Exit...Stage Left

Geddy Lee: Bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers, bass pedal synthesizer, and occasional rhythm guitar
Alex Lifeson: Electric and acoustic guitars, bass pedal synthesizer
Neil Peart: Drums and percussion

Produced by Terry Brown

A Passage To Bangkok, Closer To The Heart, Beneath, Between & Behind, and Jacob's Ladder recorded in the U.K. by Mobile One
Engineered by Andy Rose, Tech-man Barry Ainsworth
Set-up by Tim and James

The Spirit Of Radio, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Broon's Bane, The Trees, Xanadu, Freewill, Tom Sawyer and La Villa Strangiato recorded in Canada by Le Mobile
Engineered by Broon, Tech-man Guy Charbonneau
Set-up by Cliff
And by the Record Plant Mobile
Engineered by Broon, Tech-man Jack Crymes
Set-up by Mark and Hutch

Mixed at Le Studio, Morin Heights Quebec
Engineered by Paul Northfield
Mastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

Art Direction, graphics, and cover concept by Hugh Syme
Photography by Deborah Samuel
Special guest, Ian Melhuish as the Puppet King

Management by Ray Danniels,
SRO Productions, Inc., Toronto
Executive Production by Moon Records

Road Manager and Lighting Director: Howard Ungerleider
Concert Sound Engineer: Jon (Mushy) Erickson
Stage Manager: Michael Hirsh
Stage Right Technician and Crew Chief: Liam (Calculator-Head) Birt
Stage Left Technician: Skip Gildersleeve
Centre Stage Technician: Larry (The Green Shrav) Allen
Guitar and Synthesizer Maintenance: Tony (Jack Public) Geranios
Stage Monitor Mixer: Greg Connolly
Security Chief: Ian Grandy
Projectionist: Lee Tenner
Personal Shreve: Kevin (Barney Rubble) Flewitt

Concert Sound By: National Sound--Tom Linthicum, Dave Berman, and Fuzzy Frazer
Concert Lighting by See Factor International--Nick Kotos, Mike Weiss, Mark Cherry, John Quinton, Steve Tuck, Robbie Gilchrist, et cetera
Bus and Truck-Faces-Tom Whittaker, Pat Lynes, Mac MacLear, Billy Barlow, Richard Owens, Steve Connelly, and Al Posner
U.K. transportation by Edwin Shirley Trucking, Len Wright Travel, and "The Red Flash" - Bill Churchman
Concert Rigging by Bill Collins-Southfire Rigging

People of the Wonderful Thing: The cast and crew of Le Studio, especially André for making the new all-colour Jack Secret Show a reality, Raru Ponce de Leon, Dr. Carl Zbourg, Major Seventh, Lou, Suzanne, Ronnie, Bjorn Erlichmann the Stunned Man, Punjabi, Dirk the Cameraman, and Daisy O'Williams and the Dogmatics, The Fabulous Projecting Men, featuring a Chorus of Fools, Nick the cat, Explosion Magazine, the lovely Rushka, Joe E. Ross-ooh ooh!, the people of Fooland, the Expos, the Great White North, and the members and crew of "FM" for their important comedic and musical support--Öfshnatzen d'Rötz!!

Max Webster R.I.P.

This album is dedicated to the world-renowned they-(Slider's uncles, Eddie and Glen).
Alex's performance in Broon's Bane is dedicated to Elliot.
A special tribute to the Glaswegian Chorus for the background vocals on Closer To The Heart. Nice one, folks!

Our personal thank you to the Griffin family for their wonderfulness, and to the people of NASA for their spectacular launch of the Columbia which we were privileged and thrilled to witness.

We also should include a (loose) translation for the new lyrics to the Danforth and Pape section of La Villa Strangiato
"Patty-cake, patty cake,
Mother's going to buy you shoes,
Father's going to buy you socks,
Baby's going to have red cheeks."

Enough said.

Well, just a few more words! In seven years of touring we have made many friends in many different places. Some have worked for us, some have cheered for us, and some have just been nice to us. For reasons beyond our comprehension, we have become increasingly more popular, and hence stretched ever more thinly among ever more people. If sometimes we can't give the time they deserve to our friends and loved ones, we hope that they will understand and forgive us. After all, we didn't change, everybody else did!

