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Signals revisited


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#21 SJS

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:28 AM

Signals was pretty good but GUP was better.  Better mix, more energy and emotion, better use of synths relative to guitars, far better vocals (among Geddy's best IMO).

 

I think I agree with this.  Two excellent albums, but some really stellar work on GUP.  With Afterimage and Red Sector A, you've got some pretty emotional and personal songs, something Rush doesn't do much (until Vapor Trails, which was thick with that).  Then you've got Kid Gloves, DEW, The Enemy Within, and Between the Wheels, which is more typical of Neil's lyrical style as a societal or historical observer.  Only Body Electric and Red Lenses fell flat for me.  


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#22 SJS

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:29 AM


Revenge is a dish best served cold. :lol:

 

Ouch


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#23 Moving Target

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 06:51 AM

So many great moments. Solo on Analog Kid. The intro to Digital Man. All of Losing It. 10/10

It’s aged better than MP —-maybe?


I would say not. MP is still, for me, their best moment. There is some emotion in there with the virtuosity - the tear-arsing around in a sports car, the teror of the mob, the elegy to the city of my birth - while Permanent Waves sounds a bit clinical to me now.

The production job on MP was also tops. Signals sounds muddy to me - Alex is hard to hear through the synths. I love the songs, though.

 

And like grep, it was the first new Rush album that I bought.



#24 baldiepete

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:57 AM

Today is the 36th anniversary of the release of Signals, so I suppose that means it’s the 36th anniversary of Old Rush Good, New Rush Bad :lol: (except I know that Nick actually likes Signals).

#25 Three Eyes

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:50 AM

^^^ Oh boy, but Signals is definitely Old Rush. Terry Brown is Old Rush.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#26 baldiepete

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:26 AM

^^^ Oh boy, but Signals is definitely Old Rush. Terry Brown is Old Rush.


No way. Signals is definitely New Rush, the producer is irrelevant in that determination. It’s about the type of song, the arrangements and the instrumentation. Thinking about it, New Rush properly started with Vital Signs on MP but Signals was the first full album.

#27 Three Eyes

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:53 AM

No way. Signals is definitely New Rush, the producer is irrelevant in that determination. It’s about the type of song, the arrangements and the instrumentation. Thinking about it, New Rush properly started with Vital Signs on MP but Signals was the first full album.

 

Nah, it's Old Rush. New Rush starts with GUP because that's the album where the old Rush magic began to wane. For me anyway. The sheer magic of The Analog Kid alone almost makes the whole of GUP feel like a middling effort (even though it's not). 

 

They're called opinions people! Opinions!  :)


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#28 baldiepete

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:47 AM

Nah, it's Old Rush. New Rush starts with GUP because that's the album where the old Rush magic began to wane. For me anyway. The sheer magic of The Analog Kid alone almost makes the whole of GUP feel like a middling effort (even though it's not).

They're called opinions people! Opinions! :)

You’re perfectly entitled to have the wrong opinion :D

#29 Slim

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:05 PM

I think Signals is the one where the magic started to come off. The absolute peak Rush is the period spanning Caress of Steel - Moving Pictures, that's the timeless, defining Rush canon though they were past their very best even at the end of the '70s.

 

It's a great shame there's a dog in that pantheon of albums (AFTK of course) but it could be viewed I suppose as the exception that proves the rule.

 

Signals is infamous for its production, specifically a certain muddiness and the prominence given to keyboards in the mix at the detriment of the guitars. But the remastered CD sounds a lot better. Unfortunately the inherent limitations of vinyl mean that Signals, with analogue synths fighting with guitars for the same bit of the frequency spectrum, will never sound that great on that medium.



#30 Three Eyes

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:20 PM

You’re perfectly entitled to have the wrong opinion :D

 

Well thank you very much....I think...


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#31 Three Eyes

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:34 PM

I think Signals is the one where the magic started to come off. The absolute peak Rush is the period spanning Caress of Steel - Moving Pictures, that's the timeless, defining Rush canon though they were past their very best even at the end of the '70s.

 

It's a great shame there's a dog in that pantheon of albums (AFTK of course) but it could be viewed I suppose as the exception that proves the rule.

 

Signals is infamous for its production, specifically a certain muddiness and the prominence given to keyboards in the mix at the detriment of the guitars. But the remastered CD sounds a lot better. Unfortunately the inherent limitations of vinyl mean that Signals, with analogue synths fighting with guitars for the same bit of the frequency spectrum, will never sound that great on that medium.

