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Hold Your Fire is an album in the purest sense; infinitely greater than the sum of its parts, it gradually draws in the listener by slowly revealing its nuances and secrets. While the use of keyboards is still overwhelming at times, Geddy Lee employs lush textures which, when coupled with a greater rhythmic and melodic presence from guitarist Alex Lifeson, results in a far warmer sound than in recent efforts. Of course, drummer Neil Peart is as inventive and exciting as ever, while his lyrics focus on the various elements (earth, air, water, fire) for much of the album. Opener "Force Ten" is the band's most immediate number in years, and other early favorites such as "Time Stand Still" and "Turn the Page" soon give way to the darker mysteries of "Prime Mover" and "Tai Shan." The multifaceted "Lock and Key" is quintessential Rush, and sets the stage for the album's climax with the sheer beauty of "Mission." As was the case with 1976's 2112 and 1981's Moving Pictures, Rush always seem to produce some of their best work at the end of each four-album cycle, and Hold Your Fire is no exception.
Performance CreditsRush Primary Artist
Aimee Mann Vocals
Jim Burgess Synthesizer
Andrew Jackman Conductor
Geddy Lee Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,bass pedals,Pedals
Alex Lifeson Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Neil Peart Percussion,Drums,electronic percussion
Andy Richards Synthesizer,Keyboards
Williams Fairey Brass Band Horn
Technical CreditsRush Arranger,Producer
Peter Collins Arranger,Producer
Scott Alexander Contributor
Andrew Jackman Arranger
Hugh Syme Art Direction
Williams Fairey Brass Band Contributor
Jim Barton Engineer
Liam Birt Executive Producer
Van Azzoli Executive Producer
William Faery Engineering Brass Band Contributor
James Barton Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a work of craftsmanship and musicianship at the highest level. Arrangements are lush and beautiful, down to even every single drumbeat and percussion sound precisely tuned for texture and placed in the stereo spectrum. Neil Peart's lyrics are intelligent and emotionally moving (''Time Stand Still'' has to be one of the most transcendent classics produced by any rock band). I saw some of these tunes performed live and could hardly believe it. The only way to listen to this album is LOUD; allowing the power of bass, guitars, drums, and synth textures move right through you. What I like most about it is the writing and arrangment quality -- choices of verse, vocal cadence, bass lines, drum hits. . . it's all just brilliant and certainly one of the best albums released during the 1980s.
I am a huge Rush fan for over twenty years. Saw them three times on Vapor Trails (MSG, Mohegan, and Jones Beach)...Great Shows! However, this album is justifiably criticized for the over emphasis on Synthesizer. I recall watching a video from one of the songs off this album, and Lifeson (guitarist) is not playing at all--just watching the other two play. Still, if you are looking for a very progressive rock/synth sound this is a good album. Please, don't get me wrong with this crtique--I am comparing this album to other Rush albums. Comparing this album to other bands, this one stands out as better in many ways. If you are looking for a beterr progressive album, I would suggest Presto.
Hold Your Fire is an excellent album by any standard. Although it is the height of Rush's keyboard era, the keyboards complement the music in a way that is lacking on more recent efforts (Test for Echo, Vapor Trails). The lyrics have much depth that will keep you thinking long after the last track stops playing. I would highly recommend this album to anyone. And to those who think keyboards make it bad, I quote a Rush lyric: "All this machinery making modern music can still be open hearted, Not so coldly charted; It's really just a question of your honesty, yea, your honesty".
Criticisms of this album's oversynthed sound are on the money. Lifeson is reduced to picking a few ambient notes while massive keyboards overwhelm the record. But, it's not all bad. 'Force Ten', 'Prime Mover' and 'Turn the Page' are likeable songs, and the lovely pop tune 'Time Stand Still' makes the disc worth hearing. Thankfully, this was the last time they totally drenched their music with synthesizers.
Personally I thought Rush released Hold Your Fire at the perfect time in 1987.This album has some good memories of songs like"Force Ten","Time Stand Still","Mission"and "Prime Mover"."Tai Shan and"High Water" show Geddy's strong synthesizer work.The songs "Second Nature" and "Lock and Key"send good messages."Open Secrets"and"Turn the Page"are okay,but I don't like em'that much.Overall a pretty good album at the rank of 92.9.