Geddy Lee
Bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers

Alex Lifeson
Electric and acoustic guitars

Neil Peart
Drums, cymbals, electronic percussion

Produced By Peter Collins and RUSH
Recorded by Kevin (Caveman) Shirley
April - June, 1993, at Studio Morin Heights, assisted by Simon Pressey
McClear Pathé, Toronto, assisted by Bill Hermans
Mixed by Micheal Letho
Assisted by Simon Pressey and Brett Zilahi
Arrangements by RUSH and Peter Collins

Additional keyboards by John Webster
Orchestration on "Nobody's Hero" arranged and conducted by Michael Kamen
Preproduction at Chalet Studio by Lerxst Sound, assisted by Everett Ravestein
Mastered by Bob Ludwig, Gateway Studios, Portland, Maine
Management by Ray Danniels, SRO Management Inc., Toronto
Executive Production by Anthem Entertainment: Liam Birt and Pegi Cecconi

Art Direction and Design by Hugh Syme
Photography by Andrew MacNaughtan
The Three Stooges ® © 1993 Norman Maurer Productions, Inc., L.A., CA
Primate provided by Monkey Business, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Tour Manager and President: Liam Birt
Production Manager: Nick Kotos
Stage Manager: Skip Gildersleeve
Concert Sound Engineer: Robert Scovill
Lighting Director: Shawn Richardson
Stage Left Tech: Jimmy Joe Rhodes
Center Stage Tech: Larry Allen

Stage Right Tech: Jim Johnson
Keyboard Tech: Tony Geranios
Monitor Engineer: Bill Chrysler
Personal Assistant and Tour Photographer: Andrew MacNaughtan
Concert Sound by Electrotec: Ted Leamy, Larry (Kahuna) Vodopivec, Marc Tooch, David (H.B.) Stogner
Lighting by See Factor: Larry Hovick, Mike Frantz, Donny Lodico, JIm Floyd, Marty Capiraso, Mario Corsi, Simon Honner, Jack Funk, designed by Howard Ungerleider and Shawn Richardson
Vari-lites: Steve Owens, Stewart Felix, Kevin (Stick) Bye
Projectionist: Bob Montgomery
Concert Rigging by IMC: Billy Collins, Mike McDonald, Marc Renault, Simmaryin (Speed) Love
Laser by Laserlite FX: Charles Passarelli, John Popowycz
Carpenters: Elmer (Moe) Haggadone, George Steinert, Sal Marinello
Drivers: Tom (Witey) Whittaker, Arthur (Mac) MacLear, Tom Hartman, Stan Whittaker, Ron Sagnip, Danny Shelnut, Jim Dezwarte, Dave Cook, Red McBrine
Tour Merchandise: Mike McLoughlin, Shannon McLoughlin, Pat McLoughlin
Tour Accountants: Liam Birt and John Whitehead (Drysdale and Drysdale)
Booking Agencies: International Creative Management, NYC, The Agency Group, London, The Agency, Toronto

Assistance, inspiration, comic relief, and / or just plain friendly service provided by D.I.Y. Studios, Pooey's Roadhouse, Chucklehead's Comedy Café, Harvard Lampoon, BZ Brokers, Primus-Mr. Big-Eric Johnson (bands and crews), MST-3K, John K., Gamera (is turtle meat), Lesley & Harris, TJB, The Larry Sanders Show, Bryn Smith, Peter Zezel & THE LEAFS!!, Mark Langston & The Angels, 417th TAC Squadron, Ian Duff, midi-Scoozeball, Eat To The Beat caterers, John Forbes, Peter Brockbank, Neal Dibiase, the Claremont Triangle: Koodster, David, Caroline, Pooey--Studio Morin Heights: Judy, Simon, Peter, Francine, Ruth Sylvain--McClear Pathé: Bob, Bill, Jane, Tony, Pam, Suzanne, Nick & M.J., Cavedr?k & Josh--SRO: Ray, Pegi, Sheila, Kim, Kari, Anna, Bob--and our counterweights and counterparts: our families.

