Roll the Bones

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Roll the Bones
Studio album by Rush
Released September 3, 1991
Recorded Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Quebec and McClear Place, Toronto, Ontario
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 48:04
Label Anthem (Canada)
Producer Rupert Hine, Rush
Rush chronology
Roll the Bones
Singles from Roll the Bones
  1. "Dreamline"
    Released: 1991
  2. "Roll the Bones"
    Released: 1991
  3. "Ghost of a Chance"
    Released: April 1992
  4. "Bravado"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[4]

Roll the Bones is the fourteenth studio album by Canadian rock 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,[5] and in 2011, once again remastered (by Kevin Gray) and re-released by Audio Fidelity as a gold CD.[6] In 2013, it was remastered and re-released yet again this time as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1989-2007.[7]


"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. 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.[8]

The liner notes contain the cryptic phrase "now it's dark". Peart later explained that "The phrase occurs in David Lynch's comedy classic Blue Velvet."[9]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Neil Peart; all music composed by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee.

  1. "Dreamline" – 4:38
  2. "Bravado" – 4:35
  3. "Roll the Bones" – 5:30
  4. "Face Up" – 3:54
  5. "Where's My Thing? (Part IV, "Gangster of Boats" Trilogy)" – 3:49
  6. "The Big Wheel" – 5:13
  7. "Heresy" – 5:26
  8. "Ghost of a Chance" – 5:19
  9. "Neurotica" – 4:40
  10. "You Bet Your Life" – 5:00
"Dreamline" from Roll the Bones.

Problems playing this file? See media help.



Year Chart Position
1991 Billboard 200 3[10]
UK Albums Chart 10[11]

Sales certifications[edit]

Country Organization Sales
U.S. RIAA Platinum (1,000,000)
Canada RIAA Platinum (100,000)


  • Intro (A Show Of Hands)
  • Force Ten
  • Limelight
  • Freewill / Distant Early Warning
  • Time Stand Still
  • Dreamline
  • Bravado
  • Roll The Bones
  • Show Don´t Tell
  • The Big Money
  • Ghost Of A Chance (Added on set 12/4/1991 onward)
  • Subdvisions (Abbreviated)(dropped 27/5/1992 and replaced by "Vital Signs" on 29/5 onward)
  • The Pass (dropped 27/5/1992 and replaced by "The Analog Kid" on 29/5 onward)
  • The Trees (Added on 27/5/1992 onward)
  • Where´s My Thing
  • The Rhythm Method (Drum Solo)
  • Closer To The Heart ( With "Alex Speeding Up" rant added on 27/5/1992 onward)
  • Xanadu (Abbreviated)
  • Superconductor
  • Tom Sawyer


  • The Spirit Of Radio
  • Oldies Medley : 2112 (Overture) / Finding My Way / La Villa Strangiato / Anthem / Red Barchetta / Spirit Of Radio (Reprise)
  • Cygnus X-1 Book One : The Voyage (added on 27/5/1992 onward)


  • Released: 1991
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush
  • Chart positions: #1 US Mainstream Rock
"Roll the Bones"
  • Released: February 1992
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush
  • Chart positions: #9 US Mainstream Rock; #49 UK
"Ghost of a Chance"
  • Released: April 1992
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush
  • Chart positions: #2 US Mainstream Rock
  • Released: 1992
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush
  • Chart positions: #13 US Mainstream Rock


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. Roll the Bones - Rush at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  3. ^ Eddy, Chuck (20 September 1991). "Roll the Bones Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Rush: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rush remasters Vapor Trails, Presto, and other Atlantic studio releases - Blogcritics Music". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  6. ^ "Rush :: Roll The Bones". audiofidelity. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  7. ^ "Rush The Studio Albums 1989-2007". hdtracks. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  8. ^ Rush Rush 1991-1992 Roll The Bones Tour Concert Tour Book, page 3, 1991.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Roll the Bones chart position in the US". Billboard. 
  11. ^ "Rush chart positions in the UK". The Official Charts Company.