Roll the Bones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roll the Bones
Rush roll the bones.jpg
Studio album by Rush
Released September 3, 1991
Studio Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Quebec
McClear Place, Toronto, Ontario
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
  5. "Face Up"
    Released: 1992
  6. "Heresy"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[6]

Roll the Bones is the 14th 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.[7] In 2013, it was remastered and re-released, this time as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1989–2007.[8]

The 10-track album included six songs which were released as singles during 1991 and 1992.


"Dreamline" and "Roll the Bones" were popular radio staples of the early 90s, with the former reaching No. 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.[9]

The liner notes contain the cryptic phrase "now it's dark". Peart later explained that "The phrase occurs in David Lynch's classic Blue Velvet."[10]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
3."Roll the Bones"5:30
4."Face Up"3:54
5."Where's My Thing? (Part IV, "Gangster of Boats" Trilogy) (instrumental)"3:49
Side two
6."The Big Wheel"5:13
8."Ghost of a Chance"5:18
10."You Bet Your Life"5:01



Year Chart Position
1991 Billboard 200 3[11]
UK Albums Chart 10[12]


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


  • 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. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016-03-20). Rush – Updated Edition: The Unofficial Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-5122-2. 
  2. ^ Bukszpan, Daniel (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Barnes & Noble Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7607-4218-1. 
  3. ^ a b "Roll the Bones – Rush – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  4. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. Roll the Bones – Rush at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  5. ^ Eddy, Chuck (20 September 1991). "Roll the Bones Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Rush: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Rush remasters Vapor Trails, Presto, and other Atlantic studio releases – Blogcritics Music". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  8. ^ "Rush The Studio Albums 1989–2007". hdtracks. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  9. ^ Rush Rush 1991–1992 Roll The Bones Tour Concert Tour Book, page 3, 1991.
  10. ^ Neil Peart (January 1994). "Rush – Counterparts". Retrieved 29 September 2017. Rush Backstage Club Newsletter 
  11. ^ "Roll the Bones chart position in the US". Billboard. 
  12. ^ "Rush chart positions in the UK". The Official Charts Company.