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Rush - Presto

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PRESTO
Released: November 21st, 1989
Certified Gold by RIAA: January 11, 1990
View All Album Certifications

Highest Billboard Chart Position: 16
|Hold Your Fire| -- |Lyrics| -- |Liner Notes| -- |Articles| -- |Album Artwork| -- |Album Review| -- |Tour Dates| -- |Purchase| -- |Roll the Bones|

Liner Notes

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

Produced by Rupert Hine and Rush
Engineered by Stephen W. Tayler
Arrangements by Rush and Rupert Hine

Recorded June--August 1989
Le Studio, Morin Heights, assisted by Simon Pressey and Jacques Deveau
McClear Place, Toronto, assisted by Rick Andersen
Mixed September 1989 at Metropolis, London, assisted by Matt Howe

Additional keyboards by Rupert Hine and Jason Sniderman
Additional backround vocals by Rupert Hine
Preproduction work at Chalet Studio, engineered by Lerxst, assisted by Everett Ravenstein
Technical support from Liam Birt, Jack Secret, Jim Johnson, Larry Allen, and Jim Burgess, with continuing thanks to Herns, Skip, Nick, Whitey, Schatzie...and the rest.

Mastered by Bob Ludwig, Masterdisk NYC
Management by Ray Danniels, SRO Management Inc., Toronto
Executive Production by Moon Records: Val Azzoli and Liam Birt

Art Direction by Hugh Syme
Photgraphy by Scarpati
Wrabit Wrangler: Mark Demont, Fins, Feathers, and Furs
Portraits by Andrew MacNaughtan

A wave of the wind to: At Chalet Studio--David, Chad Everett C. Koop, Camille, Charles, Rb, Pl, Chester Sight and Sound, Chop Joneson's Body Shop, Tomek, Scoozball, and the Psychedelic Shack. At Le Studio--Richard, Simon, Jacques, Ginette, Linda, Richard Raccoon, Volleyball, The Mighty Gubus, The Whingies, and the Smitty Family. At McClear Place--Bob, Rick, Robert Hinge, Stats Dooey, Ohe 2he. At Metropolis--Karen, mini-Matt, Mark, Catherine, and all the hospitable staff and management. At SRO--Ray, Sheila, Pegi, Kim, and Evelyn (A Farewell To Val).
We also offer a tip of the magical hat to Natasha and Kingsley, Red and the 2-Bar, Doug Morris and Atlantic Records, Mike Roberts for the acorn of "Superconductor," and a very special thank you to the Flemings: Peter, Jenny, Joe, and Alex, for their hospitality in London.
Brought to you buy the letter "D."

We appreciate technical contributions from Saved By Technology, Wal Basses, Signature Guitars, Ludwig Drums, Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Solid Percussion, and--The Omega Concern.

1989 Atlantic Records 1989 Anthem Entertainment


Articles
  • The Meaning of Lifeson - Kerrang! Magazine, November 1989
  • Rush Remains Canada's Top Pop Export - Winnipeg Free Press, January 1990
  • Rush Backstage Club Newsletter - Rush Backstage Club Press, February 1990
  • Something Up Their Sleeves - Music Express Magazine, February 1990
  • Presto Change-O - Canadian Musician Magazine, April 1990
  • Alex Lifeson: Magic Man - Guitar School Magazine, May 1990
  • Excuse Me, Do You Happen To Know Where Rush Are Playing Tonight? - Kerrang! Magazine, July 1990
  • Rush: Canada's Premiere Hard Rockers Remain a Cult in Britain - Record Collector Magazine, December 1990
  • Alex Lifeson: The Art Of Preparation - Guitar For The Practicing Musician, May 1991

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

    1. Show Don't Tell (5:01)
    2. Chain Lightning (4:33)
    3. The Pass (4:51)
    4. War Paint (5:24)
    5. Scars (4:07)
    6. Presto (5:45)
    7. Superconductor (4:47)
    8. Anagram (for Mongo) (4:00)
    9. Red Tide (4:29)
    10. Hand Over Fist (4:11)
    11. Available Light (5:03)



    Show Don't Tell
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    how many times do you hear it?
    it goes on all day long
    everyone knows everything
    and no one's ever wrong
    until later

    who can you believe?
    it's hard to play it safe
    but apart from a few good friends
    we don't take anything on faith
    until later

    Show Don't Tell

    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    You've figured out the score
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    I've heard it all before
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    I don't care what you say
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME

    you can twist perceptions
    reality won't budge
    you can raise objections
    I will be the judge
    and the jury

    I'll give it due reflection
    watching from the fence
    give the jury direction
    based on the evidence
    I, the jury

    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Hey - order in the court
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Let's try to keep it short
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Enough of your demands
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Witness take the stand
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME

    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Hey - order in the court
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Let's try to keep it short
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    I don't care what you say
    SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME
    Let's see exhibit A


