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Rush - Hold Your Fire

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Released: September 8th, 1987
Certified Gold by RIAA: November 9, 1987

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Highest Billboard Chart Position: 13
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Liner Notes

Geddy Lee: Bass guitar, synthesizers, bass pedals, vocals
Alex Lifeson: Electric and acoustic guitars
Neil Peart: Drums, percussion, and electronic percussion

Produced by Peter Collins and Rush
Engineered by Jimbo (James) Barton
Arrangements by Rush and Peter Collins

Recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire assisted by Micheal Ade, Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, assisted by Reynold Swan, Air studios, Montserrat, assisted by Ken Blair, McClear Place, Toronto, assisted by Martin Lee, and on the Lexst Mobile, assisted by Lerxst, between January and April 1987
Mixed at Guillaume Tell Studio, Paris, May 1987, assisté de Philip Cusset

Synthesizer programming assisted by Andy Richards and Jim Burgess
Additional keyboards by Andy Richards
Additional vocals by Aimee Mann, courtesy of Epic Records
Strings arranged and conducted by Steven Margoshes, recorded at McClear Place
The William Faerey Engineering Brass Band arranged and conducted by Andrew Jackman, recorded at Mirage Studio, Oldham, England
Preproduction work at Elora Sound, engineered by Jon Erickson

Mastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
Management by Ray Danniels, SRO Management, Inc., Toronto
Executive Production by Moon Records, Val Azzoli and Liam Birt

Art Direction by Hugh Syme
Photography by Glen Wexler
Urban Development by Scott Alexander, Patrick Johnson and Olivia Ramirez

Tour Manager and Lighting Director: Howard Ungerleider
President and Stage Manager: Liam Birt
Production Manager: Nick Kotos
Concert Sound Engineer: Jon Erickson
Stage Left Technician: Skip Gildersleeve
Centre Stage Technician: Larry Allen
Synthesizer Maintenance: Tony Geranios
Stage Right Technician: Jim Johnson
Stage Monitor Engineer: Steve Byron
Concert Projectionist: Lee Tenner
Personal Shreve: Kevin Flewitt
Carpenter (and Stage Right Assistant): George Steinert

Concert Sound by See Factor: Jim Staniforth, Bill Fertig, Tom Varaday, Harry Martinez
Concert Lighting by See Factor: Frank Scilingo, Jack Funk, Scott Maskin, Ethan Weber
Concert Rigging by Southfire Rigging, Billy Collins, Don Collins, C.J. Titterington III
Lasers by Laser Media, Craig Spredeman, Peter Callahan
Drivers: Tom Whittaker, Mac MacLear, Pat Lynes, Red McBrine, Earl Charles, Tom Mullins, John Mullins, Tom Hartman and Russell Fleming

"Nothing can survive in a vacuum"- and we would like to thank all those who have enriched our atmospheres: Bill, Linda, and Joanne at Elora Sound; Lynne, Mike, Michael, Ian, Jenni, Vicki, Julie, Flecky and Fruthy at The Manor; Frank, Ann, Ren, Fee, Laura, Tracy and Speedy at Ridge Farm; Yvonne, Malcolm, Ken, Frank, George, Franklin, Desmond, Lloyd, Leroy, Felena, Shirley and Danny in Montserrat; Bob, Martin, Tom, Hayward, Wendy and everyone at McClear Place, and Roland, Liouba, Paul, Alain, Cyril and Philip at Guillaume Tell. Elsewhere we have been aided and/or entertained by: the Steve Morse Band and crew, Jeff "Yankel" Berlin, Bill Churchman, Paul Fejdman, Flembo, Stade Roland Garros, International Herald Tribune, Rock-it Cargo, B. Zee Brokers, Warren Seyffert, Jeff Spinks, Rockin' F, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Princess Lynda Barry, The Senator, Macintosh Plus, the Gangster of Boats, the ever popular Scoozball, M. Joe (for continuing inspiration), Those Darn Fish, Patsy Cline, Roy Gevalt, The Big V, Luke Warm and all cowboys everywhere.
And perpetual thanks to our "support crew" at the Anthem Entertainment Group: Ray, Val, Sheila, Pegi, Lesley, Linda, Charlene, Bob and Cindy.

We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of Jim Burgess and "Saved By Technology," Wal Basses, Russ Heinl, Signature Guitars, The Percussion Center of Fort Wayne, Ludwig Drums, Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, and-

The Omega Concern.

