Grace Under Pressure: 1984 Tour

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Rush's 2009 live CD Grace Under Pressure: 1984 Tour has an interesting history. It's actually the soundtrack to the 1985 live video Grace Under Pressure Tour which was reissued on DVD in 2006 as part of the three-DVD set Replay X 3 (along with the other live home videos Exit ... Stage Left and A Show of Hands). Originally available only as a bonus CD with Replay X 3, it's been released separately. Vocalist/bass guitarist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart recorded Grace Under Pressure: 1984 Tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in their hometown of Toronto. It touches on the trio's heavy, progressive '70s opuses but concentrates primarily on the tighter, keyboard-laced, commercially successful '80s work. "The Enemy Within," "Distant Early Warning," and "Red Sector 'A'" are the strongest Grace Under Pressure songs, so they deserve their prominence here. Popular favorites like "The Spirit of Radio," "New World Man" (the trio's sole Top 40 hit), and "Closer to the Heart" (which features a loose jam at the end) stand out as well, but a better understanding of Rush comes by embracing lesser-known songs like "The Weapon," "Witch Hunt," and "Vital Signs." Rush really cuts loose and has a lot of fun with "Medley: YYZ/The Temples of Syrinx/Tom Sawyer" and "Medley: Finding My Way/In the Mood" although Lee dials back his original voice pitch on the latter two songs. Casual Rush fans (if there is such a thing in the universe) should be careful not to confuse this CD with the Grace Under Pressure studio CD because the cover art is identical except that this one has added the words "1984 Tour" in the lower left-hand corner. Die-hard fans probably bought Replay X 3 and therefore already have this CD , but they'll likely purchase it for their collections anyway. Also, the liner notes reproduce the Grace Under Pressure tour program, but this was already done for Replay X 3. However, among the Rush faithful, too much is never enough.

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