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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Hold Your Fire
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 15 June 2017
Item has just arrived in excellent condition.
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on 29 May 2011
Hold Your Fire (or 'The Red Album' as I have fondly come to think of it over the years) is a rich, exciting record that, to a certain extent at least, finalised the experimental synthesizer period of Rush's career, in that the keyboards were used as a multi-layered textural device that was now a huge part of the Rush sound, although they had been using synthesizers as early as their classic 2112 album. Whilst it may not be as well produced as the exquisite Power Windows, this album holds some of their finest work - Time Stand Still, Prime Mover, Open Secrets and Mission. And yet, it is worth mentioning that there is not a single bad track to be found on Hold Your Fire, it is a very complete sounding piece of work. Some of it is uniquely experimental, the gentle sophistication of Tai Shan for instance, whilst the closing track sounds vast, exotic, almost overwhelming, the oceanic High Water.

There is some room for improvement within the sharp and 'thin' production treatment given, unlike the huge and full bodied sound of Power Windows (a personal favourite of mine) however, there is no denying the quality of the songs. It is probably best listened to on vinyl, for a richer, warmer, more 'red' sound, although the remaster can sound quite pristine on a decent sound system, add a touch of extra bass for punch if you have tone controls on your amplifier.

Neil Peart displays a somewhat more open and personal approach to the lyrics than usual (at least at this point in his writing career...) on songs that deal primarily with emotion, power and also with the passage of time. The best example of this approach can be found within the wonderful Open Secrets and for me, this song features one of Alex Lifeson's most emotive and evocative guitar solos. It reminds me of a wild, haunted wind, pining and lonely, blowing through the leaves of trees on a hot summer's night. Indeed the whole album invokes a sense of deep red within me, of an evening at the height of summer, when the sky is crimson, almost bloody in its look and feel, a dark red that will soon turn to black as the first chill of the evening descends from green, lush hills and the air is hot and sweet. Geddy Lee's pulsating bass work during Open Secrets is also a thing of rare, moving beauty.

Prime Mover is classic Rush, a complex framework of rhythms that stop and start, stop and start - 'the point of the needle, moving back and forth...' The music and lyrics are moving forward, in a fundamentally optimistic view and attitude that informs the listener that 'anything can happen.' This song is one of the reasons that I love Rush so much, it is at once outward looking and introspective, an echo of the sentiment within opening track Force Ten - 'Look in - look out - look around.' It is complex yet accessible, joyous in its statement of intent - '...thrill to be alive - the point of the journey, is not to arrive...'

Mission illustates perfectly just how accomplished Neil Peart had become at blending electronic percussion into his acoustic drumming, the middle section is nothing short of stunning, the mechanics of which can be seen in startling splendour on the Snakes and Arrows Live DVD, which for me holds the definative version of this song, also worth looking out for is Alex Lifeson's electric, searing solo during the end section, which simply shakes with emotion and you can see just how much he enjoys playing live. I read once that there is a version of Mission Rush recorded with Peter Collins that features a brass band, I really hope they release that version one day.

Time Stand Still is another standout track, warm and quietly haunting, with some beautiful backing vocals from Aimee Man that fit the mood of the song perfectly. Neil Peart's drum pattern during the chorus never fails to please me with its pin-point precision and constantly shifting rhythms. There are some subtle, contemplative lyrics during the song, contained within the verse -

'I turn my face to the sun,
Close my eyes,
Let my defences down -
All those wounds that I can't get unwound...'

Again, here is a track that is at once both introspective and outward looking -

'Time stand still -
I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now.'

The final song that Rush wrote for the album is also the opening track, Force Ten. It starts with treated vocals and electronic drumming that sounds like a pneumatic drill before giving way to an urgent, busy bassline and driving snare drum pattern that carry us off into the journey of Hold Your Fire. It is a rich, rewarding experience that I find myself returning to, sometimes when there is a warm wind in the evening, the trees sway and late summer turns everything to a soft, bloody red and slowly, the first dark creeping tendrils of colour begin to float into the sky. By midnight the moon rides high over metallic cloud and the night sky holds its own circle of brilliant white fire.
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on 6 March 2015
Ignore the Rush fans who are stuck in the 70s who slag off Rush's 80s albums, and in particular Hold Your Fire. Sure Hold Your Fire is about as far as you can get from 2112, and pretty damn far from Moving Pictures, but it is still a MAGNIFICIENT album. The songs are superb, the arrangements often interesting, Peart's lyrics as deep as ever, and the musicianship jaw dropping.

Peart's drumming is just incredible, Lee's bass lines and TONE killer and Lifeson's guitars are the icing on this perfect Rush cake.

Yes, damn it, I am going to say that this album IS perfect. The stand-out tracks for me are the catchy and somewhat poignant 'Time Stands Still' with its wonderful 7/4 chorus (only Rush would throw in an odd time signature in a pop-hook chorus, bless 'em :-) ) and the breath-taking 'Mission'. Mission is unadulterated genius, and brings a tear to my eyes every time I listen to it. Superb melodies, wonderful guitar and keyboard tones, wonderful lyrics and amazing musicianship. Just after the 2nd chorus finishes, there follows a jaw dropping muso-shred bridge that just blows my mind every time I hear it. The live rendition of Mission on 'Show of Hands' is amazing, and I want to marry Lifeson's guitar solo at the end :-).

