Permanent Waves

Ahh....Permanent Waves....released 1980. This is where it all started, my love of Rush that is. My best friend growing up, James Ackley, had a copy of this on tape. We listened to it quite a bit I must say. It is my earliest memories of listening to Rush. Spirit of the Radio, Freewill, Jacob's Ladder, Entre Nous, Different Strings, and Natural Science. What a grand collection of songs. Not a bad one among them. The musicianship on this album is outstanding. Some incredible playing goes on during these songs. Let's start with Spirit of the Radio. Seriously, this should be the way people wake up in the morning...

"Begin the day With a friendly voice,
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood
Off on your way, Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers,
For the Spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact, In your happy solitude"

It hits right at the heart of why I love music. These lyrics say a great deal, but in the end, it speaks, for me at least, to the importance of music in my life and how it makes me goes on

"All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion Of integrity"

Why do I hate American Idol?? Because of these lyrics. Too many people making too many decisions on what makes "good" music. Rush makes their music on their terms and if you don't like it...tough!!!! I respect that, regardless of what I may say as this blog goes on.

Love this song

Jacob's Ladder is a song about,well, the weather....really. I am certain Neil Peart had something else in mind perhaps. Very descriptive though and captures the essence of a gathering storm and the clearing that occurs after. Good song.
Entre Nous and Different Strings are great as well, but for time purposes, I will move on to Natural Science.
This is an opus. A great deal is said in the lyrics, some I can agree with, some not so much, but the greatness of this song is in the music. This song performed live is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a hard song to play, and I amaze at their ability to pull it off live, and how Geddy plays and sings this song at the same time is beyond me. Timing is tight. Give it a listen sometime if get the chance.

Finally I come to Freewill

Never have I disagreed on so many fronts with a songs lyrical content, and yet at the same time this is one of my favorite songs ever. Let's take a look at the lyrics. Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist is not a God fearing man I believe. He of course has a right to feel this way. He has been given Freewill

"There are those who think that life
Has nothing left to chance
With a host of holy horrors
To direct our aimless dance

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
"The stars aren't aligned ---Or the gods are malign"
Blame is better to give than receive"

There are so many ways to take this lyric. I believe it basically states that there are those who believe in some sort of higher power that is in control of our every move. We but serve their every whim. Of course, this is not the nature of the God in the Bible. A God who so graciously has granted his creations...........freewill.

How about a look at the chorus

"You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear I will choose free will"
Interesting thing here, the lyrics seem to imply that if I have chosen a ready guide, I have somehow given up my freewill. At least that is the way I read it. However, I have freely chosen to follow THE GOD who created me. I have freely chosen to become a disciple of his son, and since I have done so, my path could not be any more clear. I had freewill before hand (I mean, we all have freewill regardless, so let's get that out of the way) but apart from Jesus, my path was truly clouded, not clear at all. I thought it was, but on a New Year's Eve in 1992, I realized how clouded my vision truly was. Allow me to go back to the lyrics before I continue....

Each of us A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt That's far too fleet...

Wow!!!! In a couple short lines Neil has managed to sum up the pointlessness (is that a real word??) of a life apart from God. Absolutely brilliant! I mean it. This is perfectly written. We are but random accidents living a life that serves no purpose what-so-ever. Don't know where I'm going, don't no why I'm going there, and I don't know what purpose or point any of my choices have.

This is a clear path????

Good luck with that.

But what a great reminder of what our purpose, as disciples of Jesus, should be. To seek and save the lost. I don't believe you can save a person who doesn't feel as though they need saving, but we can be there when someone is ready. I freely choose to show people the love of Jesus, and whether someone is receptive to that love or not, I freely have chosen to show it none the less. It is my purpose. I pray for Neil, Alex, and Geddy daily. I pray for them when I listen to these kinds of songs. It is my hope that one day, very soon, these three wonderful musicians, and who appear to be such wonderful people, will one day hear the calling of God and turn back toward him. Will that happen?? I don't know, it will of course have to be an act of their freewill, but I sincerely hope that day will come.

Beyond all that, this song musically is a tour-de-force. It's time signature goes back and forth between 4/4 to 6/4 to 7/4 to 2/4 to 4/4 to 3/4 to 5/4 and then to 12/8 at one goodness, it's genius!!!! Truly a treat to watch live.

So, perhaps you've heard this album, perhaps not. But I am more than willing to let you borrow my copy for a listen if you wish. Who knows, you might just enjoy it. I know that I have been enjoying this album for the last 27 years.

Top Track:

Golden Nugget:
Entre Nous

1 Comment:

  1. Jason said...
    Sorry I don’t have a Rush comment but reading your favorite guitarists list I would agree that Jason Bast guy shreds. I wish I could say the same for that Justice should just take him off. Congratulations on your victory over rabies this weekend, I was hoping to read a blog post about it???

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