“The Lost Boys: Hard-To-Find ’80s Albums” gives you exactly what the title implies: a rare or out-of-print album from the ’80s in its entirety. Some will be from CD, but most will have been lovingly transferred from pristine vinyl culled directly from the Analog Kid’s vast collection. Whatever album I choose, it will be one that you can’t easily find a physical copy for sale on Amazon or in your local record store (if you even have one anymore). Death…by stereo!
Rush’s Signals is one of my all-time favorite albums. It was also the first Rush album that I purchased on the day of release– I rode my bike about five miles across the subdivisions of Plano just to buy it in September of 1982. Collin Creek Mall had three record stores at that time (Camelot, Hastings, and the one on the other side of the mall that nobody went to), but somehow Sears had the best price. I can even recall flipping through about thirty copies of the album in order to find the one with the best spine alignment (I was a dorky collector even at the age of 15!). The release of Signals was a big deal for me, and I wasn’t disappointed– I loved the record immediately, but was surprised that many of my friends didn’t share my high opinion of Rush’s latest offering. Some commonly heard complaints in the halls of Clark High School that fall:
“There’s no guitar.”
“Way too many keyboards!”
“The cover is stupid.”
“Who the hell is Warren Cromartie?”
Almost 32 years have passed since Signals was released, and I am happy that most Rush fans now view Signals as the masterpiece that I knew it was back in 1982. Every song is incredible, and I never get tired of listening to it. My ’80s cover band often surprises the crowd with a note-for-note version of “Subdivisons,” and there’s always one or two guys in the crowd who absolutely lose their fucking minds. Inevitably, these fine gentlemen wait until the end of our set and then rush to the stage to tell us how important Rush is to them and how many times they’ve seen Rush live. I never get tired of this because I feel exactly the same way about the band. Shots are then usually exchanged with our newfound fans, and promises to add “Xanadu” and “YYZ” to our playlist are inevitably made.
At this point, you may be wondering why I am featuring Signals on one of my Lost Boys entries. After all, isn’t the Lost Boys reserved for out of print/hard-to-find albums? Well, this particular version of Signals IS out of print, and it is fantastically hard to find. The copy presented below is a 320 kbps rip of the 1994 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remaster of Signals, and it has been out of print for years and years. This particular issue is especially coveted by Rush collectors, as it contains some minor (and one major!) mixing differences from the original album release. Many of the tracks run slightly longer, so you can hear a few extra notes as the songs fade out. The big difference is a missing lyric at the 3:14 mark of “The Weapon,” where Geddy normally sings “And the things that he fears/Are a weapon to be held against him.” Sure, it’s a minor difference that only a music geek would care about– but since all Rush fans are giant music geeks by default, this version of “The Weapon” is as highly prized as a Lando Calrissian action figure in its original packaging.
By the way, Warren Cromartie was an outfielder for the Montreal Expos in the ’70s and ’80s. He had a decent career and finished with a .281 career average, but perhaps his biggest claim to fame is the “Warren Cromartie Elementary School” featured on the subdivision plot on the back cover of Signals.
I bet Lerxtwood Mall had a bitchin’ arcade! And a Sbarro.
Mercury Records, 1982 (MFSL version released in 1994)
1. “Subdivisions” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
2. “The Analog Kid” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
3. “Chemistry” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
4. “Digital Man” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
5. “The Weapon” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
6. “New World Man” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
7. “Losing It” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
8. “Countdown” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
* now there are only three record stores in the entire DFW metroplex. I weep for the future.
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Rush: “The Weapon” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
From the album Signals
Mercury Records, 1982
Rush: “Xanadu” [Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on 2/20/1978
From the album Different Stages
Atlantic Records, 1998
Rush: “YYZ/The Temples Of Syrinx/Tom Sawyer” [Live] (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
From the album Grace Under Pressure Tour
Mercury Records, 2009