Neil peart amazes everybody as usual and Lifeson performs at the regular outstanding level even if his guitar sounds like an electric saw. This "song" again, is a piece is coherent, it has variety but unity at the same time, amazing performances, starts acoustic, there's an actual crescendo growth in volume level till the main, fluctuating, zig-zaging guitar riff makes his entrance. We have a middle section with some almost jazz sounding bass lines and Peart using the most out of his hi-hat for effect and bright.
Great track. So, I would say this is a great album but, again, like every Rush album from the 70's, it ends almost before it starts.
It's my opinion that Rush, in the 80's, learned how to write great, really amazing short songs, starting with Moving Pictures maybe even with Permanent Wavesbut, off course, sadly, they forgot to include the epics and long tracks that made them one of the progressive giants at the second half of the 70's, a time when, vice versa, they just couldn't get their short tracks to be as good as the longer ones.
Recommended for: Everybody. Every Rush lover, every 70's prog lover, every prog-rock lover. Elephantism was not one of Rush's characteristics. The answer we are told, after listening to the forst side, is in balance: Cygnus. Well there you go: not a philosophical revelation. The second side is quite spectacular. Plus ca change Circumstances is an interstiing song with astute lyrics: there is nothing new under the sun.
The Trees is a classic for two reasons: first, it's a great song with poignant humorous lyrics and, second, it allows budding young guitarists to learn a relatively straightforward tune to play on the acoustic which willl generally impress the listeners who do not play This is a piece of music which must be heard: take this or exit stage left. Beautiful changes of mood and timing combine to produce a masterpiece.
The "Prelude" for some reason conveys sadness to me, but not in a bad way. Geddy's vocals are at their best and the guitar and the melody are just amazing. The song is full of mood shifts and tempo changes as one would imagine with an 18 minute epic. From scorching guitar and Geddy screaming to a spacey, dreamy soundscape with synths, strummed guitar and gentle vocals.
I haven't mentioned Neil but he's simply the best at what he does. I never tire of this song. Yes it's self indulgence but who doesn't like to indulge themselves once and a while, especially if this is the The Waltz Of The Shreves - Rush - Hemispheres (CD Pure genius. Complex yet so accessible. They have also mentioned in interviews that this was by far the hardest album for them to make in part because it was so complex. More so than every before, "Hemispheres" sees the band really pushing their virtuosity and songwriting to its limits; the extended epic is about as symphonic as rock can get without a keyboard playerwhile the excellent "La Villa Strangiato" is a minute showcase of the group's masterful playing even better live!
Fan-favorite "Trees" is just as good, but "Circumstances" slips back into their old style and comes across as a little too shrieky-- especially when compared to Geddy's more restrained vocals on the rest of the album. A few minor complaints aside, "Hemispheres" remains the peak of Rush's epic output, but is less accessible than "Farewell All of the songs hold up to repeated listening and are a tremendous example of the bands talent in their early years. In my teen years I would have awarded Hemispheres 5-stars along with most of the Rush and Zeppelin albums I was obsessed with then.
Since then I've heard so many hundreds of other great bands and musicians that I am a little less captive to the bands that once owned my soul! I definitely prefer this to as epics go, Album). It's all about the tight riff and I still love it. I find it pretty tiring to listen to now and while I find Neil to be a great lyricist I take exception when he delves too deeply into the Randian worship. Alex burns it up throughout this track and the song reminds me of Xanadu in the way it builds and constructs with drama.
One of Rush's very best moments and a 5-star song. Essential to Rush fans and recommended for 70s hard rock fans and guitar lovers. The second side hints at where the band will go from here. It features some great high vocals from Geddy and is the first song to truly hint at Peart's ability to pen relevant lyrics.
Eventually, all trees are kept equal because they are cut down to size. Lifeson's guitar here is beautiful. The album closes with "La Villa Strangiato," a mind-blowing instrumental that has both Peart's and Lifeson's best performances.
Lee's performance is second only to YYZ, which had yet to be written. This song is nine minutes of impossibly complex drumming, heavy riffs, great basslines, and beautiful solos. This is my second favorite Rush track next to This album has the honor of being the only Rush album with absolutely no filler.
It is a watershed for Rush, and many fans stopped listening after this, as the band began to change. That's a shame, beacuse some of their best work had yet to come. I rather prefer the second side, especially for the fantastic instrumental closer "La Villa Strangiato" which is the real classic here with its memorable flamenco-like acoustic guitar introduction. Great work on guitar and many bass's wonderful performances.
Fantastic also the darker middle part with atmospheric keyboards and then explosive bass-drums-guitar fast interplay. Other short tracks on side b deserve a special mention: "Circumstances" with some extended vocals by Geddy Lee and the more common "The Trees".
Very good 3. But I prefer Moving Pictures. While prog was on it's dying breath in Rush seemed to have only started their classic era. With punk taking over it seemed only natural that the surviving prog bands would have to hit hard. Enter Rush's Hemispheres, a hard hitting album that's still as prog as they come, yet still lets the heads bang.
The album consists of four songs, each one of them a construct of grandeur. However, while the first part to this song was especially heavy and sreamy, part II is a bit more midpaced, allowing more storytelling. The track, though avant gard, refers to a battle between the two sides of the brain, portrayed by the gods Apollo and Dionysus, and their followers. Each side gets its ups and downs until the end when the main character makes his way through the bacl hole of Cygnus X-1 and stops the warring gods with a plea, making him Cygnus, god of balance.
All in all the track is an incredable combination of songwritting and instumentation, and showcases each member's ability to it's finest. An essential prog track. The rest of the album consists of shorter songs until we hit the coda. It's very hard to describe with words, as a matter of fact.
