Caress of Steel


Geddy Lee - bass and vocals
Alex Lifeson - 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitar, steel guitar
Neil Peart - percussion

Produced by Rush and Terry Brown
Engineered by Terry Brown
Arrangements by Rush and Terry Brown
Recorded and mixed at Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada
Roadmaster - Mr. 'Herns' Ungerleider
Roadcrew - Ian 'Rio' Grandy, Liam 'L.B.L.B.' Birt, J.D. 'Kool Mon' Johnson

Art direction - AGI
Graphics by Hugh Syme
Photography - Terrence Bert, Gerard Gentil, Barry McVicker

Executive production - Moon Records

Thanks to us for making it all possible.
A special hullo to Ape Friendly, Big Macho, M. Louis, Mr. Eisen, The Texas Heartbreaker, Sal de Bain, the Black Oak, Rick & the Shermans, Wolfman Marcus, Hot Sam, C.B. & J.B., Doc Cooper, The Opner and Sophisto Joe.
A personnal thank you, Terry, for your intimate courtesy and native grace of favour.
Correspondance - 55 Glencameron Rd., Thornhill, Ont., Canada.

Dedicated to the memory of Mr. Rod Serling

Mastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

Management by Ray Daniels, SRO Management Inc., Toronto.

All songs written by Lee, Lifeson and Peart

© 1975 Mercury Records © 1975 Anthem Entertainment

Notes

  • Mercury/Polygram, September 1975
  • Highest Billboard Chart Position: 148 - Certified Gold by RIAA: December 1, 1993
  • Reissued February 24, 2015 by Universal Music Enterprises on 200-gram, heavyweight vinyl with a download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album as well as high resolution Digital Audio editions in DSD (2.8mHz), 192khz / 24-bit, 96kHz / 24-bit.
  • Click here for the 'Caress Of Steel' Transcript Archive.

In Their Own Words

"The idea [for "The Fountain Of Lamneth"] originally came from a time when I was driving from the top of a mountain to the bottom and, seeing the lights of the city beneath me, I got to thinking, What would life be like if you could only measure your position as a person by the level at which you lived up the side of a mountain?' I got to drawing relations, seeing lots of comparisons in this metaphor and eventually put down a rough sketch of the six different parts I thought there would be to such a quest. It was really naïve, I admit that now, it was a ridiculous thing, like writing a thesis on metaphysics or something. But at the time it felt right, what can I say, we did it and we really enjoyed it." - Neil Peart, Sounds, July 16, 1977
"I can't go back beyond 2112 really, because that starts to get a bit hairy for me, and if I hear 'Lakeside Park' on the radio I cringe. What a lousy song! Still, I don't regret anything that I've done!" - Geddy Lee, RAW, October 27, 1993
"We were touring a lot with KISS in those days and they had a song called 'Goin' Blind'. So we were kind of taking the piss out of that title by just coming up with this...Pratt came up with this line, 'I think I'm going bald,' because Alex is always worried about losing his hair. Even when he was not losing his hair, he was obsessed with the fact that he might lose his hair. So he would try all kinds of ingredients to put on his scalp. And I think it just got Neil thinking about aging, even though we weren't aging yet and had no right to talk about that stuff yet. It would be much more appropriate now." - Geddy Lee, Contents Under Pressure
"I remember that Caress of Steel, in the old days of cassettes, had very uneven side lengths. I think one side was 20 minutes and the other was 25, and the record company wanted us to drop a song. We said, 'No way! We went to all that trouble, it's going on the record.' So there is literally nothing unreleased. For us, there really is no vault to clean out." - Neil Peart, Billboard.com, September 14, 2006
"A big influence on me when I was starting out was Pete Townshend and he was such a consummate rhythm guitarist. I gravitated to Jimmy Page, Hendrix, and Clapton for soloing, but there was something about the way Townshend strummed the guitar that was very acoustic-like. 'Lakeside Park' is an example of that. It was written on an acoustic guitar so that strumming came naturally. It translates to an electric well." - Alex Lifeson, Guitar Player, November 2012

Promos

Caress Of Steel Tour Book (published in 2020)

By Raymond Michael, Courier Express, September 20, 1975

Caress Of Steel Tourbook

Anything that impresses me, inspires me to write. Even if I'm throwing caution to the wind, and ignoring the journalistic credo on redundancy, that inspiration cannot be ignored.

