Tag Archives: Rush

Return to the 80s Music: Rush – Permanent Waves

Rush_Permanent_WavesHey Everybody, welcome back to Return to the 80s Music! As I mentioned previously, I will go through chronologically and cover as many 80s albums as I can. We’ll hear some classics, some hidden gems that not everybody may be familiar with, and maybe some nobody has heard of, which can be a great discovery, or something that will make you say What the HELL was that?!?!

I hope this is good and you all enjoy it. I hope we make some rad discoveries, and I know there will be songs that will bring us back to some great times! In either case, it is always awesome to Return to the 80s!

You can click on the song title to check out the YouTube video of the song. I’ll also include the Spotify playlist at the bottom of each article, if the album is on Spotify.

Today’s album is the first in this series by an established band Permanent Waves by Rush. The first two, The Romantics and The Buggles, released each of their debut albums to being the decade.

downloadPermanent Waves is the seventh studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush. I know that Rush has a huge following of passionate fans. I like Rush a lot, but I am mainly only familiar with their radio hits. I’m sure I would have known a lot more about them, and would have been one of those obsessive fans if I had seen them live in concert. I’ve just seen video footage, and I’m impressed. It must have been quite the experience to see them in person. Sadly, we will not be able to see them again as the drummer, Neil Peart passed away on January 7, 2020 and so the wonderful year begins!) after battling brain cancer for 3 1/2 years. Thankfully, the band left a huge catalog of great music.

Permanent Waves is known to have marked a shift in the group’s sound so that they were more radio friendly. I know their previous songs “Fly By Night” and “Closer to the Heart”. But, I suppose the rest of the albums that those songs were on were more prog rocky.

This album was released on January 14, 1980 on Anthem records, and produced by Rush and Terry Brown.

Even the most casual Rush fan probably knows the legendary lineup:

Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar,
Alex Lifeson – lead guitar
Neil Peart – drums

Now, lets throw the album on the turntable and catch a wave!

Side one
1. “The Spirit of Radio
What a great way to start! Growing up, I listened to the local rock station (94 WHJY), and they played this song often. As a side note, I listened the radio station recently, which is known as “The Home of Rock and Roll,” and I don’t think they’ve updated their playlist since 1996, so this song could still be in heavy rotation there. That wouldn’t be a bad thing in this case.
And speaking of radio station slogans, this song’s title was inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY-FM’s slogan. This song was Rush’s first top 30 single in Canada and reached number 51 on the US Hot 100.
This song rocks, and they even experimented with a little reggae towards the end.

For the words of the profits
Were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sound of salesmen
Of salesmen, of salesmen

2. “Freewill
This is another song that was always in regular rotation on the radio. The song’s lyrics deal with the subject of free will; in a December 1989 interview on Rockline, Lee stated that “the song is about freedom of choice and free will, and you believing in what you decide you believe in”. Geddy Lee has stated that the final verse of “Freewill” is at the highest part of his vocal range.

3. “Jacob’s Ladder
We are already on the last song of side one! I have to admit that this song took quite a few listens for me to like it. And the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It is almost 8 minutes long, and it’s not even the longest song on the album. There aren’t too many lyrics in this song, making it “not radio friendly”. But, the music is powerful. And about halfway through, it sounds a little new-agey, then the guitar picks up and it rocks out again. Pretty cool!

Now we flip to Side 2

Side two
4. “Entre Nous
This song was released as a single in May 1980, and I had never heard it in my life until now. I can’t see that it charted anyway. Entre Nous is French for Between Us. This isn’t a bad song. It sounds like a deep track from a late-70s rock album.

5. “Different Strings
According to SongFacts, “This song’s lyrics were written solely by Geddy Lee. It’s the last Rush song in which Neil Peart does not have lyric credit.”
And the lyrics ring as true today as they did 40 years ago:

Different eyes see different things
Different hearts
Beat on different strings
But there are times
For you and me
When all such things agree

This song is pretty slow moving. This could be my least favorite song on the album.

6. “Natural Science

I: “Tide Pools”
II: “Hyperspace”
III: “Permanent Waves”

Now we close out the album with a big opus that Rush is known for. It is over nine minutes long and is composed of three distinct movements: I) Tide Pools, II) Hyperspace, and III) Permanent Waves.
This is pretty badass! Usually the words “opus” and “movements” in a song sound pretentious and boring to me. But, I think this song rocks, and it is way better than the previous song.

