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4.7 out of 5 stars57
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 2004
This is probably the first mainstream album that Rush produced that appealed to anyone outside the heavy/prog rock fraternity. They had never really had radio play before, but 'Spirit of Radio' changed all that and propelled this album into the Limelight.
It has the feel of a band confident in their ability to entertain whilst no losing their grip on their personal musical direction. There are still songs of epic proportions here, such as 'Natural Science' and 'Jacob's Ladder', but they have come a long way since the early epics.
For me 'Jacob's Ladder' stands out as it has such simple riffs yet a lot of experimentation. There is one point where all 3 of them are playing in different time signatures but they are still producing music that is accessible.
One of their best!
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on 25 February 2000
The first album release of the 1980's ! This was a terrific transition from Rush's earlier 70's progressive rock to the electronic influenced 1980's. A 'mini-moog' keyboard finds it's way into several songs, opening with Rush's classic (and biggest UK hit single) 'Spirit of Radio' - always a live favourite. Every song is a winner, beautifully melodic and culminating with the magnificent 'Natural Science', one of Rush's finest musical moments, a 'Xanadu' for the 1980's. Why the band stopped at 6 songs is a mystery, especially when they were in such fine form, but it still sounds fantastic 20 years on.
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on 27 July 2006
This album, instead of being rated by stars, should be rated by galaxies!

Never before have I witnessed such perfect equality by all members mutually contributing to one rock group until discovering Rush, the Rush trio are at their very best in this 1979 recording, and this album is perhaps their very best, every track is a reward, and must be heard again and again and again, seemingly with no vanishing point in enjoyment.

For me this exceeds all Rush's previous albums combined, and that perceivably is a difficult thing to achieve, unless you are Rush!.

The style of track composition is similar and often reflective of that of their previous 'musical journeys', though with a marked tone down in epic proportion, but taken 'as a whole', it far transcends the standard set by the last albums!

Incredible time shifts and lightening pace in playing feature often. Beautiful acoustics, drums, guitar and bass grace. An improvement by all the musicians is to be noted... it is unbelievable!

Listening through the album (in trance mode), I eventually reach the track entitled 'Natural Science' (Gasp!). I rate this track upon the finest of Rush tracks ever! If you want to hear it? It's on here!, and my goodness, it rocks!
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on 3 November 2009
Permanent waves is the album that preceeded Moving Pictures (the biggest selling album of their career so far) and started the transition away from 1970's style progressive rock into generally shorter and more commercial compositions. It was deservedly their most successful pre-Moving Pictures album containing classics such as Spirit of Radio and Freewill.

It was produced, like all the preceding albums, by Terry Brown who did a great job on it - nothing fancy, just a very well recorded album that allows the superb musicianship to shine through.

The best way of hearing this album has always been via vinyl. The original UK vinyl release was excellent but this Mobile Fidelity 180g reissue is even better! If you've only ever heard this album via CD or download and you possess a high quality hi-fi separates system with a good turntable then you owe it to yourself to get this superb vinyl edition. Only then will you realise what you have been missing!

The only thing I can criticise about this edition is the reproduction of the cover artwork - it is too dark and too contrasty - disappointing! The quality of the vinyl, however makes up for this.

Highly recommended.
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on 9 October 2010
This was my first ever Rush experience ...and like a girlfriend ... you never forget your first time. We all remember classic moments in the early Rush catalogue such as Working Man, Bastille Day, Passage to Bankok, La Villa Strangiato, 2112, Xanadu et al .... but I can honestly say every track on Permanent Waves is right up there in terms of excellence, awesome studio production and creative writing and this album carries what is still their best known track The Spirit Of Radio. PW puts you in a Rush mood and makes you want to put another Rush album on. I never tire of PW and it's worthy of the tag "a classic" although its not timeless, it certainly denotes a specific era in the Rush evolutionary cycle. Having said that, if I have one criticism of the band, they have lost a little bit of the spirit (excuse the unintended pun) of this album. Vapor Trails and Snakes and Arrows are vastly different offerings in comparison to works such as Permanent Waves which comes complete with an iconic album cover too. There just aren't enough bands out there making this kind of music these days .... or maybe a talent like Rush is hard to replicate.
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on 19 March 2004
Not a duff track or moment, it kicks off with an all-time classic song (much underrated and mis-understood) and finishes with what is probably the finest moments in late prog-rock - a 3-parter that never lets up and just keeps getting better with every listen. If you like Moving Pictures then you should like this, and if you like this then buy Moving Pictures if you haven't already done so - they're a perfect pair and mark the end of an era, and began a natural progression (or reversion?) into their 8 or more track albums that I never felt really lived up to this (and MP).
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on 24 May 2010
The Rush albums from 2112 to Moving Pictures encapsulate Rush at, arguably, their most creative and emotive best.
Permanent Waves, from 1979, opens with their anthemic masterpiece Spirit Of Radio showcasing their crisper, cleaner sound which set the tone for not only this superb and technically intricate album but the next ten years of recordings; the odd time signature of Freewill highlights the trademark musical jousting which drives the band to this day, Peart and Lee seem to be formed from the same being during these soaring arpeggios; such is their precision and Lifeson dances majestically between them adding the hard edge that keeps rock fans like me in perpetual admiration for true genius.

