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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 July 2004
After the success of "Permanent Waves", Rush were on a roll. "Moving Pictures" consolidated their hold. And then came "Signals". Although - like every Rush album - there are some whose favourite it was, for me it represented a loss of form, a loss of momentum, a loss of... Rushness. Too much synthesiser, too much lyrical vagueness, not enough bite. They went away and thought about things for a while. Rumour has it that Lifeson almost left because he felt his guitar contribution was becoming marginal - just like The Edge almost left U2 circa "Pop". Then, just as U2 came back with "All That You Can't Leave Behind", Rush returned to guitar-driven rock music with this album - and what a blinder they played!
This record is awash with great rock songs - Distant Early Warning, Kid Gloves, The Body Electric - but its core is two songs in a row on side 1. One, Red Sector A, is a futuristic song about a death camp, the closest Rush have ever come to discussing what happened to some of Lee and Lifeson's family in Nazi Germany. The other, The Enemy Within, is a defiant call-to-arms: each individual must make their own destiny, not "give in to security under pressure". Consecutively, these songs tell each and every one of us to live for now and make the future - not to forget the past, but not to let it cripple us either. This is where Rush achieve their clearest statement of a philosophy which has been their core message all along.
On one perfectly valid level, this is "just" a great rock album. On another, this is a rich and valid statement of how to live your life, whatever happens.
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on 20 June 2007
When this album first came out, the doomy, portentous tracks "Distant Early Warning" and "Between the Wheels" chimed with my adolescent angst about nuclear war, the decline of western civilisation, my inability to get laid, etc. etc., but as Bart Simpson once said, "making teens depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel." On re-listening 20+ years later, the stand-out tracks for me now are the playful, ironic "Red lenses" (satirizing cold war paranoia) and "The body electric" (using an hilarious story about an escaped robot to explore the dehumanizing effects of technology.) There's an attractive sense of self-perspective at work here - very, very clever stuff. This is definitely not just another heavy rock holocaust record. It's not even heavy rock, not by modern standards. The remastered sound is crystal clear - I don't remember my vinyl copy sounding this good, it really showcases Rush at their peak as individual musicians. Although I'm personally a fan of the dense, layered, grungey sound of their more recent output, if you're new to Rush there's no better place to start than here.
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on 23 April 2012
I think Graceful is a good way to describe this album its got a sort of glossy sound to the album and I like it the emphasise seems to have been altered to focus on the guitar more again but with heavy effects and also weighty supplies of keyboard, The guitar sounds somewhat like the police in terms of tone, the whole album sounds quite spacious like The police's music but not quite as spacious, there is still complex and intricate bass guitar with in the songs but sometimes this drops out in place of bass pedals and such. Drum wise the album has not changed much there might possibly be some midi drums and things of this nature. but generally the drums have mostly stayed the same maybe I think the feel alittle a bit more simplistic to match the music.
I really like The song Red sector A, keyboard guitar interplay that comes after each section of the verses is very clever and has a slight (disparate feel to it ) it quite a dark song but its very good this would be my favourite song off the album.
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on 24 June 2011
I'm so glad I've finally discovered this album - only 27 years after its release. I was familar with much of Rush's 70s prog output - liked it, but didn't love it. Same goes for Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. But I've bought nothing since (other than the In Rio DVD, which I only watched once). Looks like I've been missing out big time if this album is anything to go by. GoP contains 8 tracks of a uniformly high standard and sounds incredibly fresh and not at all dated. For me there are 4 stand-out tracks. Distant Early Warning, Red Sector A and Afterimage are truly excellent....and then there's Between the Wheels, which is something rather special. The sense of release and joy when the chorus kicks in is totally overwhelming. What to buy next? Signals, Power Windows? Perhaps I should just just Roll the Bones. Looking forward to my Rush voyage of discovery over the coming months.
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on 20 April 2014
Listening to this CD the first few times, I liked it but did not find anything too interesting. However, paying more attention you can discover the best quality and featured songs on this album. There is no bad or disposable music. It is also the best album of Rush, but it's a nice album and with good choices. The album is a bit linear, but it is not strenuous. The track "Red Sector A" is perhaps the most destaque.Ok! Note: 7.5.
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on 19 November 2005
After the synth-wash that was Signals, this is a breath of fresh air. Nicely guitar-driven, this album has many good songs and shows influences from U2, The Police and Tears for Fears. Great musicianship all round - check out the funky fills at the end of "I See Red". Great stuff.
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on 10 December 2000
In common with others, I'll never forget the first time I heard this album. A friend brought it round, and he was very uncertain about it, to him it seemed such a departure in style... from the first few notes, I knew that this was something special.... and I believe this album marked a transition for Rush, in which they moved from the canon of fellow heavy rock bands, to an arena all of their own.
All the songs are outstanding, with unusual Body Electric, and After Image, but I have to say that the title song Grace Under Pressure, has become a turning point in my life... no matter what.. it gives guidance for living.... "I'm not giving in to security under pressure, I'm not missing out on the spirit of adventure, I'm not missing out on impossible dreams... experience to extremes...experience to extremes.."
If you can say that your life matches half that lyric, then this is truely an album to be pleased that you've heard!!
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on 4 January 2010
When I first listened to this album, I was appalled. I was (and of course still am) a massive Rush fan and after being blown away by their prog 70s work and the superb imagination shown in their early 80s work thus far, this felt like a huge let down.

It all sounded so samey - no variety, imagination. Just not Rush.

But over the years it has grown on me and I now really love it.

Grace Under Pressure shows why (unlike so many other bands of their ilk) they have been able to thrive during this period.

They were prepared to adapt and innovate and be original. But unlike other bands which tried to copy a style without understanding it, Rush adapted it to suit their own. The result - they have rarely put a foot wrong in 35 years.

This was a true ground breaker. Distant Early Warning, Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, Kid Gloves, Between the Wheels.

All are superb efforts. Matching lyrics with tunes so well.

And as on their best albums, there is a sense of mood created to suit the music.

Here it is the grim, dooomladen and somewhat stark reality of life in the Cold War world of the early to mid 80s.

As so often, I found I had got it wrong. This was a superb album. I have now caught up and recognise it as such.
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on 16 December 2013
Following on from the powerful 1982 release 'Signals', 'Grace Under Pressure' (1984) doesn't stray too far from the winning formula of its predecessor; the stand-out tracks for me are 'Distant Early Warning', 'Afterimage' and 'Red Sector A'. As ever, the musicianship of Lee, Lifeson and Peart is excellent and this album is well worth buying in my opinion.
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on 3 October 2000
An awsome album. I can even remember going out and buying the vinyl version when it first came out. I refused to buy it on CD until now because i believed vinyl to be king....This remastered version just blows me away. There is not a bad song to be heard on this, with the highlights being "Between the wheels" and "Body Electric". Dedicated Rush fans will already own this, but if you only have it on vinyl i implore you to invest in this version. It is superb.
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