Okay, it appears to be official -- Rush's upcoming album now has a name.
After months of speculation (and some pretty accurate Internet leaks), the Canadian power trio's U.S. label, Atlantic, has announced the new album is in fact called "Vapor Trails" and is expected in stores in May.
The disc, the group's 17th studio album and their first since 1996's "Test For Echo," was recorded in Toronto with producer Paul Northfield (Hole, Marilyn Manson).
Earlier this week, the album's title began to circulate among Rush's ardent fan base. A tracklisting for the album was also leaked at the same time, although there has been no official confirmation on that front yet. But for the record, here's the unofficial running order: "One Little Victory," "Earthshine," "Ghost Rider," "Peacable Kingdom," "Secret Touch," "How It Is," "Vapor Trails," "Ceiling Unlimited," "The Stars Look Down," "Freeze (Pt. IV of "Fear")," "Sweet Miracle," "Nocturne," "Out Of The Cradle."
On Tuesday, a hoax claim that the new album was to be posted at the Rush Interactive Network fan site (www.r-u-s-h.com) drew so much traffic that the webmaster took the site offline. No leaked music was ever posted, and it appears no advance copy of the album was ever available. The entire episode was a prank posting at the site's message board.
In announcing the album title, Atlantic said Rush has 22 albums certified as gold or higher and has cumulative worldwide sales of 35 million.
Meanwhile, if you've been hankering for a live rendition of "By-Tor & The Snow Dog," "I Think I'm Going Bald," "Cinderella Man," "The Fountain Of Lamneth" or any other rare Rush nuggets, have we got a website for you.
In anticipation of the expected tour in support of "Vapor Trails," a group of Rush fans are already petitioning the group to revisit some neglected parts of the band's catalogue.
At RushPetition.com, the site says "petition is probably too strong a word here, as we are not trying to demand anything, and certainly no disrepect is intended." But what they want to do is get the band's attention, and suggest they revisit parts of the Rush songbook that have been neglected over the past decade.
So far, the top vote-getter is "The Camera Eye," followed by the epic "Hemispheres" and black-hole saga "Cygnus X-1," with "By-Tor," "Jacob's Ladder," "A Passage To Bangkok," "Working Man," "A Farewell To Kings," "Witch Hunt" and "New World Man" rounding out the top 10. For the record, "Madrigal" is the current cellar-dweller, placing at the bottom of the fan wish-list.
"Our goal in doing this is to communicate to the band that the fans ARE interested in some of the more 'obscure' songs, and try to offer specifics so they will receive feedback on which tunes the fans would be interested inhearing 'brought back,'" the site says.
Whatever their heroes decide to play on the tour is cool with the petition organizers.
"We sincerely hope this petition will be considered by the band, but are comfortable that they'll play what they want to play (that's the way it should be)."