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

    energy is contagious
    enthusiasm spreads
    tides respond to lunar gravitation
    wverything turns in synchronous relation

    laughter is infectious
    excitement goes to my head
    winds are stirred by planets in rotation
    sparks ignite and spread new information

    respond, vibrate, feed back, resonate

    sun dogs fire on the horizon
    meteor rain stars across the night
    this moment may be brief
    but it can be so bright


    hope is epidemic
    optimism spreads
    bitterness breeds irritation
    ignorance breeds imitation

    sun dogs fire on the horizon
    meteor rain stars across the night
    this moment may be brief
    but it can be so bright
    reflected in another source of light
    when the moment dies
    the spark still flies
    reflected in another pair of eyes


    dreams are sometimes catching
    desire goes to my head
    love responds to your invitation
    love responds to imagination

    respond, vibrate, feed back, resonate


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

    proud swagger out of the schoolyard
    waiting for the world's applause
    rebel without a conscience
    martyr without a cause

    static on your frequency
    electrical storm in your veins
    raging at unreachable glory
    straining at invisible chains

    and now you're trembling on a rocky ledge
    staring down into a heartless sea
    can't face life on a razor's edge
    nothing's what you thought it would be


    All of us get lost in the darkness
    Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
    All of us do time in the gutter
    Dreamers turn to look at the cars
    turn around and turn around and turn around
    Turn around and walk the razor's edge
    Don't turn your back
    And slam the door on me

    it's not as if this barricade
    blocks the only road
    it's not as if you're all alone
    in wanting to explode

    someone set a bad example
    made surrender seem all right
    the act of a noble warrior
    who lost the will to fight

    and now you're trembling on a rocky ledge
    staring down into a heartless sea
    done with life on a razor's edge
    nothing's what you thought it would be


    no hero in your tragedy
    no daring in your escape
    no salutes for your surrender
    nothing noble in your fate

    Christ, what have you done?


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

    girl before the mirror
    appraises her disguise
    child become a mother
    tries to fix her eyes
    no more of his excuses
    it has to be today
    she can keep her fantasy
    if she can get away

    paint her name on a one-way street
    painted cheeks with angry heat
    wounded pride on painted eyes
    paint the night with battlecries


    all puffed up with vanity
    we see what we want to see
    to the beautiful and the wise
    the mirror always lies


    boy before the mirror
    checks his camoflauge
    polishes his armor
    and the charger in the garage
    no more lame excuses
    it has to be tonight
    he can take the princess
    if he can take the fight

    pound the drums with martial beat
    pound the streets with marching feet
    wounded pride, distorted eyes
    paint the night with battlecries

    all puffed up with vanity
    we see what we want to see
    to the powerful and the wise
    the mirror always lies


    boys and girls together
    mistake conceit for pride
    - ambition for illusion
    - dreams for self-delusion
    girls and boys together
    see what it is we lack
    boys and girls together
    let's paint the mirror black
    paint it black


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

    I've stood upon my mountaintop
    and shouted at the sky
    walked above the pavement
    with my sense amplified
    - I get this feeling


    all my nerves are naked wires
    tender to the touch
    sometimes super-sensitive
    but who can care too much?
    - I get this feeling


    Scars of pleasure
    Scars of pain
    Atmospheric changes
    Make them sensitive again


    each emotional injury
    leaves behind its mark
    sometimes they come tumbling out
    like shadows in the dark
    - I get this feeling


    when I think about all I have seen
    and all I'll never see
    when I think about the people
    who have opened up to me
    - I get this feeling


    snow falls deep around my house
    and holds the winter light
    I've heard the lions hunting
    in the Serengeti night
    - I get this feeling


    forests turned to factories
    and river, sea, and sky
    hungry child in the desert
    and the flies that cloud her eyes
    - I get this feeling


    Pleasure leaves a fingerprint
    As surely as mortal pain
    In memories they resonate
    And echo back again



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

    if I could wave my magic wand...

    I am made from the dust of the stars
    and the oceans flow in my veins
    Here I hide in the heart of the city
    like a stranger coming out of the rain

    the evening plane rises up from the runway
    over constellations of light
    I look down into a million houses
    and wonder what you're doing tonight

    If I could wave my magic wand
    I'd make everything all right

    I'm not one to believe in magic
    But I sometimes have a second-sight
    I'm not one with a sense of proportion
    When my heart still changes overnight


    I had a dream of a winter garden
    a midnight rendezvous
    silver, blue, and frozen silence
    what a fool I was for you

    I had a dream of the open water
    I was swimming away out to sea
    so deep I could never touch bottom
    what a fool I used to be

    If I could wave my magic wand
    I'd set everybody free

    I'm not one to believe in magic
    Though my memory has a second-sight
    I'm not one to go pointing my finger
    When I radiate more heat than light


    don't ask me
    I'm just improvising
    my illusion of careless flight
    can't you see
    my temperature's rising
    I radiate more heat than light

    don't ask me
    I'm just sympathizing
    my illusions a harmless flight
    can't you see
    my temperature's rising
    I radiate more heat than light


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

    packaged like a rebel or a hero
    target mass appeal
    to make an audience feel
    he really means it

    package the illusion of persona
    careful to conceal
    the fact that she's only too real
    she's got to screen it

    hit you in a soft place
    a melody so sweet
    a strong and simple beat
    that you can dance to


    Watch his every move
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    Orchestrate illusions
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    Watch his every move
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    Hoping you'll believe
    Designing to deceive
    That's entertainment


    he can put a target on the market
    bask in your applause
    reality withdraws
    now he believes it

    the role becomes the actor
    she's addicted to applause
    the stage a world because
    she never leaves it

    hit you in a soft place
    with sentimental ease
    they know the fantasies
    that you romance to


    Watch her every move
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    She can manipulate reactions
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    Watch her every move
    SUPERCONDUCTOR
    Pin the donkeys on her tail
    Fantasy for sale
    That's entertainment.