When it comes right down to it this is an essential band at their essential moment in life, and they have given us a masterpiece deserving no less than 5 stars. If yuu are in anyway a prog fan, than you are innitially excited to see a big twenty minuete song like this one come up, and for good reason. Hemispherers is such a huge improvement from the other twenty minueterwith an actual structur and and flow, not a bunch of songs put together to make one big long one. Anyways Geddy is the one who really stands out to me for this song, excellent basslines, and good clean vocals easily make him stand out far more than the sloppy Alex and the overdone Peart.
The lyrics to this song are very innovative, with Greek mythology and talk of the space time continuum. It's about a learderless world that is being fought over by the Gods, but at the end when the world is in utter choas, a lonely immortal, Cygnus, silentl cries for it to stop The rest of the songs are all great, except circumstances, and the instrumental is epic in everyway.
The bad song circumstances reminds me of freewill, limelight, orcinderella man, boring, poppy, and sounds like something you would hear in a disney showtune. The singal of the album, the tree's is excellent, easily Rush's most artistic radio song with some great all around bandhood and fun lyrics. La villa strangiato is great, one of Lifesons most shining moments in hai otherwise overated style of guitar playing pentatonicbut whats so great about this piece is that the group works together so effetiantly and precisely they make the sudden changes and awkward tiem changes seem really easy.
I will admit that the music is not Rush's best, Peart is a bit more conserved this time, and I feel that his drums did not stand out in the mix like it should have. I also feel that Geddy did not stretch to the limits of his voice like how he did in cygnus one. I am however impressed with Alex' guitar work, which is a lot less pompous than in previous albums, and his solo during the first part of the opener is one of his best next to natural science.
I was quite a Rush fan after 'Moving Pictures' came out. I decided to get all of their previous albums. I was amazed, aroused and astonished by each one I bought The disappointment starts immediately with the title track. What is supposed to be a sequel to Cygnus X-1 is basically an 15 minute very uninspired and lackluster verses and chorus interspersed with the least interesting parts of x-1, and 3 minutes of the good parts.
It basically made the first half of the album completely useless. The second track, 'Circumstances' is almost as boring. The album finally starts to redeem itself with 'The Trees'.
A quaint little metaphor on human nature told And the final track, 'La Villa Strangiato' saves Hemispheres from being relegated to one star. This is in my opinion, Rush's finest instrumental. I would probably have given Hemispheres 3 stars for the last 2 songs had it not been for the fact that I had already heard those 2 tracks played with superior energy on 'Exit Stage Left". Therefore 2. Hemispheres takes up where the previous stellar album A Farewell to Kings left off with the band's sound a great mix of influences at this point, the hard rock sound of their past is only briefly touched upon in 'circumstances', their lighter folk sound that was quite evident in A Farewell to Kings is relived in the trees and both are great little songs but what this album is about is the epics, 2 of the best songs of the bands career.
The title track is a direct continuation of the final song of the previous album if only by name - Cygnus X-1 book II and is in my opinion the best song of their 30 odd year career, very progressive, musically very strong and varied in dynamics and emotion. One of the things that clicked with me about this song that made me realise the amount of genius that went into creating it is that each of the riffs in the introduction before the vocals come in is revisited and pretty much transformed into it's own part of the song, it's like a synopsis of the song in the first 2 minutes.
Something of note here is the lyrics, in the past the lyrics on RUSH epics had been to put it bluntly cheesy, but here the stories of solar federations, black-holes and magic are replaced with a mature tale revolving around Greek myths.
There really isn't a weak moment in the 18 odd minute track, if anything it only gets better as it goes along, ending triumphantly then passing on with a nice little acoustic outro.
La Villa Strangiato is something of a departure from anything RUSH had done up to this point stylistically, being a 10 minute long big band inspired instrumental and all and it certainly paid off in spades. Lifeson in particular shows his skills and comes to the fore which is quite a feat considering his wingmen are 2 of the greatest and most influential musicians of contemporary music.
The solos here are a particular highlight, very dynamic and with great emotional impact and the swing riff that comes along during the latter half of the song is a masterstroke. Hemispheres is an essential album for any prog fan, my only problem with it is that there aren't more songs on it. A backward cymbal sweeps us into the enormous 'Cygnus X-1 Book ll Hemispheres', an ambitious track even for with six parts, bold and high-minded arranging, symphonic flair and flawless execution.
Lee and Lifeson's compositons are nothing short of inspired, especially when one keeps in mind Rush were, at heart, a hard rock band. And Neil Peart, a brilliant drummer who inexplicably writes all the lyrics, carries this album with his joy and enthusiasm.
This title track was the band at the peak of inventive and physical energy, and set a standard for excellence in progressive rock that few could even consider matching. The piece ends with the moving simplicity of 'Cygnus, Bringer of Balance'. Alex Lifeson's power chords break into 'Circumstances', Peart's playing fantastic and Geddy Lee shrieking in his best classic Rush manner, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The ethical axis here is 'The Trees', a stunning personification of nature that oozes troubled symbolism.
A great cut. The record concludes with 'La Villa Strangiato', a fan favorite The remaster sounds great but the original production was so good it barely matters This album starts with a sort of follow up after their previous album Farewell to Kings. I must admit I haven't played this album for quite a while now. I do remember that once this was to me the best song ever.
It isn't any more by a long way because there has come up so much more the last 30 years. But still, it was a proof how much impact it made on me. A real symphonical composition with a heavy prog style added.
A highly original song with a tremendoes finish. It blew me away in those days and still is great of course. Another brilliant song is of course Villa Strangiato, the song they conquered Holland with in on a festival in Limburg. They played it live, Geddy Lee doing all kinds of things with his feet as goes the story.
Anyway a great instrumental track with unbelievable guitar playing by Alex Lifeson, showing his great skills here.
Even the two short songs are very nice. So actually I should give this 5 stars but I intended to give these only to the absolute masterpieces and this album isn't so significant to me as it ever was.
Getting back to Cygnus X-1 Book II this 18 minute piece to my ears is one of the bands finest moments, heavy Rock based Prog of the highest order. Strong melodies and fantastic musicianship throughout which starts with a great instrumental workout before the Vocals come in.
