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Subject: RUSH Fans Digest of 10/08/90 (#62)  ** Special Edition **


               RUSH Fans Digest, Number 62

                  Monday, 8 October 1990
Today's Topics:
                      Editor's note
                     Rush album sales
                         RUSH bbs
                    Movie soundtrack?
              Special item:  Alex Interview
----------------------------------------------------------
From: RUSH Digest Manager <rush-mgr@syrinx.umd.edu>
Subject: Editor's note

This is a special edition of the RUSH Fans Digest.  It is mainly to
bring you the last item, the Alex interview.  I figured that while 
I'm at it, I'd also send out the latest mail items that have come in
since this morning's mailing.  

So here it is - Extra, extra, read all of it!  :-)

rush-mgr

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 90 09:59:46 -0700
From: David Conley <dmc@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Rush album sales

I just thumbed through a paperback called "The Billboard Book of Gold and
Platinum Records". Recently a discussion has popped up regarding Rush album
sales. So I thought I might add a bit of info to the discussion. This book
does not give actual numbers of albums sold to date. It only lists whether a
group or individual has achieved gold or platinum status for a single or
album. Gold meaning 500,000 units sold for an album and platinum meaning
1 million units sold. I think these numbers might be different for singles.

     Anyway Rush has no singles that achieved gold or platinum...not too
surprising. But every Rush album, save for the first 3 (Rush, FBN, CoS),
has achieved at least gold status, and many have reached platinum. Sorry,
I don't remember too many specifics. The book cost $20 and I don't think
B. Dalton would let me borrow it to make a Xerox. But, I do recall a couple
of interesting facts.

Quiz Question #1: What is the only Rush album (so far) to reach double
platinum (2 million units sold) status??

This book also listed the highest chart peak for each album, for example
2112 peaked at number 61 on the Billboard chart. Three Rush albums have
made it to number 10 on the charts (but did not crack the top 10).....
but 2 albums did make the Billboard Top 10 (numbers 3 and 4)...

Quiz Question #2: Which 2 Rush albums have cracked the Billboard Top
10 for albums??

I'll post the answers to these questions in a few days.

Hint: The book did not have listings for Presto yet.

Cheers,

-------
David Conley     "The Digital Anatomist"   ::dmc@milton.u.washington.edu
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle

----------------------------------------------------------

Date:    Mon, 08 Oct 90 13:07 EDT
From: LHARRIS@CLEMSON.CLEMSON.EDU
Subject: RUSH bbs

Someone posted a while back on accessing a RUSH oriented bbs through
telnet.  Am I correct? or was this for something else.  I can't tell
because when I telnet to this address, the host rejects my open attempt,
so I can't even get into it to find out what it was for.  I believe the
address I have is "micom.cac.washington.edu".  I would appreciate any
other information on this.
I still have no luck on finding someone with the RUSH sun-rasters.
........................................................................
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<     /     /|    /'''/ /'''/ |  / > E-mail: LHARRIS@CLEMSON.bitnet    >
<___ /     / |   /   / /   /  | /__> -OR- LHARRIS@clust1.clemson.edu   >
<-- /     /--|  /--|- /--|-   |/---> Clemson University Computer Engr. >
<  /____ /   | /   | /   |    /    >-Disclaimer: Go ahead and sue me|- >
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Look in to the eye of the storm, Look out for the force without form.

----------------------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 90 13:52:58 -0400
From: Michael S Savett <savvy@brahms.udel.edu>
Subject: Movie soundtrack?

Greetings - over the weekend I was told that the boyz did several
instrumental tracks for the movie 'Darkman,' with Liam Neeson.
Can anyone confirm this? (I've looked, and to date, there is no
soundtrack album!)

Also, I saw a copy (on cassette) of 'Rush Through Time,' released
by Polygram-New Zealand a number of years ago.  This is NOT an
official release, correct?

Does anyone have the Power Windows Rockline (or anything before?)
I have all since HYF (four in all) and would trade for other
material - e-mail me, please!

Michael Savett
savvy@brahms.udel.edu

----------------------------------------------------------

Here is something sent in by one of our readers.  As it was so long,
it is the real reason there is this special edition of the Digest.