The albums just prior to and just after Permanent Waves should be in every rock fan's, and indeed every music fan's collection.Moving Pictures Signals Hemispheres A Farewell To Kings
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on 12 February 2008
Yes! Around 28 years after this album was released, Rush have never been able to excel the half-dozen songs found on this album, at least in my eyes. The half-dozen songs ensconced within this CD personally rank as classics of the genre, with the trio's musical skills being at their peak. It essentially serves as a conduit between the excellent, but ridiculously overblown Hemispheres and the album that really marked their overture towards the mainstream, the seminal Moving Pictures.

Without making a detailed track-by-track analysis, I'll safely say that The Spirit of Radio and Freewill are deserved stalwarts of the classic-rock world. The following two tracks are somewhat underappreciated; particularly my personal favourite, Jacob's Ladder. It's marked by its magnificent guitar tone, uplifting and climatic performance and its utterly magnificent ending two minutes, one of my all-time favourite endings to any song, ever. Then the lovely little Different Strings leads into the fan favourite, Natural Science, which whilst marked by its undeniable instrumental virtuosity and very catchy rythyms, is still eclipsed by the almighty Jacob's Ladder.

So, this is the band's successful attempt at climbing Jacob's Ladder, in a manner of speaking. They managed to keep their superb form up for the next several years, ending the marvellous run with the more 80s sounding, mainstream Power Windows, which still has a few classics in its duration. But if someone were to ask me what album of theirs to buy, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this one.

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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2004
This is a great album. If you are going to buy a Rush CD get this one. It marks the end of the group's "fantasy" phase when they sang about snow dogs, computer priests, space ships and black holes and the start of more thoughtful, direct songs such as Jacob's Ladder. There isn't a weak track on the album; it demonstrates brilliantly the strengths of the group, and the songs are all powerful and exciting. Genius.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 September 2010
Have to admit,i've always been out of step with this disc,never quite understood the unquestioning adulation it recieves yet superior albums(IMHO) such as 'Signals' take brickbats!

After the trauma of the recording of 'Hemispheres' the band opted for shorter,in the main,tracks and at times its a complete sucess,there are other moments that dont ,for me,quite work

The highlights - 'Freewill' ,naturally, a superb piece,always a joy to hear,will forever be one of their best ever tracks,the unsung hereos of the album are 'Entre Nous & Different strings',2 beautiful pieces of music,the latter with some breathtaking lead guitar from Alex.Obviously the most famous track is 'Spirit Of The Radio',to be honest i've become ambivalent towards it,if i never heard it again,i wouldnt miss it,of course for the masses its the one everyone's heard.That just leaves 2 tracks, 'Jacobs Ladder' for me slow and ponderous,a throwback to the most boring parts as found in Cygnus X-1 Book 2,a track that gets lost in itself,clearly showing that the band were still feeling their way and yet the albums finale'Natural Science' highlights everything the 'new' Rush was aimimg for,an absolute classic,couldnt believe it when they played it live in 1980 on the world tour.

Sometimes its hard to be out of step with the general opinion,yet its an honest review from someone who bought the vinyl the day it came out and has struggled with it ever since(still got the Dewei Defeats Trueman sleeve).The overiding sense i get is this was a stepping stone to greatness that was fully realised on their next disc
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