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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Long-awaited Vapor Trails remix coming October 1st, now available for pre-order
9:33AM EST | comments (67) |

UPDATE - 8/19@9:48AM: It's also now available for pre-order in the UK (thanks GedFan).

UPDATE - 8/1@1:58PM: Note that the David that Geddy refers to in the Rush.com post is Grammy-winning Canadian producer David Bottrill, who posted the following to his Facebook page earlier this month (thanks Christopher M):

So...It's late in Los Angeles and I'm just listening to the 1st mastering job by Andy VanDette at Masterdisk of Vapor Trails, a great underrated record by Rush that I finished re-mixing a few weeks ago. This record was written and recorded just after, and about a time of great tragedy, and there were times, I'm sure, where it was uncertain whether the band would ever record together again. I just have to say how proud and grateful I am to have had the opportunity again to work with such creative giants. ...

----- snip -----

Rush will finally be releasing the long-awaited remix/remaster of their 2002 album Vapor Trails this coming October 1st. The album will be made available for purchase individually or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set that will also be releasing October 1st. The Vapor Trails remix is already available for pre-order from Amazon, as is the Atlantic-era box set. From Rush.com:

The Newly Remixed Version Of Vapor Trails And 7-Disc Boxed Set Of Atlantic Studio Albums

Both Are Available On October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino (September 30 internationally)

In 2009, two tracks from VAPOR TRAILS ("One Little Victory" and "Earthshine") were remixed for the Retrospective III collection, setting you all into a frenzy in anticipation of a possible remixed version of the entire album being released one day. That time has come.

The Vapor Trails Remixed album will be available on CD, Double LP, and digital download on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.

"Vapor Trails was an album made under difficult and emotional circumstances - sort of like Rush learning how to be Rush again - and as a result, mistakes were made that we have longed to correct. David Bottrill's remixes have finally brought some justice and clarity to this deserving body of our work," says Geddy Lee.

"Every song has been given a new life, from the fire of 'One Little Victory,' 'Secret Touch,' and 'Ceiling Unlimited' to the melodic musicality of 'Sweet Miracle' and 'How It Is'... these songs have been redeemed. Thank you David!"

The remixed version of VAPOR TRAILS will also be included in the new 7-disc boxed set RUSH: THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007, which features every studio album Rush recorded for Atlantic Records. The collection includes the Gold & Platinum albums Presto (1989), Roll The Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), and Test For Echo (1996), as well as their covers EP Feedback (2004) and the Billboard Top 5 album Snakes & Arrows (2007). THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007 features each album presented in a wallet sleeve that faithfully reproduces the original artwork (except for VAPOR TRAILS, which features a reinterpreted version of the original cover) and is also available on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.

You can pre-order the Vapor Trails remix at this location, and the Atlantic-era The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set here. You can also pre-order the double LP 180g vinyl version of Vapor Trails here.

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#67 - Posted 8/9/13 @3:59PM by Thurston [contact]

Regarding the Clockwork Angels points:
Something happened between recording the original "single" versions of Caravan/BU2B and the rest of the album. Different studios & recording gear (obviously) being used - but I suspect Nick's closer (hands-on) involvement in mixing plus Gardner's so-called mastering might have been the reason they had to go back & "remix" those first 2 songs. The single versions are vastly superior to the album versions...I can only imagine how incredible the whole album would sound if it was all recorded & mixed at the same time back in 2010.
Regarding the Vapor Trails remix:
I'm very excited to get my hands on a vinyl copy of this...the original release vinyls are going for $200+ on ebay (kicking myself for not buying the vinyl back then!!).
Not holding my breath on just how good this thing will sound. Rush albums have always been inconsistent and sometimes disappointing sonically. That being said, I have to give Rush kudos for listening to their fans and trying to keep them as happy as possible. I'm convinced this remix wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the endless complaints and requests.
One last thing - I agree with what was said about the sonics being part of the personality of an album. Can you imagine the first Aerosmith album sounding any differently? That old Ampex tape, the old Sennheiser mics, everything just came together perfectly to make a timeless rock classic. One of countless examples of how soundstage plays a critical role. The gritty sound of VT can definitely be considered part of the albums charm, but the digital format isn't as forgiving as analog tape when it comes to saturation & compression. I remember playing VT about 3 times through the 1st night I bought it, and I had "listener fatigue" - meaning it was a relief to my ears to turn it OFF!! Long story edited, VT enlightened me to the whole brickwall/digital distortion issue. In the past 10 years I've gained new appreciation for records & old recording techniques. The early Rush albums kicked ass on vinyl...I'm hopeful this one does the same.
#66 - Posted 8/6/13 @12:20PM by daryllh [contact]

#64

I'm guessing that they'll stick with Nick for the remainder of their recording career. They seem happy and comfortable with the results. We can hope that mixing the next project will be given to somebody other than Nick. Rich should have mixed CA.
#65 - Posted 8/5/13 @8:40PM by Lucien [contact]

@RushFanForever

As one who actually has synesthesia, I'm starting to agree with you more every minute.

