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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alex Lifeson discusses Vapor Trails Remixed in new Classic Rock interview
11:40AM EST | comments (54) |

Rush will finally be releasing the long-awaited remix/remaster of their 2002 album Vapor Trails on Monday, September 30th. The album will be made available for purchase individually on CD or Vinyl, or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set which releases the next day on October 1st. Alex Lifeson recently spoke with Classic Rock magazine about Vapor Trails Remixed and revealed why the original sound of the album bothered him:

The original mastering was the problem. It was poorly done. At the time we should have remastered. It bothered us forever - particularly Geddy, who had the task of remastering of the original album and feels responsible for it. It irked him for many years. The original version is hard on your ears, because the mastering was pushed so hard, there's distortion and so much compression - I found it very difficult to listen to it.

Alex goes on to talk about David Bottrell - who headed up the remix effort - and also explains how the new mix is different from the original:

It's much more pleasurable to listen to. Now, everything's open, you can hear everything, and everything has its place. It's so well-balanced. There's a sort of creaminess and a smoothness to the sound of it. It's so much more dynamic. Before, everything was just balls to the wall. Now it breathes.

Alex also touches on the band's future plans:

No. There are no definitive discussions about [touring] at this point. Right now it's only been a month since we got home and we really need three or four months to get it out of our system and then see what we feel like doing. But I think we're looking at spring of 2015 as the probable time to get back going again. ... Ged's been collecting bass guitars like a madman. He's covered the walls with all these vintage basses. He's playing them, and he's not one for playing when we're not touring. So I'm wondering if maybe he and I will sit down in the new year and do something. I'm just speculating. I'm not saying there are any plans for writing or anything like that. But if he's goofing around with his basses, that's a good sign for me.

You can read the entire interview online here. You can listen to some 30-second sample clips of the album online here. The clips are low-quality mp3s, but you can definitely still hear the difference from the original mix. 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.

Related Posts:
[Rush Vapor Trails Remixed 30-second sample clips now available]
[Long-awaited Vapor Trails remix coming October 1st, now available for pre-order]

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#54 - Posted 9/21/13 @8:05AM by MGRushFan

Yes, I remember that Roll The Bones issue. I had forgotten about it, but it is definitely audible (the Sawyer sweep), and I wondered at the time how that could fall thru the editing cracks.
#53 - Posted 9/21/13 @7:37AM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

There's also audio of a trainwreck(you tube) during the start of TSOR.Also what I always thought was weird was that they put a version of Red Sector A on either R30 or Snakes & Arrows as a bonus track and the entire guitar solo section sounded like a trainwreck, seems like the timing was way off(not Alex but Neil). Then there's the version of Roll The Bones where the Tom Sawyer synth keeps getting triggered through the whole song. I always wondered why they would include these flubs on a DVD but a guess it shows they are human. Nobody's perfect.
Going to check out some more Phideaux this aft.
#52 - Posted 9/20/13 @7:39PM by MGRushFan

Thanks Jupe, yes it's always in the choruses. There are three choruses in that song, and every one has a slightly different timing, like a one measure shift that happens in the first chorus, doesn't happen in the second, and happens again in the third. I used to play along with this song as a mainstay of my practice sessions, and am intimately familiar with those timing idiosyncrasies. I can easily see how in the heat of the moment, it would be very easy to lose your place. What happens then is that the snare is hitting on the wrong beat, making Ged's vocals sound really awkward. I know Peart screws up on RIR. I think Earthshine is easily one of Rush's best songs.

In either case, the worst trainwreck I've ever observed personally was at the jones beach show on the vapor trails tour. Neil totally brainfarted on the transition to the middle section of Distant Early Warning, and the band then played a jazz improvisation until they found their place. you could literally feel the air being sucked out of the place, but they righted themselves and didn't dwell on it. In a way, I like those things because it shows they are human and they make mistakes like all of us.
#51 - Posted 9/20/13 @6:16PM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

mg's right about that and I always heard that they (or Neil) always mess up The Big Money live, near the end when the tempo changes near... big money got a mean streak...big money.....got no souulll. There always seems to be a hard spot there for them to "nail" and I was watching for it in Toronto and Hamilton during the CA Tour and....they missed it again but not as bad as some recordings. Nitpicking for sure but just an observation.
#50 - Posted 9/20/13 @4:24PM by MGRushFan

#48, that might be true about Earthshine if Peart didn't mess up the timing in the second chorus. He always seems to do that with that song. One of my all time favorite Rush tunes though.
#49 - Posted 9/20/13 @1:47PM by Redcygnus [contact]

#45 - Thanks for the info. I have the Rush Beyond the Lighted Stage DVD, but have not opened it. I just watch my DVR'd version from Palladia. I don't own the Rush in Rio CD.
#48 - Posted 9/20/13 @11:32AM by ToadBrother [contact]

Vapor Trails sits right next to Exit Stage Left as my top favorite Rush album. Eagerly looking forward to the remix, though I have no problem listening to the original either. Still, when you compare, say, the studio version of Earthshine with the live versions they released, you have to admit that more dynamics definitely adds to the power of that song.
#47 - Posted 9/20/13 @9:40AM by CowboyErik [contact]

VAPOR TRAILS is one in what was a continuous streak of PERFECT albums by RUSH. What "HURTS MY EARS" of CLOCKWORK Angels....... I would not have released it.
#46 - Posted 9/20/13 @8:37AM by CelestialMechanics [contact]

From day 1 on Vapor Trails, I literally get a headache from listening to it. I love the songs. Ceiling Unlimited and Secret Touch are my favorites but I can't listen to this CD without getting a headache. It's the only CD ever to do this to me.
The good news is, on the remix, we have two versions now. I don't see a downside to it.
#45 - Posted 9/20/13 @5:43AM by snowdog2113 [contact]

#44 - I'm not sure what you're getting at because there are not one but two officially released recordings of Between Sun and Moon from the Vapor Trails tour. The video version from opening night in Hartford that's a bonus on Beyond the Lighted Stage, and the separate audio version recorded in Phoenix in Sept. 2002 that's one of the bonus songs on the Rush in Rio CD.

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