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Hemispheres Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 July 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B000001ESL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Rush - Hemispheres - Cd

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In an era when radio meant chart material and, worse still, dancey-dancey stuff, (has anything changed?) we outcasts discovered new music mainly by personal recommendation and live concerts. One cold, dark night in 1978, one of my regular partners-in-crime turned up on the doorstep with another guy in tow, clutching something in the customary LP sized carrier bag. Introductions over, the newcomer reverendly placed the copy of Rush's new Hemispheres album on the turntable (he wouldn't let anyone else touch it) and we settled back for a listen.
Although I was aware of Rush and had heard a few tracks, I'd never given them my full attention - that was about to change. Before even 15 minutes had elapsed I realised I was in the presence of true genius - one of the finest bands on the planet. That opinion remains unchanged over 25 years later and I still regard Hemispheres as one of the all time classic albums, I can never go too long without playing it and the music still sounds as fresh and invigorating as ever.
La Ville Strangiato - wow!
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Format: Audio CD
Unrated, unknown to most - loved by those who got in on the act and knew then before the prog-rock concept became a dirty word, Rush have stood the test of time. Originally influenced by Led Zep - indeed they stared out doing covers of the band - Rush quickly forged their own style, and mightily expanded it with every release. Rush fans meet somewhere near the dividing line of those who swear the releases of the 1990s are more refined than their huge volume of earlier prog work. I have every release - but I would place myself in the latter of those two camps. Hemispheres did the impossible by even rising above the barely comparable 2112 epic and Farewell to Kings and proved that the concept album isn't an endless track but a story with chapters, which here have a magical quality. Side One continues where Farewell to Kings left off with Cygnus X-1, mixing sci-fi with ancient (Greek) legend. Putting aside the group's technical brilliance with key and time changes aplenty as well as Lifeson's fantastic arpeggios the lyrics provide food for thought dealing with such issues as the 'battle for heart and mind' as tribal conflict muscles in on human existence. A review in the USA unfairly denounced the "lofty lyrics" which "sometimes bordered on the ridiculous". But compare this with the output of your local radio station. The end of the first side, Sphere, contains wonderful if idealistic sentiment. Side two opens with Circumstances, containing an instrumental interlude which conjures for me a warm image of standing enjoying the atmosphere of a pre-Christmas market, a cup of hot gluhwein in hand. Trees is Orwell's Animal Farm set to music - lovely percussion from Peart - while La Villa Strangiato really is 'an exercise in self-indulgence' - a nine-minute instrumental.Read more ›
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By Kingcrimsonprog TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 July 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Definitely my favourite Rush album; Hemispheres is a superb classic album from the Canadian band and can genuinely described as epic, a word that is often over-used but in this case I feel appropriate.

The album contains the concert classic 'The Trees,' which is a truly fantastic song with intelligent songwriting and memorable melodies. I defy you to listen to it for the first time without singing it in your head for weeks afterward!

As if that wasn't enough, it also contains the diverse instrumental track 'La Villa Strangiato,' which of course is a stone cold classic beloved by all Rush fans; the multi part instrumental influences bands as far as Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, Tool and even Mastodon.

The least know song on here, 'Circumstances,' is still great, catchy and memorable, even if at times it seems to be ignored or overlooked.

The reason to buy this album however is for the side-long almost-title track 'Cygnus X-1, Book 2: Hemispheres,' which in my opinion is one of the greatest songs ever written. Sometimes among Rush fans there is argument as to whether it is better than 'Cygnus X-1, Book 1,' or not, or even whether their other side-long suite '2112,'eclipses it, but I feel it beats both if only by a whisker. (Both are undeniable classics after all.)

The track, representing half an album's worth of music is full of creativity, astounding musicianship and brilliant recurring themes tied together nicely. There is so much to like all packed into the one grand track.

The haunting segment where Geddy sings `I Have memory an awareness but I have no shape or form...I have passed on to Olympus,' often sends a chill down the spine.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hemispheres SACD
Assuming you already know the music, decision is whether the Audio Fidelity SACDs are worth the extra over the Rush remasters or the Sector box sets. I have a good high end SACD player, pre-amp, power amp set up so find I can hear a positive difference. The SACD is more dynamic. Overall it is mastered quieter so the soft passages are quiet and the louder passage leap out more. Just set the volume up a little higher than you normally would and you get the full benefit of the more dynamic presentation. For me, some of the sounds of the acoustic guitars, especially the nylon string at the start of "The Trees" and "La Villa Strangiato" sound clearer and more realistic than other CD remasters. Whether it's worth the near £20 asking price depends on how much you like this Rush album (I think it is one of their best) and whether you have the right type of system to get the most out of it. Personally, I hope Audio Fidelity keep releasing SACDs of Rush albums. I think both Counterparts and Hemispheres SACDs are worthy additions to my Rush collection and are sufficiently different to the other versions I have on vinyl and different remasters to make them worth having. They are as good as the Mobile Fidelity releases I have of Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves. I'd like Presto remastered on SACD next from Audio Fidelity.
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