If I have a complaint and I hasten to add it's just a minor quibble, it's that for the most part the music of this track is one paced apart from a lull just after the halfway mark for part V Cygnus, Bringer of Balance and the final acoustic section of part VI, The Sphere, A Kind of Dream. Alex Lifeson plays an excellent guitar solo here and on a track of such length it would have worked well to have fitted another one in earlier on but I guess you can't have everything.
Finally we come to perhaps their most celebrated and my favourite instrumental, La Villa Strangiatto. The band must have worked really hard to write and play this masterpiece. An acoustic intro gives way to the main riff and from there goes off at many tangents to great effect.
All the band play superbly here but special mention must go to Lifeson for his stunning guitar playing. Overall then, another classic Rush album that can sit up there with the best Progressive Rock by themselves or indeed any other band. In my view there's an excellent 5-star album's worth of material to be culled from '', 'AFTK' and this album.
There are too many low spots for any RUSH album to receive the ultimate accolade, but they do deserve a listen and warrant a place among prog's greats, albeit at a second-tier level. If that sounds patronising to RUSH fans I apologise, but I feel that only the absence of viable alternatives in the late 70s propelled this band to the attention of lovers of progressive music.
The ''Prelude'' section is another one on the album where the music is spectacular, but beyond that, not much happens. The development of the epic is poorer than that of ''''.
In '''', themes from the ''Overture'' are reused later in the epic, but are done in a way that makes the theme sound fresh. Here, most of the music is copy-paste from the ''Prelude'' with little deviation, other than boring synth stuff and ''Cygnus X-1 Book I'' leftovers. The Greek mythology lyrics sound pretty cliche. We still have the classic Rush sound here though, at that's what matters the most for prog fans.
Stylistically the material on "Hemispheres" continue the progressive rock style of the predecessor with some natural development of style and sophistication. 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". With that minor complaint out of the way, "Hemispheres" is overall another high quality progressive rock release by Rushand a natural successor to "A Farewell to Kings ".
Hemispheres is rather a mixed album for me. On the one hand, we have a couple of standout moments, and a fairly light-hearted and strong second side, on the other, we have some of the most funny-spot-wrenchingly-bad lyrical content I've seen since First Aid's Nostradamus released around the same time, coincidentally. Additionally, Cygnus X-I Book 2 is not really a sequel per se, and certainly isn't consistently powerful and interesting like the first 'book'. Even worse, it actually damages the mystique of that incredible piece of music.
There is some stuff here that is seriously interesting progressive rock, but not nearly enough to merit the 'essential' tag. Hemispheres AKA. Who shot Cygnus X-I? It's a very mixed piece, in my opinion, simultaneously containing some flashes of brilliance and some of pure irritation. A rather grandiose overture, which I could conceivably see tagging onto the end of Cygnus X-I book 1, leads up to a basically complete instrumental rendition of the first couple of verses.
Of some interest is Alex Lifeson's odd tone and very soft guitar sound. Geddy Lee is on good form throughout this overture. The vocals open accompanied by some stabbing Rickenbacker bass work, and some interesting twists on the usual thick Rush guitar sound.
Peart does a couple of his classy rolls, but is otherwise pretty bland, and a few swirls on the synth try to give a vestigial spacey atmosphere and fail miserably. Apollo, Bringer Of Wisdom, is the beginning of the true lyrics debacle, as well as opening after a rather ineffectual pause for effect. Not exactly a sequel to Cygnus X-I, but rather a prelude to it and an epilogue set around the classic with a feeble philosophical lesson of balance attached, and with some truly appalling lines.
Musically, the accompaniment isn't stunning, either. Just a wandering bass, guitar and drums, seemingly doing not much interesting. However, the tune picks up with Alex Lifeson's typically 'scientific'-feeling solo, with a squeaky edge and supportive bass.
Dionysus, Bringer Of Love, is basically a lyrically altered re-rendition of the above. I didn't see the reason to type out another paragraph to describe it.
Armageddon, The Battle Of Heart And Mind is where the piece picks up with plentiful references to Cygnus X-I book 1, containing some of the ideas in the original, but with a slowed-down nature and softer twist. Geddy Lee's vocals, watery, and they almost sound weak, but are nonetheless somehow likeable. Finally, the lyrics move onto the original's storyline.
In addition to hearing a stunning riff thing from the original I really do love that song so muchand some backgrounded nods to the original over a lush keyboard backing, the piece finally improves.
CygnusBringer Of Balance, features a jaw-droppingly generic keyboard soundscape. But I love it. I have no idea why. I just do. Keys are prominent throughout, and thunder-rolls add a more genuine atmosphere to the piece than any previous work.
Even the return to the more rock-based section and even more abysmal lyrical content sort of works, and includes a functional solo, though nothing as mindblowing as A crashing conclusion with almost classical drumming ends the part fairly effectively. The Sphere, A Kind Of Dream, works surprisingly well as an acoustic conclusion, with a nice melody however basic and a light vocal to accompany it. There is, much to my amazement, a single great verse of lyrics crammed in there. Overall, a bit awkward, ambling and semi-connected, but at times superb and very charming.
If the album stopped here, though, it would probably crash in at sub-Moving Pictures levels. The second side picks up pretty substantially, and is much stronger overall. It's opened by Circumstances, a typically sophisticated commercial-lengthed Rush rock song. After the terrible Rush fanfarey opening we see all too often, the piece takes off potently, with a cheerfully sung set of fairly weak lyrics.
Geddy Lee spins around terrifically on bass, taking a triumphant performance, complimented nicely by Peart's fairly edgy and precise percussion. An instrumental break features a silly synth solo with a small workout for the orphan-shelter drumkit's more unusual components, as well as more of the odd guitar tone from Apollo All in all, a fairly good song, but I don't feel the guitar really added anything to my experience, and a stronger vocal couldn't hurt it.