        Taken without permission from Music Express #132, 1989

        Alex Lifeson is facing a crisis.  Only five days to go and the Rush
guitarist has to shed seven pounds to cash in on a bet he's made with a friend.
The consequence of losing is too embarrassing for Lifeson to contemplate.
        "We bet each other that we could lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks, the loser
buying the winner a suit of his choice," explains Lifeson.
        "But that's not all.  The loser has to pose in a skimpy Speedo swim
suit and pay for the winner to place the offending photo in the magazine or
newspaper of the winner's choice with an appropriate caption.  He didn't show
up for our tennis match last night so I think I'm in good shape."
        Shaping up for the bet and the release of the latest Rush double live
release, A Show of Hands, has become a priority for Lifeson.
        "I put on weight really easy and I was getting really depressed about
the excess poundage and the more upset I got the more I went to the fridge for
something to eat," Lifeson confesses.  "I don't want to be big and bloated,
but the older you get the tougher it is to lose.
        "Being on the road doesn't help either; any diet just goes out the
window.  Sure you run around for two hours and sweat a lot but you don't
really lose much weight.  And then you go back to the dressing room and gobble
down three tables full of food.
        "Being off the road is even worse.  You spend a lot of time at home
watching TV.  And that's when you start reaching for the pizzas and the cases
of coke.  You can't win.  So you have to discipline yourself at some point."
        Lifeson's staging his battle with the bulge by working out regularly
in the gym with former Rush drummer John Rutsey, who provides a competitive
element.  The horrific thought of posing in that Speedo has provided
additional incentive for the blond-maned guitarist to trim 13 pounds off his
sturdy frame.
        To gauge the results, Lifeson only has to look at the 60-minute
concert video which has been shot to accompany the album release.  Shot during
the band's '87-'88 Hold Your Fire tour, the multi-media package reflects the
band's technical development as a live act over the past 18 years.  While this
is the third live Rush album (All The World's A Stage and Exit...Stage Left
being the first two), it was almost the last Rush album period!
        "We promised we wouldn't make another one after this one," the Fernie,
B.C. native reveals.  "After we mixed the album in June, everyone was tired
and disillusioned about the future.  Fortunately, we just got together a
couple of weeks ago to discuss schedules and what we wanted to do in the
future.  Neil (Peart) has been working on some lyrics.  I've been messing
around at home in my studio, and so had Geddy (Lee), so the wheels started to
turn again.  Next thing you know, we're booking studio time in January for a
new album which should be out this fall.  The discussions we've had have been
very positive.  Ultimately, the six-month break we've taken has made everyone
optimistic, which is a great relief."
        The genesis for A Show Of Hands was the trio's desire to close off a
chapter in their discography and also fulfill a record company obligation.
        "It either had to be a 'greatest hits' or a live album," Lifeson
explains, "and since we had been taping dates during the Grace Under Pressure,
Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, we had a good cross-section of
different stages of playing to choose from.
        "Our treatment of the songs is different and we've also included
Closer To The Heart again even though it was on our previous live album.  This
time it's a little more drawn out, there a different feel to it."
        Considering that some of the shows were taped in Los Angeles and some
during the British tour segment, Lifeson says it's interesting to note the
subtle differences between the performances.
        "We taped three shows in L.A. ad every one of them sounded different,
even though it was the same hall and the mics were left in the same place each
night.  We used different equipment in England and those shows sounded totally
different.  That's what makes live albums so interesting.  No single
performance is ever quite the same."
        According to Lifeson, one of the underlying reasons for recording A
Show Of Hands was to cut a live album which is a little grittier than
Exit...Stage Left, which the band feels was too clean-sounding and not truly
representative of their live performance.
        "In retrospect, I don't think we were happy with Exit, it seems too
clean for a live album.  It's always tough to find a balance between a raging
live show and something that's closer to a more controlled ambient studio
sound.  With this album we wanted to find a middle ground between that and the
first live album, which was a lot rawer.
        "I think we found that mid-point with A Show Of Hands," Lifeson
observes.  "I think it's an honest album.  A lot of the live albums you hear
are 50 per cent live and 50 per cent repair jobs in the studio.  Fortunately,
we didn't have to worry about that.  We spent weeks going through the
material, picking the songs and the best parts, getting all the right stuff.
To me, it sounds like a live album, it's got that atmosphere to it."
        What the new album indicates to Lifeson and his two cohorts is the
amazing technical progress Rush has made over the last three or four albums,
and even more amazing, how successful they've been in bringing their audience
along with them.  What was once construed as a high-power heavy metal unit is
now capable of some of the most sophisticated sounds on vinyl.
        "The funny thing is, we always used to hold back in the studio,"
Lifeson says.  "Then we started working with Peter Collins on the last two
albums.  He encouraged us to become freer in our expression and not to worry
about playing the songs live.  We put our toe in the water with Power Windows
and took the first full step with Hold Your Fire.  We learned with Power
Widows that you don't have to be restrictive.  With today's technology, you
can reproduce anything live.  All you need is some deft footwork and the right
timing."
        Aware that Rush is in danger of getting too sophisticated, Lifeson
indicates the next studio album could go in a totally different direction.
        "The next step may be to strip it right down and become more of a core
three-piece.  A little bit more showing off the musicianship, while playing
down the keyboards and sampling.  The trick is to always be pushing forward
and experimenting with new ideas.  When we did Time Stand Still with Aimee