In my profession, redundancy is frowned upon. To go to the same well more than once might represent a lack of initiative, or creativity. Thus, when a directive was issued to me that I prepare yet another feature on the Toronto-based rock export, Rush, a band I have reported on twice already, I was understandably hesitant. After all, I had just written about the band in mid-February of this year. Could anything really have changed that much in just over six months? My professional intuition told me "no", but upon further review, that couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is, this young band continues to impress and inspire me.

It would be accurate to describe Rush- singer/bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart- as a hard rock band. It would be just as accurate to identify them as "prolific", too. Within the span of a mere eighteen months, the band released a total of three studio albums. "Rush", their debut album, was released in March of 1974. "Fly By Night" was released in February of this calendar year. And now, their third LP, "Caress Of Steel", will be released on the 24th of this month. They are currently out on tour in support of "Caress Of Steel".

When I was first introduced to the music of Rush, I reported that they had a "bright future ahead". Truth be told, when I wrote that back in August of '74, their sound really wasn't too dissimilar from what some of their hard rock contemporaries were creating. But with the unveiling of their new LP, "Caress Of Steel", Rush have created a style that they can now most certainly call their own.

"Caress Of Steel" opens up with- what else?- an ode to the French Revolution. Care to guess how many other songs in the current Billboard Top 40 are dedicated to the fall of a tyrannical monarchy? That's right- zero. Is it any surprise then, considering its lyrical content, that this opening track, "Bastille Day", is not being heard regularly on AM radio, in between the likes of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Could It Be Magic"? What "Bastille Day" does represent, though, is a band with a collective disposition that's brimming with confidence. Rush will not pander to the lowest common denominator, just to score a "hit", and receive AM radio airplay. Considering the conviction with which they deliver a song about the storming of the Bastille, their unique style suits them just fine, thank you.

Rush are already being celebrated for what they have achieved musically. For example, early this calendar year, the band was presented with an award for the "most promising new group" at the Juno Awards held in Toronto. Due to the serious complexion of all three members, Rush will obviously never be celebrated by the Harvard Lampoons of the world. Yet with "I Think I'm Going Bald", which follows "Bastille Day" on side one of the album, Rush give us the slightest hint that there may be some sense of humor buried deep within their collective DNA. As humorous as its title comes across, perhaps the band's confident, unified, long term vision can be found within its lyrics. As lyricist Neil Peart writes, "But even when I'm grey, I'll still be grey my way...".

An ode to summers at Lakeside Park, near Lake Ontario in Canada, follows, with the third track on side one, called "Lakeside Park". This song is the most radio-friendly on the album, a fact even the band themselves seem to have recognized. Word has it that the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, in the band's hometown of Toronto, may quite possibly be the site for the filming of a new, promotional video for "Lakeside Park". Geddy Lee recalled the band's recent experience filming promotional videos for two tracks from their last album, "Fly By Night".

"We were in some town in Georgia, in the south, and we had a day off, and we were playing a high school gig. Behind the stage where we were supposed to play, was this play set up with a castle and all this stuff. Somebody said, 'Why don't we just film a song. Maybe we can use it for some promotional purpose on this castle stage.' There was a set already there, so we could pretend it's our set. So we did that." My source close to the band is yet to confirm the filming of this new video for "Lakeside Park". Understandably so. Industry insider Robert Wiley recently told me that production costs for promotional videos, "...can cost a young band or artist several thousand dollars! That's a lot of money even for established bands, let alone a young band like Rush." You and I can hope that a "Lakeside Park" video does reach our television screens one day soon. Until that time, though, we can anticipate being treated to a live performance of the tune in concert tonight. This new "Caress Of Steel" tour will spill over into 1976, so if someone can't get out to see the band in concert, a promotional video would serve the purpose of ensuring that the band is doing everything they can to reach each and every fan, one way or another. Fingers crossed.

