For this latest Rush album the random hand-of-fate (aka: my script) chose "Permanent Waves". This is considered one of Rush's most radio friendly albums and it's clear to see why. "The Spirit of Radio" is a straight-up radio-friendly jam that talks about the optimism of radio while saying that radio has a seedy underbelly. The video that was recently released hits home with this. It's a celebration of the DJs that took a chance on Rush and played their music on the airwaves. In many ways this is one of my favorite Rush songs because of its cheery optimism for rock radio. It's also a fun song to play on the drums.
"Freewill" is one of the other radio-friendly songs on this album and shows up almost weekly on rock radio playlists. It's also in 7/8 time so much like "Take 5" it's one of those odd-meter songs that gets played more than you think it would.
"Jacob's Ladder" is a longer song that shows that Rush isn't about to go quietly into the radio friendly bins. This song is challenging, both to listen to and to play, but still enjoyable. "Entre Nous" by contrast is a beautiful song about the mysteries we can be to each other and how we all need to take a closer look. "Different Strings" is also a beautiful song with lyrics penned by Geddy Lee rather than Neil Peart. Closing out the album is "Natural Science", one of the last "epic" songs that Rush would record. It hearkens back to the songs "The Fountain of Lamneth", "Bytor and the Snow Dog", and others without being as long and dramatic.
Permanent Waves has always been a favorite album of mine. I even used it as my BBS handle when I needed to select one. Unfortunately some folks thought it was because I have wavy hair, which couldn't be further from the truth. Ah well.
From a drummer perspective this is one of those albums I'll always want to play along. Plenty of challenge but lots of rewarding riffs.o
The journey through Rush's discography continues.