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Subject: 12/14/90 - The National Midnight Star #130

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          The National Midnight Star, Number 130

                 Friday, 14 December 1990
Today's Topics:
                      Bests & worsts
                         Signals
                  Comments on Latest NMS
                      Hold Your Fire
     the ongoing Signals debate...(longer than usual)
             Anything from Nov 6 to anniv ed.
      Re: 12/13/90 - The National Midnight Star #129
----------------------------------------------------------

Well, today begins the end-of-semester purges.  I have a list of
about 15 people who will drop off the list (hopefully temporarily);
some today (after this digest is sent), some next week.  I'd like to
thank them for giving me advance warning - it makes my life *much*
easier.

Remember, if you do want to be dropped for the holiday break *only*,
you'll have to send mail when you get back to re-subscribe.

rush-mgr

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

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 90 11:16:55 EST
From: jek@egrlab.ac.duke.edu (James Kittock)
Subject: Bests & worsts

Ok, I can see this discussion is pointless... we all are
going to have our own opinions and advertising our favorites
will get us nowhere (sorta like RS bashing).  I was surprised
that their older albums were so poorly represented in the
poll, though.  When I want to jump around my apartment and
play electric tennis racket (call me a bassist wannabe), there
is nothing like The Temples of Syrinx or Didacts and Narpets
(BTW, is Narpets just supposed to be an anagram of Parents?).

[ To your question:  yes.  To your statement prior to that, there's 
  nothing like _2112_ or _Fly By Night_ at high volume to help me
  unwind after a long day!                                :rush-mgr ]

Ok, I am new here, so what's with the Satanism stuff?  I haven't
seen this interview or whatever.  I'm interested a) because it
is about Rush and b) because I think "Satanism" is interesting
in the way that it reflects on societal groupthink, etc.
(Amusingly, I had the nickname Satan in my dorm last year... :-) ).

--james

James Kittock
Duke University Class of 1992,  Computer Science/Math/Russian Major
jek@egrlab.ac.duke.edu    PO Box 5750 DS, Durham, NC 27706 USA
"Another war-- another waste land-- and another lost generation..."

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

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 90 11:44:30 -0500
From: dchao@ecn.purdue.edu (David H Chao)
Subject: Signals

   In regards to the responses about _Signals_, here's a different way to look
at it.  _Signals_ was the first album after _Exit.. Stage Left_ and thus was
a transition album of sorts.  If you read about the making of _Signals_ in
Visions, the groups talk about the problems they had working with the new soundsthey were trying, like the synthesizers, etc.  So instead of saying that _Sig-
nals_ is their worst album, it might be more accurate to say that is was not as
good as Rush hoped it would be.  Which is not all that bad... because it made
them work even harder to clean things up for the later albums.

                                   -Dave

David Chao
dchao@en.ecn.purdue.edu

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

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 90 14:01 EDT
From: Douglas Schwabe - Forbes Quad Lab <CSCHWABE@vms.cis.pitt.edu>
Subject: Comments on Latest NMS

I am a new subscriber to the NMS and I am impressed with the content
of the magazine.  However, I have to make a few statements to the
individual(s) who think "Signals" is a terrible album.  This album
became the turning point of Rush's career and became a springboard
for albums i.e. Grace Under Pressure, PowerWindows, and Hold Your Fire.
Signals was not an over-produced album.  If you ask me, it is a crude
ly produced album.  At that time the band was starting to incorporate
more of Geddy's Synth work.  The album was dominated by synths, therefore
putting Alex's guitar work in the background.  And remember this, Signals
was the last producing collaboration with Terry Brown.  Brown was used
to producing records that were dominated by Alex's guitar work and Neil's
explosive drumming.  Also remember that they changed producers after Signals,
(Peter Henderson for Grace).  This resulted in a more polished album, incorporating Geddy's synth work and Alex's guitar work in a more unified fashioned.

Enough about this, sounds like I'm writing a paper defending this record.
And another thing, do you ever notice that after the band makes a highly
artistic record (like Grace and Hold your Fire) they always come back
rockin' (like Powerwindows and Presto)?  Seems like when the band goes
off on one tangent, they always go back to their roots, so to speak.
Presto is an excellent example of this.  With songs like Show Don't
Tell, Chain Lightning, and Superconductor they rock out.

Rolling Stone critics are assholes, always have, always will.  They always
pan some one with a tremendous amount of talent, like Rush, and gives kudos
to bands like the Cure who obviously have no talent whatsoever.  I don't
read them anymore because I got tired of their pompus attitude.

I recently picked up Chronicles and I thought it is one of the best compilation
albums on the market today.  However, I feel that they omitted about 10 songs
that are just apart of Rush's history than the ones on the album.

