Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rush Vapor Trails Remixed 30-second sample clips now available
2:12PM EST | comments (123) |

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 on CD or Vinyl, or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set releasing on the same day. Amazon Germany now has 30-second sample clips of the album posted on their website at this location (thanks gornhay). The sample clips are not yet available at Amazon in North America or the UK though. Although the clips are just 30-second, mp3-quality snippets, you can definitely hear the difference from the original recordings. Here are Geddy Lee's comments about the remix from

... "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 David that Geddy refers to in the post is Grammy-winning Canadian producer David Bottrill. 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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#123 - Posted 9/24/13 @10:14PM by dcd2112 [contact]

Neil's drum sound changing has much more to do with things other than the make of the drums. Firstly, all of Neil's kits from the 1977 Slingerland black chrome kit through the 1993/94 black cherry Ludwigs were heavily modified by having a layer of fiberglass sprayed on the surface of the insides of the shells. The process was known as Vibrafibing and it was performed by his former drum tech, Larry Allen's drum shop in Indiana. The red sparkle DW kit was the first of his kits (since Chromey) not to have fiberglass sprayed onto the shells. That would make a huge difference. I am personally not a fan of DW's. I play an old Gretsch kit. The other thing that has changed his drum sound (and the band's overall sound for the worse IMHO) is not recording to tape. Digital recording on computers just does not capture music in an aurally pleasing way. Nothing sounds like drums being recorded at 15 ips through an analog desk with EV Re-20's in the kick drums and Sennheiser 421's on the toms and some nice condensers for overheads. Pull your vinyls out and notice that you can actually hear the timbre of the cymbals - they just don't sound like wisps of white noise. Also the mix structures were so different. Every instrument had a sonic space and everything had room to breathe.
#122 - Posted 9/15/13 @4:06PM by liquidmuse3 [contact]

I mean, how much do we expect out of one man? Great lyricist, drum composer, drum player...we expect him to be an expert in sound too? My point is, I'm not sure Neil is so good at picking the tones of his kit. The wet paper towel sound of his DW toms (for the most part), the "hit a bag of glitter (?!?)" sound of his snare on Rio, the muted tinkling of the electronic drums now (as compared to the round & full sound of them in the late 80's)...I'm sure all these choices were fine in the room @ the time...but in a big auditorium with microphones, a lot of Neil's choices leave a lot to be desired. Lorne, step up! ;o)
#121 - Posted 9/14/13 @4:58AM by freewilly [contact]

PS Satriana = Satriani
#120 - Posted 9/14/13 @4:54AM by freewilly [contact]

Musical chops don't necessarily mean great or interesting music, in my opinion.
I react to some comment here on Nirvana "being tools" and them making musical chops trivial and many bands with it too...
I'm no fan of Nirvana (might have been around Nevermind but my appreciation quickly vanished after 'rediscovering' Rush a couple of years later... since then Rush has made me much more picky with music in general... Something I almost regret sometimes!).

I would not know if I would rather listen to some Vai or Satriana music or Nirvana's... I guess it would be the latter. Creating songs/instrumentals is a different game than playing abilities... We're very fortunate to have Rush, they combine both.

(even Edward VH ones said, asked about "good music": "There isn't necessarily good or bad music, you just like it or not". I liked that.)
#119 - Posted 9/12/13 @3:46PM by MGRushFan

#118. Thanks man. Yes, those Ludwigs did have a great sound. I agree that his DW's are horrendous. Tubby, boomy, hollow sounding. The Lud's articulated so much better. I've only played on one DW kit that I can recall that sounded good, and this was way early on, like 1989 when they were still relatively unknown and only advertised their pedals in Modern Drummer in very small ads. That kit was special. But the new DW's is the epitome of "the emperor wears no clothes" syndrome. They suck, but because they're so pretty to look at and are so expensive, people fool themselves into thinking they are great. Play a Sonor kit and then talk to me about DW.
#118 - Posted 9/12/13 @3:28PM by ClassicB [contact]

#117, I totally agree. This was the time that Neil started slowly but surely taking drums away from his kit, (although the Ludwigs still had good tone), to completely revamping to his new (awful sounding)DW kit in 1995. To me, 1991 was the begining of the end as we knew Neil in the ROCK drumming world. By 1995, it was evident that Neil wanted the Jazz thing.
#117 - Posted 9/12/13 @8:45AM by MGRushFan

From post #107

"So poor NEP got out played one night, didn't seem to hurt him in the long run."

