ANMD-1010 A Farewell To Kings
Produced by Rush and Terry Brown
Released on September 1977
US CHART POSITION #33 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/16/77), PLATINUM (12/1/93)
Find it at GEMM
ANMD-1010 cover
[high resolution scan]

A Farewell To Kings marks the beginning the band’s best music, 2112 be damned. As something of a prog weenie, I tend to take pains explaining what makes bands like Yes and Rush different (e.g., Yes were men of heart, Rush men of action). It’s a pleasure for me then to find that they do intersect at a point. That place is called “Xanadu,” and what a paradise it is! In a clear nod to “Close to the Edge,” the title track begins with a celestial opening that even references the theme from that fabled Yes song, then plunges headlong into the unique world of Rush. A Farewell To Kings would suggest an end to fantasy imagery, which is exactly what happens on the chilling sci-fi epic “Cygnus X-1,” but elsewhere the band is still exorcising demons and dragons on this album. In fact, Kings fairly drips with magical sounds and images, coming as close to realizing the union of Arthurian myth and metal here as anywhere. The album also includes the band’s first bona fide prog classic, “Closer to the Heart.” Oh, there were great songs prior to this, from “Fly By Night” to “The Temples of Syrinx,” but nothing that would consistently send a chill down the back of your neck. If you’re leery of the earlier Rush epics as unfinished masterpieces (which most of them are), start with A Farewell To Kings. It marks the beginning of the band’s most brilliant music, through to Signals. As a point for discussion, imagine if Rush never released an album after 2112. Would they still be considered a great band? Conversely, pick up their career at Grace Under Pressure, and you have a technically sophisticated neo-prog outfit that would leave most listeners cold. A Farewell To Kings is our introduction to what’s best about Rush: songs that surged gracefully and mightily with equally deft touches of light and dark, vocals that don’t fly into the undetectable “dog” range of hearing, tightened arrangements that forego the multipart patchjobs of yore. Everything on here is intelligent, well realized and required listening for prog fans.

ANMD-1010 lyric sleeve
ANMD-1010 lyric sleeve


  1. A FAREWELL TO KINGS    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart, lyrics by Neil Peart)    5:51
  2. XANADU    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson, lyrics by Neil Peart)    11:08
  3. CLOSER TO THE HEART    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson, lyrics by Neil Part and Talbot)    2:53
  4. CINDERELLA MAN    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson, lyrics by Geddy Lee)    4:21
  5. MADRIGAL    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson, lyrics by Neil Peart)    2:35
  6. CYGNUS X-1, BOOK ONE - THE VOYAGE    (music by Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart, lyrics by Neil Peart)    10:25


GEDDY LEE -- bass guitar, twelve string guitar, Mini Moog, bass pedal syntehsizer, vocals
ALEX LIFESON -- six and twelve string electric guitar, six and twelve string acoustic guitar, classical guitar, bass pedal synthesizer
NEIL PEART -- drums, orchestra bells, tubular bells, temple blocks, cowbells, wind chimes, bell tree, triangle, vibra-slap
Pat Moran -- engineer
Terry Brown (Broon) -- engineer, mixing engineer
Hugh Syme -- art direction and graphics
Yosh Inouye -- cover photography
Fin Costello -- band photograph
Bob King -- design assistance

return to RUSH discography

CAN 1977 Anthem LP ANR-1-1010 gatefold cover
US September 1977 Mercury LP SRM-1-1184 gatefold cover
UK September 1977 Mercury LP/CS 9100 042 gatefold cover
AUS'L/BRA/NET/NZ 1977 Mercury LP 6338 834 gatefold cover
CAN   Anthem CD ANMD-1010 lyric sleeve
US   Mercury CD 822 546  
CAN   Anthem CD ANMD-1079 digital remaster
US/GER May 6, 1997 Mercury CD/CS 534 628 digital remaster


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