Hidden Gems: Definitely “Natural Science.” I already knew the first two songs, and the other ones didn’t really do it for me.

Here is my ratings scale

5 Classic – a must buy
4 Solid album – worth buying
3 Some good or great stuff, but also skippable songs
2 Meh – may have 2 or 3 good songs. Just buy the singles you like, if any
1 Sucks. Time I can’t get back

I will give this one 3 1/2 waves. I would buy this on vinyl and listen to the entire first side, then skip to the last song on the second side.

What do you think of this album? If you are a Rush fan, please let me know, and tell me what you think of this album and any fun facts about it. Have you seen the band live, and how many times. I would love to hear stories.
Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on TwitterInstagram, and/or Facebook.

Return to 1989: Episode 1 – January

Welcome to a new podcast series called, Return to 1989. Inspired by T.G Monahan’s Dreamin’ in ’89, we decided to take a look back and see what happened 30 years ago. Todd “T.G.” Monahan Return to 1989 to go over news events, movie releases, and album releases. This month, we Return to January. If you have anything you would like us to discuss, or if you had any personal stories or milestones from this year, please let us know. You can either comment below, or email us at Returntothe80s@gmail.com.

Jan 8 “42nd Street” closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 3,486 performances and “Starlight Express” closes at Gershwin Theater NYC after 761 performances

Jan 9 “Pat Sajak Show” premieres on CBS
The Pat Sajak Show is an American late-night television talk show which aired on CBS from January 9, 1989 to April 13, 1990.




Jan 10 LA Kings center Wayne Gretzky becomes NHL’s all-time leading scorer in combined regular season & playoff points; 4 assists in 5-4 home win over Edmonton brings his total to 2,011, 1 more than Gordie Howe.






Jan 13 “Ryan’s Hope” ends 13½ year run on ABC-TV


Jan 20 George H. W. Bush inaugurated as 41st US President, Dan Quayle becomes 44th Vice President



Jan 22 Super Bowl XXIII, Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL: San Francisco 49ers beat Cincinnati Bengals, 20-16; MVP: Jerry Rice, SF, WR



Jan 28  46th Golden Globes: “Rain Man”, Dustin Hoffman, & Jodie Foster win


January 13

Gleaming the Cube

DeepStar Six

The January Man

January 27

No Retreat, No Surrender 2


Physical Evidence

Three Fugitives




January 9 A Show of Hands – Rush

January 10 New York – Lou Reed

January 23 Oh Yes I Can – David Crosby

Lōc-ed After Dark – Tone Lōc

January 24 Electric Youth – Debbie Gibson

Skid Row – Skid Row

January 25 After the War – Gary Moore

January 30 Fabulous Disaster – Exodus

Technique – New Order

January 31 Life Is…Too Short – Too Short




Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich – Warrant

If you’d like to contact Todd, and/or order the book, he can be reached in the following places:

tgmonahan.com – can get a signed copy

Amazon: Dreamin’ in ’89: A Novel

Twitter: @tgmonahan
Instagram: @tgmonahan

Facebook: Author TG Monagan

Citrine Publishing – http://www.citrinepublishing.com/

Return to the ’80s

Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter: @returntothe80s
Email: returntothe80s@gmail.com

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Remember That Song: 7/30/15

Today is Paul Anka’s 74th birthday. He is mainly known for his hits in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. But he did have a hit in the ’80s. Can you name this song? It was a duet. Can you name the artist who sang this with Anka?

____ __ ____ ___ _______ ______
Until I see you smile
Take all the sadness from your eyes
Hold me till the mornin’ sun
Let me stay we’ve just begun

Last Song: “Subdivisions” by Rush from Signals (1982)

Great job Andy (@andytorah)!!!

In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out

Remember That Song: 2/25/15

Can you name the artist and song:

With music by our side
To break the color lines
Let’s work together
To improve our way of life

Last Song: “Tom Sawyer” by Rush from Moving Pictures (1981)

Great job SouthernHon (@peacesong464)!!!

His reserve, a quiet defense
Riding out the day’s events

Remember That Song: 9/13/12

Can you name the Artist and song and complete the lyrics:

We always wish for money
We always wish for fame
We think we have the answers
Some things _____ ____ _____ ______

Last Song: “Limelight” by Rush

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage