Hold Your Fire

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For the FireHouse album, see Hold Your Fire (FireHouse album).
Hold Your Fire
Studio album by Rush
Released September 8, 1987
June 3, 1997 (Remastered CD)
Recorded January 7 – April 24, 1987
The Manor Studio, Oxfordshire;
Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey;
AIR Studios, Montserrat;
McClear Place, Toronto, Canada
Genre Synthrock, pop rock, hard rock, progressive rock
Length 50:21
Label Anthem (Canada)
Atlantic (Japan)
Epic/Sony (Japan)
Mercury (USA)
Vertigo (Europe)
Producer Rush, Peter Collins
Rush chronology
Power Windows
(1985)
Hold Your Fire
(1987)
A Show of Hands
(1989)
Singles from Hold Your Fire
  1. "Time Stand Still"
    Released: October 19, 1987
  2. "Prime Mover"
    Released: April 11, 1988

Hold Your Fire is the twelfth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on September 8, 1987. It was recorded at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey, Air Studios in Montserrat and McClear Place in Toronto.[1] Hold Your Fire was the last Rush studio album released outside Canada by PolyGram/Mercury.

Rush continued to explore new songwriting territory in Hold Your Fire. "Tai Shan", for example, is influenced by classical Chinese music, and its title is a reference to Mount Tai in China's Shandong province, which Neil Peart discovered during his bicycle trip in China.[2] 'Til Tuesday bassist and vocalist Aimee Mann contributed vocals to "Open Secrets" and "Time Stand Still", appearing in the Zbigniew Rybczyński-directed video for the latter.[2] In addition, a backward sample of her vocals from another track is also used at the end of "Tai Shan".

The album was not as commercially successful as most of the band's releases of the 1980s, only peaking at #13 on the Billboard charts, the lowest debut for a Rush album since Hemispheres.[3] However, it did eventually go gold.

Writing[edit]

After Rush's 1986 Power Windows tour ended, the band members took the summer off to spend more time with their families. A few months passed, and the group decided to start getting back into writing material.[4] Neil Peart began writing lyrics in a cottage behind a still lake in early September. Meanwhile, Geddy Lee started to compose on his keyboard setup controlled on a Macintosh computer software called Digital Performer,[5][6] which would be useful for both the writing and production stages, and Alex Lifeson was doing experimental tapes at home.[6] Peart also used the Mac to write some of the lyrics for the album.[5] Previously liking the theme of the band's previous album, power, Peart wanted to do something similar, this time working around the theme of time. However, after writing some lyrics for the first song he wrote for the album, "Time Stand Still", he started to create more material that would turn the theme into "Instinct",[6] which was the reason for titling the album Hold Your Fire.[7] In an afternoon later that month, Peart and Lee together showed what they had been working on, and they also discussed a few lyrical ideas they weren't able to write on paper, which would be included in "Mission", "Open Secrets" and "Turn the Page".[6]

The group started writing sessions in Elora Sound Studio, Ontario on September 27, 1986.[4] Lifeson showed his experimental tapes, while Lee brought his Soundcheck Jams he had done that year. According to Peart, Lifeson's tapes "would yield some good parts for several songs," and Lee's Soundcheck jams were "sorted and labeled as potential verses, bridges, choruses or instrumental bits, and thus they served as a reference library of spontaneous ideas that could be drawn upon at will." Lifeson used a drum machine to write the drum parts, which Lee tracked on a Lerxst Sound recorder. By early November, eight songs had been written, which the group felt wasn't enough for the album to have a good amount of musical variety. Peart said, "We decided we'd go a bit further this time. We were aware of the fact that only a small percentage of people actually buy records any more, the vast majority choosing cassettes or CDs. Thus, we figured, why should we worry about the time limitations of the old vinyl disc? We thought we'd like to have ten songs, and go for fifty minutes or so of music. So we did."[6] Producer Peter Collins came in to Elora Sound in early December to give the band suggestions of improving the songs. Among many small changes, a couple of major suggestions were new verses to "Mission" and chorus revisions to "Open Secrets".[6] With nine songs already written, Collins also suggested the band make a tenth track for the album, and the song "Force Ten" would be written on the last day of pre-production, December 14.[4]

Production[edit]

