    I can't believe you're saying
    These things just can't be true
    Our world could use this beauty
    Just think what we might do.

    Listen to my music
    And hear what it can do
    There's something here as strong as life
    I know that it will reach you.

    Don't annoy us further
    We have our work to do.
    Just think about the average
    What use have they for you?

    Another toy will help destroy
    The elder race of man
    Forget about your silly whim
    It doesn't fit the plan.

    V. Oracle: The Dream
    "I guess it was a dream, but even now it all seems so vivid to me. Clearly
    yet I see the beckoning hand of the oracle as he stood at the summit of the

    "I see still the incredible beauty of the sculptured cities and the pure
    spirit of man revealed in the lives and works of this world. I was overwhelmed
    by both wonder and understanding as I saw a completely different way to life, a
    way that had been crushed by the Federation long ago. I saw now how
    meaningless life had become with the loss of all these things ..."

    I wandered home though the silent streets
    And fell into a fitful sleep
    Escape to realms beyond the night
    Dream can't you show me the light?

    I stand atop a spiral stair
    An oracle confronts me there
    He leads me on light years away
    Through astral nights, galactic days

    I see the works of gifted hands
    That grace this strange and wondrous land
    I see the hand of man arise
    With hungry mind and open eyes

    They left the planet long ago
    The elder race still learn and grow
    Their power grows with purpose strong
    To claim the home where they belong
    Home, to tear the Temples down...
    Home, to change..

    VI. Soliloquy
    "I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my
    total despair. I have only the music of the waterfall to comfort me now. I
    can no longer live under the control of the Federation, but there is no other
    place to go. My last hope is that with my death I may pass into the world of
    my dream, and know peace at last."

    The sleep is still in my eyes
    The dream is still in my head
    I heave a sigh and sadly smile
    And lie a while in bed
    I wish that it might come to pass
    Not fade like all my dreams

    Just think of what my life might be
    In a world like I have seen
    I don't think I can carry on
    Carry on this cold and empty life

    My spirits are low in the depths of despair
    My lifeblood spills over..

    VII. The Grand Finale
    Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
    Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
    Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
    We have assumed control.
    We have assumed control.
    We have assumed control.

    A Passage to Bangkok
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    Our first stop is in Bogota
    To check Colombian fields
    The natives smile and pass along
    A sample of their yield
    Sweet Jamaican pipe dreams
    Golden Acapulco nights
    Then Morocco, and the East,
    Fly by morning light

    We're on the train to Bangkok
    Aboard the Thailand Express
    We'll hit the stops along the way
    We only stop for the best

    Wreathed in smoke in Lebanon
    We burn the midnight oil
    The fragrance of Afghanistan
    Rewards a long day's toil
    Pulling into Katmandu
    Smoke rings fill the air
    Perfumed by a Nepal night
    The Express gets you there

    The Twilight Zone
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    A pleasant faced man steps up to greet you
    He smiles and says he's pleased to meet you
    Beneath his hat the strangeness lies
    Take it off, he's got three eyes
    Truth is false and logic lost
    Now the fourth dimension is crossed

    You have entered the Twilight Zone
    Beyond this world strange things are known
    Use the key, unlock the door
    See what your fate might have in store
    Come explore your dreams' creation
    Enter this world of imagination

    Wake up lost in an empty town
    Wondering why no one else is around
    Look up to see a giant boy
    You've just become his brand new toy
    No escape, no place to hide
    Here where Time and Space collide

    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Alex Lifeson

    Sweet memories Flashing very quickly by
    Reminding me Giving me a reason why
    I know that My goal is more than a thought
    I'll be there When I teach what I've been taught

    You know we've told you before
    But you didn't hear us then
    So you still question why
    You didn't listen again

    Sweet memories I never thought it would be like this
    Reminding me Just how close I came to missing
    I know that This is the way for me to go
    You'll be there When you know what I know

    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Geddy Lee

    All of the seasons
    And all of the days
    All of the reasons
    Why I've felt this way
    So long
    So long

    Then lost in that feeling
    I looked in your eyes
    I noticed emotion
    And that you had cried
    For me
    I can see

    What would touch me deeper
    Tears that fall from eyes
    That only cry?
    Would it touch you deeper
    Than tears that fall from eyes
    That know why?

    A lifetime of questions
    Tears on your cheek
    I tasted the answers
    And my body was weak
    For you
    The truth

    Something For Nothing
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    Waiting for the winds of change
    To sweep the clouds away
    Waiting for the rainbow's end
    To cast its gold your way
    Countless ways
    You pass the days

    Waiting for someone to call
    And turn your world around
    Looking for an answer to
    The question you have found
    Looking for
    An open door

    You don't get something for nothing
    You don't get freedom for free
    You won't get wise
    With the sleep still in your eyes
    No matter what your dreams might be

    What you own is your own kingdom
    What you do is your own glory
    What you love is your own power
    What you live is your own story
    In your head is the answer
    Let it guide you along
    Let your heart be the anchor
    And the beat of your own song

    2112: Overture (Live)

    performed during the Moving Pictures Tour
    Northlands Coliseum - Edmonton, AB, Canada
    June 25, 1981

    2112: The Temples Of Syrinx (Live)

    performed during the Moving Pictures Tour
    Northlands Coliseum - Edmonton, AB, Canada
    June 25, 1981

    A Passage To Bangkok (Live)

    performed during the Permanent Waves Tour
    Manchester Apollo - Manchester, England
    June 17 1980