Roll the Bones is the fourteenth studio album by Canadianrock band Rush, released in 1991. It was recorded at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec and McClear Place in Toronto, Ontario with Rupert Hine returning as producer. The album won the 1992 Juno Award for best album cover design. Roll the Bones became Rush's first US Top 5 album since 1981's Moving Pictures, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200. It also achieved an RIAA certification of platinum, the latest Rush album to date to do so. The album was remastered and re-released in 2004 as part of the Atlantic Records "Rush Remasters" series, and in 2011, once again remastered (by Kevin Gray) and re-released by Audio Fidelity as a gold CD. In 2013, it was remastered and re-released yet again this time as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1989-2007.
"Dreamline" and "Roll the Bones" were popular radio staples of the early 90s, with the former reaching #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart, while "Where's My Thing?" became the band's third instrumental and was their second song to be nominated for a Grammy, in 1991, losing to Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover". Coincidentally, Johnson went on to provide support for the Roll the Bones tour in fall of 1991; alternative rockers, The Beyond supported them in Europe in 1992. The musical style of Roll the Bones paved the way for the "alternative" style of 1993’s Counterparts.
"Bones" is a slang term for dice. In the Roll the Bones tourbook of 1991-92, Neil Peart described both the mindset of the lyrics written for not only the title track, but also the album:
No matter what kind of song you choose to play, you’re betting your life on it, for good or ill, and what you believe is what you are... No one can ever be sure, in this best of all possible random universes.
That's why the essence of these songs is: if there's a chance, you might as well take it. So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap. A random universe doesn't have to be futile; we can change the odds, load the dice, and roll again…. For anyone who hasn't seen Groucho Marx's game show You Bet Your Life, I mean that no one but Groucho knows the secret word, and one guess is as good as another... Anything can happen. That is called fate.
The liner notes contain the cryptic phrase "now it's dark". Peart later explained that "The phrase occurs in David Lynch's classic film Blue Velvet."