826 9098-1 M-1 Power Windows
Produced by Peter Collins and Rush
Released on October 1985
UK CHART POSITION #9 . . . US CHART POSITION #10
Find it at GEMM
826 098-1 cover  

A lean winter wolf of an album, sinuous and cunning. Power Windows recaptures much of Signals’ energy, best exemplified on “The Big Money,” so in my mind it’s always had a slight advantage over the bloodless Grace Under Pressure. It’s not a complete return to form, but it is a better balance between old and new. The rhythm section of Geddy Lee and Neil Peart is superlative in every since of the word, while the subject matter is classic Rush: preserving the personal in an impersonal system bent on domination and destruction. However, it’s clear that the synthesizers and Alex Lifeson’s shimmering guitar style are here to stay. I miss the saturated sound of vintage Rush, the unbridled enthusiasm of their arrangements, the idealism of their vision, but those days passed with the ‘70s. The new Rush -- clinical, cynical, mechanical -- is the byproduct of musical evolution. We shouldn’t equate familiar with attractive, especially when the change in appearance enabled the band to remain vital without sacrificing integrity. (I can’t think of any prog band that’s aged as well as Rush over the years.) Power Windows’ failure is a weary familiarity from song to song, a brittle inflexibility that ironically costs the music its own individuality. “The Big Money” is handily the album’s money shot; the fact that the thoughtful “Mystic Rhythms” was tested as the second single testifies to a lack of viable alternatives. Over time, the songs will assert their own personalities, but for the effort you could have already warmed up to Signals or Hold Your Fire. If you’re bent on buying every Rush album (and I’d actually recommend it), you’ll look into Power Windows yourself eventually. Because the album can sound awfully dry on vinyl, spend a few extra bucks and go for the compact disc.

826 098-1 back cover 826 098-1 inner sleeve 826 098-1 picture label
826 098-1 back cover 826 098-1 inner sleeve 826 098-1 picture label

TRACK LISTING

  1. THE BIG MONEY    5:36
  2. GRAND DESIGNS    5:05
  3. MANHATTAN PROJECT    5:05
  4. MARATHON    6:09
  5. TERRITORIES    6:19
  6. MIDDLETOWN DREAMS    5:17
  7. EMOTION DETECTOR    5:10
  8. MYSTIC RHYTHMS    6:08

    Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Lyrics by Neil Peart. Arrangements by Rush and Peter Collins.

CREDITS

GEDDY LEE -- bass guitar, synthesizers, bass pedals, vocals
ALEX LIFESON -- electric and acoustic guitars
NEIL PEART -- drums, percussion and electronic percussion
Jim Burgess -- synthesizer programming
Anne Dudley -- string arrangements, conductor
Andrew Jackman -- choir arrangements, conductor
Andy Richards -- synthesizer programming, additional keyboards
Jimbo "James" Barton -- engineer
Mr. Head -- pre-production engineering
Hugh Syme -- art direction, graphics, cover painting

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 1985 Mercury LP/CD/CS 826 098 lyric sleeve, elpee picture label
UK November 1985 Mercury LP/CD/CS    
UK 1985 Vertigo LPPIC VERHP 31 picture disc
US June 3, 1997 Mercury CD/CS 534 635 original master recording

 

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