I'm seeing the new cover as a transition from a hot, blazing, scorched mix to a cooler, sweet mix.

I've already bought it, and I can't wait for October, just like I can't wait for the new Dream Theater album to come out in September.
#64 - Posted 8/5/13 @3:51AM by freewilly [contact]

#60 I agree about Gardner...
maybe they can turn to Bottrill to produce the next album and also handle the mastering (or pick someone he recommends)... not having heard anything Bottrill has done, I think.
#63 - Posted 8/4/13 @6:49AM by RushFanForever [contact]

I have to wonder if the alternate cover for 'Vapor Trails' was influenced by synesthesia.

link
#62 - Posted 8/3/13 @2:53PM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

Was surprised to hear this story as an apparently pre-recorded news snippet post-midnight last night on 98.7 "LA's Rock Alternative," which doesn't play Rush (you have to go to 100.3 for that, very occasionally compared to the Buffalo airplay I grew up with). And they spun it at first as if Rush were re-making the album, though it was quickly referred to as a remix.
#61 - Posted 8/3/13 @1:12PM by musicofthespheres [contact]

interesting Mr. Bill, seeing the twin towers. Thanks! Like Ged says about great songs (on the S&A MVI), as long there's that possibility of different interpretations...

Thanks too for that Netboy. Guess we need a new interview w. Syme.
#60 - Posted 8/3/13 @11:34AM by daryllh [contact]

#57

The issue you have with Clockwork Angels could have been corrected with Rich Chycki mixing the album. His mixes of the first 2 songs were my favorite. As for the mastering, well, Brian Gardner shouldn't be the go-to guy for the band.
#59 - Posted 8/3/13 @9:49AM by Netboy [contact]

#56- There is one other possibility of the origin of the cover art. Hugh's been known to do multiple versions of a cover in the past- the alternate of Test for Echo that got used on the tourbook, for example. In fact, there was a slightly different version for Vapor Trails that wound up on that tour's book as well- the front looked the same, but the back added in the little dragon.

Maybe this version with more blue was a previously rejected version from 2002.

Or maybe you're right, and Mr. Syme revisited the fireball with a new purpose in mind!

#55- I can agree with you and #14 on a basic level. I'm eager to here the remix, but I really would like to hear a simple *remastering* of the original mix. It's possible that Rush and the engineers took a look at what they had in the original mixes and decided *they* were too hot as well, thus a complete remix was necessary (in their minds).

I've never heard that fan-remastered version from so many years ago. Even though there's no way it could've actually fixed the problems with the clipping (lost data is lost data), I heard it was a damn sight better to listen to. Now I'm thinking I'd like to compare that version with the new remix, and *really* get a feel for where I stand on VT. Although I think my original stance will continue: No matter what the issues with production, recording, mixing or mastering, the *songs* (for the most part) were something special.

#49- I remember you!
#58 - Posted 8/3/13 @9:31AM by Mr. Bill [contact]

#56 - Thanks for that spheres.

That's interesting. I always interpreted the art work as the twin towers that terrible day by pulling out the booklet and holding it vertically. From the book titled "Chemistry": "Neil agreed with Hugh that a comet would work". Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for that. So...the comet has cooled and as you suggest healed and been enriched again with life and colour. That's likely a perfect explanation.

The original image is oil on canvas and I assume this one is as well. Its very nice. Love the colours. Along with the painting, I think another "fix" would have been re-titling it to "Vapour Trails" and stay true to the Can-Brit tradition. That's another can of worms. To me, this is the "Colour of Wrong". No compromises, right?

On a final note, if you wiki Hugh Syme and look at his body of album cover work it seems shocking to me not to mention everything else he did. The consistency through the years and the way he has cranked work out is very impressive. Like Neil, he is da machine!

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