In my opinion, it did hurt him. All of a sudden he became obsessed with becoming something he was not........a jazz drummer. In my opinion, Peart lost everything that was great about him, and he became just a "safe" drummer. His playing, with few exceptions (VT comes to mind) became very stodgy and his sound and flair went into the toilet. So I actually think that night really hurt him, but not in the way most people would think.

Even Peart intimates this may be the case because it was such a big deal for him personally to improvise again and get loose once he started working with the horrible Nick Raskulniez (spelled wrong on purpose). He knew he took the analytical approach (yes begun in the old days, but really ramped up in the 90's) way too far.
#116 - Posted 9/12/13 @8:39AM by MGRushFan

I too can't stand musical posturing and battles etc, but we cannot lose sight that we are talking about an event that happened 22 years ago. In those days, musicians still really cared about chops and practicing (remember at the Yngvie Malmsteen clones sprouting up back then?). We simply cannot apply values and attitudes we may have now to an event back then. In those days, people LOVED battles between musicians. Also, the drum battle was already a venerable institution by then (Rich Vs Krupa, Rich Vs Animal lol). But seriously, I totally agree with hating these battles since they have, in many ways, supplanted real musicianship amongst the young, but back then we were loving it, and i think out recollections and thoughts should just keep that sociological reality in mind.

And no, I've never been to a "drum off" at GC. I think they are stupid. But boy did I love the drum battles back when I was a kid in the 80's and 90's.

I think the dividing line was Nirvana. When those tools became popular, all of a sudden those of us with chops could not get arrested. It took years for the stain of that band to go away.
#115 - Posted 9/11/13 @9:20PM by Rob [contact]

#114 good post.
#114 - Posted 9/11/13 @9:05PM by drummerboy2112

about the buddy rich event, I had the opp to meet Calhoun, Steve Smith, and Smitty, at various MD events. The drum off event between Neil and Calhoun was kind of like a boxing match where one guy doesnt know youre supposed to throw punches, and doesnt mind getting hit either, all the while not feeling any pain when getting hit. That was Neil, and Calhoun was Tyson, and you know what kind of guy Tyson was. Meaning that, Calhoun was relentless, and kind of dickish as it turned out. Neil never seemed to be confrontational in anything, as far as I gleaned from old interviews, and it prob got him in trouble (in older interviews.) So he just played along, literally and figuratively prob, being the nice kid from St. Catherine's.

So with this event, he was asked by good friend Cathy Rich (Buddy's daughter), and it blossomed when word got out that Neil was playing. Let's put it this way, without Neil, there would have been much less people. However, the pro-Neil crowd, and bc it was a majority, still respected the other drummers playing and tried to be as vocal as they could for all performers. How can you not be when you see Steve Smith and Smitty battle it off. They actually did a great drum duel.


But poor Neil, his mechanics and 4 piece set up were close if not exact to his live set up (pre-Freddie Gruber) minus all the other pieces. The ride was still way right, the cymbals were too high (for jazz anyways), he had to use yamaha bass pedals and the snare was below his navel. All vastly diff from his playing style now, which caters to both rock and jazz. All about ergonomics. Look at his left arm, on the snare, its moving like a rock drummer. You can even see Neil turning his head to the left a lot, trying to listen for the cues, that he apparently couldnt hear very well. Plus he had very little rehearsal time. All valid excuses in my book for a perfectionist. It's like me being a doc, (not a surgeon) asking to perform open heart, bc, 'he is doc right?' Maybe not the best analogy but you get my point. I could do it, but it might be a wee bit messy, and there may be casualties.

now, look at Buddy playing Cotton Tail,


you can see the ease at which he plays it, (well it is *his* song) the result and reward basically of playing jazz and big band since the age of 7-8 (he started earlier, but he got into jazz later)

BUT, I give it up to the man, that took HUMONGOUS BALLS for him to get up there to play. Awesome and MAD RESPECT from me. All in All, I heard the event did its purpose, providing a scholarship to talented individuals, and brought Neil out of his comfort shell a bit, in a very public forum and he laid it out there for everyone.

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