|Album by Rush|
|Released||April 1, 1976|
|Recorded||Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Ontario, 1975|
|Producer||Rush and Terry Brown|
2112 (pronounced "twenty-one twelve") is the fourth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on April 1, 1976. The Toronto dates of the 2112 tour were recorded and released as All the World's a Stage in September 1976.
The album 2112 features an eponymous seven-part suite with music written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, with lyrics written by Neil Peart. The suite tells a dystopian story set in the year 2112. Since the album is named after the suite it is sometimes described as a concept album. Technically it is not, as the songs on the second side are completely unrelated to the plot of the suite. Rush repeated this arrangement on the 1978 album Hemispheres.
2112 is one of two Rush albums listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (the other being Moving Pictures). In 2006 a poll of Planet Rock listeners picked 2112 as the definitive Rush album.
The album[edit | edit source]
Breakthrough[edit | edit source]
Due to the relative commercial failure of their previous album, Caress of Steel, the record label is said to have pressured the band not to do another album with "concept" songs. Caress of Steel contains two multi-part epics: the 12-minute "The Necromancer" (side one) and the side-long epic "The Fountain of Lamneth" (side two).
The 2112 suite[edit | edit source]
- Main article: 2112 (song)
In the year 2062, a galaxy-wide war results in the union of all planets under the rule of the Red Star of the Solar Federation. By 2112, the world is controlled by the "Priests of the Temples of Syrinx", who determine the content of all reading matter, songs, pictures - every facet of life.
A man discovers a guitar and learns to play different music. When he goes to present this to the priests of the Temples, they destroy the guitar. He goes into hiding and dreams of a world before the Solar Federation. Upon awakening he becomes distraught and commits suicide. As he dies, another planetary battle begins resulting in the ambiguous ending "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control." (This spoken section was created by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson reportedly "messing around with a tape recorder".)
On the album, Neil Peart credits "the genus[sic] of Ayn Rand." Rand, a Russian-born American novelist and Objectivist philosopher, wrote a novella entitled Anthem from which Peart borrowed the broad strokes of the plot. The novel, published in 1938, follows the life of a man living within a collectivist society structured around a central religious authority, the 'World Council' who dictates all workings within the society. The man discovers ancient technology hidden in an old tunnel from the 'Unmentionable Times,' and inadvertently rediscovers electricity. He takes this discovery the World Council, who labels him a wretch for engaging in unauthorized research and subsequently seeks to punish him.
Remaining songs[edit | edit source]
The other songs on the album stand alone from the title track, with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson writing lyrics for one song each ("Tears" and "Lessons", respectively). All other lyrics were penned by Peart.
"Tears" would be the first Rush song to feature an outside musician. Hugh Syme, who would play keyboards on a number of Rush songs in the future, (e.g., "Different Strings" on Permanent Waves and "Witch Hunt" on Moving Pictures) contributes a multi-tracked Mellotron string and flute part to the track. "A Passage to Bangkok" and "The Twilight Zone" are songs typical of this time period of Rush. "The Twilight Zone" was written and recorded in one day. "Something for Nothing" closes out the album. Neil Peart states: "All those paeans to American restlessness and the American road carried a tinge of wistfulness, an acknowledgment of the hardships of the vagrant life, the notion that wanderlust could be involuntary, exile as much as freedom, and indeed, the understanding that freedom wasn't free. In the mid-'70s, the band was driving to a show in downtown Los Angeles, at the Shrine Auditorium, and I noticed some graffiti splattered across a wall: 'Freedom isn't free,' and I adapted that for a song on 2112, 'Something for Nothing'".
Starman emblem[edit | edit source]
The Starman emblem (also known as the 'Man in the Star' logo) was adopted by Rush fans as a logo since its first appearance on the back cover of 2112. Peart described the Starman in an interview with Creem magazine:
"All (the naked man) means is the abstract man against the masses. The red star symbolizes any collectivist mentality."
With regard to the album, the 'collectivist mentality' referred to is depicted as the Red Star of the Solar Federation, which according to the plot is a galaxy-wide federation that controls all aspects of life during the year 2112. The figure in the emblem is depicted as being the 'Hero' of the album. Hugh Syme, the creator of many of Rush's album covers, commented on the design: "The man is the hero of the story. That he is nude is just a classic tradition...the pureness of his person and creativity without the trappings of other elements such as clothing. The red star is the evil red star of the Federation, which was one of Neil's symbols. We basically based that cover around the red star and that hero."