I consider The Trees sarcastic, and thus like the lyrical material and delivery. If it were serious, I really wouldn't. It is certainly more quirky than Circumstances. It opens with a set of acoustics backed by uncharacteristically hollow and vibrating bass. Guitar rocks in traditionally as well as sliding around with curiosity. Neil Peart again provides a fairly interesting performance, with classical rolls, shimmery things and hollow-log-tapping aplenty. The break, featuring gradually a constant guitar riff of the style so characteristic of the album and gradually building rhythm sections, works quite nicely, also allowing another Lifeson solo to break out.
A final verse rocks slightly more, and, while virtually the same principle as the end of Red Barchetta, it doesn't matter because the content lends itself to it. A good, short, prog song. La Ville Strangiato is where the album reaches a really special height on a couple of occasions and remains consistently good throughout the entire 'exercise in self-indulgence'.
The acoustic opening with a great classical solo gives us a hint of what we're in for, before the whole band enter. After a gradual build, the kicking La Ville Strangiato riff bursts in, with chordal guitar juxtaposed by quick bursts of note guitar. Neil Peart provides a sort of forest of percussive noises as a cheery background throughout. The piece's biggest highlight is a guitar solo, feeling very Spanish on electric, presumably 'Lerxt In Wonderland'. An emotive, calculated and lively performance.
Nabbing highlights, since a running description will become tedious very quickly, a Geddy Lee bass solo especially stands out for energy and verve, and Peart's later move to more 'standard' drums devices doesn't fail to pay off with a rock feel as well as a good set of performances.
The piece rollicks off fluidly The Waltz Of The Shreves - Rush - Hemispheres (CD an abrupt stop. A thoroughly indescribable three-man piece, with recurring themes aplenty and enough motifs and links to give it a cohesive feel despite its very abstract nature and range.
Great stuff, though it feels a bit wallowing when you're not in the right sort of mood for it, and the real reason I'd recommend the album. So, overall, not consistent in quality, and quite weak on the first side, but nonetheless it has a fair few highlights and is usually pretty decent.
There is definitely prog material of interest here, and no ardent Rush fan should be without this album. Lerxt In Wonderland alone justifies the album's price. It gets better when you stop listening to the lyrics, mind vs. I'd recommend this to most progressive fans, except those who really live for the psychedelic and atmospheric stuff, very little of which you'll find here, and those who really find some weaker performances on vocals or guitar insufficient compensation for great bass-work and bursts of stellar guitar.
Geddy Lee's bass is another serious redeeming factor one I've failed to emphasise above, but c'est la vie for Hemispheres, and fans of that instrument should thus seriously consider it. I'm not the greatest Rush fan Caress Of Steel exceptedso I'd suggest reading a few more generous reviews to balance my opinion out. Rating: Three Stars Favourite Track: La Ville Strangiato Edit: Since I'm going rather harsher on the ratings, and I've provided that a two is something you should get if you'd consider yourself a fan, it's dropping to a two.
Even Strangiato has a couple of moments I'd consider awkward or unneccessary, and I simply don't think the title track is up to the standards Rush hit in their previous excellent record or following decent one. Given it's half the album, I think a two is in order. Hemispheres is in my opinion Rush's masterpiece and also perhaps their most progressive effort ever.
There is for the first and perhaps only time in their long career the perfect balance between guitars and keyboards. The band is as passionate as they ever got and every member is at his best. The compositions are varied, intelligent and memorable. The lyrics of the side-long epic are intriguing, but I do admit that The Trees is a bit naive lyrically.
There is simply nothing to complain about here! Fortunatly it would all change with Permanent Waves, their next studio move, which put them back on track. Hemispheres stands as a wrong step by a great band, specially in view of their former and latter high quality work. It still has its moments, but definitly this is not a good starting point for a newbie. For fans and collectors only. Cygnus X-1 Book 2: Hemispheres- This has always been one of my favorite tracks of all time, so excuse me if I sound like a fanboy here.
The trio really show off their instrumental chops on this one! The lyrics, which I've heard many criticize, I love to death. They are intriguing and delve into mythology to make a neat little story. This track is so epic that it feels so much shorter than it actually is.
Circumstances- Great rocker! That keyboard instrumental part in the middle kills me every time. How can this be the worst song on the album?! Well, just look at what follows it. The Trees- Instrumental and lyrical genius.
There's no other way to describe it. This is often cited as one of Rush's signature songs and let me tell you The atmosphere is perfect, the musicianship is perfect, and the song really rocks! I love the metaphorical lyrics about the whole concept of equality versus equal opportunity and how it can be twisted and demented to something entirely different.
La Villa Strangiato- Wow. Just wow. A roaring instrumental from the trio here, supposedly based on a series of nightmares that guitarist Alex Lifeson had. Haunting and beautiful, this song really is magic. To those of you who question Rush's prog credentials, I dare you to listen to this. And not just once! One of my desert island albums and an extremely important album in my love of music.
Actually, when I had the album on the turntable for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the terrific rhythm section. Although the album especially the first track Cygnus X-1 Book II has a calm and quiet part, basically it's very aggressive. In other words, the songs there might push and push like a Sumo wrestler. About forty minutes the storm of Rush keeps blowing hard around listeners and suddenly gets over like the calm night after a storm I always feel as that.
This album was released thirty years ago. In that period I guess this was too hard-progressive all of the hard progrock albums. And still now it's alive in all of progrockers' mind Very interesting and excellent album, I want to give 4. The Trees is one of Rush's most popular songs, telling of a fable with oak and maple trees competing for sunlight. Many Rush fans have often taken this song to be allegorical with the oaks representing the United States and the maples representing Canada, describing their occasional politically strained relationships perhaps also with regard to cultural dominance issues too.
