|Studio album by Rush|
|Released||14 May 2002|
|Recorded||January 9 - November 2001 Reaction Studios, Toronto|
|Producer||Rush and Paul Northfield|
|The Austin Chronicle|||
Vapor Trails is the seventeenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, produced by Paul Northfield and released in May 2002. The release of Vapor Trails marked the first studio album for the band in six years, (since Test for Echo in 1996) because of personal tragedies that befell drummer Neil Peart in the late 1990s. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album. Despite controversy surrounding its production and sound quality, the album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career. The album was certified gold in Canada in August 2002.
The song "Ghost Rider" appeared on the album and was written by Peart as a tribute to his travels around North America after his tragic loss, while "One Little Victory" served as the first single in order to announce the band's return from hiatus.
Vapor Trails is the first album since Caress of Steel to not feature any keyboard or synthesizer music. Instead, it uses a more purified guitar tone, vocal, guitar and bass overdubs, and more personal lyrics.
Much of the recordings were from one-off jam sessions and many of the original takes from those sessions were used to construct the songs. Rush made extensive use of computers and music editing software to piece the jam session recordings into songs. Drummer Neil Peart remarked,
|“||Eventually Geddy began to sift through the vast number of jams they had created, finding a verse here, a chorus there, and piecing them together. Often a pattern had only ever been played once in passing, but through the use of computer tools it could be repeated or reworked into a part. Since all the writing, arranging, and recording was done on computer, a lot of time was spent staring at monitors, but most of the time technology was our friend, and helped us to combine spontaneity and craftwork. Talk was the necessary interface, of course, and once Geddy and Alex had agreed on basic structures, Geddy would go through the lyrics to see what might suit the music and "sing well," then come to me to discuss any improvements, additions, or deletions I could make from my end.||”|
The production of Vapor Trails has been criticized by critics and fans alike because of the album's "loud" sound quality. Albums such as this have been mastered so loud that additional digital distortion is generated during the production of the CD. The trend, known as the loudness war, has become very common on modern rock CDs.
As told by Rip Rowan on the ProRec website, the damaged production is the result of overly compressed (clipped) audio levels during mastering, though Rush has admitted that there was digital distortion during recording, which also contributed to the damage. Remastering the album would not correct the damage from digital distortion that was introduced during recording, but it could correct the other, more destructive damage that is the result of overly compressing the audio during mastering.
On Retrospective 3, Richard Chycki, who recently worked with the band on the R30 and both the Snakes & Arrows album and live sets, remixed "One Little Victory", and "Earthshine". In an interview with Modern Guitars, Lifeson remarked that since the remixes were so good, there has been talk of doing an entire remix of the album. He also stated:
It was a contest, and it was mastered too high, and it crackles, and it spits, and it just crushes everything. All the dynamics get lost, especially anything that had an acoustic guitar in it.
"One Little Victory" from Vapor Trails.
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Track listing 
|1.||"One Little Victory"||5:08|
|5.||"The Stars Look Down"||4:28|
|6.||"How It Is"||4:05|
|12.||"Freeze (Part IV of 'Fear')"||6:21|
|13.||"Out Of The Cradle"||5:03|
- Geddy Lee - bass guitar, vocals
- Alex Lifeson - electric and acoustic guitars, mandola
- Neil Peart - drums, percussion
Chart positions 
Billboard Music Charts (North America)
|2002||The Billboard 200||6|
|Top Internet Albums||29|
|Top Canadian Albums||3|
|"One Little Victory"
- "Critic Reviews for Vapor Trails". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- Prato, Greg (2002-05-14). "Vapor Trails - Rush". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- Hernandez, Raoul (2002-08-16). "Rush: Vapor Trails". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "Rush: Vapor Trails". Billboard. May 18, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-06-08. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- Farber, Jim (2002-05-17). "Vapor Trails Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- Moffat, Kael (2002-08-08). "Rush: Vapor Trails". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- Richard Abowitz (2002-04-24). "Vapor Trails". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- Vapor Trails news archive Power Windows website. Retrieved 16 March 2006.
- "Gold & Platinum Certification". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Vapor Trails Tour Book:Power Windows Website. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
- "explained". Web.archive.org. 2003-12-08. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "Rush Blog - Rush is a Band Blog: Alex Lifeson Modern Guitars interview now online". Rushisaband.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- "Blabbermouth.net-Engineer Comments On RUSH 'Vapor Trails' Remix - Feb. 4, 2011". Blabbermouth.net. 2/4/2011. Retrieved 2/9/2011.