Friday, February 3, 2017

Episode 290: What a RUSH!!

Episode 290: What a RUSH!!
Pat and Kyle are joined by "Concert Wife" Suzanne Dillingham to discuss the band that women are not supposed to like… RUSH!
From February 2, 2017

With your host:

Pat Francis

00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. This episode features a special guest in the co-host chair, Pat's "concert wife" Suzanne Dillingham and today they are talking all about the band Rush. Yes, Suzanne is one of those rare breeds of women who actually like the band Rush. She got into Rush because her older brother listened to them all the time. And like a blast of Canadian gamma radiation, Rush wormed its way into her DNA and changed her into a Rush fan. Suzanne started out listening to the more popular Rush albums (Moving Pictures, Signals, etc.), then went back and listened to the earlier prog-heavy stuff.
00:05:00 There are 20 Rush studio albums. Pat and Suzanne have a song from EVERY album. Suzanne throws down the gauntlet, telling all Rush haters to step off. You have to respect Rush because they are three world class musicians playing complex compositions. They're nice guys, they're funny, intelligent, and devoted family men. Rush is the total package of goodness! We kick things off with 1974's self-titled debut album. It was recorded with their original drummer John Rutsey. Imagine what would happen if John never left the band and Neil never came in. We wouldn't have the band that we know and love today.
00:10:00 Suzanne's pick is the song "In the Mood". Pat reveals that he does not own any physical Rush album from the debut through Hemispheres. Suzanne falls back like she was stabbed in the chest. Pat's pick from the debut album is the opening track "Finding My Way". The first Rush album has now been added to Pat's Amazon cart.
The second album is 1975's Fly by Night, the first album to feature Neil Peart (both as the drummer and as the main lyricist). Suzanne picks the song "Beneath, Between & Behind".
00:15:00 Pat goes with Rush's first prog rock epic, "By-Tor & the Snow Dog". Very mythological, very fantastical.
Rush hits a speed bump though with their third album Caress of Steel also from 1975. Five songs, one of which makes up an entire side. Another which is "I Think I'm Going Bald," which Mike Siegel played on Worst of the Best. This album did NOT sell well and almost crashed the band. Suzanne finds that while it's hard for her to listen to other bands do long songs, she can handle it with Rush because they mix it up all throughout. She plays that Side Two song, the 20-minute "The Fountain of Lamneth".
00:20:00 Suzanne has all the Rush albums and she can listen to Caress of Steel, even with "I Think I'm Going Bald." Pat plays the opening track "Bastille Day". Caress of Steel, ADDED TO THE CART. Boom. Suzanne recommends that Pat will like "Lakeside Park." "The Necromancer," on the other hand, might grab Pat's goat.
00:25:00 1976? 2112. The fourth Rush album and the one that saved them from the brink of doom because of how successful it was. Suzanne picks the ballad "Tears" to show people that Rush has feelings too, darn it. Pat questions Suzanne to pick the best album of the first four. Suzanne picks 2112. Pat's song from the album is the "Temples of Syrinx" section from "2112". Pat wants to know the concept of this one-sided concept album. It's about a totalitarian government that controls all facets of life. 2112: ADDED TO THE CART.
00:30:00 Album #5 is 1977's A Farewell to Kings. Pat is lost with this one. "What's up with this?" Suzanne plays the song "Cinderella Man". Pat picks the hit off the album, "Closer to the Heart". Looking up the AFtK wikipedia page, Pat discovers that the comedy rock band Ninja Sex Party covered "Madrigal" from this album. Kyle plays a little bit of it; Pat and Suzanne are not fans. But Pat is a fan of A Farewell to Kings because it is ADDED TO THE CART. This is not up there for Suzanne compared to other Rush albums.
00:35:00 Hemispheres is up next from 1978. A naked man standing on a brain pointing at John Cleese = PROG ROCK BRILLIANCE! Again, Pat knows nothing of this album. Four songs in total, one of which takes up an entire side. Suzanne picks the instrumental "La Villa Strangiato". Pat: "That's my favorite Italian restaurant." The five-star instrumentation on full display. Suzanne remarks that the song is 9:35 and you don't get bored.