© 1987 Mercury Records © 1987 Anthem Entertainment

  • Lifeson Times - Kerrang! Magazine, October 1987
  • Prolific Rush Surprises Lee - Billboard Magazine, October 1987
  • Rush: Holding On To What They've Got - Scene Magazine, December 1987
  • Fire In The Hold - Music Technology Magazine, February 1988
  • All Fired Up - Metal Hammer Magazine, April 1988
  • Alex Lifeson / Geddy Lee: Together Again in Rush - Guitar World Magazine, April 1988
  • Another Round of Rush 'N' Roulette - Sounds Magazine, May 1988
  • Geddy Lee: Bass Is Still The Key - Bass Player Magazine, November 1988

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

    1. Force Ten (4:28)
    2. Time Stand Still (5:07)
    3. Open Secrets (5:37)
    4. Second Nature (4:35)
    5. Prime Mover (5:19)
    6. Lock and Key (5:08)
    7. Mission (5:15)
    8. Turn the Page (4:53)
    9. Tai Shan (4:14)
    10. High Water (5:32)

    Force Ten
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart and Pye Dubois

    Tough times demand tough talk
    demand tough hearts demand tough songs
    demand --

    We can rise and fall like empires
    Flow in and out like the tide
    Be vain and smart, humble and dumb
    We can hit and miss like pride

    We can circle around like hurricanes
    Dance and dream like lovers
    Attack the day like birds of prey
    Or scavengers under cover

    Look in --
    To the eye of the storm
    Look out --
    For the force without form
    Look around --
    At the sight and the sound
    Look in look out look around --

    We can move with savage grace
    To the rhythms of the night
    Cool and remote like dancing girls
    In the heat of the beat and the lights

    We can wear the rose of romance
    An air of joie de vivre
    Too-tender hearts upon our sleeves
    Or skin as thick as thieves'

    rising falling at force ten
    we twist the world and ride the wind

    Look in --
    look the storm in the eye
    Look out --
    to the sea and the sky
    Look around --
    at the sight and the sound
    Look in look out look around --

    Time Stand Still
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    I turn my back to the wind
    To catch my breath,
    Before I start off again.
    Driven on
    Without a moment to spend
    To pass an evening
    With a drink and a friend

    I let my skin get too thin
    I'd like to pause,
    No matter what I pretend
    Like some pilgrim --
    Who learns to transcend --
    Learns to live
    As if each step was the end

    Time stand still --
    I'm not looking back --
    But I want to look around me now
    See more of the people
    And the places that surround me now

    Freeze this moment
    A little bit longer
    Make each sensation
    A little bit stronger
    Experience slips away...

    I turn my face to the sun
    Close my eyes,
    Let my defences down --
    All those wounds
    That I can't get unwound

    I let my past go too fast
    No time to pause --
    If I could slow it all down
    Like some captain,
    Whose ship runs aground --
    I can wait until the tide
    Comes around

    Make each impression
    A little bit stronger
    Freeze this motion
    A little bit longer
    The innocence slips away...

    Summer's going fast--
    Nights growing colder
    Children growing up --
    old friends growing older
    Experience slips away...

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

    It went right by me --
    At the time it went over my head
    I was looking out the window
    I should have looked
    At your face instead

    It went right by me --
    Just another wall
    There should have been a moment
    When we let our barriers fall
    I never meant
    What you're thinking --
    That is not what I meant at all...

    Well I guess
    We all have these feelings
    We can't leave unreconciled
    Some of them burned on our ceilings
    Some of them learned as a child

    The things that we're concealing
    Will never let us grow
    Time will do its healing
    You've got to let it go

    Closed for my protection --
    Open to your scorn
    Between these two directions
    My heart is sometimes torn

    I lie awake with my secrets
    Spinning around my head
    Something that somehow
    Wscaped me --
    Something you shouldn't have said
    I was looking out the window
    I should have looked
    At your face instead...

    I find no absolution
    In my rational point of view
    Maybe some things are instinctive
    But there's one thing you could do
    You could try to understand me --
    I could try to understand you...

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

    A memo to a higher office
    Open letter to the powers-that-be
    To a God, a king, a head of state
    A captain of industry
    To the movers and the shakers --
    Can't everybody see?

    It ought to be second nature --
    I mean, the places where we live!
    Let's talk about this sensibly --
    We're not insensitive
    I know progress has no patience --
    But something's got to give

    I know you're different --
    You know I'm the same
    We're both too busy
    To be taking the blame
    I'd like some changes
    But you don't have the time
    We can't go on thinking
    It's a victimless crime
    No one is blameless,
    But we're all without shame
    We fight the fire
    While we're
    Feeding the flames

    Folks have got to make choices --
    And choices got to have voices
    Folks are basically decent
    Conventional wisdom would say
    Well, we read about
    The exceptions
    In the papers every day

    It ought to be second nature --
    At least, that's what I feel
    "Now I lay me down in Dreamland" --
    I know perfect's not for real
    I thought we might get closer --
    But I'm ready to make a deal

    Today is different,
    And tomorrow the same
    It's hard to take the world
    The way that it came
    Too many rapids
    Keep us sweeping along
    Too many captains
    Keep on steering us wrong
    It's hard to take the heat --
    It's hard to lay blame
    To fight the fire --
    While we're
    Feeding the flames

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

    Basic elemental
    Instinct to survive
    Stirs the higher passions
    Thrill to be alive

    Alternating currents
    In a tidewater surge
    Rational resistance
    To an unwise urge
    anything can happen

    From the point of conception
    To the moment of Truth
    At the point of surrender
    To the burden of proof

    From the point of ignition
    To the final drive
    The point of the journey
    Is not to arrive
    anything can happen

    Basic temperamental
    Filters on our eyes
    Alter our perceptions
    Lenses polarize

    Alternating currents
    Force a show of hands
    Rational responses
    Force a change of plans
    anything can happen

