RUSH — Grace Under Pressure

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3.93 | 33 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1984

Filed under Non-Metal
By RUSH

Tracklist

1. Distant Early Warning (4:57)
2. Afterimage (5:05)
3. Red Sector A (5:11)
4. The Enemy Within (4:36)
5. The Body Electric (5:02)
6. Kid Gloves (4:20)
7. Red Lenses (4:44)
8. Between the Wheels (5:44)

Total Time: 39:41

Line-up/Musicians

- Geddy Lee / vocals, bass, synthesizers
- Alex Lifeson / guitars, synthesizers
- Neil Peart / drums, percussion, electronic percussion

About this release

Studio album
12 April, 1984
Produced by Rush and Peter Henderson

1984 - Mercury(US) CD
1984 - Mercury(US)(Europe)(Argentina) LP
1984 - Anthem(Canada) LP
1984 - Phonogram(Germany) CD
1997 - Mercury(US)(Germany) CD: remastered
1997 - Anthem(Canada) CD: remastered
2009 - Warner(Japan) SHM-CD: CD sized album replica, remastered, limited edition
2009 - Mercury(US) CD: remastered

Thanks to Raff, cannon, Pekka, 666sharon666 for the updates

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Grace Under Pressure (Remastered)Grace Under Pressure (Remastered)
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Mercury 1997
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$4.98 (used)
Grace Under Pressure Tour LiveGrace Under Pressure Tour Live
Mercury 2009
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Grace Under Pressure by Rush (1997-09-02)Grace Under Pressure by Rush (1997-09-02)
Virgin EMI
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Grace Under Pressure [VHS]Grace Under Pressure [VHS]
Chromatic Records 1991
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RUSH GRACE UNDER PRESSURE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

martindavey87
Following on from where 'Signals' left off, 1984's 'Grace Under Pressure' sees Rush fully embrace the 80's synthesizer era of music, with some of their most radio-friendly and keyboard-driven pieces yet, but without losing any integrity or sense of identity. It makes for some easy-listening progressive rock, which can appeal to fans of the genre and non-fans alike.

Surprisingly, a lot of people were put off by what they consider Rush's "pop era", though personally I find this to be some of the bands most accessible material. Admittedly the second half of the album is a little on the weak side, but the first half is absolutely stellar, and consists of some of my all-time favourite Rush tunes.

'Distant Early Warning', 'Afterimage', 'Red Sector A' and 'The Enemy Within' (check that bass line!) are all perfectly crafted songs. Each one remains true to the band's sound while adapting to that periods musical trends. They're fantastic songs, incredibly catchy, creative, and well performed. Although, as mentioned above, the second half of the album does get a little stale. They're not awful by any stretch, in fact, 'The Body Electric' and 'Between the Wheels' aren't too shabby, but they pale in comparison to the previous tracks.

Well-produced to truly emphasize that glorious 80's pop vibe, Rush's 'Grace Under Pressure' is a fantastic album that shows a band able to keep with the times and avoid stagnation while delivering a product that is undeniably their own. Despite the weaker second half, I still consider this one of their finest releases.
Unitron
Grace Under Pressure is the tenth studio album from hard rock/progressive rock band Rush. Two years after 1982's Signals, Rush drifts farther down the river of synth and the 80's New Wave scene. Bearing smaller and smaller resemblance to their classic sound, the band has nearly completely embraced the 80's sound by this point. Despite that, Grace Under Pressure is still a pretty great album and includes some of the band's classic tracks.

Opener "Distant Early Warning" has always been a favorite of mine and one of the first songs I heard from the band, and really represents some of the best of the band's synth era material. The mini-guitar solo about three minutes through the song is surprisingly pretty metallic and almost Iron Maiden-esque, but of course that's the only reference to anything remotely metal on this album.

Speaking of that guitar solo, Grace Under Pressure still shows Alex Lifeson delivering some great guitar riffing and occasional solos. "The Enemy Within", "The Body Electric", and "Between the Wheels" in particular showcase great balance of the band's own sound and their incorporation of contemporary trends to keep up with the times. The only times that this balance stops and it fails to work, are with "Kid Gloves" and "Red Lenses". The former is honestly one of the most annoying songs in the band's discography with a real sappy-sounding guitar motif that reeks of the cheesiest bands of the 80's. The latter is substantially better, but something about it just doesn't work. It's catchy enough, but I can't say the pseudo-funky sound with Cold War lyricism really works that well.

Most of the music on the album is quite melancholy sounding, so it makes sense that most of the lyricism is on the darker side of the spectrum as well. Much of it deals with environmental disaster, nuclear war, paranoia, as well as loss of loved ones as heard in the touchingly somber "Afterimage". The album cover fits the mood well, as it's a somewhat gloomy contemplative scene with the use of lighter (yet pale on some editions) colors.