Recording of Hold Your Fire began on January 5, 1987, at The Manor Studio in England. This was where the drums, bass, basic keyboards, lead guitars and lead vocals were recorded. The keyboards, guitars and vocals were recorded digitally, while the drums and bass, as preferred by Neil Peart,[8] were taped using an analogue tape recorder, later converted into a digital tape.[4] On February 7, the band went to Ridge Farm Studio for Andy Richards to perform additional dynamic keyboards and exciting "events", as well as put all recorded instrument tracks into a digital machine.[7][9] Lifeson was also able to write guitar overdubs while recording at Ridge Farm.[6] The band headed off to AIR Montserrat on March 1 to start producing the guitar overdubs,[7][6] and later to McClear Place Studios in Toronto three weeks later to finish the overdubs, record orchestral arrangements by Steve Margoshes for "High Water", "Mission" and "Second Nature", and track additional voice parts, such as Aimee Mann's vocals for "Time Stand Still" and "Prime Mover", and gospel choir.[6][7][10] Recording was finished by April 24,[10] and mixing would take place starting May 7 at William Tell Studio in Paris. Lee mastered the album with Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk in New York City by mid-July.[11]

Lee played a Wal bass guitar for Hold Your Fire, as well as being vocalist and keyboardist.[9] The synths and other electronic instruments and devices used, which were all programmed with assistants of Andy Richards and Jim Burgess,[9] were several Akai S900 samplers, two Prophet synths, a PPG 2.3, a Roland Super Jupiter and a D-550, two Yamaha KX-76 MIDI controllers, two QX-I sequencers and a DX-7, two MIDI Mappers, Korg MIDI pedals, and Moog Taurus Pedals.[6] Neil Peart played on a combination of Ludwig-Musser drum set, a plated-hardware of Pearl Drums, Premier drums and Tama drums, Avedis Zildjian cymbals, and a Simmons pad through one of the Akai samplers, which made sounds of temple blocks, a timbale, crotales, a Tama, a gong bass drum, cowbells, wind chimes, and marimbas.[6][4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[12]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[13]
Metal Storm (7.7/10)[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[15]
Sounds 5/5 stars[16]
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars[17]

Opinions to Hold Your Fire have been mixed to positive. While the album has been criticized for its 1980s pop music sound and overused synths, some, including the band members, felt it was better than their previous studio projects, with praises of the album's production, composition, and lyrics.

Hold Your Fire was initially deemed a commercial disappointment in comparison to other Rush albums. It stalled at #13 in the Billboard 200 album chart, the first time a Rush studio album failed to reach the Top 10 since 1978's Hemispheres.[3] Although Hold Your Fire was certified gold in the US shortly after its release, it failed to reach platinum status according to the RIAA, becoming the first Rush studio album to not do so since 1975's Caress of Steel.[18]

In a 2009 interview with Blender, Geddy Lee expressed regret in including "Tai Shan" on the album, calling it an "error." "We should have known better," he said.[19]

In the Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary film, people discuss the keyboards becoming more prominent, and some fans felt that Lee was spending too much time on the keyboards.

Despite the poor commercial performance of the album the band routinely features at least one song from Hold Your Fire in their live shows, with "Force Ten", "Time Stand Still" and "Mission" appearing the most often. To date, the only tour since the album's release to not feature at least one Hold Your Fire song in the set list was the Vapor Trails tour of 2002.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Neil Peart except "Force Ten" by Peart and Pye Dubois, all music composed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson[1].

No. Title Length
1. "Force Ten"   4:31
2. "Time Stand Still"   5:09
3. "Open Secrets"   5:38
4. "Second Nature"   4:36
5. "Prime Mover"   5:19
6. "Lock and Key"   5:09
7. "Mission"   5:16
8. "Turn the Page"   4:55
9. "Tai Shan"   4:17
10. "High Water"   5:33

Personnel[edit]

Sources:[9][11]

Band Members[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Chart (1987) Peak
position
Canadian Albums (RPM100)[20] 9
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[21] 40
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[22] 34
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 21
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[24] 67
UK Albums (OCC)[25] 10
US Billboard 200[26] 13

HOLD YOUR FIRE TOUR Setlist:

  • Intro (Three Stooges Theme)
  • The Big Money
  • Subdvisions
  • Limelight
  • Marathon
  • Turn The Page
  • Prime Mover
  • Manhattan Project
  • Closer To The Heart
  • Red Sector A
  • Force Ten
  • Time Stand Still
  • Distant Early Warning
  • Lock And Key
  • Mission
  • Territories
  • YYZ
  • The Rhythm Method (Drum Solo)
  • Red Lenses
  • The Spirit Of Radio
  • Tom Sawyer