I can understand this interpretation, but putting that aside, the lyrics are exceptionally well done prose. The album ends with a stunning instrumental, La Villa Strangiato. This has to be considered one of the top 10 best prog rock instrumentals ever composed. The guitar work and complex rhythms on this piece are simply astounding.
Easily a five-star masterpiece. Many consider this about as good as A Farewell to Kings. Some, like myself, think it is slightly better.
You can't go wrong with this one. An essential must-have. Sure there are six distinct sections, but they blend together almost seamlessly. Geddy Lee's bass playing is rather sophisticated, and his voice is beginning to mature at this point. Alex Lifeson's guitar moves between clean chords to crunchy rhythms with chorus throughout.
Neil Peart's drums are effective and stand out more than they had up until that point. I really love the sudden stops that punctuate the piece.
The use of the synthesizer is tastefully minimal, yet there are atmospheric sections where Lee's vocals are subdued. A short acoustic piece concludes the song, serving as something of an epilogue.
This is probably the finest thing Rush ever recorded. It has that full Rush sound, Lifeson's guitar thick and creamy. This great song boasts great guitar riffs and a catchy chorus.
The chord progression is unique, and the light percussion during the relaxing bits is innovative. And Lifeson's solo still surprises me, just as I am starting to relax. From the acoustic introduction to the mentioning of the three arboreal equalizers, this is most certainly one of Rush's greatest works under five minutes. Lee and Peart fade in very gradually, The Waltz Of The Shreves - Rush - Hemispheres (CD. This is if anything one of Alex Lifeson's grandest moments in the spotlight.
A quiet passage, with Peart maintaining the main rhythm, has Lifeson playing with a cleaned up tone that soon becomes the screaming lead guitar sound he is more known for. This is not to say The Waltz Of The Shreves - Rush - Hemispheres (CD does not have his moment in the song. After six minutes in, he fires off a quick little bass solo, and Peart soon follows suit. The bulk of the music consists of powerful chords and fast pull-offs, but the music fails to get stale, even after all these years- this instrumental rivals "YYZ" in terms of love from fans.
The concept of 'Hemispheres' can be seen in the album art, read in the title, and heard in the music and lyrics. The concept of 'art versus science' has long been an interesting debate, and Rush address the topic in the best way they know how, through intelligently constructed science fiction lyrics and an epic song length.
Wrapping up the story the was started in 'A Farewell To Kings,' 'Cygnus X Hemispheres' has the greatest lyrics Neil Peart has ever written, as well as some great music that feels like Rush's most cohesive epic to date despite the criticism it's gotten for being a tad repetitive. I've always liked the first side of this album more, but side two is a fantastic three song arc that is only hindered by the mediocre track 'Circumstances.
While the music isn't up to par with the ingenuity of the lyrics, the flanger guitar is a very interesting addition to the sonic tapestry, and the vocal performance for the acoustic closing chapter 'The Sphere' is very emotive. The other highlight of the album is the instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato.
Thrown into the mix as well are some homages Album) ragtime, which are unexpected and bring something new and refreshing to the table. The guitar solo in 'La Villa Strangiato' is one of the best of all time, and it stands as being a Rush classic. Despite being only four songs long, Rush has made a prog classic here, and while it's not their most consistent, it's a great addition to their discography.
Well done, Rush. My hat is off to you. For the first time on a Rush album, the shorter tracks are very accomplished as well. Circumstances and The Trees are very clever and intensive songs that would serve as a template for the tracks on the following albums. La Villa Strangiato is simply beyond grasp. It's a display of musical freedom. It starts off very innocently with a pleasantly building intro, then there's the first guitar solo that is one of the best of the many exceptional guitar solo's that flourish almost every Rush album.
After that it just starts dashing in all possible and impossible directions with 4 more minutes of surging riffs and deceptive time signatures till it ends very suddenly and abruptly. Rush would take another approach after this album and start releasing more consistent albums but even so, we will be forever nostalgic to ''78, their short but dazzling prog moment.
This is Rush's second full-blown Prog Rock album, Alex's guitar has already changed of sound permanently, synths are included for a more Prog-alike sound, Geddy's vocals are softer in the high-pitch ''screams'', and Neil now is technically better, less of a massive and unstoppable drummer as he was in So, this is definitely Rush's hey-day to proclaim themeselves as a Prog Rock band.
Though, does that mean anything at all? Well on this site yes, but as far as my preference goes this album is not an album I would pick when I want to listen to Rush: The 18 minute epic, the second part of Cygnus X-1, makes you hear all the introductory description I gave about how the band was now.
Alex's guitar is less heavy and his riffs are pretty forgetabble, only pros would be his solos which still sound pretty great. The rest of the musicianship is top-notch, better than in and previous I got to state, yet the composition as a whole is rather repetitive and leads to nowhere, and just makes a good bunch of musicians throwing their great ability to the trash. Circumstances and The Trees bring back the straight hard rock from their early days, however this is not the raw mid's hard rock they used to deliver, this is headed to a softer and cleaner hard rock where all the power and strength is aniquilated.
Not enjoyable if you prefer the more loose hard rock with energy, however it's indeed in the like of those from Rush's later albums, so those who like that surely will get a better kick out of these.
Definitely check this instrumental out, though not one I particularly like. Prog, yes. Great Prog? Well, many seems to think that and I respect that, though don't include me in. Yes, there we have just four compositions, that formally confirms their music as prog-rock. But in fact I can hear here more mix between hard rock and prog. OK, this album is very important in sense of decision of the direction: Rush turned on to their classical heavy prog from hard rock of their earlier albums.
Music is true Rush, but still too heavy and in moments a bit simplistic. Whenever you have a big portions of heavy prog there, at the same time you have big portions of hard as well. In some places you just can feel how these pieces are connected between each other. The best song for me is "La Villa Strangiato", more deep and melodically mature composition, one of their best instrumentals at all. I think this album is very important for Rush discography and quite interesting for listening.
