82040-2 Presto
Produced by Rupert Hine and Rush
Released on November 17, 1989
Find it at GEMM
82040-2 cover  

A h, the magic had returned. “Show Don’t Tell” slaps the listener around with its tight, sinuous mix of bass, drums and guitar while pushing the synthesizers back where they belonged. Credit coproducer Rupert Hine for helping Rush rediscover where their true power lie: superlative musicianship, forceful imagery and rational exuberance. For the opening track alone this is the best Rush album since Signals, but Presto is not a case of top-loading the deck this time. The disc rocks hard from every angle, like the caged energy of “Chain Lightning,” “War Paint” and “Superconductor.” If you’ve been lulled to sleep by the synthetic softness of Grace Under Pressure or Hold Your Fire, Presto is the wake-up call you’ve waited for. It's their leanest album since Power Windows, but rendered with much more energy and technical skill. In fact, with this album Rush began to show up in the heavy metal category (they did rock harder than Tull), joining borderline prog/metal acts like King’s X and Queensryche in that molten middle earth. There are still nods to their past work; “The Pass” sounds a lot like “Second Nature,” while “Turn The Page” reappears in a few tracks. Of course, those were some of the better tracks from Hold Your Fire, and it certainly does seem on Presto that Rush and Rupert Hine were able to distill what was best about the band and replicate it across an entire disc. “Presto” and “Hands Over Fist” are also excellent cuts that rank with the best work from their last few efforts. Having closed the ‘80s chapter with the live A Show of Hands, Presto bodes very well for the future. Again Rush had regrouped and revised their approach to stay relevant, once more proving that their vision of prog rock could take root anywhere, anytime.

82040-2 back picture sleeve
82040-2 back picture sleeve


  1. SHOW DON'T TELL    5:01
  2. CHAIN LIGHTNING    4:33
  3. THE PASS    4:51
  4. WAR PAINT    5:24
  5. SCARS    4:07
  6. PRESTO    5:45
  8. ANAGRAM (FOR MONGO)    4:00
  9. RED TIDE    4:29
  10. HAND OVER FIST    4:11
  11. AVAILABLE LIGHT    5:03

    Music by Alex Lifeson/Geddy Lee, Lyrics by Neil Peart, Arrangements by Rush and Rupert Hine


GEDDY LEE -- bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers
ALEX LIFESON -- electric and acoustic guitars
NEIL PEART -- drums and electronic percussion
Rupert Hine -- additional keyboards, additional background vocals
Jason Sniderman -- additional keyboards
Stephen W. Tayler -- engineer
Lerxst -- preproduction engineer
Val Azzoli and Liam Birt (for Moon Records) -- executive producers
Hugh Syme -- art direction
Scarpati -- photography
Andrew MacNaughtan -- portraits

return to RUSH discography

CAN November 17, 1989 Anthem LP 777649  
US November 17, 1989 Atlantic LP/CD/CS 82040 lyric sleeve
UK/GER November 17, 1989 Atlantic LP/CD/CS 782 040 a/o WX 327 insert
BRA 1989 Atlantic LP 6709 110 lyric sleeve
CAN   Anthem CD ANK 1059 digital remaster


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