Rush: The (Partial) Series – A Show Of Hands (1989)

In this series, it has been my great honour and privilege to hear everything from Rush (1974) to A Show Of Hands and Presto (both 1989).

Alas and alack, here we arrive at the end of the Rush awesomeness that our brother in rawk Lebrain gave to me (supplemented twice by the youtubes and by one album I found myself). WHAT A RIDE! This is one incredible band and I have absolutely loved hearing all of this great, great music.

I will definitely be buying the rest. Post-haste, if I can help it.

And now, our last in this (partial) series. Let’s give ‘er!

You know, I was going through each track, making note of awesome moments, commenting on this or that. But I realized that it would suffice to say that all of these are stellar versions, completely solid. I know that, when it comes to Rush, that is implied anyway, but I still felt it needed to be said.

Just look at what they played:

Intro
The Big Money
Subdivisions
Marathon
Turn The Page
Manhattan Project
Mission
Distant Early Warning
Mystic Rhythms
Witch Hunt (part iii of fear)
The Rhythm Method (drum solo)
Force Ten
Time Stand Still
Red Sector A
Closer To The Heart

What stands out? Several things. The Three Stooges “Three Blind Mice” intro was amusing – more self-deprecating Canadian humour, eh? I loved the Big Money into Subdivisions one-two opening punch. The Rhythm Method (drum solo) is 4:37 of Neil Peart bashing away and mucking (brilliantly) about. And there are many hits here. Scan the list, you can pick them out.

But what really stood out for me was how many album tracks are here – not necessarily the big radio hits or singles. Both All The World’s A Stage and Exit…Stage Left, before this, played like hits shows, whereas this one boldly lines deeper cuts next to bona fide classics. This speaks volumes about the power, validity and depth of this band. That they can do this, and have it go so well, AND that all the tracks sound like they belong together… all the mark of a great, great band.

The only other thing that crossed my mind was: DAMMIT I NEED TO SEE THIS BAND IN CONCERT. I have not, yet, managed it. When they come around, I need to make it happen.

In sum: This is a GREAT CD. And it’s a nice place to leave my bookmark for coming back later. I fully intend to buy and review the remaining Rush albums. It is a mission, now, to make this a complete collection!

My hugely immeasurable thanks to our brother in rawk Lebrain for providing (almost) all of these albums. Huge. Thanks.

Thanks for reading. Here ends the (partial) Rush series.

Wait.

What’s that?

You want MORE?

Well then, why not simply click right here and read how, in 2007, I drooled over Chronicles, which was released in 1990. Give ‘er!

31 thoughts on “Rush: The (Partial) Series – A Show Of Hands (1989)

  1. Phillip Helbig says:

    “What stands out? Several things.”

    For me, it stands out that there are only two “old” songs: “Witch Hunt” and “Closer to the Heart” (both relatively short. At a concert, I might have wanted to hear more old songs (maybe they played more which are not on the album?), but I usually like live albums to have little overlap in set lists.

    However, this is apparently the set list from the Hold Your Fire tour:

    It is believed the setlist remained the same throughout this tour.

    The Big Money (with “Three Stooges theme” intro)
    Subdivisions
    Limelight
    Marathon
    Turn the Page
    Prime Mover
    Manhattan Project
    Closer To The Heart
    Red Sector A
    Force Ten
    Time Stand Still
    Distant Early Warning
    Lock and Key
    Mission
    Territories
    YYZ
    The Rhythm Method (Drum Solo)
    Red Lenses
    The Spirit of Radio
    Tom Sawyer
    Encore: 2112 (Overture/Temples of Syrinx)
    La Villa Strangiato
    In The Mood

    Of course, maybe not all songs on the live album were from the tour immediately before it, and vice versa.

    A couple of resources (including the one where that set list is from):

    http://www.2112.net/ (links to various Rush pages), many hosted at this domain

    http://www.cygnus-x1.net/

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks for digging this up! Yes, from the looks of that set list, the album has left off several tracks. Probably space limitations. Agreed, older songs would be good, but then again, we have those already on other discs. Having current tracks is cool too. It’s all good, whatever the case!

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      1. keepsmealive says:

        Perfect timing, the CD and book arrived today!! Man, you really made sure things were packaged safely, all is well. Will be spinning it this afternoon for review!! THANK YOU!!!

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  2. Deke says:

    Yep this is a good Rush live album at the time and following and wrapping up what they were doing in the 80s.
    I have not listened to this one in eons. When I listen to live Rush it’s usually Exit,Different Stages,ATWAS, and even lately the live Clockwork Angels set( which ironically enough features a ton of 80s stuff)ASOHs seems to be the forgotten one here …why?…nuthin personal but I guess I should go back down memory lane and make a revisit ……
    Good reviews on the Rush series Aaron, I totally enjoyed your daily output of Rushian product!
    Excellent job fella!

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    1. mikeladano says:

      This is one of the ones I listen to the least. I think the dominance of the keyboards really turned me off. It’s definitely the lite-est of all the Rush live albums.

      Great songs, but Rush obviously knew they had taken the keyboard thing as far as possible. Presto came next and was a little bit of an about-face…Roll the Bones was better…and then as Deke said they nailed it out of the park with Counterparts. I feel Counterparts was the redemption.

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              1. Heavy Metal Overload says:

                I don’t think it’s scratched. I think it’s more a manufacturing thing. It’s the last track on that CD I think and it just sticks on certain players. It ripped fine so I’m able to listen to it on my mp3 player if I really need to!

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        1. mikeladano says:

          Yeah true.

          This was also the last album of the 1-2-3-live-1-2-3-live pattern. There were four albums between this and the next live one (Different Stages). And then since that time, Rush release live albums ALL the time now. So it’s the last of an era.

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      1. KamerTunesBlog (by Rich Kamerman) says:

        Mike, just to clarify…it was always 4 studio albums followed by a live record. This was the 3rd in that pattern, with one more cycle that ended after Test For Echo/Different Stages. I always loved the symmetry of that approach, but now they do the commercially smart thing of releasing a live album/DVD/Blu-ray following every album…and occasionally without a studio album in between.

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            1. mikeladano says:

              Nice! Good going Rich.

              I don’t know why I never realized before that it was 4 records per era. I have had the number 3 stuck in my head regarding that for years!

              And now there’s a Grace Under Pressure live album too.

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              1. KamerTunesBlog (by Rich Kamerman) says:

                I love the fact that that other tours have been documented over the years. I got the Grace Under Pressure CD as part of the 3-DVD video set that came out about 10 years ago. There’s also the early radio broadcast that got released in the last year or so, as well as the Permanent Waves tour radio broadcast that came out last year. And the bonus disc from Different Stages with a show from the A Farewell To Kings tour. I’m probably forgetting others, but of course I have the “just got back from vacation in a different time zone” excuse.

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                1. mikeladano says:

                  Yes — Rush ABC I think it’s called. We were talking about that last week…how great some of those unreleased songs, like Garden Road, are!

                  I have a bootleg from the Moving Pictures tour here as well, that I have not played in almost a decade so I’ll have to get that out and give it a spin!

                  I hope you had a most excellent weekend.

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    2. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Deke! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading – I’ve enjoyed listening and then slapping up some crap in these pages! I can’t wait to collect the rest and get into all this other stuff you guys have been talking about.

      Like

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