These two songs alone are reason enough to buy this album, knock yourself out falling in love with the others :-).

Hold Your Fire.., Pure Rush, Pure Genius.
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on 28 August 2017
The full horror of commercial prog-pop-rock is realised on this album. Rush want everything, songs, jams, instrumentals all in one accessible song, as we all know you cant have everything. From the sterile syncopated train wreck 'time stand still', to the overwrought 'open secrets' and the comically cheesy tai shan, the musical horrors just keep coming. Then there is 'Mission', in my book this track and its structure, should be damned to eternal obscurity, it is a grevious betrayal of their rock and roll roots. 'Turn the page' and 'prime mover' are steps in the right direction but not enough to redeem this platter. If i had a time machine i would go back to the late seventies and play them hold your fire...
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on 26 November 2012
I have been a major fan of this band since I can remember. My cousin brought 2112 home when I was like 10 years old or something and I was hooked. Unlike many bands they embraced the whole MIDI/synthesis/sequencing vibe of the 80s and made it an integral part of the RUSH vibe. They are the masters of taking styles, genres and technologies and making them RUSH - perhaps they are BORG after all and if that's the case then fine, assimilate me guys!

This album... is one of my favourites if not indeed my favourite. It certainly includes several of my favourite RUSH songs of which MISSION is a work of pure and unadulterated genius.
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on 28 December 2004
I love mid-eighties period Rush! I have returned to this album again and again since its release in 1987 and it still sets my soul on fire. The music and lyrics are intelligent, passionate and full of enthusiasm and wonder for life. Every track oozes with the quality musicianship that this band has been associated with at all stages of their career. Fantastically inspirational.

Three stunning musicians with open minds, open hearts, a ton of awareness, expressing dynamic creativity of the highest order. Great songs, great eighties production with just the right sprinkling of accomplished guitar solos and atmospheric keyboards. The lyrics are deeply personal, socially aware, and often highly emotional. And they were obviously enjoying themselves!

By this album Rush had taken a more melodic approach and added keyboards to their earlier Zeppelinesque metal sound, apparently losing many fans in the process. For me "Hold Your Fire" is the best of their excellent eighties albums that have stood the test of time. "Power Windows" is also superb, but "Hold Your Fire" is a bit sharper.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 September 2010
Apart from the first three tracks this is possibly the most unremarkable Rush album,even Alex Lifeson rates it poorly.This is an album driven by a band trapped in their 80's phase,each album now becoming interchangeable with the one before,identity lost,previous albums stood on their own,again marvel at the musicianship,pine for the lost soul of the band

Opening with 'Force Ten' the album starts well,a great track that would show up well in the live arena,followed by the albums best track namely 'Time Stand Still' with gorgeous vocals from Aimee Mann,wish they had utilised her more,her vocals would have suited most of this material,Track 3 'Open Secrets' is superb and the only track that could have been a throwback to Moving Pictures/Signals.

The rest perfectly executed(as you would expect),however for me many were now interchangeable and could easily have come off Power Windows or Grace Under Pressure,tracks such as 'Prime Mover' and 'Lock and Key' too lightweight while 'Tai Shan' just loses me.

Its interesting that despite many hailing this era and disc in particular as the bands best,this was actually the first disc not go platinum (halting the consecutive run of platinum discs from 2112 thru to Power windows).Its all relative,we all love different thing,for me,its an ok album, for others possibly their favourite we wont always agree,i'll respect their view,while sticking with mine. 3 stars
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on 23 April 2017
one of the only albums on amazon which has recieved no 1 star review. The best. Buy it
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on 24 May 2001
This was the album that got me into Rush. When I first heard it as a newbie drummer and musician it blew me away. This is the epitome of the bass and drums working together in the most groovy and funky way that any rush album has ever had before or since. Time stands still being my favorite song lyrically, especially having just turned 30 it has special meaning. This is easily the most user friendly Rush album but musically and technically astounding at the same time. This rates as one of my favorite albums of all time. A true masterpiece!!
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on 28 April 2014
Rush released Hold your fire in 1987 and it comes after the truly classic Power windows two years previously. Out of all the albums released during the eighties synth period, I find this one the weakest; but there is still alot of enjoyment to be found on this pleasant CD. "Force Ten" is a disturbingly outstanding start, and it paves the way for some really spine-tingling moments and great atmosphere. For a Rush album there is an unusually strong prevailance of "poppy" rock sufficed by a strong undercurrent of accessibility. Needless to say that the songwriting always remains tight and quintessentially Rush despite.

10 tracks grace the CD with a unison of friendly, and albeit, keyboard-saturated sounds. Hold your fire is certainly an album of it's time. The production deep and passionate reflects a constantly shifting and enveloping atmosphere. "Time stand still, Second Nature and Prime Mover" are exceedingly likeable Rush numbers, and are almost certainly geared for hit material. Elsewhere, "Open Secrets and Lock and Key" are keyboard driven affairs with a really soul inspiring theme. "Turn the page and The mission" are simply another crop of enjoyable and catchy arrangements of pop rock; and then there is other unusual pieces such as the chinese inspired "Tai shan", to be finally closed by the undeniable brilliance of "High water".

It would have been nice to see a little more in the way of classic Rush prowess and emphasis. However there's enough timeless songs, well executed musicianship and a focused songwriting to make this a nearly unmissable Rush album.,
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