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SPIRIT OF THE AIRWAVES
Live 1980 Radio Broadcast
Released: March 10th, 2014
Highest Billboard Chart Position: N/A
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THIS OUTSTANDING LIVE BROADCAST captures a superb gig by Rush during the band's extensive 'Permanent Waves' tour in 1980 at St. Louis' Kiel Auditorium, the 'Permanent Waves' album the group were promoting having been released on the 1st of January that year. The tour began on 12th of January* in Michigan, took in some Canadian dates and eventually wound up back in New York on the 23rd of May, before they headed overseas to perform a further 18 dates in the UK during June.
At this stage, Rush were at a highpoint in their lengthy career. Since forming in Willowdale, Toronto twelve years earlier, Rush had released seven albums to increasing acclaim and sales. The band's line-up had been rock solid since drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart had completed the trio format with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson shortly after the recording of the group's eponymously titled debut in 1974. Onstage Neil has always been a showman, inspired by flamboyant sticksmen Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ginger Baker.
Initially the band was clearly influenced by British hard rock and heavy Blues groups, particularly Cream and Led Zeppelin indeed Geddy Lee's vocal style has often been compared that of Robert Plant. Three tracks from the 'Rush' album are included as part of this broadcast: Working Man, In The Mood, and just a snippet of Finding My Way.
Neil Peart's recording debut with Rush was on their sophomore album 'Fly By Night' released in February 1975. In addition to his magisterial rhythmic skills, Peart also assumed much of the responsibility for writing lyrics from a grateful Geddy Lee. The more complex arrangement and episodic structure of By-Tor And The Snow Dog was an excellent illustration of the way the band would develop as it highlighted Peart's favoured themes of fantasy and sci-fi. Beneath, Between, Behind and Anthem also represent their second record in this performance.
Undoubtedly Peart influenced the band's shift towards a more Progressive rock orientation which was more fully reflected on Rush's next collection of songs, 'Caress Of Steel', released just seven months after 'Fly By Night' Eschewing the lengthy pieces The Necromancer and The Fountain of Lamneth, which occupied all 20 minutes of side two of the album, only the short, snappy and Zeppelinesque Bastille Day was performed during this show. 1976's '2112' was Rush's breakthrough album and their first to enter the Billboard Top 100 (it peaked at 61). It went on, however, to become a platinum seller. The whole of Side One of the album is a multi-faceted concept piece based on 'Anthem', a futuristic novella by Russian-born American author Ayn Rand (first published in England in 1938) and all bar the short Oracle: The Dream is played during the first section of this concert.
Representing 1977's 'A Farewell To Kings' is that album's magnum opus, Xanadu, whilst La Villa Strangiato is drawn from the following year's 'Hemispheres' It is another complex piece. Geddy Lee: "We spent more time recording Strangiato than the entire 'Fly By Night' album. It was our first piece without any vocals at all. So each section had to stand up with a theme and musical structure of its own."
Finally, Rush's then-current album, 'Permanent Waves' contributes The Spirit Of Radio and Natural Science. The former was something of a departure for the band as it utilises a reggae style, which was explored further on later albums 'Moving Pictures' (1981) and 'Signals' (1982). A three-minute edit of the track reached number 13 on the UK singles chart and remains a strong fan-favourite. Natural Science is more traditional Rush fare, with multiple movements, and has proved a hugely popular live number ever since.
* [Webmaster's note: The 'Permanent Waves' tour actually began on January 17th, 1980 in Fredericton, New Brunswick]
Total playing time: 74 minutes approx.
All songs written by Lee, Lifeson, Peart, except 12, 13 (Lee, Lifeson) and 16 (Lee).
Live DC101-FM radio broadcast from Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 13th February 1980.
Geddy Lee: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards.
Alex Lifeson: Guitar, Backing Vocals.
Neil Pearl: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals.
No part of this package or artwork may be reproduced without the written permission of Smokin' (c) 2014 Smokin'
1 2112: OVERTURE (4:36) - |MP3|
2. THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX (2:16) - |MP3|
3. DISCOVERY (0:30) - |MP3|
4. PRESENTATION (2:35) - |MP3|
5. SOLILOQUY (2:25) - |MP3|
6. GRAND FINALE (2:29) - |MP3|
7. BY-TOR AND THE SNOW DOG (5:14) - |MP3|
8. XANADU (12:17) - |MP3|
9. THE SPIRIT OF RADIO (5:19) - |MP3|
10. NATURAL SCIENCE (8:24) - |MP3|
11. BENEATH, BETWEEN, BEHIND (2:29) - |MP3|
12. WORKING MAN (3:30) - |MP3|
13. FINDING MY WAY INTRO (0:23) - |MP3|
14. ANTHEM (1:40) - |MP3|
15. BASTILLE DAY(1:28) - |MP3|
16. IN THE MOOD (2:39) - |MP3|
17. DRUM SOLO (5:11) - |MP3|
18. LA VILLA STRANGIATO (9:51) - |MP3|