Grace Under Pressure (Rush album)
|Grace Under Pressure|
|Studio album by Rush|
|Recorded||November 1983 – March 1984|
|Studio||Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Quebec|
|Producer||Rush, Peter Henderson|
|Singles from Grace Under Pressure|
Grace Under Pressure is the tenth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1984. It reached No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and went platinum in the US upon its initial release. The original vinyl pressing also featured a photo depicting an egg being held in a C-clamp. The cover art was painted by Hugh Syme, a collaborator with Rush since 1975, when he made the cover of Caress of Steel. On the back cover is a band portrait by the photographer Yousuf Karsh. In a 1984 interview, Alex Lifeson once described Grace Under Pressure as the "most satisfying of all our records." Lifeson has also stated it was one of the most difficult Rush albums to make.
Background and production
During the tour supporting their previous album, Signals, the members of Rush began by meeting with producer Terry Brown in Miami, informing him that they wanted to move on. Unhappy with the sound of the Signals album, they were also keen to see how they would work with someone other than Brown. Despite their decision to part ways Rush included a small tribute to him in the liner notes of Grace Under Pressure, which states "et toujours notre bon vieil ami — Broon." The quote translates to "and always our good old friend."
The search for a different producer was long and arduous. Following Brown's amicable departure, Rush approached producer Steve Lillywhite to record the album. However, after initially agreeing, Lillywhite backed out of the project at the last minute, ultimately working with Simple Minds instead. Other potential producers were considered; the band would bring in potential producers weekly, all while continuing to write and record song demos. The band would eventually select Peter Henderson, who had previously worked with Supertramp, Split Enz, Wings, Frank Zappa and King Crimson. However, this did not end the band's struggles, as Henderson, despite being a remarkably gifted engineer, was very "indecisive", leaving the band to make most of the creative decisions for the record themselves. Thus, the band ended up handling most of the production work themselves. The recording process ultimately took four and one-half months, virtually non-stop, making it one of the longest albums to create in their career to that point.
The album was recorded at Le Studio. Current events found in the Toronto-based newspaper The Globe and Mail inspired much of the lyrical content of the album, particularly "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", and "Between the Wheels". After a few months, the mixing stage had begun, and Neil Peart discussed the details of the cover art with Hugh Syme. The band spent up to fourteen hours per day in the studio, perfecting the album's dystopian sound.
Musically, the album marks yet another development in Rush's sound; while continuing to make extensive use of synthesizers as on Signals, the band also experimented by incorporating elements of ska and reggae into some of the songs. The guitars played a larger role than on Signals, with Lifeson stating that "I think the guitar on 'Signals' took a bit of a back seat. The keyboards were really upfront ... though in a sense that's what we were trying to achieve, we wanted to go for a different perspective on the whole sound. But, possibly, we lost direction at times on Signals."
A remaster was issued in 1997.
- 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. All remasters from Moving Pictures through A Show of Hands feature this logo, originally found on the cover art of Retrospective II.
- The back is a plain, off-white panel with the track titles printed as well as the production and copyright information.
- The insert displays the cover art. The colour of the cover art has been altered: it is of a richer, brown-grey colour base, as opposed to the light blue base of the original LP release. The new cover is featured in nearly all of the album's modern representations. When the case is opened, the inside shows the photo of the band from the back of the LP version of the album. The insert unfolds to show the image of the egg in the C-clamp, which has a thin red border around it and credits the image to Deborah Samuel.
- Also in the insert are the lyrics, similar to those included with the LP. Like the LP, the title and lyrics of "Red Lenses" are printed completely in lowercase.
- Some consider the title in all lower case ("red lenses") to be the proper and accepted writing.
Grace Under Pressure was remastered again in 2011 by Andy VanDette for the "Sector" box sets, which re-released all of Rush's Mercury-era albums. Grace Under Pressure is included in the Sector 3 set. Unlike the other albums in the "Sector" series, the remaster for Grace Under Pressure was based on the 1997 digital masters, as opposed to the original master tapes, which were sonically degraded by 2011.
Grace Under Pressure was remastered for vinyl in 2015 by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios as a part of the official "12 Months of Rush" promotion. The high definition master prepared for this release was also made available for purchase in a 24-bit/48 kHz digital format at several high-resolution audio online music stores. These remasters have significantly less dynamic range compression than the 1997 remasters and the "Sector" remasters by Andy VanDette. Sean Magee remastered the audio from an analogue copy of the original digital master, using a 192 kHz sample rate. But since Grace Under Pressure was originally mixed on digital equipment at 16-bit/44.1 kHz, no audio above 22 kHz exists in the original digital master or any of the remasters, which is why many digital music stores are only selling the album at a maximum sample rate of 48 kHz.
|1.||"Distant Early Warning"||4:56|
|3.||"Red Sector A"||5:10|
|4.||"The Enemy Within" (Part 2 of "Fear")||4:33|
|5.||"The Body Electric"||5:00|
|8.||"Between the Wheels"||5:44|
- Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, synthesizers
- Alex Lifeson – guitar
- Neil Peart – drums, Simmons SDS-V electronic drums, percussion
|1984||Billboard 200 (United States)||10|
|RPM100 Albums (Canada)||4|
|UK Album Chart||5|
|Swedish Album Chart||18|
|GfK Dutch Album Chart||27|
|German Album Chart||43|
|"The Body Electric"
|"Distant Early Warning"
|"Red Sector A"
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- Grace Under Pressure liner notes
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