RUSH- Hold Your Fire (1987)

When RUSH dropped onto our laps Hold Your Fire in August 1987 I bought this on cassette tape. I never did get it on CD in the late 80s. I didn’t even buy it when the RUSH Remasters came out on disc again in the mid-90s. 

Why I have no idea but just a few weeks back a pal of mine was selling some records and…

Whoa… Hold Your Fire was in the mix of a 4 pack of vinyl I picked up that day. Even before Neils death a few months back you never really see RUSH albums in any kind of used bin. Sure you can buy RUSH vinyl on Amazon but it’s a little pricey so when I see used RUSH it’s a quick pay in cash and dash!

Hold Your Fire has the boys hooking up with Peter Collins once again and Collins delivers an album that sounds crisp n clean especially in the guitars of Alex. 

Hardcore fans go on about Geddy and his pyramid of keyboards washing out Lifeson’s fretwork on these mid-80s albums but I really don’t buy into that silliness at all. Sure there are synths and keys all over this record but so what as it all fits into place. 

Force 10 leads off the album and is a great track and can be heard on many a live RUSH album after 87. It’s a great opener and lyrically and musically its all there for the taking.

Time Stand Still is a great track as well that features Aimme Mann^ on co-lead vocals with Geddy on the chorus and it’s amazing that this song works.  Neil is amazing on this tune especially the pre-chorus as he’s all over the place on his drums as he is indeed The Professor.


Prime Mover has to be my fav off of this album and one of my all-time Top 10 RUSH tracks. Geddy’s Bass pops along this track and what a stellar chorus.  I really hope when reissue time of the Show of Hands comes they include the live version of Prime Mover as it was included on the VHS copy not the audio portion of the Show of Hands double live album.

Flip over to Side 2 and there’s a pretty cool triple pack of Rush tunes that come right out of the gate. Lock And Key, Mission, and Turn The Page are good rock songs. 

I guess for the Hardcore 70’s fans Tai Shan would be the oddball track on here as for sure its a keyboard and percussion-driven tune. Lifeson indeed is buried on this track but I’m sure he is in there somewhere.  Tai Shan, I can listen to but let’s be honest folks I don’t see this one being on too many playlists. Still though not enough to make me pick up the needle and skip it. So I guess that’s saying something there right?

Closing track High Water is an interesting song as well. Lots of Geddy and Neil to start with but the guitars of Alex do pick up as the song moves forward. Alex’s solo is pretty damn fine on this song as Geddy pops along underneath Alex. That’s the stuff I like as come time for the guitar solo they can still strip it back to the 3 piece act that they are known for.

Hold Your Fire was a great revisit and I can honestly say I’m glad a got it on vinyl.

When I listen to RUSH stuff from the 80s you can really appreciate how far they had come as RUSH was a different animal back in the 70s yet they kept doing what they do and that is, keep putting out stellar records and touring arenas. 

^-Mann said that she got paid $2000 for showing up for an afternoons work in Toronto and got to hang out with Rush for the day. 

48 thoughts on “RUSH- Hold Your Fire (1987)”

    1. That’s a great point Pete. They gambled and followed it through. They did not let record sales dictate where they were going sonically.
      Doing it there own way.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the 80’s stuff. The 70’s stuff is great, don’t get me wrong, but the 80’s is where it was all it for me. Those are the albums I go back to the most. And Mann probably would’ve done it for free just to hang out with them, but the money is nice too. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to spend the day with Rush.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Geddy has said that writing on a keyboard helps melodically, and it shows in that their best melodies are from this era. They were sorely lacking on their last two releases I felt. I think the synths allowed them to get more creative and think outside the box since they’re so versatile and multi-faceted. Horn bursts, lightning fast arpeggios, lush strings, simple melodies, all possible now. The sonic possibilities opened that decade were endless. The keys really sparked their creative drive.

      Power Windows is great too. Still a lot of Lifeson on it, and side two has Peart’s best set of lyrics ever. Every song a winner. As a day dreaming escapist advocate in my youth, “Middletown Dreams” hit me right in the gut.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. First time I heard this album proper was the same way I heard a lot of their albums proper – after Mike gave his old CDs to me! Even now, all these years later, I am still shocked at the hugeness of that gesture. Rush became (and remains) one of my favourite bands.

