Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#612 in the Series) is Rush, Caress of Steel
Rush really started making a name for themselves with the 1976 release of their classic album 2112. That really started things going for them and it progressed another huge step forward a year later with the live release of All the World’s a Stage. Before that however they have three albums that laid the groundwork for what was to come, you had to get stuff for the live album from somewhere.
The first album was simply called Rush. What’s that album know for? Quite simply, it’s known for being the album that didn’t include Neil Peart as a band member. “Finding My Way” and “Working Man” were the two songs that you may know from this album.
Neil joined the band for their second release, the much better received Fly By Night. The title track is still known as one of the bands best songs, at least of their early period.
This brings us to an album that many have considered one of the better liked “nuggets” of their discography. Airplay, no, heck no, hardly any, like I said, none of that really started happening, at least in the United States, until 2112. And that album’s success, like much of the band’s growth was from word-of-mouth, not from disc jockeys. Whenever friends would talk about early Rush, Caress of Steel would always get mentioned as a favorite. It seemed like the “cattle” liked them for 2112 and of course for the later stuff, but the cool guys knew all about Caress of Steel.
The two major songs that became staples of the live show were “Bastille Day” and ”Lakeside Park.” But you could never overlook the 12 minute semi-epic piece called “The Necromancer.” If you knew of this song back in 1975 that you are one cool cat. Side two contained only one song. I referred to “The Necromancer” as semi-epic because I’m going to refer to this one as epic. This would be the 19 minute piece entitled “The Fountain of Lamneth” it would be broken into six parts. I often see Rush thrown into the prog-rock category. I believe that that genre was given to them for those two pieces and also for the title track on 2112. Were they prog-rock? Maybe, but completely in their own sense, they had very little in common with bands like Genesis, Yes or Emerson Lake and Palmer etc.
All songs written by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart, except where noted.
- “Bastille Day” – 4:37
- “I Think I’m Going Bald” – 3:37
- “Lakeside Park” – 4:08
- “The Necromancer” – 12:30
- “I. Into the Darkness” – 4:12
- “II. Under the Shadow” – 4:25
- “III. Return of the Prince” – 3:52
- “The Fountain of Lamneth” – 19:58
- “I. In the Valley” – 4:18
- “II. Didacts and Narpets” – 1:00
- “III. No One at the Bridge” – 4:19
- “IV. Panacea” (music: Lee) – 3:14
- “V. Bacchus Plateau” (music: Lee) – 3:16
- “VI. The Fountain” – 3:49
- Geddy Lee – bass guitar and vocals
- Alex Lifeson – 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitar, steel guitar
- Neil Peart – drums, percussion, voiceovers on “The Necromancer”
- Official Rush Website
- See our piece on 2112
- See more Prog-Rock Albums
- See more Hard Rock Albums
- See more from 1975
Give Caress of Steel a listen below.