Here they are (in no chronological order)

                       Xanadu
                        XYZ
                       In The End
                       Analog Kid
                       Digital Man
                       In The Mood
                       The Pass
                       SuperConductor
                       Open Secrets
                       Lock and Key
                       Mission
                       Different Strings
                       Entre Nous

Ok, so I can go on and on, but I do there would be enough songs here
to make another tape or CD (forgive the double Entre Nous).  That's
why I believe they did not put these songs on the compilation.  There
are too many four or five song box sets on the market that they felt
that it would be better to make this compilation a two cd set.  Oh,
well, I'll just have to make my own compilation.

Well, I have to go to work now.  To the staff and subscribers of the
NMS have a Merry Christmas and a Happy 1991.  So Long for now.

                                                Douglas Schwabe

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

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 90 15:13 EDT
From: Douglas Schwabe - Forbes Quad Lab <CSCHWABE@vms.cis.pitt.edu>
Subject: Hold Your Fire

In NMS #129 Jeff Wilson stated that Signals is a better album than
Hold your Fire.  HYF is the best album that Rush has released since
Moving Pictures and Signals.  Musically it is one of the innovative
albums they made as the band incorporates jazz fusion elements.  These
elements are evident in "Open Secrets", probably the best track on the
album.  The band also loosened it's image on songs like "Time Stand Still"
and "Second Nature".  Overall, Rush took alot of chances with HYF and
they paid off many times over.  It may not be one of their most popular
albums, as judged by the recent readers poll, but it is still one of
the most interesting albums they have ever made.  This album will stand the
test of time and will be look back as one of their greatest albums ever
made.

Refering to NMS #81 and the reference to Kim Mitchell and Max Webster
has any of these guys released anything new lately?  About two
months ago I heard Kim's "Go For a Soda" for the first time in many
years.  Occasionally I watch reruns of "Miami Vice" and I hear "Soda"
on an episode or two.  Please keep me informed when either of these
guys comes out with anything.

Well, that's all for now.  Every one have a nice holiday!!!

Doug Schwabe
Forbes Quadrangle Computing Lab
University of Pittsburgh

(cschwabe@vms.cis.pitt.edu or
(dgsst4@vms.cis.pitt.edu)

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

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 90 20:53:54 EST
From: pmw3y@chaos.cs.Virginia.EDU
Subject: the ongoing Signals debate...(longer than usual)

Well, since the ever-present debate on Signals (and whether Rush "choked"
in making it) is one of my pet topics about the band, I thought I'd
throw my two cents in the hat.

The problem I've always had with Signals has been one of execution, not
conception.  I think there are some very interesting musical structures
on the album (drums as pretty much a lead instrument on 'digital man', the
rolling synth bottom end to 'the weapon', Geddy cutting loose for keyboard
solos on 'subdivisions' and 'countdown'), as well as some deserving-of-note
lyrics by the Professor.  I can't speak for anyone else, but listening to
Geddy sing 'be cool or be cast out' definitely summed up part of my high
school days.  How true that one Rolling Stone comment was, that 'Subdivisions'
was the song that spoke to a previously neglected audience of young people
(probably the most insightful comment I've ever read in that rag).  What
has always bothered me about Signals (readers of TNMS might remember; I've
posted a few times about it) is the (IMHO) VERY poor job of mixing that was
done.  Alex really got shafted in the mix for Signals, IMO.  True, the
emphasis on that album really was on the synthesizer, and the new things
that it could add to the band's sound, but I really think they went way too
far (leading to the over-reaction in favor of the guitar on Grace Under
Pressure).  But there is some very nice music on Signals, and some really
fine lyrical work.  Even if (as the band obviously thinks) Signals was
in sum a failed effort, I think it was valuable to them as a learning
experience and as a developmental stage.  And I don't think any of the Boyz
would disagree with that :).

On 'Countdown':  I've read in an interview where Neil supposedly was not at
all pleased with the way the lyrics turned out for it.  I tend to agree;
'Countdown' has its moments, musically and lyrically, but I've always been
more enamored of the song for what it could have been than what it is.  Of
course, your mileage may vary:  this is all my own opinion, and I brought
my walkman so you guys won't have to hear the manifestations of my opinion
if you don't wanna! :)

Someone (i keep trying to remember to copy attribution lines but I never do)
mentioned that Power Windows was their least favorite album, citing in
particular 'the big money' and how it isn't the kind of song only Rush could
do.  That's true; 'the big money' (indeed all of Power Windows) is their most
FM-accessible piece of work, but I think people who slam it based on that
might be letting the "5 - RollingStone'sRating" scale have a little too much
free rein.  I think Power Windows stands out especially in the lyrical
department.  'the big money', 'manhattan project', 'middletown dreams',
'emotion detector'...these all strike me as very polished, very pointed
examples of Neil at his best.  Contrast this with lyrics like those on, say,
Presto, where Neil really mailed in the lyrical effort on most of the album,
IMHO.  (!!!! I'm not going after Presto with a chainsaw here; I think Presto's
musical approach was a good new thing for Rush to try after the increasing
density and layered-ness of the Signals -> Hold Your Fire quartet.  The lyrical
content of Presto, however, disappointed me greatly.  'Available Light' and
'scars' are the shining exceptions to this; AL is the best song on the album.)
I also appreciate Power Windows for its obvious attention to detail in the
post-production process; the different sounds of the album really mesh well
IMO.  As I said before, "polished" is a word that I think describes Power
Windows very well.  Of course, our readers may not be into "polish" in their
music, but that's their choice.

