From Rush to R30 - A listening retrospective: Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure is one of those albums that tends to divide the Rush camps. It's either one of the more brilliant albums to come from the trio, or it's dated and too heavy in the synthesizers. Yes, Grace Under Pressure does have a lot of synths that may sound tinny to todays ears, but the album stands up as a whole with every track standing out, waiting to be counted. This is one of my go-to Rush albums, and is one of my favorites.

"Distant Early Warning" starts the album off in fine style. I love this song, and have always thought of it as a song about letting go of the fears of doom and dread and just living, no matter what the concerns may be. Next is "Afterimage", a very powerful song about loss of a loved one. "Suddenly you were gone, from all the lives you left your mark upon". Originally for Robbie Whelan, but was quoted in the liner notes for Different Stages for Neil's wife and daughter. One of my favorites on this album. "Red Sector A" is a chilling account of Geddy Lee's grandmother's recounting of life in a holocaust camp.
"The Enemy Within" is another of my favorites on this album, describing the only thing that can defeat you 100%. "The Body Electric" is an OK song dealing with technology. "1001001" to me is about breaking one's programming and getting out of the norm. "Kid Gloves" is a bit of a sleeper on this album, but still keeps the pace going. Where the album gets a little silly is "Red Lenses", which apparently is just a joke (and yes, there's a lot of red on this album. :) ) "Between the Wheels" rounds out the album, and is an excellent way to close out the album. I always forget about this song, but it always reminds me why I love this album so much.

Grace Under Pressure also inspired a tour that was the first tour I saw of Rush on a copy of a copy VHS tape. It's on the Rush Replay x3 discs, and is definitely something to check out.


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