    HYF is awesome. I like 80s Rush a ton. Great shout, Deke!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! I recall it being a divided fan base back than almost but now it’s all good.
      Kinda funny how the thinking of fans can change over time


  3. Good point about not seeing Rush in the used bins – I can’t recall ever seeing any of their records there. I quite like Aimee Mann so I imagine I’d approve of Time Stand Still.
    Well done in not letting this (rarely seen in the wild) Rush LP get away, Deke!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I only saw Rush once (as part of the SARS concert) – so I was probably several hundred metres back of the stage, but pleased I at least got to be present at one of their shows!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think we only made it in time for Rush / ACDC / Stones – I was doing a summer accounting program in London, and a couple of us made the trek to Taranna as soon as we were done our exam that afternoon!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I do remember some of the “Moving Pictures” Rush fans jumped off board when they used the synths (Signals) but they kept their core and gained some new…My friend remained a huge fan…I heard more of Rush through him…I do remember this album. I just listened to “Prime Mover” and it all came back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prime Mover is stellar!
      My favourite Rush is Signals! I guess I’m synth driven haha
      But that album just clicked all the checkboxes for me back than! I’m sure if I was 20 in 82 my thoughts may have leaned towards the 70s stuff but I only was 15 in 82 so who knows plus I had no older brothers I had to find and discover this stuff with my friends or myself

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I must admit I know more of the radio hits and I love the musicianship.
        You brought up a good point. I didn’t have older brothers just an older sister with BAD (Osmonds) taste. I did have older cool cousins who turned me on to older stuff that hardly anyone in my school peer group knew lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Just referring to what Deke said in the post “fans go on about Geddy and his pyramid of keyboards washing out Lifeson’s fretwork on these mid-80s albums but I really don’t buy into that silliness”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From reading magazines at the time that may have had more to do with the critics as they were not the Proggy bunch they once were when these writers first came across them.
        Who knows but all of us that discovered RUSH in the 80s have no problems whatsoever!
        If anything I’m glad to see you guys reading my stuff lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He’s just playing super trebley reverb/delay heavy clean arpeggio style puncuated by massive power chords for drama instead of his previous more dominant rock n roll distortion. It’s not the Lerxst we knew, but a new beast!


  5. So many good songs on this. I never bought into the keyboard complaints either. Thought they did well with them. Prime Mover is a favorite of mine as well. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still own the first cd I ever bought. Thats right. Still have it. Ive turned my collection over several times but I will always keep this copy. Don’t ask me what my 2nd cd was. It may have been the then recent Foreigner album but don’t hold that against me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Show of Hands from this tour was the second CD I ever bought. 5150 was the first. I’m not too ashamed of that. I think Tooth and Nail by Dokken was third. I actually have a list somewhere of the first 500 or so I bought in order of purchase. I guess I was preparing to sort autobiographically like in High Fidelity.


  7. Shit! How did I miss this? I fucking love this album! I just listened to it a few days ago actually. Mellow jazz rock easy listening techno Rush! Lay it on me.

    Lifeson is actually the standout on Tai Shan. I had to learn what he was playing for a cover I did of it and his arpeggiated parts are really creative once you isolate them. He was figuring out how to fit in a rock band not playing rock guitar. Listen to when the guitars first come in. The first note of each beat starts to gradually claim the scale between his picking. You can hear him doing that again on a separate overdub during the fadeout.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to learn it on keys so I’m very familiar with it now. Lots of sharps in that song. Or is it flats? Depends on the key, which I don’t remember what key it’s in. I’ll get back to you. Most certainly not C Major or A Minor though.


      2. Yes, I’ve had my ears trained by years of mixing and listening to records, unfortunately never by professional means. I also have synesthesia. So in addition to listening to records I get to see the music too. Auditory input triggers a visual response in my mind’s eye. Different shapes and colors depending on the instrument, the timbre, any distortion, reverb, muffled sound, things like that. With a visual it’s easier to pick things up.

        A few years back my buddy and I were in the car and he switched it to this radio station, and in about one second I knew it was Metallica. James wasn’t singing, no solo, and I had never heard the song before. I just recognized the Bob Rock snare sound and scooped mid guitars. He looked at me like I was some kind of alien. It was some song off of the Load of Shit albums.

        Similar thing happened when I first heard Midnite Dynamite by Kix. Knew it was Beau Hill within an instant despite not knowing he was involved. Simply by the thin punchy drums and his reverb panned guitar sound. I’d heard his Ratt stuff and knew his sound I guess. I wasn’t even trying to tell who produced it. Just seemed obvious.

        I want my golden ears medal now.


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