Mann (of Til Tuesday), some people said, 'They've lost it; they're getting
old.'  Now 2112, that was an album!  But that's 12 years old; you can't stay
there and stagnate.  You have to move on and try new things.  That's what
makes it exciting."
        Lifeson is proud of Rush's accomplishments.  He notes that they've
successfully changed with the times, become melodic and softer at appropriate
moments but ar also capable of being as heavy as they've ever been.  "The
difference now is that we've learned to control those dynamics."
        The Rush fret merchant feels the 60-minute concert video will
emphasize the band's ability to display all facets of its arsenal and prove
that Rush is still a relevant force heading into the '90s.
        "We shot the film in Birmingham over three night, the first night for
test shots ad the final two for the live footage," Lifeson explains. "A lot of
the live album was recorded during those dates so it was easier to mix.  About
half of the clips are from the other shows and there are a couple of extra
songs featured that aren't on the album."
        The experience was a necessary evil for a band which abhors videos at
the best of times and steadfastly refuses for the sake of artistic licence.
        "There's always the video director who'll say, 'Hey Neil, just take
your tom tom and walk about with it in the mist.  Neil's reply is, 'Yeah,
right, I'll see you around.'
        "For us, videos are a hassle.  We get through them by making each
other laugh.  I sense they are becoming less and less important.  Hopefully,
there won't be a need to make a video for every song in the future."
        Considering that Rush views A Show Of Hands as the closing of a
chapter, one has to wonder how many chapters are left in the Rush
encyclopedia. Lifeson has no definitive answer, but says their longevity has
been based on their ability to work together at appropriate times but to also
distance themselves from the band and absorb themselves with outside projects
- in Lifeson's case, producing Toronto band Clean Slate and guesting on other
artists' projects.
        "Personally, I'm always excited about the creative process of
recording a new album, but the touring aspect is always tough to get mentally
psyched for.  Consequently, we think less about the future and tend to think
more day to day.  Like right now I'm totally turned off the band until we
start recording again on January 20th.  But come January 19th, I'll tune
myself into it and slide back into that Rush groove.  It's when you try to
slide back into that groove and nothing happens - that's when you know you
have a problem."
        In analyzing the creative process which produces a Rush album, Lifeson
explains that the dynamic interplay between the three members has changed
somewhat over the years.
        "I'ts always difficult, but sometimes it's harder than others," he
allows.  "With Power Windows, we recorded all our jams at the soundcheck.  We
had a lot of material we could pull ideas from and we took about 60 per cent
of the final tracks from those tapes.
        "With Hold Your Fire, we did the same thing, but only took five per
cent from the tapes.  Most of those tracks came from sitting down and
physically working out the ideas.  It's always a challenge to come up with
something new and different.  At the same time, we've learned to write in
blocks - do simple sketches of mood and melody and develop it into as complex
a piece as we want.  As we learn from more and more with each album, we become
more efficient and creative.
        "We used to compose on acoustic guitar all the way up until Permanent
Wave.  Then we started to use more technology.  Now we set up the eight-track
studio decks and a vocal mic, work the parts out more fully on demo cassettes
and have almost everything worked out before we go into the studio."
        Lifeson admits that Rush has enjoyed more than its share of good
fortune in surviving almost two decades in the music business and says he
empathizes with any new band trying to crack it today.  He suggests the odd
are stacked against new outfits and blames video as a prime culprit.
        "When Rush started out, we played any chance we could get to learn our
chops.  Quite often, we were first on a three or four-act concert bill.  But
those shows don't exist anymore.  Video has efficiently killed that.
        "Rather than providing tour support, record companies now have videos.
Which means that all their legwork is done for them; they get lazy and don't
hustle the product like they used to.  As a result, the young bands get
killed. They don't get the experience to become better musicians.  That's why
people are freaking out over Guns N' Roses.  They look like a band that's
that's been around for a while and played every bar there is - and they sound
like it too.
        "Another problem is having records produced by non-musicians," Lifeson
continues, warming to the subject matter.  "These guys are programming sounds
to the point of making them intentionally messy to simulate someone playing
live.  As a result, the seeds of creativity don't have anywhere to be planted
anymore.  When we first started doing it, there was that fertile ground."
        Rush has survived all the usual pitfalls to attain rock music's
version of the Good Houskeeping seal of approval.  They've never
over-commercialized themselves, have always stood by sound ethics of quality
and superior performance.  They deliver a first-class effort, whether live or
on vinyl, and only release product when they have a definitive statement to
make.
        "We always feel there is a certain level of quality we must achieve to
justify releasing an album," acknowledges Lifeson.  "We're good enough
musicians to play live and there's that whole peripheral picture of lighting
and presentation which we're noted for.  And our albums have always retained
certain high standards.
        "I guess the mark of our endurance is the long-time support of our
hardcore fans.  These are people who don't go to many other concerts anymore
because they can't deal with the hassle.  But they come out for us and they're
our harshest critics.  They're not afraid to tell us what they dislike and
that's important to us because we know our music means so much to them.  It's
that loyalty which differentiates our audience from a lot of other bands.
It's nice to know they're always there when we need them."

----------------------------------------------------------

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The contents of the Rush Fans Digest are solely the opinions and comments
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