00:40:00 Pat picks the allegorical song "The Trees".
While Pat does not feel that these albums are not as accessible to the general public, the music is still really good. Suzanne notes that the first albums are a lot of stories. The albums that are coming up are much more about Neil Peart's emotions and contemporary issues, as well as being more traditional in length. 1980 is where that period starts with Permanent Waves. Suzanne goes with the big one, "The Spirit of Radio".
00:45:00 That is Kyle's favorite Rush song. This is the era of Rush where Pat really got into them. His pick is the song "Freewill".
Rush's eighth studio album is the cream of the crop, Moving Pictures, their most successful album with four million copies sold. Pat remarks that he and Christy will be doing an episode about perfect album sides and side A of Moving Pictures certainly fits the bill: "Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta," "Limelight," and "YYZ." Knockout, first round. Suzanne plays "Limelight". Pat picked the same song.
00:50:00 For the most part, it's just Alex, Geddy, and Neil doing all the music, both in the studio and live on stage. Not a lot of bands can say that. Suzanne considers Rush to be the best live concert she's ever been to. Is Rush done recording albums? Suzanne doesn't think so. The band is done touring, though. Maybe they'll do a few shows in the major cities every now and then, or perhaps a residency somewhere.
00:55:00 In 1982, the band releases Signals with the album cover of a dalmatian sniffing a fire hydrant. Kyle considers it one raised leg away from being an Aerosmith album. "And they'd call it 'Leaks.'" Pat and Kyle observe the different logos that the band used throughout these albums. Suzanne picks the song "The Weapon". The song that Pat picks is his favorite Rush song, "Subdivisions".
01:00:00 The band has been touring and recording NON-STOP. In 1984, the carousel continues with Grace Under Pressure. This is the first album since the debut not to feature Terry Brown as a producer. Instead it's a man named Peter Henderson, who worked with King Crimson, Supertramp, and Wings. Suzanne plays the song "Afterimage". Pat plays the song "Red Sector A", inspired by Geddy's mom being a Holocaust survivor. Starting with Moving Pictures, the band was now doing videos for MTV. They're not the handsomest chaps on the block, suffice to say.
01:05:00 The next year brings us Power Windows. A new producer comes in named Peter Collins. Suzanne picks the song "Marathon". Pat picks "Manhattan Project".
01:10:00 The band keeps Mr. Collins for 1987's Hold Your Fire. Suzanne plays one of her favorite Rush songs "Time Stand Still" featuring Aimee Mann. Pat is incensed that Aimee never performed the song with Rush live when they were in LA. The song is great, the video not so much. Pat's pick is the song "Mission". Kyle looks up info about "Time Stand Still." Originally the band thought of Cyndi Lauper, then they wanted Chrissie Hynde but she was unavailable, so they went with Aimee Mann.
01:15:00 The band's last album of the 80s was 1989's Presto with all the bunnies on the album cover. "If it was an Aerosmith album, they'd all be fucking," says Kyle. Suzanne plays the song "Red Tide". Slick production from new producer Rupert Hine. Pat plays "The Pass". Kyle notes the similarities in Geddy's voice on the latter song to Robin Zander.
01:20:00 Pat and Suzanne agree that 1991's Roll the Bones is a kickass album with a kickass cover of a kickass kid kicking a kickass skull. Suzanne plays "Bravado". Pat once again picked the same song as Suzanne. They give the album a 10 out of 10. Kyle makes special mention of the instrumental "Where's My Thing?" which is Part IV of the "Gangster of Boats" trilogy. Oh those goofy Canucks.
The following album features the return of Peter Collins as a producer, it's 1993's Counterparts. Yet another album cover that is one piece away from being an Aerosmith album cover, according to Kyle. If that screw was any closer, they'd have had to give royalties to Steven Tyler. Suzanne plays "Cut to the Chase".