We appreciate technical assistance from Jim Burgess and Saved By Technology (or was it Destroyed by?), Wal basses, Paul Reed Smith guitars, Gallien-Krueger, Ludwig drums, Avedis Zildjian cymbals, and - Ω™

Brought to you buy the letter "œ"

In Memory of Pat Lynes and Lee Tenner

© 1993 Atlantic Records © 1993 Anthem Entertainment


    click to enlarge
  • Atlantic/Anthem, October 19, 1993
  • Highest Billboard Chart Position: 2 - Certified Gold by RIAA: December 7, 1993
  • Along with various album tracks which were released as singles, a 4:30 "Master Edit" of "Nobody's Hero" was released in 1993 to support the album.
  • "Leave That Thing Alone!" was nominated for the Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy in 1995 (their third nomination). The winner was "Marooned" by Pink Floyd, from The Division Bell.
  • Reissued March 5, 2013 as a Audio Fidelity Sound Labs Gold SACD edition
  • Reissued November 6, 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 'Counterparts' Transcript Archive.

In Their Own Words

" Piccadilly Circus, I suddenly recognized a familiar face - Sheldon Atos, from St. Catharines...working for a chain of tourist shops in Carnaby Street and Piccadilly. And he thought he might be able to get me a job. Sheldon's boss, Bud...employed about twenty young people, from a wide variety of nationalities (his only prejudice was against English workers; he thought they were lazy)...we also had two English kids, Ellis and Mary, but they were both gay, which perhaps made them more 'acceptable' to Bud than ordinary English people. In any case, Ellis and Mary soon became two of my closest friends - the first (openly) gay people I'd ever known, and a pattern of not just tolerance, but appreciation, was thereby set for life...Ellis (the hero I wrote about in 'Nobody's Hero,' in 1993 who died of AIDS in the late '80s)" - Neil Peart, Traveling Music
"[When working on Roll The Bones] Alex would be working the console and we were doing the demos...he'd be looking for something you know, 'Where's my thing?'"...[When working on Counterparts] "We all grew goatees, or at least interesting facial hair, during the recording and writing process...When you have a goatee of hair, you tend to play with it all the time, so we were constantly saying to each other, 'Leave That Thing Alone!'". - Neil Peart, AP News, January 20, 1994
"When I was in the depths of my despair and poverty I got a gig with Rush doing the Counterparts album. I had run out of work and money, and I was a single parent raising a kid. We were living in New York at the time, I was living in a residential hotel, and I hadn't paid rent for a year. I went up to see the guys in Rush, in Toronto, about doing the Counterparts album, and it was a good meeting. It was only going to be a lunch meeting, and on the way back they wouldn't let me into the United States. I had a son with a nanny in Manhattan, and they wouldn't let me back in. I didn't have any money or anything, and I was like 'What am I gonna do?' So I called the guys from Rush and I said 'Hi, I know I've just been to see you, I've just been to the interview, and I know the album's not starting for two months or so, but I need to know, do you want to employee me?' And they go 'We'll let you know' and I said 'Well here's the deal, I need to know and I need to know today. I need to know now. I'm stuck at the airport, and I'm either going to go back to Australia or else I'll stick around if you want me to do the job.' They said 'We'll talk about it, call us back in thirty minutes.' I called back, and they said 'Alright, we've decided that we are going to hire you to do the album'. Then I said 'Well, if you want me to stay, I'm gonna need a couple thousand dollars cash in the morning, 'cause I need a place to stay'. And the next morning, Pegi [Cecconi] came over and brought me a bundle of cash. I rented a place and we were there for a month in the snow, and they didn't even have studios yet." - Kevin "Caveman" Shirley,, March 7, 2011

Counterparts' "counterparts"