    Anagram (for Mongo)
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    there's a snake coming out of the darkness
    parade from paradise
    end the need for eden
    chase the dreams of merchandise

    there is tic and toc in atomic
    leaders make a deal
    the cosmic is largely comic
    a con they couldn't conceal

    There is no safe seat at the feast
    Take your best stab at the beast
    The night is turning thin
    The saint is turning to sin


    raise the art to resistance
    danger dare to be grand
    pride reduced to humble pie
    diamonds down to sand

    take heart from earth and weather
    the brightness of new birth
    take heart from the harvest
    shave the harvest from the earth

    Reasoning is partly insane
    Image just an eyeless game
    The night is turning thin
    The saint is turning to sin


    miracles will have their claimers
    more will bow to Rome
    he and she are in the house
    but there's only me at home

    rose is a rose of splendor
    posed to respond in the end
    lonely things like nights,
    I find, end finer with a friend

    I hear in the rate of her heart
    A tear in the heat of the art

    The night turns thin
    The saint turns to sin



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

    nature has some new plague
    to run in our streets
    history some new wrinkle
    we are doomed to repeat
    fugitives at the bedroom door
    lovers pause to find an open store
    rain is burning on the forest floor
    and the red tide kisses the shore

    THIS IS NOT A FALSE ALARM
    THIS IS NOT A TEST


    stay out of the sun
    it only burns my skin
    sky full of poison
    and the atmosphere's too thin
    bless the sun, the rain no more
    river running like an open sore
    black wind falling to the ocean floor
    and the red tide washes ashore


    THIS IS NOT A FALSE ALARM
    THIS IS NOT A TEST

    Nowhere we can fly away
    Nowhere we can rest
    The party is disrupted by
    An uninvited guest


    deadline approaches
    for the weary land
    it used to be something
    but we let it run down in our hands
    too late for debate, too bad to ignore
    quiet rebellion leads to open war
    bring a sea-change to the factory floor
    as the red tide covers the shore

    Now's the time to turn the tide
    Now's the time to fight
    Let us not go gently
    To the endless winter night

    Now's the time to make the time
    While hope is still in sight
    Let us not go gently
    To the endless winter night



    Hand Over Fist
    Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson / Lyrics: Neil Peart

    hand over fist
    paper around the stone
    scissors cut the paper
    cut the paper to the bone
    hand over fist
    paper around the stone
    scissors cut the paper
    and the rock must stand alone


    I could disappear into the crowd
    but not if I keep my head in the clouds
    I could walk away so proud
    it's easy enough if you don't laugh too loud

    I thought I was okay alone
    wait for the postman and the telephone
    lost in a world of my own
    I thought I could run alone
    thought I could run through the night alone

    Hand over hand
    Doesn't seem so much
    Hand over hand
    Is the strength of the common touch


    you talk as we walk along
    you never imagined I could be so wrong
    humming your favorite song
    you know I've hated that song for so long

    how can we ever agree?
    like the rest of the world
    we grow farther apart
    I swear you don't listen to me
    holding my hand to my heart
    holding my fist to my racing heart

    Take a walk outside myself
    In some exotic land
    Greet a passing stranger
    Feel the strength in his hand
    Feel the world expand

    I feel my spirit resist
    But I open up my fist
    Lay hand over hand over
    Hand over fist



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

    the restless wind
    has seen all things
    in every kind of light
    rising with the full moon
    to go howling through the night

    the sleepless wind
    has heard all things
    between the sea and sky
    in the canyons of the city
    you can hear the buildings cry

    oh the wind can carry
    all the voices of the sea
    oh the wind can carry
    all the echoes home to me


    Run with wind and weather
    To the music of the sea
    All four winds together
    Can't bring the world to me
    Chase the wind around the world
    I want to look at life - In the available light

    play of light
    a photograph
    the way I used to be
    some half-forgotten stranger
    doesn't mean that much to me

    trick of light
    moving picture
    moments caught in flight
    make the shadows darker
    or the colors shine too bright

    oh the light can carry
    all the visions of the sea
    oh the light can carry
    all the images to me


    Run to light from shadow
    Sun gives me no rest
    Promise offered in the east
    Broken in the west
    Chase the sun around the world
    I want to look at life - In the available light

    All four winds together
    Can't bring the world to me
    Shadows hide the play of light
    So much I want to see
    Chase the light around the world
    I want to look at life - In the available light

    I'll go with the wind
    I'll stand in the light