The January 1980 release of Rush’s Permanent Waves marked a breakthrough for the band. The album became Rush’s most successful to that point, reaching the top five of the album charts in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. It also represented a shift towards more compact, radio-friendly songs while still honoring the group’s progressive roots. On May 29, Mercury/Anthem/UMe will reissue Permanent Waves in a variety of formats including 2-CD and 3-LP sets, and a 2-CD/3-LP Super Deluxe Edition.
Geddy Lee commented at the time of the original album he crafted with Alex Lifeson and the late Neil Peart, “We’ve taken it (the conceptual album) to its logical limit and it’s time to do something else.” The gamble paid off when “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill” earned the radio play that had largely eluded the band. Recorded at Le Studio in Quebec, Permanent Waves also featured the single “Entre Nous” and prog-rock epic three-part closer “Natural Science.”
The album has been reissued numerous times since its debut. What sets this iteration apart? The CDs in both the Super Deluxe Edition and the standalone 2-CD set utilize the original album remaster made at Abbey Road for the 2015 vinyl edition. The second disc of the SDE and 2-CD set boasts previously unreleased live bonus tracks from three concerts on the 1980 Permanent Waves world tour: the Manchester Apollo in Manchester, England; the Hammersmith Odeon in London; and Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri. All of the tracks have been newly mixed by longtime Rush associate Terry Brown. The 180-gram vinyl versions have identical audio plus one exclusive bonus not on CD: “A Passage to Bangkok” from the Manchester Apollo.
The Super Deluxe Edition adds a 40-page hardcover book boasting re-envisioned artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, unreleased photos from the Rush archives, and a new 12,000+-word essay. An assortment of swag rounds out the set including a 20-page, 5 x 7″ replica Le Studio notepad; two replica tour programs from the 1980 world tour (including the rare, unofficial The Words & Pictures Vol. II U.K. program); one replica backstage laminate for each band member; a 24 x 36″ double-sided poster of the original album cover model and photos of the band; and three replica handwritten lyric sheets of “The Spirit of Radio,” “Entre Nous,” and “Natural Science” in Neil Peart’s hand.
The 40th anniversary reissues of Permanent Waves are due on May 29 from Mercury/Anthem/UMe. A digital version with the audio will also be released on that day. Check out the track listing and pre-order links below.
Rush, Permanent Waves: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/Anthem/UMe, 2020)
CD/LP 1: Remastered original album (released as Anthem ANR-1-1021 (Canada)/Mercury SRM-1-4001 (U.S.), 1980 – this master released on vinyl as Anthem/Mercury/UMe B0022379-01, 2015)
- The Spirit Of Radio
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Entre Nous
- Different Strings
- Natural Science
CD 2/LP 2-3: Live 1980 (previously unreleased – * denotes vinyl bonus track)
- Beneath, Between & Behind (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980)
- By-Tor & The Snow Dog (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – 6/4-8/1980)
- Xanadu (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – 6/4-8/1980)
- The Spirit Of Radio (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980)
- Natural Science (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980)
- A Passage To Bangkok (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980) *
- The Trees (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980)
- Cygnus X-1 (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – 6/4-8/1980)
- Cygnus X-1 Book II (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – 6/4-8/1980)
- Closer To The Heart (Live @ The Apollo, Manchester, England – 6/17-18/1980)
- Jacob’s Ladder (Live @ Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri – 2/14/1980)
- Freewill (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – 6/4-8/1980)