The logo also appears on four other Rush album covers; on the backdrop behind Peart's drumkit in All the World's a Stage, their first live album released in 1976, in one of the pictures that is being moved in Moving Pictures, Retrospectives 1, in Archives, a compilation album released in 1978, as well as in their 1981 live album Exit...Stage Left, in the background amongst symbols from all their previous work (The cover art extends to the back of the LP, and when opened, you can see the Starman emblem there. The logo in 'Archives Cool' is depicted in gold instead of red, though it is exactly the same in every other respect.)
Cultural significance[edit | edit source]
The Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada, a non-profit Canadian charitable organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of Canada's audio-visual heritage, has sponsored MasterWorks, which annually recognizes 12 culturally significant Canadian classics from the film, radio, TV and music industries. In 2006, 2112 was one of the albums chosen to be preserved.
Track listing[edit | edit source]
All songs written by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart except where noted.
- "2112" – 20:33
- I: "Overture" – 4:33
- II: "The Temples of Syrinx" – 2:12
- III: "Discovery" – 3:29
- IV: "Presentation" – 3:42
- V: "Oracle: The Dream" – 2:00
- VI: "Soliloquy" – 2:21
- VII: "Grand Finale" – 2:14
- "A Passage to Bangkok" – 3:34
- "The Twilight Zone" – 3:17
- "Lessons" (Lifeson) - 3:51
- "Tears" (Lee) – 3:33
- "Something for Nothing" – 3:58
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Hugh Syme - mellotron on 'Tears'
Credits[edit | edit source]
- Terry Brown - Engineering
- Rush and Terry Brown - Arrangements
- Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee - Mastering
- Mastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
- Howard "Herns" Ungerleider - Road master
- (Major) Ian Grandy, Liam "L.B.L.B." Bert and Skip "Detroit Slider" Gildersleeve - Road crew
- Hugh Syme - Graphics
- Yosh Inouye and Gerard Gentil - Photography
- Ray Danniels - Management
- SRO Management, Inc., Toronto, Ontario
- Ray Danniels, Vic Wilson, Terry Brown, Howard Ungerleider, Ian Grandy, Liam Birt, Skip Gildersleeve and Hugh Syme - Thanks
- Mixed at Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada
- Executive Production by Moon Records
- Special thanks to ......... (insert your name here).
- With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand.
Charts[edit | edit source]
|U.S.||Top LPs & Tapes (Billboard 200)||61|
|Canada||RPM 100 Top Albums||1|
|Sweden||Albums Top 60||33||April 12, 1976|
Sales[edit | edit source]
By their own recollection, the band stuck to their principles and recorded what would become their first commercial success, and ultimately something of a signature record. 2112 was released in March 1976 and landed on the Billboard Hot 100 album chart, becoming their first album to reach Gold status. 2112 was so certified on November 16, 1977, along with the band's then current releases A Farewell to Kings and the live All The World's a Stage. 2112 reached Platinum status on February 25, 1981, shortly after the release of Moving Pictures in 1981, the latter being their biggest selling record to date.
|U.S.||RIAA||Gold (500,000)||November 16, 1977|
|U.S.||RIAA||Platinum (1,000,000)||February 25, 1981|
|U.S.||RIAA||2x Platinum (2,000,000)||December 1, 1993|
|U.S.||RIAA||3x Platinum (3,000,000)||November 17, 1995|
|Canada||CRIA||Gold (50,000)||October 1, 1976|
|Canada||CRIA||Platinum (100,000)||June 1, 1978|
|Canada||CRIA||2x Platinum (200,000)||May 16, 1990|
Discography[edit | edit source]
Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs issued a Gold CD remaster in 1993, currently out of print.
A Mercury Records remaster was issued in May 6, 1997.
- The tray has a picture of the star with man painting (mirroring the cover art of Retrospective I) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left. All remasters from Rush through Permanent Waves are like this.
- The remaster album art has all of the elements including the back cover, the story of 2112, lyrics, gatefold shots of the band and the star with man logo which were absent from the original CD.
Compact Disc[edit | edit source]
|United States||Mercury||822 545-2||1987|
|United States||Mercury||314 534 626-2||1997|
|United Kingdom||Mercury||534 626-2||1997|
Vinyl[edit | edit source]
|United States||Mercury||822 545-1||1976|
Cassette Tape[edit | edit source]
|United States||Mercury||822 545-4|
8-Track[edit | edit source]
Singles[edit | edit source]