And, finally (whew!), I want to point out (if there's anyone who doesn't
realize it) one of the major reasons that TNMS is such a good list (aside from
the scintillating subject matter):  of course, the one, the only Rush-mgr.
His preemptive strikes of not only flame-bait, but also those common questions
that otherwise would generate a flood of responses and (for most of us)
greatly decrease the signal/noise ratio make a big difference in my book.  If
you ever make it down to Charlottesville, you got a brewski comin, dude. :)

[ Great!  I like Canadian beer/ale ...  :-)                       :rush-mgr ]

ORQ:  ".....and the meek shall inherit the earth.."
           -- Geddy being thrown off by Alex during the encore, ASOH

----------
Patrick Widener                     Internet:  pmw3y@virginia.edu
Department of Computer Science	    ICBM_Net:  38.02 N, 78.30 W
University of Virginia
"Do you know what time it is?"   "Sorry, I took my watch apart."

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

Date: Fri, 14 Dec 90 18:10:14 EST
From: mallsop@stimage.mqcc.mq.oz.au (Mark Allsop)
Subject: Anything from Nov 6 to anniv ed.

Hi all,
I'm coming to you via my friend and fellow Rushian, Mark (Hi!), at Macquarie
University in Sydney.  Access to this means of communication is limited,
so if anyone would like to communicate through more traditional methods,
my address is:-
		Alan Nicolle
		11/24 Barry Street
		NEUTRAL BAY  2089
		NSW  AUSTRALIA

Anyway, I have a few contributions to make in regards to various letters.
I wrote to Neil back during the HYF tour.  I sent the letter through
Modern Drummer Magazine, and they forwarded it to him - they must have,
'coz they wrote back.  'Imagine That!'

On the subject of past tour dates - I picked up a recording from radio
of Rush live in 1974.   I'm not up on what's where, but the voice-over
mentioned The Agora, and Ged says "It's been a few months since we've
been in Cleveland".  The voice-over also said something like WMMS.  It
was also the first time that "Anthem" was played... Make of this what
you will... The date on the tape says December 16, 1974.

May I add something to the now-old Christianity debate... I figure as
a Christian myself, I could shed some new light, (pardon the pun), but
y'see, as a Christian, I do feel an obligation to be a little
descerning when choosing what to listen to.  When it comes to Rush, all
I can see and hear are 3 very credible people who produce above-average
quality music, with lyrics that are so deeply rooted in basic human nature.
How often have we sat listening to a new Rush song, and saying "Hey! I've
felt that!"  The examples are endless with this band.  The point I'd like to
make is aimed at Mr. Crimson... I realise that there are so many jerks out
there who give the Christian faith a bad name, and these back-masking witch
hunters are a classic example.  But Mr. Peart did mention that we tend to read
about the exceptions in the papers every day.  The basic premise of
Christianity, (one of them), comes in the fact that humans can't be trusted as
a reliable advertisement for God.  You can't judge Christianity by Christians,
but only by the bloke whose name appears on the faith... Read Mark's gospel.

Anyway, this maybe the last time I'll appear here.  This is a great medium for
communicating thoughts about Rush, but I'd love to get in touch with people
who could handle the waiting game of our respective mail systems.  Apart from
Rush, I like Yes, Kansas, Eric Johnson, Pat Metheny, The Goon Show and Woody
Allen and the Marx Bros.

I'm an island looking for some hopeful bridges to survive in this vacuum.

					The Analog Kid (Australia)

Contact also via:-
 Mark Allsop                                              Computer Scientist
 email: mallsop@suna.mqcc.mq.oz.au                The Statistical Laboratory
 Phone: At MacUni: (61 2) 805-8592  / \      Macquarie University, Australia
 Fax  :          : (61 2) 805-7433   |   This one goes up to 11.....

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

Date:         Fri, 14 Dec 90 02:25:23 EST
From: mike spiegel <H97SI@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject:      Re: 12/13/90 - The National Midnight Star #129

hello out there,
      I don't know how many of you remember, but Rush has had television credit
On CBS-TV there was a show aptly called '1986'.  Who out there knows the song
that filled the opening and closing credits?...:) (Answer tomorrow)

                                ...UNTIL LATER...
                                     Mike Spiegel(h97si@cunyvm)

P.S. Incase anyone is a interested    m
                  GUP is a fantastic album to study to.
                                In this time of finals I hope many of you
                                             find this helpful, you will not
                                                         regret it.

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

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  here for details.                                                       ]

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