    From a point on the compass
    To magnetic north
    The point of the needle
    Moving back and forth

    From the point of entry --
    Until the candle is burned
    The point of departure --
    Is not to return
    anything can happen

    I set the wheels in motion
    turn up all the machines
    activate the programs
    and run behind the scene

    I set the clouds in motion
    turn up light and sound
    activate the window
    and watch the world go 'round --

    anything can happen

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

    I don't want to face
    The killer instinct --
    Face it in your or me

    We carry a sensitive cargo
    Below the waterline --
    Ticking like a time bomb
    With a primitive design

    Behind the finer feelings --
    This civilized veneer --
    The heart of a lonely hunter
    Guards a dangerous frontier

    The balance can sometimes fail --
    Strong emotions can tip the scale --

    Don't want to silence
    A desperate voice
    For the sake of security
    No one wants to make
    A terrible choice
    On the price of being free
    I don't want to face
    The killer instinct --
    Face it in you or me
    So we keep it under lock and key...

    It's not a matter of mercy
    It's not a matter of laws
    Plenty of people will kill you
    For some fanatical cause

    It's not a matter of conscience --
    A search for probable cause
    It's just a matter of instinct --
    A matter of fatal flaws

    No reward for resistance
    No assistance --
    no applause...

    we don't want to be victims
    on that we all agree
    so we lock up the killer instinct --
    and throw away the key...

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

    Hold your fire --
    Keep it burning bright
    Hold the flame
    'Til the dream ignites --
    A spirit with a vision
    Is a dream with a mission

    I hear their passionate music
    Read the words
    That touch my heart
    I gaze at their feverish pictures
    The secrets that set them apart

    When I feel the powerful visions
    Their fire has made alive
    I wish I had that instinct --
    I wish I had that drive

    Spirits fly on dangerous missions
    Imaginations on fire
    Focused high on soaring ambitions
    Consumed in a single desire

    In the grip
    Of a nameless possession --
    A slave to the drive of obsession --
    A spirit with a vision
    Is a dream with a mission...

    I watch their images flicker
    Bringing light to a lifeless screen
    I walk through
    Their beautiful buildings
    And I wish I had their dreams

    But dreams don't need
    To have motion
    To keep their spark alive
    Obsession has to have action --
    Pride turns on the drive

    It's cold comfort
    To the ones without it
    To know how they struggled --
    How they suffered about it

    If their lives were
    Exotic and strange
    They would likely have
    Gladly exchanged them
    For something a little more plain
    Maybe something a little more sane

    We each pay a fabulous price
    For our visions of paradise
    But a spirit with a vision
    Is a dream with a mission...

    Turn the Page
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    Nothing can survive in a vacuum
    No one can exists all alone
    We pretend things
    Only happen to strangers
    We've all got problems of our own

    It's enough to learn
    To share our pleasures
    We can't sooth pain with sympathy
    All that we can do is be reminded --
    We shake our heads at the tragedy

    Every day we're standing
    In a time capsule
    Racing down a river from the past
    Every day we're standing
    In a wind tunnel
    Facing down the future coming fast

    It's just the age
    It's just a stage --
    We disengage --
    We turn the page...

    Looking at
    The long-range forecast
    Catching all the names in the news
    Checking out
    The state of the nation
    Learning the environmental blues

    Truth is after all a moving target
    Hairs to split
    And pieces that don't fit
    How can anybody be enlightened?
    Truth is after all so poorly lit

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

    High on the sacred mountain
    Up the seven thousand stairs
    In the golden light of autumn
    There was magic in the air

    Clouds surrounded the summit
    The wind blew strong and cold
    Among the silent temples
    And the writing carved in gold
    Somewhere in my instincts
    The primitive took hold...

    I stood at the top of the mountain
    And China sang to me
    In the peaceful haze of harvest time
    A song of eternity --

    If you raise your hands to heaven
    You will live a hundred years
    I stood there like a mystic
    Lost in the atmosphere

    The clouds were suddenly parted
    For a moment I could see
    The patterns of the landscape
    Reaching to the eastern sea
    I looked upon a presence
    Spanning forty centuries...

    I thought of time and distance
    The hardships of history
    I heard the hope and the hunger
    When China sang to me...

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

    When the waters rose
    In the darkness
    In the wake of the endless flood
    It flowed into our memory --
    It flowed into our blood --

    When something broke the surface
    Just to see the starry dome --
    We still feel that relation
    When the water takes us home
    In the flying spray of the ocean
    The water takes you home --

    Springing from the weight
    Of the mountains
    Like the heart of the earth
    Would burst
    Flowing out from marble fountains
    In the dreams of a desert thirst

    Something swam through
    The jungles
    Where the mighty rivers roam --
    Something breaks the silence
    When the water takes you home
    I hear the wordless voices
    When the water takes me home --

    Waves that crash on the shoreline
    Torrents of tropical rain
    Streaming down
    Beyond our memory
    Streaming down inside our veins

    When something left the ocean
    To crawl high above the foam --
    We still feel that elation
    When the water takes us home
    In a driving rain of redemption
    The water takes me home...