Here is a listing of some of the sources of the text phrase "counterparts" found in the Counterparts linernotes, listed in the order that they appear:

  • Curly Larry Moe: The Three Stooges
  • Flip Flop Fly: song by Charles Calhoun & Lou Willie Turner, 1955
  • Tinker Evers Chance: Chicago Cubs infielders from 1902-1910
  • Beneath Between Behind: song by obscure Canadian band
  • Robbie Chip Ernie: My Three Sons, television series
  • Patty Maxene Laverne: The Andrews Sisters, big band vocal trio
  • Athos Porthos Aramis: The Three Musketeers, novel by Alexandre Dumas
  • Good Bad Ugly: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, movie starring Clint Eastwood
  • Hoss Joe & The Other Guy: Bonanza, television series
  • Huey Dewey Louis: Donald Duck's nephews
  • Atchison Topeka Santa Fe: ATSF Railway Company
  • Luxe Calme Volupté: in English, "Luxury, Calm And Bliss", painted by Henri Matisse
  • Sonny Michael Fredo: The Godfather's sons, novel by Mario Puzo
  • Regan Goneril Cordelia: King Lear, by William Shakespeare
  • Dick & Jane: Fun With Dick And Jane, children's books
  • Lucy & Ricky: I Love Lucy, television series
  • Moose & Squirrel: Rocky & Bullwinkle, animated television series
  • Gin & Vermouth: Martini cocktail
  • Barbie & Ken: Children's dolls


Reflections In A Wilderness Of Mirrors

By Neil Peart

Counterparts Tourbook

In 1994 Rush will celebrate twenty years together (our rhinestone anniversary, I believe it's called). But really, can you imagine-the same three guys staying together through a score of years, and finding an audience to keep buying all that racket? I'm not sure which is more amazing, but either way it must be some kind of record, and either way, we're happy. That's the secret, if there is one.

"Wilderness of mirrors" is a phrase from T.S.Eliot's "Gerontion", and was also applied by former CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton to describe the world of espionage-hence the twist on "Double Agent," reflecting the clandestine workings of dreams and the subconcious. Disinformation or intelligence? Let the mirror decide.

Reflections in a wilderness of mirrors; a kind of theme. Not reflections in the conventional sense of looking back - certainly one can also reflect upon the present and future - but more in holding a mirror up to our hidden selves, to human nature and its doings in the world, and to the tradgedies and inspirations of everyday life. Heavy stuff, I suppose, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun with it! That's the secret, if there is one.

We had outlined a few goals before we began working on this record, but only in the most casual way; conversations in the tuning room, the tour bus, or some hotel bar. Generally, we would continue to aim for a balance between spontaneity and refinement (natural complements and not adversaries, as some would have it), and perhaps work on a more organic approach to the songs - guitar, bass, drums. Our true counterparts.

Other than these vague notions, we began with the usual "clean sheet of paper," the mindset that we try to bring to every new project. So now we began to ransack the world for producers and engineers to help shape whatever music might emerge when we began writing. We checked out the field of young talent, new people who were doing interesting work, but it soon became apparent that we had nothing to learn from a producer or engineer who had made fewer records than we had. Youthful enthusiasm is all very well, but we needed enthusiasm with some experience!

Enter - or re-enter - Peter Collins, the diminutive, bearded, cigar-smoking Englishman (and true gentleman) who also worked with us as co-producer on Power Windows and Hold Your Fire. Once again, Peter was the ideal "objective ear" for us, another counterpart. Dedicated to the song above everything, he weighs a performance or a part only in regard to the feeling it conveys, its contribution to the whole edifice (like an architect, he has an "edifice complex"). Peter holds himself aloof from the technique and technology, the craftwork - "quality control," as he terms it - and rightly considers these things to be the domain of the musicians and the engineer. The rest of us can huddle around the mixing console and fuss over the fine details of musicianship and sound, while his job is to keep the project moving, and to ensure that craft is not allowed to interfere with art - the song. That's his secret, if he has one.

