Today is the 35th anniversary of the release of Rush's 6th studio album and progressive rock masterpiece, Hemispheres, which was released on October 29, 1978. Hemispheres was produced by Terry Brown and recorded in the summer of 1978 at Rockfield Studios in South Wales, UK. It peaked at #47 on the US Billboard charts, was certified Gold on December 14, 1978 and was certified Platinum on December 1, 1993. A remastered version was also released in 1997 and yet another remastered version was released in 2011 as part of the Sectors box set. Just last month Audio Fidelity released an SACD version of the album as well. Here's what the allmusic review has to say about the album:
While such albums as 1980's Permanent Waves and 1981's Moving Pictures are usually considered Rush's masterpieces (and with good reason), 1978's Hemispheres is just as deserving. Maybe the fact that the album consists of only four compositions (half are lengthy pieces) was a bit too intimidating for some, but the near 20-minute-long "Cygnus X-1 Book II - Hemispheres" is arguably the band's finest extended track. While the story line isn't as comprehensible as "2112" was, it's much more consistent musically, twisting and turning through five different sections which contrast heavy rock sections against more sedate pieces. Neil Peart had become one of rock's most accomplished lyricists by this point, as evidenced by "The Trees," which deals with racism and inequality in a unique way (set in a forest!). And as always, the trio prove to be experts at their instruments, this time on the complex instrumental "La Villa Strangiato." Geddy Lee's shrieking vocals on the otherwise solid "Circumstances" may border on the irritating, but Hemispheres remains one of Rush's greatest releases.
Today also marks the 28th anniversary of the 1985 release of Power Windows, and the 32nd anniversary of the 1981 release of Exit ... Stage Left. Here's a 1979 live performance of La Villa Strangiato from the PinkPop festival: