RUSH — Hemispheres (review)

RUSH — Hemispheres album cover Album · 1978 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Hemispheres" is the 6th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Mercury Records (US/Europe)/Anthem Records (Canada) in October 1978. It´s the successor to "A Farewell to Kings" from 1977. Rush completed their 9 months long tour in support of "A Farewell to Kings (1977)" in May 1978, and after a very short break, entered Rockfield Studios in Wales in June 1978 with producer Terry Brown, to begin work on material for "Hemispheres". The band entered the studio with no pre-written material and worked tirelessly to write and record throughout June and July 1978, after which they were finally allowed some time off from recording and touring.

Stylistically the material on "Hemispheres" continue the progressive rock style of the predecessor with some natural development of style and sophistication. "Hemispheres" features four tracks. The 18 minutes long "Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres" filled side 1 of the original vinyl version of the album, while the two shorter rockers "Circumstances" and "The Trees" filled side 2 along with the 9 minutes long instrumental album closer "La Villa Strangiato".

"Hemispheres" is a well produced affair and it´s mostly not audible that the band were rushed into the studio with next to no written ideas for songs. But on the other hand neither "Circumstances" nor "The Trees" are the most remarkable tracks in the band´s discography, so maybe the songwriting was rushed just a little bit. The highlights of the album are definitely the long epic i>"Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres" and the playful instrumental "La Villa Strangiato". Even those two tracks could also have featured a more fluent structure, as they are both obviously created using many shorter compositions/pieces of music. I know that´s how Rush also wrote earlier long epics like "2112" and "Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage", but here it just seems more pronounced.

With that minor complaint out of the way, "Hemispheres" is overall another high quality progressive rock release by Rush, and a natural successor to "A Farewell to Kings (1977)". Rush are incredibly well playing and lead vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee reaches helium heights with his voice here like he would never do again. "Hemispheres" is Rush most progressive hour, and after this album they would tone down the progressive playing style a bit and focus on a more subtle (or at least less focused on technical playing) progressive rock style (with exceptions). A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
27 days ago
Another all time favorite!

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