 

I don't place Signals as high up as the other albums you mentioned but it's certainly higher than any subsequent non-TB album. It's accidentally great, imo. There was confusion and disagreement in its making and the mix is strange but despite their best efforts to muck it up those four guys together just could not make a bad album.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#32 Three Eyes

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:35 PM

It's a great shame there's a dog in that pantheon of albums (AFTK of course) but it could be viewed I suppose as the exception that proves the rule.

 

Jesus, it's one of their greatest albums.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#33 jeffro

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:53 PM

Like some of you, Signals was also my first new Rush album. I can still remember calling the music department at Caldor and asking if it was in yet and then begging my dad to drive me there to buy it.  :lol:

 

However, when my friends and I listened to it for the first time, we couldn't believe what we were hearing. It sounded so different than what had come before. I didn't care much for it back then but now it contains some of my favorite Rush songs. I much prefer it to GUP. 

 

I don't really blame them for wanting to work with other producers. Rush has always been about moving forward and not repeating what they had already done. In a way, I'm surprised it took that long to part with Broon. Having said that, I'm not sure how I feel about the possibility of sticking with him through the 80s. I think the boys and Broon had very different ideas on the direction Rush should go. Had that happened we certainly wouldn't have gotten Power Windows. I know some of you wouldn't care about that possibility but it's one of my favorite Rush albums.  

I do wish they had gotten back together with Terry Brown later though, even if for only one more album.


Pure fat, topped with a layer of fat - Alex Lifeson
 
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#34 Moving Target

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 05:26 PM

Signals is NuRush.  There's a pop song (sort of) on it after all.  But it's good NuRush.  It's still classic Rush. There was one more classic Rush album in GUP.  Then the shine stated to come off with Power Windows (for me).



#35 Slim

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 06:10 PM

Jesus, it's one of their greatest albums.


Never call me that.



#36 SJS

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:31 PM


Never call me that.

 

If it's still okay to post Bill Cosby:

 


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#37 chemistry1973

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:17 PM

I think Signals is the one where the magic started to come off. The absolute peak Rush is the period spanning Caress of Steel - Moving Pictures, that's the timeless, defining Rush canon though they were past their very best even at the end of the '70s.

It's a great shame there's a dog in that pantheon of albums (AFTK of course) but it could be viewed I suppose as the exception that proves the rule.

Signals is infamous for its production, specifically a certain muddiness and the prominence given to keyboards in the mix at the detriment of the guitars. But the remastered CD sounds a lot better. Unfortunately the inherent limitations of vinyl mean that Signals, with analogue synths fighting with guitars for the same bit of the frequency spectrum, will never sound that great on that medium.


If the drums weren’t recorded so well it’d be a complete mess.

Also I’m wondering what type of gear Alex was using in 82. Is almost blame his sound on that- not so much the mix. You can Alex’s guitars just fine on Signals, but they sound new wave ish.

#38 Three Eyes

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 12:15 AM


Never call me that.

 

I would love to respond to this with a certain joke but then we'd have to move the thread to Available Light. :)


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#39 Slim

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 11:16 AM

If the drums weren’t recorded so well it’d be a complete mess.

Also I’m wondering what type of gear Alex was using in 82. I almost blame his sound on that- not so much the mix. You can Alex’s guitars just fine on Signals, but they sound new wave ish.

 

Years ago I remember comparing the typical guitar sound on Signals with that on GUP - the former was fatter, more distorted. Heavier.



#40 chemistry1973

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 12:55 PM

Years ago I remember comparing the typical guitar sound on Signals with that on GUP - the former was fatter, more distorted. Heavier.


On GuP, they definitely compensated for lack of guitar on Signals, but then they sacrificed the drums. Snare is mixed so low -cymbals too. Bass has been murdered completely. It works though as far as guitar is concerned. - and Lifeson just fucking shines all over the record. Seems to be a calculated move that worked. Diminishing returns after GuP though.

Listening to Subdvisions now and you are right. The guitar sound IS heavier. It’s just buried quite a bit. But then the solo happens and all is forgiven.

Kind of amazing actually. It might as well been a studio musician in place of Alex until the solo. A little blatant maybe? I wonder how things in he band were at the time!




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