40 years ago, "Signals" was released by Rush and Myth of Rock pays a tribute to this classic album! Written by Antonis Mantzavinos.
1. Subdivisions (Lee, Lifeson, Peart, Pye Dubois) - 5:35
2. The Analog Kid (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 4:47
3. Chemistry (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 4:57
4. Digital Man (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 6:23
5. The Weapon (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 6:24
6. New World Man (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 3:42
7. Losing It (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 4:53
8. Countdown (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) - 5:49
September 1982. Almost the dawn of a great decade in rock music in general, with fantastic records already been released and some great also to follow. Rush, at the peak of their remarkable career and having released the blockbuster “Moving Pictures”, create one of their classic records, an album which has blended all their craftmanship and musicianship elements and which showed the way for the near and not so near future. As Alex Lifeson stated, “After the success of “Moving Pictures”, we could’ve done anything we liked and in Rush’s world, that usually means it’s time to change”. Evolution inspired by the best.
“Signals” is the perfect example of blending in such a unique and trademark way the synthesizers, the melodies, the guitar orchestrations and technical drumming, altogether with perfectly fitting signature vocals of Geddy Lee, producing an epic result. This album marks the band’s shift to the new decade, where they did what they have always done, in my humble opinion, without losing not even a single bit of their quality, identity and watermark to the world of music: being and sounding contemporary, following the trends of the era at the time of the album release, but also showing the path to the future, keeping an eye on what is to come. It is a shift from their guitar-oriented sound to a more keyboard and synth-like sound, adding more commercial success to their reputation and status. This is a record where rock meets new wave, even reggae and synth-pop and where Rush enhanced this magnificent album with more elements (for example violin from Ben Mink on “Losing it”), all perfectly put, all brilliantly contributing to the album’s unique sound.
Rush released three singles from the album, "New World Man", which became the band's highest charting single in the United States and a number-one hit in Canada, as well as "Subdivisions", and "Countdown". ‘Signals” was the last record of the band to be produced by their longtime British friend and master in production Terry Brown (an amicable departure, which the band ‘saluted’ on the credits of the next record “Grace Under Pressure” – ‘Et toujours notre bon vieil ami – Broon’). The recordings started in April 1982 and ended in July 1982. The band toured for the album (before it was actually released) from April 1982 until July 1983 in the US, Canada and Europe (England, Wales, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands and Belgium).
Lyrics-wise, “Signals” deals with many different social themes and matters, which directly draw the attention of the listener: from the ones considered as outcasts in suburban areas trying to deal with the different cultural discrepancies (‘Subdivisions’), to dreaming how the future could be (‘The Analogue Kid’), expressing an anxiety or curiosity of the new technological developments (‘Digital Man’) or how painful it could be to relive old glories and accomplishments (‘Losing it’). As stated before, this band has such a distinctive way of keeping everything contemporary but looking towards the future with a clear eye sight and with no fear to experiment, to explore and to have a desire to evolve further and further, to unknown and less unknown territories.
This is the 40th anniversary of the ‘Signals’ release, but this album sounds so fresh and so clear in sound, ideas, lyrics, and could be characterized as a contemporary one, as an album that could have been released in 2002, 2012 or even 2022, without any doubts. Rush showed the way to the future, and continued where they have left things, having finished “Moving Pictures” and the subsequent tour (captured on one of the best live records ever, “Exit Stage Left”), where “Signals” paved the way for what was about to follow in the next years, in a decade where their glory continued and where their status and recognition reached new heights and new dimensions.