We did discover some new engineers, and Kevin "Caveman" Shirley was our choice for the actual recording. His previous work seemed to capture the instrumenents in a raw, direct fashion, powerful and exciting and as faithful as possible to what drums and guitars really sound like. Our Caveman was somewhat of a purist, using few effects and a minimum of processing. For example, if I asked him to alter the sound of my hi-hat, say for more brightness or more body, instead of simply twidling a knob on the desk he would come out and move the microphone. As the Caveman's counterpart, we brought in Michael Letho for the final mixing. Michael's previous work displayed a refined, architectural style of layering and building a song (another "edifice complex"), and we hoped this would complement the Caveman's style, and our own, combining rawness and refinement-spit and polish, you might say-gaining both and sacrificing neither. As Peter Collins remarked at the end: "Isn't it nice when a plan actually works!"


The Concise Oxford defines "counterpart" both as "duplicate" and as "opposite," in the sense of "forming a natural complement to another." That's what I thought was so interesting about the word: considered in this way, contraries are reflections of each other, opposite numbers, and not necessarily contradictions, enemies, The Other. Polarities are not to be resisted, but reconciled. Reaching for the alien shore.

Dualities like gender or race are not opposite but true counterparts , the same and yet different, and not to be seen as some existential competition - we could do without that. Better yet: we could get along without that.

In this light, a listener should not mistake the irony of "Stick It Out," with its plea for both fortitude and forbearance. Or "Animate," which is not about two individuals, but about one man addressing his anima - his feminine side, as defined by Carl Jung. Within that duality, what " a man must learn to gently dominate" is himself, his own "submissive trait," while also learning to "gently dominate" the animus - the male thing - and the other hormone driven "A-words" like aggression and ambition. We dominate by not submitting, whether to brute instinct, violent rage, or ruthless greed.

For the rest of it, we can all dominate or submit as the occasion warrants, try to reconcile the duplicates and opposites, and dream of racing through life at the speed of love (186,000 miles per second, if you believe in love at first sight). Everyone wants the ideal of "forming a natural complement to another." A counterpart. Friendship, love, and partners in life and work are the rewards for bridging that gap between 'duplicate' and 'opposite.'

Counterparts. Words and music. Guitar, bass, drums. Writing, rehearsing, and recording. Flying and driving and working and laughing. Alex's flashes of dazzling spontaneity, twisted humor, and emotional fire, Geddy's melodic instinct, wry wit, and meticulous passion, my own obsessive drive and rhythmic bombast. True synergy, I guess: the whole greater that the parts - which are, after all, just humble old us.

The course of true synergy may not always run smooth, like any "real world" relationship, but even occasional friction, if handled with respect and dignity, can be a grindstone and create its own sparks - no pearl grows without a grain of irritation at its heart. (The trick is to grow a pearl and not an ulcer.) And really, who wants to be around people who agree with you all the time? Differing opinions are part of the chemistry - for example, I still get excited at seeing how much my lyrics are improved by input from the other two - but together we also have to face the maddening complexity of the forces around us: the mechanics of running a large organization, the hassles of business, the erosion of privacy, the absence from home, and sometimes the soul-destroying ennui of too long a tour. ("The only thing worse than touring is not touring," that's my motto.)

So we do what must be done, and try to balance it out with the challenges and satisfactions of our private lives. Our job is to pour out as much as we can into the melting pot of Rush, tributaries flowing to the larger river, sparks added to the fire, reflections carried to the mirror. That's how we can best pursue happiness.

And that is the secret, when all is said and done. "The pursuit of happiness" may be the finest phrase in history, and some people seem to forget that happiness is what we're supposed to be chasing here. Not short-lived pleasures, not commodities, not good hair or perfect cheekbones, but simply enjoying the mountain while we're climbing it. The upward paths may be hardest, but they have the best views.