© 1981 Mercury Records © 1981 Anthem Entertainment


  • Mercury/Polygram, October 29, 1981
  • Highest Billboard Chart Position: 10 - Certified Gold by RIAA: January 5, 1982 - Certified Platinum: November 9, 1987
  • Recorded 3/27/81, except tracks 4-7 recorded 6/10 & 6/11/80
  • Click to enlarge"Vital Signs" and "Limelight", two tracks recorded the same night as the bulk of the album which could not fit on the original release, found their way to later releases:
  • "Some tough decisions had to be made. They wanted to get a balance of different types of songs. So some excellent material had to be left out. One of the leftovers, 'Vital Signs', was later released as the B-side of the 'New World Man' single." - Visions
  • "Vital Signs" was first released on as the B-side to the "New World Man" vinyl single. The only known CD release was as part of the Rarities daily radio show, air dates: January 8-19, 1990 (Radio Today Entertainment); this was a radio program produced for radio shows, containing live rarities complete with DJ comentary before and after the track (and in Rush's case, the first few seconds of the track are cut off).
  • "Limelight" was included on the live video and was first released on cd as part of the King Biscuit Flower Hour compilation album, Best of the Best: 25 Years of Rock, October 20, 1998, and was later included on the Best Buy exclusive edition of the Replay X 3 boxed set's Grace Under Pressure soundtrack CD.
  • "What You're Doing" was originally dropped due to space limitations from the original CD release of All the World's A Stage, while "A Passage To Bangkok" was similarly dropped from Exit...Stage Left. Both tracks were brought back on the Rush Remasters and subsequent reissues which use newer CD technology with larger capacity. Those tracks first appeared on CD on the Chronicles compilation in 1990.
  • On the Remaster release, the three live images of the band members found in the cd insert are incorrectly printed in reverse (as mirror images).
  • Reissued September 25, 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.
  • So what is said during the Danforth and Pape section of "La Villa Strangiato"? Geddy sings a Yiddish children's song, and the linernotes give a loose English translation:
  • Geddy sings:
    Patchy patchy kikhelekh
    Zaydie v'kayfn shikhelekh
    Bubie v'kayfn zekhlekh
    A gezunt un (child's name)'s bekhlekh!

    The translation from the lyric sheet:
    Patty-cake, patty-cake,
    Mother's going to buy you shoes
    Father's going to buy you socks
    Baby's going to have red cheeks.

  • Click here for the 'Exit...Stage Left' Transcript Archive.

In Their Own Words:

"Yes, we made a few repairs. A part here and there would ruin an otherwise perfect song, caused by technical problems, a sudden out-of-tuneness, or the aforementioned 'brains-in-other-dimension' for a moment. So we patched up the odd bit here and there, of course nothing was added that wasn't there before. These things are easily laughed off and forgotten in the heat of performance, but hard to live with over the long term. It would be so much easier if we were just perfect!" - Kerrang!, January 1982
"I wrote 'Broon's Bane' when I was practicing classical guitar during the year I was studying, so there are a lot of influences from the lute pieces that I learned. I even copped some of the phrasing from traditional classical pieces. It was a good exercise for me, because it was a real stretch and demanding to play. You've got to push yourself. I think I recorded it in a studio at some point so 'Broon's Bane' might exist on a quarter-inch tape somewhere. We incorporated it into the set to give Neil a bit of a break." - Alex Lifeson, Guiar Player, September 2018
"The first live album we did...the results seemed so raw to us, that we didn't enjoy listening back to it...The reason for doing the second one was to justify our sound, figuring our sound had grown through the years and we wanted to present a very good version of what we sound like in concert, so that's what Exit Stage Left was, and it turned out to sound 'too' good. It almost didn't sound live enough to us." - Geddy Lee, "Rockline", May 21, 1984
"In retrospect, I don't think we were happy with Exit [Stage Left], it seems too clean for a live album. It's always tough to find a balance between a raging live show and something that's closer to a more controlled ambient studio sound. With A Show Of Hands we wanted to find a middle ground between that and the first live album, which was a lot rawer." - Alex Lifeson, Music Express #132, 1989
"Exit Stage Left...overall I think we tried to make that album too perfect. We dampened the audience mics and as a result it sounds too sterile and not very live. We had to redo bits in the studio 'cause we had a lot of trouble with out-of-tune guitars." - Geddy Lee, The Guitar Magazine, November 1993
"I will never forget the crowd at the Glasgow Apollo singing 'Closer to the Heart.' Glasgow was one of the first places to be into Rush. I just remember how vocal the audience was; they were so loud and so enthusiastic. I remember seeing that balcony swaying. It was just an amazing sight. To hear these guys sing our song so clearly was a fantastic moment. No other audience did that." - Alex Lifeson, Glasgow Evening Times, September 12, 2004


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