Rush surfaces again today (December) — not with something new but with a new archival package celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Farewell To Kings album.
The new package features the original album remastered, a live show from February 20, 1978 at the Hammersmith Odeon in England, and new covers of the album’s songs by Dream Theater (“Xanadu”), Alain Johanes (“Madrigal”), Big Wreck (“Closer To The Heart”), the Trews (“Cinderella Man”) and EH (“Cygnus X-2).”
The “Farewell…” reissue comes at a time when Rush has been dormant for an extended period, having completed a 40th anniversary tour in 2015 that many consider to have been a farewell trek. But guitarist Alex Lifeson tells us we may be hearing from the group at some point in the future:
“I don’t know if there’s anything specifically I’m hoping that we’re gonna do…We’re settling in and kind of enjoying our time now. There’s nothing specifically we’re looking at, but I think ultimately I’d like to get back in with Ged (Lee) and start writing and then have Neil (Peart) join in and take it from there. That’s the way we always start, him (Lee) and I jamming and we’ll do that for a little while, for weeks or months or something, and then Neil will start sending lyrics and we’ll kind of piece it together with what we’re doing. So I’m hoping that’s somewhere in the near future.”
Released during September of 1977, A Farewell To Kings marked Rush’s most extensive use of synthesizers to that point. The album hit No. 11 on the Canadian charts and No. 33 on the Billboard 200, Rush’s best showing yet. It was certified platinum in both countries.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.