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Album: Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure is the tenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1984 (see 1984 in music). A nickname for the album is "P/G" (grace under pressure). The album is notable for the radical new influences it displayed, especially reggae and ska. It is also notable as being the first Rush album that had no program music. Following the amicable departure of Terry Brown as producer, Rush initially approached Steve Lillywhite to produce the album. All three members of Rush and Lillywhite were in agreement, but shortly before recording sessions were to begin, Lillywhite pulled out, saying he was not right for the band. Rush eventually produced the album themselves, with assistance from Peter Henderson, whose previous credits included Supertramp, Frank Zappa and King Crimson. Lillywhite apparently pulled out due to his desire to produce an album for the NYC band Crossfire Choir, who had agreed to record in London where Lillywhite could be close to his new wife, Kirsty MacColl. One track, "Red Sector A", is notable for its allusions to The Holocaust, inspired by Geddy Lee's memories of his mother's stories about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, where she was held prisoner. "Between the Wheels" is one of the band's most synth-driven songs since Subdivisions from Signals. While the album's opening track, "Distant Early Warning", has been interpreted as dealing with the pressure involving the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, Peart deumurred in a contemporaneous interview, saying, "It's about a lot of stuff." "The Enemy Within" is part one of the "Fear" series of songs that started with Part III on Moving Pictures released in 1981. This track incorporates ska influences into their music. Grace Under Pressure reached #10 on The Billboard 200 and went Platinum in the US upon its 1984 release. On the back cover is a remarkable band portrait by the photographer Yousuf Karsh. The original vinyl pressing also featured a photo depicting an egg being held in a C-clamp. In the liner notes (in which parts are written in French), Rush included a small phrase, which states, "et toujours notre bon vielle ami — Broon". Broon was a nickname given to former Rush producer Terry Brown, who produced all of Rush's albums up from Fly By Night to their previous album, Signals. The quote translates to "and always our good old friend"; it is a special thanks to the producer who helped Rush break out into the mainstream. Background During the Signals tour, Rush began by meeting with producer Terry Brown in Miami, calmly informing him that they wanted to move on. They had become increasingly unhappy with the sound of the Signals album, and they were also keen to see how they would work with someone other than Brown. They began going through credits on various albums to search for the right producer to contact. They met with various producers on the 1983 European tour, who were mostly English. One unknown producer decided to work with them and later changed his mind. Steve Lillywhite was to work with them but also pulled out. In the meantime, Rush began to jam on what would become "Between the Wheels", created demos of "Red Sector A" and "The Body Electric", and wrote "Kid Gloves" and "Afterimage". Still without a producer, "Distant Early Warning" and "The Enemy Within" were recorded and they began work on "Red Lenses". They played these to production candidates and discussed certain songs, eventually settling on Peter Henderson. They headed to Le Studio, deciding on the title Grace Under Pressure for the album. They tweaked the sounds of the instruments and started on "Distant Early Warning". Lyrics were inspired by the various current events found in the Toronto Globe & Mail, mainly inspiring "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", and "Between the Wheels". After a few months, the mixing stage had begun, and Neil Peart discussed the details of the cover art with Hugh Syme. Fourteen hour days were the norm in the studio. The final discussion was on who would direct the music videos. Track listing Music and lyrics by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. Side one "Distant Early Warning" – 4:56 "Afterimage" – 5:03 "Red Sector A" – 5:09 "The Enemy Within (Part I of Fear)" – 4:34 Side two "The Body Electric" – 4:59 "Kid Gloves" – 4:17 "red lenses" – 4:41 Written as "red lenses" on the lyric sheet. All lyrics for this song are written in lowercase and alternate between red and black. "Between the Wheels" – 5:44 Personnel Geddy Lee - bass guitars, synthesizers, vocals Alex Lifeson - guitars, synthesizers Neil Peart - drums, percussion Charts Album - Billboard (North America) Year Chart Position 1984 The Billboard 200 10 Singles Cover Information "Distant Early Warning" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson Chart positions: #1 US Mainstream Rock "The Body Electric" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson Chart positions: "Red Sector A" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson Chart positions: "Afterimage" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson Chart positions: Remaster Details A remaster was issued in 1997. The tray has a picture of three fingerprints, light blue, pink, and lime green (left to right) with THE RUSH REMASTERS printed in all caps just to the left. All remasters from Moving Pictures through to Hold Your Fire are like this. This is just like the cover art of Retrospective II. The back is a fairly plain, off-white panel with the track titles printed as well as the production and copyright information. The insert displays the cover art. The color of the cover art has been altered: it is of a richer, brown-gray color base, as opposed to the light blue base of the original LP release. The new cover is featured in nearly all the album's modern representations. When the case is opened, it shows the photo of the band from the back of the LP inside the case. The insert unfolds to show the image of the egg in the C-clamp, which has a thin red border around it and credits the image to Deborah Samuel. Also in the insert are the lyrics, similar to those included with the LP. Like with the LP, the title and lyrics to red lenses are printed completely in lowercase. Some consider the title in all lower case (red lenses) to be the proper and accepted writing. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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