|A Farewell to Kings|
|Album by Rush|
|Released||September 1, 1977|
|Recorded||June 1977 at Rockfield Studios in South Wales, UK|
|Producer||Rush and Terry Brown|
A Farewell to Kings is the fifth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1977. The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, and mixed at Advision Studios in London.
A Farewell to Kings would become Rush's first US Gold-selling album, receiving the certification within two months of its release and was eventually certified Platinum.
Geddy Lee played his bass lines on acoustic bass while writing them and also came up with guitar lines. The birds heard on "A Farewell to Kings" and "Xanadu" were recorded outside near Rockfield Studios.
In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came #6 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".
- "A Farewell to Kings" - 5:51
- "Xanadu" - 11:08
- "Closer to the Heart" (Lee, Lifeson, Peart, Peter Talbot) - 2:53
- "Cinderella Man" (Lee/Lifeson) - 4:21
- "Madrigal" - 2:35
- "Cygnus X-1 (Book I - The Voyage)" - 10:25
"A Farewell to Kings"
The name of the album itself may be derivative of Ernest Hemingway's classic novel A Farewell to Arms.
The lyrics for the epic "Xanadu" were inspired by the 56-line poem "Kubla Khan", written circa 1797 by British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lee, Lifeson and Peart worked overtime on this track, each utilizing a number of instruments to affect the performance. "Xanadu" also marks a rare occurrence of Geddy Lee on rhythm guitar (live, Lifeson and Lee both wore doubleneck guitars to accommodate the orchestration). Other tracks with Lee on guitar include "A Passage to Bangkok" and "Resist" (live).
"Closer to the Heart"
"Closer to the Heart" is one of Rush's most popular songs, seeing a fair bit of radio airplay during a time when the band was in the middle of its 'epic song' days. After a couple of near-misses earlier in the decade with "Fly By Night" and "Bastille Day", "Closer to the Heart" finally landed them their first hit single in the United Kingdom, reaching #36 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978. The acoustic guitar intro was written by Geddy Lee. Peter Talbot, a friend of the band (who is also mentioned in the credits for All the World's a Stage) wrote the lyrics and Neil Peart wrote the sheet music. The song has been part of the set list on nearly every tour since 1977. The band dropped "Closer To The Heart" for the bulk of their recent tours in support of Vapor Trails and their 30th Anniversary because, according to Peart, "we got sick of it."
The final track is another epic about a fictional space voyage to "Cygnus X-1". Inspiration for the story within the song was found in the observation of an X-ray source in the constellation Cygnus. Considered to be one of the most likely black hole candidates in the universe, Cygnus X-1 was discovered in the early 1970s by Canadian scientist Tom Bolton, using the facilities of the David Dunlap Observatory at the University of Toronto. The theme of the track would be continued in "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres", the lead and title track of Rush's next album, Hemispheres.
Like "The Necromancer" (and the end of Caress of Steel), "Cygnus X-1" has an added synthesized voice at the beginning of the song.
The lyrics of "Cinderella Man" are based on the Frank Capra film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. It is also notable as one of the few Rush songs for which Geddy Lee wrote all of the lyrics after Peart's entry into the band.
"Madrigal" is one of the band's softest songs of this time period. It is also one of Rush's shortest songs at 2:35. The only other Rush songs that are shorter are "Broon's Bane", "Need Some Love" (2:19), "Malignant Narcissism" (2:17), and "Hope" (2:02).
- Geddy Lee - Bass guitar, twelve string guitar, Mini-moog and bass pedal synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson - Six and twelve string electric guitar, six and twelve string acoustic guitar, classical guitar, bass pedal synthesizer
- Neil Peart - Drums, cymbals, cowbells, orchestra bells, wind chimes, triangle, bell tree, vibra-slap, tubular bells, temple blocks
- Terry Brown - Spoken intro to "Cygnus X-1"
- Pat Moran and Terry Brown (Broon) - Engineer
- Terry Brown - Mixing engineer
- Declan (not Norman!) O'Doherty and Ken Thomas - Mixing engineer assistant
- Mixed at Advision Studios, London, England
- Hugh Syme - Art direction and graphics
- Yosh Inouye - Cover photography
- Roger Stowell - Sleeve photographer
- Fin Costello - Liner photographer
- Bob King - Design assistant
- George Graves - Mastering
- Mastered at JAMF, Toronto, Ontario
- Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee - Remastering
- Remastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
- Ray Danniels - Management
- SRO Management, Inc., Toronto, Ontario
- Howard (Herns) Ungerleider - Roadmaster and stage lighting director
- Concert Lighting by See Factor
- (Major) Ian Grandy - Concert sound engineer and effects consultant
- Concert Sound by National Sound and Electrosound
- Liam (Elfbjörn) Birt - Stage right technician
- Skip (Slider) Gildersleeve - Stage left technician
- Larry (The Saint) Allen - Center stage technician
- Mike (Lurch) Hurch - Stage manager
- (Ms.) Jorge Hoadley - Chauffeur
- National Sound and Crew, See Factor Lighting and Crew (U.K. too!), Electrosound U.K. and Crew, Graham the Coach Driver, Alans Moore and Kearsley, all at
Rockfield and Pat (Duffo) Moran, (Farewell to Kingsley), Max Websters' Dancing and Crew, The Cult and Crew, Fabrissio, The Percussion Centre, Tony (Old School Thai) Kelly, (Continental) Tom Berry (all our friends in the U.K. (and everywhere!), we remember Brooklyn) - Thanks
- Nancy Young, Charlene Zivojinovich, and Jacqueline Peart - Dedication
- Gibson Guitars, Rickenbacker Guitars, and Slingerland Drums - Personal help and consideration.
- Executive Production by Moon Records
- A special thank you to Dirk, Lerxst, and Pratt.
|U.S.||Top LPs & Tapes (Billboard 200)||33||October 29, 1977|
|U.K.||Albums||22||October 8, 1977|
|Canada||RPM 100 Top Albums||12||January 28, 1978|
|Sweden||Albums Top 60||41||September 23, 1977|
|U.S.||RIAA||Gold (500,000)||November 16, 1977|
|U.S.||RIAA||Platinum (1,000,000)||December 1, 1993|
|U.K.||BPI||Silver (100,000)||March 30, 1979|
|U.K.||BPI||Gold (300,000)||May 26, 1982|
|Canada||CRIA||Gold (50,000)||September 1, 1977|
|Canada||CRIA||Platinum (100,000)||February 1, 1978|
A 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 has all of the original vinyl packaging, including the back cover (all black with puppet strings) and inner sleeve photos of the band on stage. The star with man logo was reinstated after its absence on the original CD issue.
|United States||Mercury||822 546-2||1987|
|United States||Mercury||314 534 628-2||1997|
|United Kingdom||Mercury||534 628-2||1997|
|"Closer to the Heart"