And to our way of thinking, we can continue to move upward - we just have to hold off the rust of laziness, the mold of the marketplace, and the patina of cynicism. Pursuing such a complicated and elusive state is easier said than done, of course, but while we're chasing it we sometimes learn one thing - that it is a chase, and we may as well cut to it.

That's the secret, if there is one.

electric & acoustic guitars

drums, cymbals, electronic percussion

bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers

Management by Ray Danniels, Anthem Entertainment Group, Toronto
Tour Manager: Liam Birt
Production & Stage Manager: Dan Braun
Production Assistant: Jimmy Joe Rhodes
Concert Sound Engineer: Robert Scovill
Lighting Director: Howard Ungerleider
Stage Left Technician: Skip Gildersleeve
JUSTIFY Stage Technician: Larry Allen
Stage Right Technician: Jim Johnson
Keyboard Technician: Tony Geranios
Programming: Paul DeCarli and Jim Burgess
Stage Monitor Engineer: Phil Wilkey
Personal Assistant: Sean Son Hing

Concert Sound by Eletrotec: Ted Leamy, Larry (Kahuna) Vodopivec, David Stogner, Brad Judd
Lighting by See Factor: Jack Funk Mike Weiss, Tony Nackley, Buck Kniffen, Ed Hyatt
ICON automated lighting: Matt Druzbik
Rear Screen Projections created by Spin Productions: Norman Stangl, Alan Weinrib, Roy Pike, Peter Wellington, Chris Van Dyke, Ian Robertson, Rob Jones, Nuno Paulino, John Coldrick, Mark Powers, Ferene Rofusz, Steven Lewis, Paul Cormack
Projectionists: Bob Montgomery, Conrad Coriz
Pyrotechnics: Doug Adams, Reid Schulte-Derne
Concert Rigging by IMC: Mike McDonald, Rick Mooney, Brian Collins
Carpenters: George Steinert, Sal Marinello
Trucks & Buses: Ego Trips, Four Seasons
Drivers: Tom (Whitey) Whittaker, Arthur (Mac) McLear, Red McBrine, Rick Foote, Ken Bosemer, Larry Frazer, Lenny Southwick, Donny Hendrich
Tour Merchandise: The McLoughlin Family
Booking Agencies: International Creative Management, NYC; The Agency Group, London; The Agency, Toronto
Tour Accountants: Drysdale & Drysdale - John Whitehead, Liam Birt

Program Design: Hugh Syme
Typesetting: Central Typesetting, Los Angeles
Contribuing Photographers: Andrew MacNaughtan, Deborah Taylor

Alex Lifeson

Counterparts Tourbook, click to enlarge

Just the other day a long time ago, J.J. and I were talking about what we needed to do to change the look and sound of my equipment rig. We made a list of all the important items that needed to be considered for such a change.

Here are some of these:

1. Get stuff that has a lot of flashing lights.
2. Get stuff that's bigger than it needs to be.
3. Get stuff that's really expensive.
4. Get a bunch of extra flashing lights.
5. Make sure you have a total of at least 50 knobs you can turn.
6. Get a tractor to haul all the stuff you've got but don't really need.

(It was this last item that caused all the trouble...)

We followed our list closely. We were quite proud of ourselves, having managed to find Marshall amps from the distributor at the highest price allowable and only had to wait months for delivery. They came with the "Tons o'Knobs" option, a relatively unknown and unused extra. We could only get three lights per stack, so we ordered four for twelve at twelve hundred per one at a quarter after ten on the nineteenth. The equation looks something like this: 3lexE 4120 sine = 12T +lt @ 19 = $$$.