But still not at the level of their best works. Strong 4. The main reason for this album being somewhat dissapointing is the first half of the album. The result is a repetative song, that sounds forced. The riffs of the song are pretty good, though not Rush's best. It's a shame that they last way to long, to eventually become boring. The second half is better, though the first song here, "Circumstances", isn't a killer either. The remaining songs, "The Trees" and "La Villa Strangiato" are some of the best songs in Rush's catalogue though, The first being a great song, which is in the typical Rush style; powerful, somewhat straight forward and full of great musicianship.
This album has two sides. One of them is pretty uninteresting, being forced, repetative and eventually becoming boring. The other is very good, featuring some of the best and most memorable material Rush has ever written.
Because of this I will rate the album three stars, which is what I think it deserves. I think that it was a smart idea adding the tag Book II to Cygnus X-1 Book II since, besides one riff rehash and the sampled section there isn't really much of a connection between the two compositions.
Lyrics are much more coherent and the ending brings the two pieces to a completely unexpected closure that is well worth experiencing. As a composition this one still doesn't hit the spot as much asdue to a rather slow progression, but it's a definite improvement over the performance that we've heard on A Farewell To Kings! Unlike the previous two albums where the second side didn't hold a candle to the excellent first side, Hemispheres actually gets even better towards the album's end.
Circumstances might not be the best rocker that we've heard from the band but it has grown significantly over the years, which might explain why Rush still performs this track during their concerts.
The Trees is easily my favorite 5 minutes featured on this album. What we get here are smart lyrics mixed into a masterfully technical rocker. Plus there is an acoustic middle section, leading up to the guitar solo, that sounds like as if it was lifted straight out of a classic Genesis tune!
Surprisingly enough I've never been much of a La Villa Strangiato -fan. I can sympathies with everyone who considers it to be a solid instrumental piece but there's just nothing more to this performance. Yes, it's a great highlight in a live setting but that's probably why this studio version leaves me cold.
Unlike the previous releases that had a few majestic highlights that kept those releases afloat Hemispheres is a very consistent record from start to finish that might not have as many magnificent moments. Nonetheless, it's an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Was there ever a longer year than the one from to ? A year I spent in eager anticipation of the conclusion to Cygnus X For all I knew, this Canadian trio would make me wait more than 1 album before finally concluding the saga.
Yes, I led a very sheltered life I'm afraid! Anyway, Hemispheres did not disappoint me in any way, shape or form. It spun Part One's sci- fi tale in a direction I never anticipated, transforming it into a fable of cosmic proportions!
But it is Cygnus X-1's "Book II" that reached a height of stylistically diverse, yet still guitar dominated progrock achievement from which Lifeson himself would later retreat. It is almost as if he asked himself "How can I possibly top this? Musically, each song is a gem.
I have little doubt that 23 of filler would dilute this album's impact. The album is primarily celebrated for the awesome instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato'which may be the best instrumental ever. Both this track and 'The Trees' were featured on "Rush: Gold" a compilation I purchased to taste what this band everyone is talking about actually sounds like. Of course, I ended up getting the entire Rush catalogue, but these two tracks intrigued me enough on first listen to warrant grabbing this album eventually, one of the last Rush purchases in fact for me.
I was unaware of how extraordinary the other 2 tracks were so this sealed the deal for me; this album is an astonishing masterpiece. I enjoyed the first part to this, with it's spacey resonance and conceptual framework so I hoped this second part would justify its existence.
I was not disappointed. It begins with the crunching chords and odd time sig of Lifeson and Peart. Lee's vocals soon enter the fray and the song sets sail for one of the best epics I have heard.
Rush know how to structure an epic, '' is a prime example, but this epic has an incredible melody, crystalline vocals and very tight musicianship throughout. The lyrics of 'Prelude' are fantastic; "when our weary world was young, the struggle of the Ancients first began, The gods of love and reason, Sought alone to rule the fate of man.
Lee's voice is strong as he belts out the new melody, "I bring truth and understanding, I bring wit and wisdom fair, Precious gifts beyond compare, We can build a world of wonder, I can make you all aware, I will find you food and shelter, Show you fire to keep you warm, Through the endless winter storm, You can live in grace and comfort, In the world that you transform.
When the chorus builds up to a crescendo another melody begins that is perhaps the best section on the entire epic. Lee has an amazing voice and his high vocals are incomparable as he sings with passion and conviction, "The people were delighted, Coming forth to claim their prize, They ran to build their cities, And converse among the wise, But one day the streets fell silent, Yet they knew not what was wrong, The urge to build these fine things, Seemed not to be so strong, The wise men were consulted, And the Bridge of Death was crossed.
At 'Dionysus Bringer of Love' begins, the same melody as previous though more subdued with some beautiful guitar picking. It builds to the riff and Lee returns to the chorus section; "the cities were abandoned, and the forests echoed song, They danced and lived as brothers, They knew love could not be wrong, Food and wine they had aplenty, And they slept beneath the stars The awesome lead break is a real feature that is phased out and spacey.
On this new ascending and descending riff Lee's vocals are more aggressive with a delay effect, "The universe divided, As the heart and mind collided, With the people left unguided, For so many troubled years, In a cloud of doubts and fears, Their world was torn asunder into hollow Hemispheres.
At the music settles and there is an ethereal ambience when the keyboard pads begin, and the next section is titled 'Cygnus, Bringer of Balance'. It is reminiscent of the spaceyness of the prequel to this track. The atmosphere is definitely one of melancholy tranquillity but the lyrics are unsettling in this section speaking of "a disembodied spirit, I am dead and yet unborn At the new section begins, a much more moderate Lee with acoustic guitar and sustained keyboard pads.
The lyrics are reflective on the chaos that has gone on before on The Sphere: A Kind Of Dream ; "We can walk our road together, If our goals are all the same, We can run alone and free, If we pursue a different aim, Let the truth of love be lighted, Let the love of truth shine clear, Sensibility, armed with sense and liberty, With the heart and mind united in a single Perfect Sphere.
