I sure do love this album and when speaking of albums flying under the radar, Counterparts from Rush is one of those releases.
Counterparts came out in October of 1993 right in the height of Grunger Mania with tattered cardigans and a wall of sound emerging from Seattle.
Geddy Lee/Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson went heavy on the sound(production courtesy of Peter Collins) of this album and what a brilliant move it was. Rush ramped up the sound to make it…..
Meaty Beaty Big and Bassy!
You can hear Neil count his drums in on opener Animate and what an opener. The song drives forward with Neil pushing the tempo while Geddy’s Bass is cranked. Lifeson as well is cranked as the whole band is firing on all Prog Cylinders at this point. Great song.
Stick It Out is the song from this album that is easily in my Top 10 of Fav RUSH songs! Here the boys go into Grunger like Mode and show the young guns how it’s done. Stick It Out is a gnarly RUSH song. How about Alex’s guitar on this track. Doing all those cool tricks of the trades during the solo including being a professional on the wang bar and not getting all goofy with it. Geddy’s bassing on this tune especially during the chorus is off the hook.
Don’t swallow the poison
SPIT IT OUT
Don’t swallow your pride
STICK IT OUT
Don’t swallow your anger
SPIT IT OUT
Don’t swallow the lies
What an ass-kicker of a track!
1993 and RUSH isn’t fooling around. This being there 15th release they keep the talent bar very high and if Tbone and his Bros were around they would have drunk the bar dry, Just Saying!
Seriously though Peart as he always does writes some personal dark lyrics throughout( Nobody’s Hero and Everyday Glory) while Geddy has the task at delivering those words to us as a listener to make sure we understand what is going on in the mind of the Professor!
Nobody’s Hero is a great track. Peart lyrically tackled some topics which would not come as a shock to anyone in the year 2019. The chorus is fantastic and shows that Rush at time can dial back the crazy prog-rock and just relax with a little more of chill vibe.
‘I knew he was different, in his sexuality
I went to his parties, as a straight minority
It never seemed a threat to my masculinity
He only introduced me to a wider reality
As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that he was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart
But he’s nobody’s —’
Nothing new in that regard (making a bit of a left-hand turn )as Rush also composed the brilliant Losing It from 82’s Signals release.
Between Sun & Moon is built around the riff rock of Lifeson’s guitar which is so heavy sounding throughout this record and how about that cool tempo change in the chorus. Actually, let’s call this tune a GEM for that matter! Peart had a hand in the lyrics with this song from Pye Dubois who you all recall from being the lyricist for Max Webster in the ’70s and of course, helped Neil with Tom Sawyer!
Leave That Thing Alone is Rush blazing a musical only number which was the lead into Neils drum solo on this tour.
Can’t emphasize how good Counterparts sounds on vinyl! I must add that Kevin Shirley who engineered Counterparts did a brilliant job on bringing Alex’s guitar back to the forefront. RUSH back in 93 with Grunge going on around everywhere just kept doing what they do best and that’s putting out quality written/performed/recorded studio works not bowing down to any musical genre ever!
Gotta Respect Em For That!