Now, we knew that the Law of Excessive Amplification calls for an even number of amps, but decided to go with three. We set it all up and realized that we'd made a mistake and immediately ordered another stack - for now. We took some time and worked the system out in a field far from human ears, and I have to say, I got really excited with the results. In fact, I was so up that I had one too many glasses of wine - a fine Burgundy from Leroy that was rich and cherry-like without an overbearing fruit, yet delicate and not smelly. Anyway, I demanded to drive the amps around with the tractor, and even though J.J. protested, I had my way. Before I realized it, I'd lost the amps in the tall Fescue while I was pulling donuts, and felt a funny bump under the tractor's rotating blades as I sped out of control, laughing hysterically.

We just call him J. now. We did manage to find a staple gun, and after administering a whole bottle of wine (a pleasant Rioja from the '85 vintage that displayed a robust body without the sharpness of the broken shards of glass), we managed to do a decent job of reattachment. At least he had a leg to stand on.

And I got a kick out of that.

Geddy Lee

Counterparts Tourbook, click to enlarge

Tuesday December 14, 1993. KWIPTMENT LIST '93...

It is time once again to fill this space, ambiguously referred to as the Equipment List. Here we are in the midst of rehearsals, preparing for the "coming tour." What does this preparation mean, you ask?

Well, it means reacquainting ourselves with crew members, longstanding and new ones, coffee and donuts (sinkers), blisters, headaches, and other assorted anxiety-related pleasantries.

And (thank goodness) it also brings the increasingly-more-necessary jokes about amps, speakers, ear molds (I said ear molds, not ear moulds!!), keyboards, weight problems, the aging process, g-g-g-golf, baseball, and of course, donuts! (I wonder who invented donuts? I dunno, probably, probably some genius.)

Altogether, it's an action-packed, fun-filled few weeks, vibing together in a lovely suburban warehouse motif, hidden in a scenic stretch of strip malls in East Toronto!!

It is, indeed, a glamorous life...

Oh! Before I forget - for those interested in such things, I actually have some new Equipment on this tour! Gasp! (Did he win a contest?, you ask.) Yes, it's true, after 200 years of touring, I have new amps. Just call me impetuous!

The are as follows: Trace Elliot Quatra 4VR amplifiers, GP12 SMX preamps, with two single-18" speaker cabs and two 4x10" speaker cabs.

Hey, let's not stop there! I'll also be using Fender Jazz Basses and a bunch of keyboards!!

That's it for now! See ya!!

Neil Peart

Counterparts Tourbook, click to enlarge

This photo was taken in October '92, during a Bicycle Africa tour of Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia. Djenne is a medieval town in the inland delta of the Niger River, not far from Timbuktu. The "Great Mosque," like the rest of Djenne, is built of mud, and every year after the rains they have to climb up and resurface that mud, using the exposed beams as scaffolding. The minarets are topped with ostrich eggs, and altogether it's about as amazing a thing as this reporter has ever seen. My friend Mendelson Joe says this photo looks like "a retired hockey player visiting another planet." And that's about how I felt - except for the "retired hockey player" part.

So anyway... what's new in Drumland? Well, not a lot really. After the big changes I made to the kit for Roll The Bones, this time I just got a new color (Black Cherry, another one of the "hot rod" paint jobs.) The kit was co-ordinated, assembled, and "vibrafibed" (a thin layer of fiberglass on the inner shell) by Neal Graham, Larry Allen, and XL Specialty in Fort Wayne. The drums are still Ludwigs, and the cymbals are Zildjians (except for the two Chinese Wuhans).

Electronically. the aging Akai samplers are driven by d-drum pads, a KAT midi-marimba, Shark pedals, and Sid the amazing mini-trigger, while a Dauz pad also triggers occasional keyboard "events."

Otherwise, I still use that old Slingerland snare, a Remo "Legato" marching snare, a 13" Ludwig piccolo on the back kit, Tama gong bass drum, Promark sticks, Remo heads, LP cowbells, some wind chimes, and - probably our most-asked-about piece of hardware - two little squirrel-cage fans to help keep my hands dry.

And those, despite any claims to the contrary, are my biggest fans...

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