A friend of a friend, on Mastodon, is doing a Rush album a week listen party thing. This week’s album is Hold Your Fire. I don’t know how this particular album was picked to go first, but it’s all chock-full of nostalgia for me.
HYF wasn’t my first Rush album. A friend in the US sent me several bootleg cassettes back in 1984 or so, and I listened to those thousands of times. (Led Zeppelin 4 was on the flip side of one of them!) I still have those tapes somewhere, I’m sure.
But HYF was my first Rush album that I bought, with my own money.
I was in the US – Oklahoma City – for the summer of 1987, for ear surgery, and bought HYF at a record store at the mall, and listened to it on repeat for weeks.
It was so different from what I had heard, but still the same. And the drums! I had never heard drums played as an instrument, rather than just as a beat. I was already hooked, but this sealed it, and I’ve been a Rush fan since then.
I remember to this day the new cassette scent – something that, sadly, is no longer available in our advanced modern world. And also reading the lyrics and notes and inscrutable inside jokes, all without Reddit for commentary.
I pulled out the cassette yesterday, and the lyrics are, alas, almost completely unreadable to my 52-year-old eyes, but the memories are still sharp.
I’m listening to it a couple times a day this week, and trying to figure out if I have a favorite song. It’s been part of my life soundtrack for 36 years, and I find I cannot choose. As, indeed, I’ve never been able to choose a favorite Rush album or song.
But then, I always do have trouble picking favorites. The question “what’s your favorite food” or “what’s your favorite country that you’ve visited” always throw me into indecision, because they’re all great, and the joys of one inform the enjoyment of another. And, really, I don’t want to pick, because I love the variety.
I do love Open Secrets. And I’ve always loved Tai Shan, despite Reddit’s disdain for it. I’ve wanted to climb Mount Tai for … well, 36 years, I guess. And High Water gives me chills. Hearing them perform it live – TWICE! – was just so incredible. Time Stand Still becomes more and more meaningful as I age. And … and … yeah, I really can’t pick.
Anyways, I’m really looking forward to the coming weeks of revisiting these old friends. Thanks, Craig, for kicking this off.