I think this track is a bonafide masterpiece. This track really kicks hard and the live performances I have heard or seen lift the crowd every time. It is genuinely uplifting music with a simplified straight forward power riff.
The lead break seems to blend in rather than become a showcase for Lifeson. Another excellent track due to the memorable melody and killer riffs. I was never a fan of 'The Trees' on the compilation that was sandwiched between two classic tracks, but it tends to work better on this album as it allows breathing space between the hard rocking content of the other tracks.
The trees could be an anthem for Greenpeace or other conservationist groups as it really hammers the message about saving the trees from their point of view, if you don't mind. The lyrics are very strange; "So the maples formed a union, And demanded equal rights, 'The oaks are just too greedy, We will make them give us light', Now there's no more oak oppression, For they passed a noble law, And the trees are all kept equal, By hatchet, axe and saw. The track begins slowly with a sad atmosphere and it eventually builds to a dynamic instrumental break, with innovative riffing and time sigs.
The melody is once again endearing and grows on you on each listen. This is the weakest track on the album but is not enough to detract it as it still has some great moments on it. The film clip on the latest Rush DVD is very good too by the way featuring a humorous look at trees versus man; ironic and wonderful. The last track is the incredible instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato' that begins with Spanish flavoured acoustic and then a synthesizer booms in and soon it locks into the fabulous 5 chord synth riff that every Rush fan knows.
I saw this on the "Live in Rio" and every one in the crowd was roaring the tune out as the band played in perfect sync. The instrumental is a definitive masterpiece with so much to recommend it. The bassline is wonderful that keeps up with the loud guitar of Lifeson. His lead motifs on this are well executed and stay in the memory long after the music is over. Rather than a filler, this instrumental becomes the highlight of the album and this is unusual. The violining that is heard is dreamy and haunting, and then an absolutely soaring lead solo follows, one of Lifeson's best.
He rips it out with fret melting elegance, and then an enchanting riff locks in while a two chord synth progression is layered underneath.
The time sig then changes with a passage of lead and then bass solos. There are fantastic drum fills in this too with a lot of jazzy cymbal work. The time sig returns to the original though it is fractured as Lifeson blasts out another brilliant lead solo. Then a back breaking chord structure is crunched out, the bassline is divine here, and it settles into a slow paced bluesy metrical pattern. The main lead motif returns and then the intro section is reprised with the same finesses as heard earlier.
After 9 and a half minutes it draws to a close. What an amazing piece of music; stunning virtuoso excellence. How does one conclude after hearing 4 incredible tracks. This is a masterpiece of prog. Perhaps the best prog album of In a year when punk had already reared its ugly head and dance-oriented disco was soon to take over and systematically kill all things progressive for a season, Rush produced this music, despite what everybody else was doing. They refused to sell out to mainstream commercialism in the late 70s, and in fact their music was more progressive than ever on this release.
You have to give them credit for that and you have to identify a masterpiece when you hear it, and this is it. Cygnus X-1, Book 2: Hemispheres starts out with a nice melody. As the song progresses, the great melodies and part changes don't stop. The mythological allusions are great, as are most of Peart's lyrics. Despite its long length, it flows beautifully and it flies by quite quickly, so don't be discouraged by the fact that it is eighteen minutes long.
Circumstances institutes that great essence of Rush that is progressive yet is so damn catchy. With great lyrics and great melodies and rhythms, this song is a wonderful track; I can see why it was chosen as a single.
The Trees is a great sing not only because of its nice acoustic intro, but also because of those lyrics. Detailing how Canada the maples feels that America the oaks feels diminished by America's fame and prowess, it presents and very poignant problem, and how we should and shouldn't address it.
La Villa Strangiato is such a spectacular song. Being a drummer myself, I am always awed by Neil Peart's drum work. With this song, I cannot stop whatever I'm doing when listening and wonder at Rush's great musicianship, all of them!
With mystic solos by Alex, blistering and complex riffs from Neil and spectacular bass lines, this instrumental is definitely a showcase of the bands great musical talent. The fact that I enjoy this album so much is made all the more remarkable by the fact that, lyrically, I consider this album bad even by Rush standards. Of the three songs with lyrics the fourth, the closing "La Villa Strangiato," is instrumentalone "Circumstances" is unremarkable for good or bad, but the tracks which bookend it strike me as totally ridiculous.
The opening side-long "Hemispheres Cygnus X Book II " tackles the age-old concept of the heart-mind dichotomy, but the problem is not the subject matter; rather it's that Peart decides to frame the argument around what I can only describe as a Greek mythology fan fiction. The lyrics make me cringe every time I hear them, and given that the track lasts over 18 minutes, there's a lot of them to make me grit my teeth.
The other offending track is "The Trees," where Peart writes a straight-forward parable deriding the concept of labor unions. The lyrics are off the charts on the unintentional comedy scale, to say the least. Musically, the title track is EASILY my favorite of the band's three side-long epics, and strikes me as one of the neatest things the band ever did. The first ten minutes are built around a growling bass- driven riff, which regularly alternates with a beautiful, ambient-esque guitar line from Lifeson, and they interact amazingly.
One thing that really impresses me is that those ten minutes do a good job of slowly, continually building up tension, while also continually releasing that tension, but at a slower rate than the build up; the result is that, by the end of those ten minutes, there's an overwhelming amount of net tension, and I have to respect any piece that can pull that off.
The best part of the track, though, and the chunk that drives me crazy with glee every time I hear it, is around the minute mark or so. It's that quiet, robotic-sounding drenched in atmospheric synths part with the "I see the gods in battle rage on high" lyrics. The idea at this point in the song is to portray Cygnus' entry into the palace on Olympus, and they did it they did it they did it so well!!! That part is so majestically eerie that I can't help but tip my hat to the talent the guys so obviously posessed.
