SONIC WAVES….Rush/Grace Under Pressure

Ahhh back to good Ol 1984! You with me ?
Ahhh back to good Ol 1984! You with me ?

1984 and i was stoked here comes Rush with Grace Under Pressure! Now for some this is a new Rush forging different sounds like more keyboards and keeping the songs shorter while alienating there hard core Fanbase from the 70s who still craved for the Xanadu’s and By Tor’s of yesteryear!

I boarded the Rush Tour bus back in 1981 with obviously Moving Pictures as we all bought it and than I got Exit Stage Left…hey you can read about it here….

1982 cruises around and Rush throws down which is probably  my fav Rush album Signals…read some of my fine Blah de Blah here….


1984 and there’s a ton of heavier hitters releasing music Van Halen with 1984(actually released on Dec 31 1983) Judas Priest with Defenders Of The Faith,Scorpions with Love At First Sting,Iron Maiden unleashing Powerslave,Ratt with Out Of The Cellar,and Autograph releasing Autograph!(giggle all Ya want about that last one there’s a review a comin!)

Rush I was fine with the musical shift and direction change since I just loved Signals but the magazines I read at the time (Circus ) especially didn’t like Grace Under Pressure I didn’t understand why especially as all these supposed writers got all this music free to review! I took the high road basically and said F.U to these ass clown writers and dug my heels in with Rush…..

Geddy,Neil and Alex sport some new threads(watch the live Distant Early Warning video!) and new sounds and out of the Rush Musical Supremacy Musical Blender comes…..


DISTANT EARLY WARNING- a real solid opener Yep there’s a ton of keys especially during the chorus and such but man Rush is still a 3 piece and this is a rocker track in a Rush kinda way! Speaking of the chorus it’s catchy “the world weighs on my shoulder but what am I supposed to do,you sometimes drive me crazy but I worry about you!” Holy crap man Neil is writing some real cool lyrics that I can now understand I mean i still remember hearing Bastille Day for the first time and after about 3 minutes I was like……..? What? Huh? Mommy! Even though Rush was getting buried in a wall of keyboards in 1984  I always loved the fact that during Lifesons solos they would still strip down there sound to the basics (drums,bass and guitar) Hardcore Rush fanatics pre 1979…….RELAX!

AFTERIMAGE-this tune is one of my favs off of this record and just so you know what I’m talking about check out the video of Afterimage! This song is about losing someone close to you and I guess the guys in Rush did lose a friend during the recording of Grace Under Pressure. So for right now,gone is The Police inspired reggae tinge of New World Man in its place is the dark somber Afterimage. I love the music to this tune especially the prechorus and how they sync it right into the chorus without missing a beat! Rush as we all know don’t miss beats or skip beats!

RED SECTOR A-big time Keys fuel this tune and drive along with Neil’s percussion. I guess this song he wrote for Geddy as his family (parents)survived World War Two. This song is a different kind of Rush. These cats always had something to say but on this album 3 songs in and 3 real important messages about life!

THE ENEMY WITHIN-this song drives from the get go! It’s a snappy cracking tune musical as Lee and Lifeson lock musical horns with Peart on his drums and they plough forward down the not so Prog highway. Rush is rocking but its a different Rush rocker and that’s perhaps why I got onboard the Rush express in the early 80s and was ok with them changing it up with musical styles and changing directions! Come to think of it I have bought every new Rush album upon its release since Signals! So I guess I’m ok with 80s Rush!

THE BODY ELECTRIC-1-0-0-1 0-0-1 in Distress! Rush is sending out codes! This song starts side 2 love the drums and bass locking in and than the guitar joining in and this is a groovey kind of Rush jam out! The song is a great track! Rush are playing to a different kind of groove I mean do they have to prove anything go to anybody anymore? Nope Sez I ….and Sez You!

KID GLOVES-This is Rush a Rockin and it shows in Kids Gloves! Alex starts off with some picking which at the time sounds like Andy Summers from The  Police. Awesome track as Peart and Geddy drive the rhythm bus and Alex dices and splices are real cool clean solo. Kid Gloves no one ever talks about! Well we gotta change that here folks! I’m throwing down a live audio bootleg version of this tune….and hey Ya gotta chuckle when they call this bootleg Rush Bottle Of Booze! Ha..

RED LENSES-a real cool little rock Rush track!  I See Red starts Geddy and Rush is off to the races witht this track! This is Quirky Rush you could say  and fair enuff when theyngo into the prechorus Neil does his electronic percussion thingy and Geddy slapa da bass and this tune slapa da deke outside the head! A win win i guess you could say!

BETWEEN THE WHEELS-last song on the album and I love the big sound of keyboards (did I just type that) and Lifesons big power chords fuel this track! The song during the verses almost sounds off the rails  but its Rush they do what they do right and make it sound like    that’s how it’s supposed to sound!  The prechorus ramps up I mean we all know “how that Rabbit feels going under those speeding wheels bright images pass you by like a windshield towards a fly!” Sings Geddy and straight the chorus! Great Lifeson solo and just a great tune! Gem I call it!

IN CONCLUSION- Rush 1984 is a hell of a lot different than Rush 1974 but for me I dug Rush all kinds of Rush eventually i delved into the back catalogue and  i guess I could make a strong argument saying that Permant Waves also could be my fav Rush as well but I’m getting carried away here. Grace Under Pressure is a real good solid record. Sure it’s layered in keyboards! The sonics courtesy of Rush and Peter Henderson are fine! The songs are fine…but like I said it’s those cool moments of 80s Rush that I love when they strip all the layers away and go back to that 3 piece is the Rush I love!

14 thoughts on “SONIC WAVES….Rush/Grace Under Pressure”

  1. Man it must have been a lot of pressure to follow up Moving Pictures and Signals. This is an album I don’t know nearly as well as the other two. You;ve had 30 years to get to know it and love it…I was much later on the Rush express.


    Great review Deke, I’ll have to give it another listen again soon.

    Also for added info, be sure to check out Grace Under Pressure Live, which is available on its own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me It was of course Moving Pictures followed by Exit Stage Left than onto Signals! Any of those 3 I think would be a good segue into Grace Under Pressure


      1. J. Signals is my fave too, with MP and Power Windows being also great. Of course I am leaving out Exit Stage Left which is amazing. Grace isn’t a fave but it does have 3 of my favorite cuts ever, DEW, Enemy Within and Between the Wheels.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes yes yes! RUSH! 🙂 Right on Deke, this is a gooder. You know, I reviewed this one on the KMA and at the time I was more impressed by the writing than the music (I don’t dig synths as much but it’s Rush so they get a very very rare (from me) pass on that one!), But it’s had more spins in full and in the random mix and these songs are strong. Nice one Deke!

    My blather on it:


      1. Haha I don’t recall any spew! Besides, that series was over a year ago… I’m glad you got this one out though, Deke, it’s always healthy to have a fairly steady diet of Rush. 🙂


    1. Thanks man! For sure when I think of Rush no two albums sound the same perhaps only in the keyboard driven sound they were going for but GUP is a slow grower! Case in point I dig it more now than I did back than as there was so much music for this 17 year old back in 1984!
      Check it out and drop me a line on your findings!


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