1996 Original Release

Don't Care (4:04)
Promise (5:44)
Start Today (3:48)
Mr. X (2:21)
At The End (6:07)
Sending Out A Warning (4:11)
Shut Up Shuttin' Up (4:02)
Strip And Go Naked (3:57)
The Big Dance (4:14)
Victor (6:25)
I Am The Spirit (5:31)

2024 Reissue With Bonus Tracks

Don't Care (4:04)
Promise (5:44)
Start Today (3:48)
Mr. X (2:21)
At The End (6:07)
Sending Out A Warning (4:11)
Shut Up Shuttin' Up (4:02)
Strip And Go Naked (3:57)
The Big Dance (4:14)
Victor (6:25)
I Am The Spirit (5:31)
Cherry Lopez Lullabye (3:22)
Serbs (3:46)
Kroove (4:52)
Banjo Bob" (4:10)

Alex Lifeson - Guitar, bass, mandola, keyboards, programming, vocals, yelling
Edwin - Vocals
Bill Bell: Black Hole guitar, twelve-string guitar, guitar, E-Bow, wah guitar, slide guitar, wobble, background vocals
Blake Manning: Drums, darbuka
Dalbello: Vocals (Track 3)
Peter Cardinali: Bass (Tracks 4, 7 & 10)
Adrian Zivojinovich: Programming (Tracks 5 & 9)
Les Claypool: Bass (Track 9)
Colleen Allen: Horns (Track 10)

Produced by Alex Lifeson

Recorded by Alex Lifeson
At Lerxst Sound, Oct. 1994 - July 1995, Assisted by Bill Bell
Mixed by Alex Lifeson
At McClear Pathe, Toronto, Assisted by Denis Tougas
Arrangements by Alex Lifeson

Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
Management by Ray Danniels, SRO, Toronto
Executive Production by Lerxst

Art Direction by Andrew MacNaughtan
Photography by Andrew MacNaughtan
Design by Megan Oldfield, Coolaide Design

Edwin appears courtesy of Capital Records, Inc.
Dalbello appears courtesy of EMI Electrola Gmbh., Germany
Les Claypool appears courtesy of Interscope Records, Inc.

Special thanks to nobody in particular.

Grateful acknowledgements for the technical assistance of Coll Audio, Saved by Technology, P.R.S. Guitars, Zurba, DOD Digitech, Dean Markley Strings, and of course, The Omega Concern.

Dedicated to Charlene for her inspiration, spirit and loving support.

In Memory of Randy Knox

© 1996 Atlantic/Anthem/Lerxt Music Inc.


    Promise Single I Am The Spirit Single Smell The Fuzz 2 Victor Reissue
  • Atlantic/Anthem/Lerxt Music Inc., January 9, 1996
  • Highest Billboard Chart Position: 99
  • There were three promotional singles released for Victor: "Don't Care" (album version), "Promise" (radio edit), and "I Am The Spirit" (radio edit and album version).
  • A promotional concept video was released for "Promise".
  • "Strip And Go Naked" was later released on the Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 2: Smell the Fuzz: The Superstar Guitar Album (October 22, 1996).
  • I Mother Earth's vocalist, Edwin, was the male vocalist on Victor. Alex Lifeson later performed one track on their album Scenery and Fish, as well as on Edwin's solo album Better Days.
  • Alex later recorded tracks with Tara MacLean, wife of Victor co-guitarist Bill Bell, for her album Passenger released in 2000. However MacLean confirmed none of Alex's tracks were included on her album.
  • Victor was reissued August 9, 2024, on double vinyl and CD. "The reissue features the original album, completely remixed by Alex personally, offering significantly enhanced audio quality specially prepared for this release. Additionally, the album's fourth side features four instrumental tracks."
  • Click here for the Victor Transcript Archive

In Their Own Words

"There's a drink that Bill Bell invented called 'Strip and Go Naked,' which after you've had a couple, that basically is what happens. On the other hand, we thought that was kind of what the song was about. We stripped the whole song down to very basic elements - it goes through a lot of different changes musically, but it's basically stripped down." - Alex Lifeson, Associated Press, February 8, 1996
"One song, it just didn't hold up musically, it was too ordinary. I actually wanted to get Tom Jones to sing on the song (laughs), the guy who had done the demo had a little bit of Tom Jones in his voice and I thought this would be soo cool to have Tom Jones on my record, even the whole thought of having him at my house, it was too much I just had to do it, but as the other material developed I felt that the song would not stand up with the rest of it, and I decided before I had even got to recording the guitar, I'd already done drum tracks on it and bass tracks it was set for the guitar and vocals then I decided to not include it." - Alex Lifeson discussing an unused track, The Spirit Of Rush, February 1996
"When we first wrote 'Promise', Sebastian (Bach) was in town for Christmas. He popped by my place and put a vocal on that song. The problem was that as things developed, and as I wrote the rest of the material for the record, I really wanted to have one single voice on there - one single male voice. So, when I talked to Edwin about working on the record and we got focused on all the songs, I decided to go with him. The take that Sebastian did on the song was really, really great, and Sebastian is a fabulous singer. Talk about energy! The whole studio at home was shaking when he was out there jumping around, bouncing off the walls doing it. I really felt really badly about not using him on the record, because I know that it meant something to him, and he really enjoyed working on it. Unfortunately, I had to make that call, and I did." Alex Lifeson, Rockline, January 15, 1996
"I recorded a song with Alex Lifeson at his house called 'Promise' when he was working on his first solo album. He had invited me over his house. I stayed overnight. We had a great time. We had wine and recorded; it was an amazing night. I'll never forget it. So I get home the next week, and Alex Lifeson sends me a gold first Rush album autographed to me, underneath the plastic, 'To Sebastian, thanks for a great night. My head still hurts. Alex Lifeson.' People who see that lose it." - Sebastian Bach, Goldmine, September 18, 2014
"Alex is a complete sweetheart. I was just finishing mixing the Whore CD at a studio where as it happens Alex was recording his solo record, and not long after I was finished my record, I got a call from him asking if I'd be interested in coming in and having a listen to one of his songs with the idea of having me sing the lead vocal and hey - I said yeah right away. It was a great day and the song is intense and personal for Alex and being given the privilege step inside of his world and be allow to be his 'voice' and represent his feelings by singing 'Start Today' was something I'll not forget. What a rush - no pun intended." - Lisa Dabello, Rock Reunion, 2001