Too bad they couldn't show it all of the time The track ends with a rather throwaway acoustic snippet, which was obviously intended to be a "heart-warming" coda, but which seems a bit tacked on to me. Still, it hardly mars the effect of the whole track, which is quite magnificent. The second side, then, can't possibly hope to live up to the first, but it does a decent job anyway.
As for "The Trees," well, my opinion of it is pretty much the exact opposite of what it used to be: I used to think the lyrics were ok, while the music was lacking.
Now, though, I basically hate the lyrics, but I think the melody which starts off acoustic-based is quite nice, and even the mid-song instrumental break, even if it's too overlong for my tastes, is quite cool. The most famous track from this album, then, is the closer. The music is good, especially for how it gives Alex a chance to display his diverse skill set. The other two songs, "Hope" and "Malignant Narcissism", are two of the shortest songs ever recorded by Rush, both being just over two minutes long.
Found on the Exit Stage Left live album, "Broon's Bane" is a short classical guitar arrangement performed by Lifeson as an extended intro to " The Trees ". The song is named after Terry Brownnicknamed "Broon" by the band, who produced Exit Stage Left and 10 other Rush albums. On the same album, Lee refers to Brown as "T. Broonsie" when introducing "Jacob's Ladder.
The song repeats and builds upon the same three-beat line, coming to a climax about one minute into the piece before segueing into "The Trees. On the live album Rush in Rioan abridged version of "Cygnus X-1" is performed as an instrumental. The piece consists of the "Prologue" section of the song, without the spoken introduction. The Moog Taurus synthesizer heard in the studio recording is replaced with a choir-like synthesizer sound. Immediately afterward, the band played the first and third parts of Book I as instrumentals, with a Peart drum solo as an interlude between them.
The opening song of Rush's tour dates featured an instrumental combining sections of one song from each of the band's first six studio albums. A staple and highlight of Rush's concerts was a drum solo by Neil Peart. These solos have been featured on every live album released by the band. On the early live albums All the World's a Stage and Exit On all subsequent live albums, the drum solo has been included on a separate track.
O'Leary's Cow ". All of Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, leaving each performance unique.
Since the mid-late s Peart has utilized MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimbaharptemple blockstrianglesglockenspielorchestra bellstubular bellstimpani and vibra-slap as well as other, more esoteric percussion. Some purely electronic, description-defying sounds are also used. All are incorporated into each drum solo.
Peart's solos from until included marimba excerpts from "Pieces of Eight," a piece that first appeared as a flexi disc record in the May issue of Modern Drummer magazine.
In addition, all solos since have contained marimba portions of another Peart composition entitled "Momo's Dance Party," and those from to featured a complex pattern from the song "Scars" from the studio album Presto. For the Clockwork Angels TourPeart played three short drum solos instead of a single long one: an interlude during "Where's My Thing?
The solos were respectively named "Here It Is! From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: song. Main article: YYZ instrumental. Who Sampled. I'm Surprised It's So Popular". Retrieved 3 June CBC Music.
Classic Rock Magazine. Rush: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. Feedback Cygnus X-1 All the World's a Stage Exit Through the Camera Eye Chronicles Book Category. Categories : Rush band songs Rock instrumentals Music-related lists. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Articles with hAudio microformats Song articles with missing songwriters. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Download as PDF Printable version. Add links. Progressive rockhard rockjazz fusion. Anthem Canada Mercury. Rush and Terry Brown. Funk rock .
Mar 06, · Rush needed to re-think their musical approach to albums starting with their next release because it was getting somewhat stale at this point. My Rush studio album rankings so far: 1) Fly By Night 2) A Farewell to Kings 3) Hemispheres 4) 5) RUSH 6) Caress Of Steel. * Items below may differ depending on the release. Review Fans will doubtless find Hemispheres another good, solid Rush album. And it's time to apprise the nonfans as well, because this power trio uniquely bridges the gap between heavy metal and sterile technology (sort of where Blue Oyster Cult used to work before going soft rock). View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the Vinyl release of Hemispheres on Discogs. Rush is one of my favorite bands and Hemispheres is definitely my favorite Rush album. So, obviously, I was looking forward to this 40th anniversary reissue with great anticipation. However, after A/B'ing it with my remaster, this one offered no improvement, sonically. Not a bad remaster all at, just not as good the remaster/5(). Hemispheres is the sixth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in October by Anthem Records. After touring to support the band's previous studio release, A Farewell to Kings, which saw the group gain popularity in the UK, Rush started work on its next album. Hemispheres is a music studio album recording by RUSH (Heavy Prog/Progressive Rock) released in on cd, lp / vinyl and/or cassette. This page includes Hemispheres's: cover picture, songs / tracks list, members/musicians and line-up, different releases details, free MP3 download (stream), buy online links: amazon, ratings and detailled reviews by our experts, collaborators and members/5(). Hemispheres is the sixth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and mixed at Trident Studios in London. It was the last of two albums they would record in the United Kingdom before returning to their homes in Canada. Following themes going back to Rush's second album, Fly by Night, on Hemispheres lyricist Neil Peart. VIII - The Waltz Of The Shreves IX - Never Turn Your Back On A Monster! X - Monsters! (Reprise) XI - Strangiato Theme (Reprise) XII - A Farewell To Things Recorded at Rockfield Studios, Wales, during June and July Vocals recorded at Advision Studios, London. Mixed at Trident Studios, London, August Mastered at Trident.5/5(2). "La Villa Strangiato" was released on the album Hemispheres, and is subtitled "An Exercise in Self-Indulgence".The song, the fourth and final track of the album, was Rush's first entirely instrumental piece. The multi-part piece was inspired by a dream guitarist Alex Lifeson had, and the music in these sections correspond to the occurrences in his dream. Hemispheres is the sixth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in October by Anthem Records. After touring to support the band's previous release, A Farewell to Kings, during which the group gained popularity in the UK, Rush started work on its next album. As with the band's previou.
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