Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for November 20, 2015

[Presto] -- This week in 1987, Canadian power trio, Rush, released their 13th studio album, Presto. could muster only 2.5 out of 5 stars for this record, but my own appreciation has, well, appreciated over time. Maybe that's because Presto heralded a return to a more guitar driven sound after nearly a decade of synth-dominated discs. Lyrically, this record can seem simplistic at times, or that it is trying too hard in others. At least, I think that's the impression I had after it first came out. However, in retrospect, I feel that lyricist/percussionist Neal Peart captured the confusion and frustration of the close of the 80s. And he did so without losing his own sense of optimism, something missing from many prog rock records of that time. Presto  peaked  at #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling over 500,000 copies (Gold) in the US and over 100,000 copies (Platinum) in Canada. For this week's Flashback post, you can read and hear more about a few singles after the break. 

Flashback #1"You can twist perceptions | Reality won't budge."

Alternate title for this song was "Trust, But Verify." I'm kidding about the alternate title. But this song is definitely about the desire for actions over words. 

Flashback #2"No hero in your tragedy | No daring in your escape | No salutes for your surrender
Nothing noble in your fate | Christ, what have you done?"

Our second Flashback of the week is the second single off Presto: "The Pass." It is cited as one of Rush's favorite songs, and I have to admit: It has one of my favorites, too. "The Pass" peaked at #15 on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and it has a line that alludes to Oscar Wilde's famous line, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Let me know if you figure out which lyric echoes that cosmic line.  

Flashback #3"Package the illusion of persona."

The third single from Rush's 1989 album was released in 1990. If anything, Peart's lyrics about a "Superconductor" manipulating reality and perception for entertainment is even more prescient 25 years later. 

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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