01:25:00 Pat picked TWO songs from Counterparts. The first is "Animate". The second is "Nobody's Hero", which is partly inspired by a gay friend of Neil's who died of AIDS. Very personal subject matter for a Rush song.
Three years later, the band release their 16th album Test for Echo. Suzanne picks the instrumental "Limbo".
01:30:00 After laughing about a Test for Echo review that gives the album 3 out of 5 stars while calling it their best album in ten years (huh?), Pat picks the song "Virtuality".
Another one of Suzanne's favorite Rush albums is 2002's Vapor Trails. This is the first album in years because Neil's daughter and wife died in the span of 10 months. He left music and journeyed extensively across North and Central America on his motorcycle. But Neil eventually recovered and the band continued on their ways. Suzanne plays "One Little Victory".
01:35:00 Pat plays the song "Earthshine". Vapor Trails would eventually be remixed in 2013 because the band was unhappy with the sound quality. Suzanne got the album from one Jimmy Pardo, who listened to it once and gave it to her.
In 2004, the band puts out a covers album called Feedback. Suzanne picks their version of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth". Pat picks Rush's version of The Who's "The Seeker".
01:40:00 The next original album is 2007's Snakes & Arrows, produced by Nick Raskulinecz. This is Suzanne's favorite Rush album ever. She picks the song "Spindrift". Pat plays the song "Workin' Them Angels".
01:45:00 The last Rush studio album to date is their 20th, 2012's Clockwork Angels. The album has its own novelization that incorporates Rush lyrics into the story, which Suzanne was not a fan of. Suzanne picks the song "The Wreckers". Pat AGAIN picked the same song. Suzanne recommends that Pat read the book. "You should see the list of books I'm not reading," he says. There's an essay on Pat's desk by his daughter that he hasn't read, so Clockwork Angels is gonna have to wait a while.
01:50:00 Plugs time. You can follow Suzanne on Twitter @sdillingham. Kyle is STILL working on the new website. He makes a blood oath to the gods that he will launch it by Pat's birthday. Also a reminder about the Rock Solid ASAP Club, where you can get all future episodes of Rock Solid as soon as they are produced with a donation of $50 to the podcast.
01:55:00 Thanks so much to Suzanne for coming on the show and playing RUSH!!!!! RUSH RUUUUUUULES!!!!!!!! Pat takes us out with "Tom Sawyer" off of Moving Pictures.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 In the Mood Rush Rush Suzanne
00:10:00 Finding My Way Rush Rush Pat
00:10:00 Beneath, Between & Behind Fly by Night Rush Suzanne
00:15:00 By-Tor & the Snow Dog Fly by Night Rush Pat
00:15:00 The Fountain of Lamneth Caress of Steel Rush Suzanne
00:20:00 Bastille Day Caress of Steel Rush Pat
00:25:00 Tears 2112 Rush Suzanne
00:25:00 2112 2112 Rush Pat
00:30:00 Cinderella Man A Farewell to Kings Rush Suzanne
00:30:00 Closer to the Heart A Farewell to Kings Rush Pat
00:35:00 La Villa Strangiato Hemispheres Rush Suzanne
00:40:00 The Trees Hemispheres Rush Pat
00:40:00 The Spirit of Radio Permanent Waves Rush Suzanne
00:45:00 Freewill Permanent Waves Rush Pat
00:45:00 Limelight Moving Pictures Rush Suzanne
00:55:00 The Weapon Signals Rush Suzanne
00:55:00 Subdivisions Signals Rush Pat
01:00:00 Afterimage Grace Under Pressure Rush Suzanne
01:00:00 Red Sector A Grace Under Pressure Rush Pat
01:05:00 Marathon Power Windows Rush Suzanne
01:05:00 Manhattan Project Power Windows Rush Pat
01:10:00 Time Stand Still Hold Your Fire Rush Suzanne
01:10:00 Mission Hold Your Fire Rush Pat
01:15:00 Red Tide Presto Rush Suzanne
01:15:00 The Pass Presto Rush Pat
01:20:00 Bravado Roll the Bones Rush Suzanne
01:20:00 Cut to the Chase Counterparts Rush Suzanne
01:25:00 Animate Counterparts Rush Pat
01:25:00 Nobody’s Hero Counterparts Rush Pat
01:25:00 Limbo Test for Echo Rush Suzanne
01:30:00 Virtuality Test for Echo Rush Pat
01:30:00 One Little Victory Vapor Trails Rush Suzanne
01:35:00 Earthshine Vapor Trails Rush Pat
01:35:00 For What It’s Worth Feedback Rush Suzanne
01:35:00 The Seeker Feedback Rush Pat
01:40:00 Spindrift Snakes & Arrows Rush Suzanne
01:40:00 Workin’ Them Angels Snakes & Arrows Rush Pat
01:45:00 The Wreckers Clockwork Angels Rush Suzanne
01:55:00 Tom Sawyer Moving Pictures Rush Pat

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