Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for April 12, 2024

[Grace Under Pressure] -- Forty years ago today, Rush released their 10th studio album, Grace Under Pressure. Like many bands who came to popularity in the 1970s, Rush began augmenting their three-piece sound with synths in the early 1980s. Unlike they synths that adorn some recordings in the early half of the decade, their presence on Grace Under Pressure doesn't feel forced or overly gimmicky. 

Fans liked it, too. I mean, sure, there were complaints. But the album reached reached #4 in Rush's native Canada, #5 in the UK, and #10 on the U.S. Billboard 200. And it earned a spot on Guitar World magazine's list of "50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1984." The singles – "Distant Early Warning," "The Body Electric," and "Red Sector A" – all reached the top 40 in the US, with "Distant Early Warning" actually reaching the #3 position. "Afterimage" was one of my favorite tracks, and it was released as a single in Japan (though I seem to recall it did get some radio play in the US as well). My next favorite track has to be "The Enemy Within," which is the first part of the band's "Fear Series" of songs (the other parts appeared on later albums).

Considering four decades have passed since this record was first released, many of its themes still feel rather contemporary. Musically, that's fine. But more than a few songs here were informed by cold war paranoia, so that's not exactly a positive statement on the world, is it?

Flashback: Grace Under Pressure (April 12, 1984)

And that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

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