Grace Under Pressure continues the pretty good consistency from Signals, and the continuous slight updating of sound works well for the most part. The updating of sound would show to be a bit more drastic on the following album, but if you like Signals, chances are you'll like this one too. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
Warthur
Switching producers from Terry Brown to Peter Henderson finds the band bringing forth their synthesiser-led sound of the era with a little more clarity than on the rather transitional Signals, and with great compositions such as Red Sector A, Distant Early Warning, or... come to think of it, pretty much any song on the album there's a lot to love on here. There's points where the band actually seem to step back a little from the synth-dominated approach of this and the last album to get back to the prog metal they'd mainly left behind - most notably on the soaring, uplifting final track Between the Wheels. I wouldn't quite put the album on the same pedestal as Farewell to Kings or Moving Pictures, but I do think it is a mild improvement on its predecessor, and probably the best album of this phase of their career (running from Signals to Hold Your Fire).
Modrigue
Second signal

Let's make it simple: "Grace Under Pressure" can be described as "Signals" bis, with a little more guitars and a slightly inferior quality. Pursuing the 'synthetic reggae-rock' approach of its predecessor, the band ventures again into new musical territories for them on some tracks, such as new-wave and ska. The keyboards and drums also sound colder, robotic, dehumanized, however this time Alex Lifeson plays a larger role: his interventions are more nervous and punchy than on the previous opus. Furthermore, and most important, the inspiration is still present.

The album title comes from the general theme of the songs: people's reactions when they're under pressure. The science-fiction and heroic fantasy stories of the 70's are now replaced by cold war, nuclear weapon and technology problematics. "Grace Under Pressure" can also reflect the particular conditions in which the disc was composed and produced, as the musicians separated from their historic producer Terry Brown, nicknamed 'Broon', before the recording.

The first side is very good. The powerful opener "Distant Early Warning" is the best track of the record. Referring a nuclear alert system, this reggae-rock song in the style of THE POLICE evolves into a true hard-rock piece, with ferocious guitar passages and an heroic finale. Great! Dedicated to one of the band's friend who had just passed away, "Afterimage" is a touching and melancholic synthesizer reggae-rock track with a cool solo from Lifeson. Inspired by Geddy Lee's mother experience during the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp, "Red Sector A"'s topic is the concentration camps and the Holocaust. Despite cheesy keyboards, it offers a nice alternation of electronic, rocking, epic and touching ambiances, even sounding new-wave. The Canadians made a ska incursion with "The Enemy Within", featuring different atmospheres and rhythms. Original and having its moments, but finally a bit uneven.

The second side is unfortunately less inspired. "The Body Electric" narrates the story of an android attempting to escape its programming. Despite its mysterious surprising opening, this electronic song is rather average. "Kid Gloves" contains an excellent guitar solo but the track itself sounds overall flat. As one of the oddest RUSH composition ever, "Red Lenses" is quite irritating as well as the only true weak passage of the record. One the contrary, "Between The Wheels" is the best song of Side 2 with its oppressive ambiance and icy heroic rock.

"Grace Under Pressure" is the continuation of "Signals", a little bit more unequal and 80's sounding. Like its predecessor, 'electronic reggae-rock' could be an attempt to describe the style of this album. Although it features dated synthesizers, the first side and the last track really rock. By incorporating a few new musical elements, the band proves they were still creative and daring.

This tenth studio offering from the Canadians will be the last truly good RUSH album of the 20th century. If you didn't enjoy "Signals", this one is not for you either. Otherwise, go for it without hesitation. Recommended to fans of "Signals", THE POLICE, or even reggae-rock.
siLLy puPPy
RUSH took a couple years off after “Signals” to release their 10th studio album GRACE UNDER PRESSURE which takes their progressive synth pop style and channels it into a slightly stronger album with some excellent songs that pack a little more guitar punch than the last album despite having no solos. Perhaps they were influenced a bit by the jangle pop of The Smiths, R.E.M or other similar bands of the day. This is a much darker album with lyrics addressing worldly issues focusing on the pressure human beings face in the modern world which gives reference to environmental problems, nuclear annihilation and other less-than-uplifting themes such as holocaust survival.

This is actually one of the 80s RUSH albums I have listened to the most. I have always loved the songs on this album. “Distant Early Warning” and “Red Sector A” are two of my favorite RUSH songs and I find the entire album to be a very competent and a beautiful listening experience. The conceptual theme is well represented and the band really hones this particular sound and masters it in a way that makes it hard to believe that they were any else but a mere few albums prior. I'm sorry to see that this album generally doesn't get as much love as their earlier works and granted this is substandard to that era, but a substandard album of this caliber is much more than lesser bands could ever hope to achieve.

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