The song "Victor" is merely W.H. Auden's poem by the same name put to music, with 28 of the original 36 stanzas included in the final lyrics:

"I wanted to have something on the record that was a little different than the other songs. I really wanted to have some variety overall on the record. I thought it'd be kinda cool to do a song which I didn't actually play guitar on, and just did all the programming. I thought, also, once the music had been written, that it'd be kinda fun to do a spoken word thing - sort of a pseudo-beatnik kinda reading... I opened a book that I had of [Auden's] collected poems to 'Victor', and I read it through. Although 'Victor' the poem is very, very long, I condensed it for the song. It really caught the essence of what the record was about, dealing with the dark side of love and how it can push you to do things that are pretty horrific. So, it seemed to suit the record quite well." - Alex Lifeson, Rockline, January 15, 1996

A 25th Anniversary Edition of Victor, including a remix with additional bonus tracks was planned for release in 2021, before apparently being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

"Me and Alex have been in touch just recently actually, just a few days ago literally, because he's re-releasing an album called Victor he did 25 years ago; that's going to be re-released as a 25th-anniversary edition, and one of the songs we did is on it as a bonus track." - Marco Minnemann,, June 15, 2020
"Marco [Minnemann] was doing a solo record, and asked if I would be interested in playing on it... We wrote a song called 'Lover's Calling'. It's a long song, 8 or 9 minutes, it's a real epic... Marco had it on one of his other releases [My Sister], and I was hoping to get it on a re-release of Victor, because that was an idea that the label had, but unfortunately with COVID that all changed... When they first talked about re-releasing [Victor] last spring, I thought 'well this is an opportunity to remix it', because it's a little bass light. That's my fault, I just was not hearing things the way I should have been. So this was an opportunity for me to get in and remix and freshen it up a bit, like we did with Vapor Trails. And I was going to add a few tracks: 'Lover's Calling' was one of them, and a couple other tracks from my collection that I had written around that same time. But as time went on the record company decided not to do it. They re-released Ged's My Favorite Headache last year, and they wanted to do it with Victor, but it didn't come to be." - Alex Lifeson, Make Weird Music, January 30, 2021

Regarding the potential for another solo album by Alex Lifeson in the 2020's:

"It's a different time in the industry. Victor was a very personal project for me and I wanted to be in charge of every single little thing. I feel like I could have done a better job, for sure, but it gave me what I needed at the time. But to make a follow-up album today? I don't know. That said, I probably have enough material for three or four solo albums. I listen back to the stuff I've been doing every now and then and I love the songs and then I hate them. It feels kind of meaningless because I'm not locked into anything anymore." - Alex Lifeson, Planet Rock, April 2019

Victor was reissued August 9, 2024, on double vinyl and CD. The reissue includes four instrumental bonus tracks previously available on his website: "Kroove", "Banjo Bob" and "Serbs" were previously released on Alex's website on August 2, 2021 as "The Lerxst Demo Archives Pt. 1", while "Cherry Lopex Lullaby" was added Oct 29, 2021. Here's what he had to say about them at that time:

"'Kroove' was written and recorded @1996 late one night in my home studio. It started with the main guitar pattern then I added the drum loop, keys and bass. The geetar pickin’ section was especially fun to record. I’ve always liked that late night feel of this one. [webmaster note: you may recognize "Kroove" as a longer version of "Bittersweet Bundle of Misery" from the R30 live video]. 'Banjo Bob' was a fun session I did mid 1999. Originally recorded to a drum loop, I asked my good friend and Black Sheep drummer, Jim MacLellan, to have a go. He basically played to the finished track after I’d recorded all the elements. I love the false setup of the banjo and all the ugly undertones in the middle section. It was recorded at Lerxst Sound-Richmond Hill as there is a strict no banjo in the house policy dictated by Charlene. 'Serbs' is another track Jim played on sometime in early 1999. It actually started with the accordion section and then built in reverse. I tried to create a soft pulse character for the guitar verse then an overcompressed drum moment before the Serbs marched in. My parents wanted me to play the accordion like a nice Serbian boy from suburban Willowdale should but the guitar was calling me. I’ll never know if I made the right decision..." - Alex Lifeson, August 2, 2021
"'Cherry Lopez Lullaby' was written during the mix session of Clockwork Angels while in LA for months starting early 2012. I did an interview with High Times and the interviewer brought along a friend, an esteemed grower who provided a sample of his creation named Cherry Lopez. Because I was on an EST body clock, I was up most mornings @ 5:00 AM. I'd order coffee, sit on my hotel room balcony, read the paper and wake and bake then dive into making some fun sounds while the city was waking up. I had some borrowed acoustic and electric guitars for the duration, thankfully, as sitting around waiting to go to the studio was tedious and certainly, a bowl of Cherry kept my appetite healthy." - Alex Lifeson, October 29, 2021


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