Side one of "Caress Of Steel" ends with an epic track. Clocking in at twelve and a half minutes, "The Necromancer" is perhaps the track most emblematic of the band's unique style. While the song is equal parts Black Sabbath, Genesis, and Tunstall Road, it does equate to the full realization of what Rush must have envisioned for themselves when Peart joined the band. "The Necromancer" is intelligent, complex, and progressive. It also continues the story that Rush presented when they introduced us to "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", on their "Fly By Night" album.

You may recall "By-Tor" being panned by John Winger of the Kenmore Record Advertiser, as I had noted in my last feature on Rush. I couldn't help but think of Mr. Winger as I sat and listened to "The Necromancer", and noticed By-Tar's return. A long-distance phone call to Mr. Winger's office at the Record Advertiser connected the two of us, and we immediately began to exchange notes on the new album. "Oh, you mean 'Corrosive Steel'?", Mr. Winger asked. I guess some things never change.

Side two of "Caress Of Steel" is dedicated to one, long sustained piece of work, called "The Fountain Of Lamneth". Broken up into six parts, this adventurous piece shows the kind of originality and deter-mination that can only benefit the band in the long run. It is an impressive body of work. A risk such as this- an entire side of an LP devoted to one, long song- is one I'm not sure the band should consider doing again, if they're hopeful of ever getting on the radio. But they will ultimately learn from the experiment of this first and probably only attempt at devoting an entire side of an LP to one track.

Eighteen months later, Rush seems to have found their identity. Morale must be at an all-time high in the Rush camp. In the aforementioned interview with The Omega Monthly, Geddy Lee added that he wants to "...continue growing as a musician, and never to accept something that is second best." He added, "A career should be a journey. It should take you through changes."

One of my journalistic contemporaries recently wrote that, "Rush will have a very short shelf-life, one that's headed straight down the tubes..." I completely disagree. While I certainly don't expect to be still writing about Rush forty years from now, I do expect "Caress Of Steel" to be their biggest commercial success to date. Gone are the days when Rush play in front of fifty fans. From now on, I'm sure it will be more like 2,050, or 3,050 screaming Rush fans.

I guess I was right after all. It would seem that Rush do, in fact, have a very bright future ahead.


Rush - Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson
Road Master - Howard "Herns" Ungerleider
Roadcrew - Ian "Rio" Grandy, Liam "L.B.L.B." Birt, J.D. "Kool Mon" Johnson
Management - Ray Danniels, Vic Wilson
Art Direction - Patrick McLoughlin
Design - Abdi Moshiri
Original Cover Artwork - Hugh Syme
Photos Credit - Bruce Cole, Fin Costello
Research - Ray Wawrzyniak, Skip Daly, Eric Hansen
Special Thanks - Doc Cooper


Equipment Lists

Alex Lifeson

Guitars: 1968 Gibson ES-335 (Tobacco Sunburst), 1974 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
Amplification: Fender Super Reverb, Marshall 50 Watt w/Single 4x12 Cabinet
Effects: Cry Baby Wah-Wah, Maestro Echoplex, Maestro Phase Shifter PS-1A, Morley Volume Pedal

Neil Peart

Drums: Slingerland, 3-ply shells of maple, poplar, and mahogany with chrome wrap
Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Splash (2 x 8"), Crash (16", 18" 20"), Ride (22" ping), Hi-Hats (New Beat 13")
Percussion: Ludwig Cowbell, LP Agogo Bells, LP Beauty Cowbell, LP Bongo Cowbell, Wind Chimes, Cluster Chimes, Temple Bells
Heads: Evans Heavy Duty Rock, Remo Black Dots, and Ludwig Silver Dots
Sticks: Promark Rock 747

Geddy Lee

Basses: 1973 Rickenbacker 4001, 1968 Fender Precision Bass
Amplification: Ampeg

Smartphone Wallpaper

Our RUSH smartphone wallpapers have been modified for an 18:9 aspect ratio to fit "most" Smartphones.