Encore:

  • 2112(Overture/Temples Of Syrnix)
  • La Villa Strangiato (Abbreviated)
  • In The Mood

Singles[edit]

Information
"Time Stand Still"
  • Released: October 19, 1987
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Peter Collins and Rush
  • Chart positions: No. 3 US Mainstream Rock;[27] #41 UK
"Force Ten"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and Pye Dubois
  • Produced by: Peter Collins and Rush
  • Chart positions: #3 US Mainstream Rock[27]
"Lock and Key"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Peter Collins and Rush
  • Chart positions: #16 US Mainstream Rock[27]
"Prime Mover"
  • Released: April 11, 1988
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Peter Collins and Rush
  • Chart positions: #43 UK[28]

Sales certifications[edit]

Country Organization Sales
U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000)[18]
Canada CRIA Platinum (100,000)[29]
UK BPI Silver (60,000)[30]

Remaster details[edit]

A remaster was issued in 1997.[1]

  • The tray has a picture of three fingerprints, light blue, pink, and lime green (left to right) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left, mirroring the cover art of Retrospective II. All remasters from Moving Pictures through A Show of Hands are like this.
  • Includes all the artwork that came with the original album.

Hold Your Fire was remastered again in 2011 by Andy VanDette for the "Sector" box sets, which re-released all of Rush's Mercury-era albums. It is included in the Sector 3 set.[31] For the 2011 remaster, master tapes containing different mixes of Hold Your Fire were inadvertently used, with the result that the mix is noticeably different from previous releases in several places; particularly during "Mission", where string parts that were not present on the original release can be heard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hold Your Fire (Remastered Edition) (CD booklet). Rush. New York: Mercury Records. 1997. 
  2. ^ a b Collins, Jon (2005). "And then there were three". Rush: Chemistry : The Definitive Biography. London, UK: Helter Skelter Publishing. pp. 150–152. ISBN 978-1-905139-28-6. 
  3. ^ a b "Hold Your Fire Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Banasiewicz, Bill (1988). p. 89.
  5. ^ a b "Geddy Lee - Off The Record". Power Windows. 2112.net. 1987. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Peart, Neil. "Fireworks: The Making Of "Hold Your Fire"". Power Windows. 2112.net. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Banasiewicz, Bill (1988). p. 90.
  8. ^ Claypool, Bob (January 27, 1988). "Interview with Neil Peart". Houston Post. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d ""Hold Your Fire" linernotes and lyrics". Power Windows. 2112.net. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Banasiewicz, Bill (1988). p. 92.
  11. ^ a b Banasiewicz, Bill (1988). p. 93.
  12. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Hold Your Fire - Rush". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  13. ^ Chirazi, Stefan (October 3, 1987). "Firestarter!". Kerrang! (Bauer Media Group) (156). Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ Espiau, Olivier (23 April 2010). "Rush - Hold Your Fire". Metal Storm. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  15. ^ "Rush: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  16. ^ Elliot, Paul (October 31, 1987). "'Hold Your Fire' Album Review". Sounds. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Schroer, Brendan (June 20, 2014). "Rush - Hold Your Fire". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "RIAA Database Search for Rush". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  19. ^ "Dear Superstar: Geddy Lee", Blender, March 17, 2009. (accessed 29 January 2012)
  20. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 47, No. 2, October 17, 1987". Library and Archives Canada. 17 October 1987. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  21. ^ "Rush – Hold Your Fire" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  22. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
  23. ^ "Rush – Hold Your Fire". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  24. ^ ホールド・ユア・ファイアー (In Japanese). oricon.co.jp. Accessed from July 8, 2013.
  25. ^ "Rush | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
  26. ^ "Rush Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Rush. Prometheus Global Media.
  27. ^ a b c "Hold Your Fire Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  28. ^ "Prime Mover Chart Stats". Chart Stats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  29. ^ "Gold Platinum Database - Title: Hold Your Fire". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  30. ^ "BPI Certified Award Search for Rush". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  31. ^ http://www.themasterdiskrecord.com/2011/11/andy-vandette-on-remastering-14-rush-albums

Further reading[edit]

  • Banasiewicz, Bill (1988). Rush Visions: The Official Biography. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-1162-2.