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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album
12:36PM EST | comments (61) |

Clockwork AngelsSci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. Anderson just announced via his Facebook page the incredibly awesome news that he will be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album!

After dropping hints for a while, finally the big announcement, a new project unlike any other I've ever done...and something that I consider very cool.

Most of you are aware of my long-standing friendship with Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist from the legendary rock band Rush, as well as how much Rush has influenced my work. My first novel Resurrection, Inc. was closely inspired by the Rush album "Grace Under Pressure," and I can point to dozens of other novels and stories that bear a clear Rush influence.

For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening.

I'm writing the novelization of Rush's forthcoming album Clockwork Angels, their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of The Wall, Tommy, or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band when those classic albums were released. For Rush fans, CLOCKWORK ANGELS is that project.

I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

Wow. Thanks to Richard S for the heads up.

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[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush's Clockwork Angels album/tour most-anticipated of 2012]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview]
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]

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#61 - Posted 2/12/12 @11:49PM by random_sample [contact]

#59- Could be. Im not exactly sure. I will listen to some Test for echo when Im in the car and check it out. I just knew that section in Caravan sounded very familiar and I was thinking it was from somewhere on the Test for echo album. Could very well be Limbo or Virtuality.
Hey, I caught Geddy's "appearance" at the end of that Sunshine Sketches of a little town movie. I put it on right at the end and saw him during the credits. Was kind of strange and I didn't really catch what he said, but it will probably get posted by someone on this site, so we'll all be able to see it ,Im sure.
#60 - Posted 2/12/12 @10:55PM by marty from clayton [contact]

Pirates.
#59 - Posted 2/12/12 @9:19PM by John E. [contact]

#57: I went back and listened to it. It sounds a lot like parts of Limbo and/or Virtuality to me. What do you think ?
#58 - Posted 2/12/12 @7:56PM by The_king_will_Neil [contact]

While listening to C&BU2B today, I couldn't help thinking that if they are parts I and II or CA, maybe making a novel of the story may make some sense. They're not chapters 1 and 2 of a story in the way the parts of 2112, Fountain, or Hemispheres are. There's a lot more space between them than a sequential story. (When I first heard them, I thought they might be parts 1 and 4, or something, of the 'epic'.) They're more like Bytor parts 1 and 2, or Cygnus 1 and 2. If the other parts aren't more contiguous, a novel may do more than just tell us the same story as the songs. (Of course, then the songs may not make much sense as a single story - be more like a set of related songs.)

[And I'm not trying to criticize, or anything like that, just some random thoughts - probably from when I was half asleep.]
#57 - Posted 2/12/12 @11:37AM by random_sample [contact]

#56- Did you notice in the song Caravan ,around the 3:42 mark ,it sounds very much like something from Test for echo. I haven't checked to see which song or song's from Test for echo, but that section is very familiar. Its mostly Geddy's bass paying at that point in the song.
#56 - Posted 2/12/12 @10:06AM by John E. [contact]

# 55: That is precisely why I want to hear Rush's music evolve and not settle. Let's see what the other tunes on CA sound like.

The use of the Hemisphere chord in Far Cry did nothing for me except make me want to here Hemispheres again. There's also an obvious link to La Villa in one of the bridges or changes in Caravan. When I hear it, again, I want to here the instrumental. It diminishes Caravan for me because it sounds like a copy and paste approach to new music.

And don't get me started on Geddy's new found love with playing Flamenco style on Bass or relying on chords to the nth degree...What happened to playing scales ?
#55 - Posted 2/12/12 @4:29AM by driventotheedge [contact]

Why I admire Rush is that they evolve, I read comments from people how they like this era or dont like this album for what ever reason. I am fortunate to have grown as a person much as Rush has grown like a band.

If I wanted the same sound from a band I would be a big ACDC fan or more recently people seem interested in the new Van Halen album to me although I have only heard bits of some songs in my opion it really does not sound fresh.

Again Rush to me shows what music can be if you believe in the freedom of music
#54 - Posted 2/12/12 @3:56AM by TARKUS [contact]

#50: In some interview Geddy was saying how they all are wanting to go back to just the guitar and bass. He even talked about his thought of dumping the keyboards all-together for the concerts and just using samples of it so he could stand behind his bass.

I like the variety of their music, and very, very rarely do I ever skip through a song on a CD. Well - maybe the second time it goes around in the truck, and invariably it is a song that has a lot of keyboard!
#53 - Posted 2/12/12 @12:48AM by ITheJury [contact]

#50, Random, I really enjoy reading your comments. I agree with what you've said about Caravan as well. To your point, the Death Cab for Cutie drummer talked about Rush's ability to "draw a straight line through a song" - it's a huge part of why you, I, and others here love Rush and and they have often been losing sight of that.

However, #52 musicofthespheres you are absolutely right that we have not yet heard Caravan in context and should wait to pass judgment.

Show Don't Tell was indeed harder rocking than HYF, but to me that's really the only song on the album that comes across that way (if that was Rupert Hine's desire), and really just the intro. Somehow I am unable to separate the presentation of the music from the music itself. Even if you feel the songs don't lack power, I think of the power they could have had, and because Rush have proved they understand how critical a good mix is I hold them to a high standard.

At least at the time the problem was the thin-ness. At least you could distinguish the instruments, and at least you could crank the volume. These days you have "modern" mixes like Vapor Trails. At least S&A's mix was an improvement, and Geddy's comments indicate CA's will be better. My annoyance with the LOUD mix on the just-released new Van Halen album is fueling my crankiness here. I'm not even an audiophile, so I can only imagine how cranky I'd be if I were.

RE: Kevin Shirley, I totally hear you about the tone of his voice, his negative rather than positive framing. Like he could have instead said, "Yeah, I wanted to try a different approach to the sound of Counterparts. There were great songs on the recent couple of albums but I had strong ideas and wanted to see if we could make the new songs come across fatter." It may be that I am equally guilty - when Counterparts came out I was saying to friends what Shirley did, and not so differently. :)
#52 - Posted 2/11/12 @10:13PM by musicofthespheres [contact]

interesting reading the above descriptions of Caravan being "off" and sounding "forced" and "contrived". Entirely valid, but awfully vague.

I wonder if the lack of satisfaction being described is related to the fact these are parts of a bigger story, so there is no closure provided in either song?

I find myself picturing the character on the steamliner over the ocean, thinking big...:), then arriving to the city -- the isolated guitar transition from the steamliner to the city is the only weak point of the song for me.

I also try to imagine that the lyrics are coming from the character, not from Ged and Neil. And eventually I think Hugh Syme's artwork will subtly add more depth to our experience of these songs as well. Maybe Ged's brother will have more fun with the story too for the tour.

Caravan starts to set the scene by saying "on my way at last" and "i can't stop thinking big". I definitely feel those ideas in the music!

So I guess I'd just say keep an open mind and let your opinion evolve.

I think Caravan kicks ass.

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