Happy 20th anniversary Counterparts!

Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 10:44AM

WELCOME ! Please Leave a comment

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#50 - Posted 11/6/13 @2:37PM by What-A-Rush

I consider 'Counterparts' to be a solid album, but NOT a truly great one. It's shining moments are 'Cold Fire', 'Nobody's Hero', 'Animate', and 'Leave That Thing Alone'. I do agree with others who said that their return to "heavy" guitar is arguably the MAIN reason why the album was a breath of fresh air for some fans at the time, and understandably so. However, there's no doubt in my mind that the guys were CLEARLY paying attention to the rock scene in the 90's as they commenced work on the album. Nothing wrong with that, mind you! A lot of great music came from that era. For better or worse, Alex was definitely in the driver's seat on 'Counterparts', DESERVEDLY, I might add. Overall, the "best" Rush album of that decade. Three out of five stars. Great comments everybody pro and con.
#49 - Posted 10/22/13 @11:40PM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

If they'd released "Between Sun and Moon" as a radio single, this album would have gone platinum, or closer to it at least.
#48 - Posted 10/22/13 @11:37AM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

Just listened to all the tunes. favorites- Safe and Sound, Hide my Crazy, Cardiac and Pretty Girls. Something Soft...different but o.k.- Magical...not my cup of tea, too boy-bandy, but hey these are younger guys and they have to appeal to a younger audience as well right? Can hear Big Al's influence for sure! Although like I said, they still remind me of The Killer's. They sure know how to write good, catchy tunes and it's evident that they can play and I'm sure they have nothing but good things in store for them! I'm going to buy their album on i-tunes.
#47 - Posted 10/22/13 @11:16AM by Jodeo [contact]

Since my moment of inspiration (see #34) I've taken my diatribe, cleaned it up a little, and posted to Amazon. I haven't given CP a proper listen in a few years so it's on my radio today. And my review was right on. 5 stars.


#46 - Posted 10/22/13 @10:43AM by Jediyyz [contact]

Thanks for listening Jupe. His band does their own thing music wise, but his playing has the influence of Alex written all over. link This is their cite....any interest can only help a new band attempting to be heard....sound familiar?
#45 - Posted 10/22/13 @8:39AM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

#43- Just listened to "Safe and Sound". Very good! Sound reminds me of The Killers. I'll check out more of their tunes for sure.

Hey pali just call me jupe or Rob if you want, no need to write out that stupid username!
#44 - Posted 10/21/13 @11:25PM by palidrummer11 [contact]

jupeguyowensound, no problem!!
#43 - Posted 10/21/13 @10:12PM by Jediyyz [contact]

Speaking of recommending new music, my son plays guitar for a Seattle
Based band called "These Young Fools". He grew up a huge Rush fan,
And lists Alex Lifeson as his number one guitar influence. Please check
Out this review and give their music a listen. link
#42 - Posted 10/21/13 @7:02PM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

Thanks for the insights pali!
#41 - Posted 10/21/13 @7:00PM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

hey mgrushfan. check out a band called Maze of Time. Album, Tales from The Maze.- songs, Ocean of Dreams, The Maze. Similar to Phideaux. Just stumbled upon these guys on i-tunes.
#40 - Posted 10/21/13 @7:00PM by palidrummer11 [contact]


I personally play DW's and they are amazing! Very unique, WARM sound. I can see why Neil made the switch- I think he wanted a fuller sound. His other drum sets all sounded amazing as well (especially his old Tama's), but DW's are very warm (it's the best way I can describe it). I can also see why a lot of people hate them. They're not as thin sounding as his older drums, and their warmth can be seen as muddiness. I personally disagree with those people though. Also, in the drummer world, DW Drums are seen as one of the top brand name drums. Many people buy DW's for the name- sort of like Apple products, I guess. But there's definitely a reason why nearly every single drummer you see on TV (talk show house bands, etc.), and Neil Peart, use DW.
#39 - Posted 10/21/13 @5:37PM by ITheJury [contact]

Let me first say - Jodeo (#34), awesome post! I'll be returning to that...

Counterparts is special to me as it is the first and only Rush album I had in my hands almost the minute it got released. I lived a few blocks from a Tower Records which opened at 9 AM and I was back home listening before 9:30. I was lucky to be a student without class that morning!

While I've come to appreciate the Rupert Hine albums more since, I'd been disappointed in Roll The Bones. I missed the "beef" in the albums prior to Presto. For example, Hold Your Fire might not be a rock album but I found the songs thick and enveloping. They had a quiet intensity.

When I pressed play on Counterparts and was greeted with Animate's FAT drums and the growling keys / guitar sound, I grinned.

Overall I friggin' *loved* the album (yes, including Stick It Out!), for many reasons that others have expressed so well already.

The only things I didn't care for, and don't to this day...

* Cold Fire (I'm in the minority on this one, though Jodeo has made me look at it differently)
* Between Sun and Moon chorus
* Geddy's voice felt too restrained in parts (like the Cut to the Chase chorus)

Speed of Love I didn't, um, "love," but certainly liked. Never knew exactly how to describe why and Jodeo said it perfectly - "hypnotic." Also, Jodeo - Animate's solo section always felt odd to me but I've never thought about it how you describe!

I can appreciate how this album is NOT a favorite to many. Syaoran_2001 (#5), my brother-in-law and I bonded over a love of Rush - especially '80s Rush - but we'll always be split on Counterparts. He feels just as you do.

Anyway, really enjoying the reminiscence! No WAY has it been 20 years. 10, maybe. :-)
#38 - Posted 10/21/13 @2:16PM by MajorSkalle [contact]

Counterparts is among my absolute favourite Rush records. And like a lot of other people around these (counter)parts, I'd also love to hear Cut to the Chase live along with Everyday Glory. We can only hope.
#37 - Posted 10/21/13 @1:05PM by rolroldan [contact]

Counterparts was my first Rush live show. I saw them at the Palace in 1994. I traveled from Mexico for this show and really enjoyed this first experience (I was a fan since first time I heard ESL 10 years before)
#36 - Posted 10/21/13 @12:06PM by bluesh

My first show was on this tour. Great memories from this time period. I'll never forget hearing Stick it Out on the radio for the first time. I remember thinking "They're Back!" It may not be everyone's favorite song but for the first time in years they were heavy! Also an often overlooked song "Cut to the Chase" is still in my top ten favorite songs.
#35 - Posted 10/21/13 @11:42AM by Jodeo [contact]

#34: "Alien Short" *snicker!* Now I'm picturing a green-skinned Ed Grimley, I must say...
#34 - Posted 10/21/13 @11:40AM by Jodeo [contact]

Oh, why not. Everyone else has so far...

Counterparts was a hard record for me to get into, but I did get into it. And loved it.

Animate was particularly hard at first: That droning Hammond organ was distracting - too up front in the mix for me, but eventually, after enough listens it falls back. I loved the rhythm of the song, and then the solo breaks the song's intentional pace down as if the song itself is deferring to its own feminine nature. But what do I know? I especially love the live version on DS.

Stick It Out was fun, but to me really more of a Rushified rock/metal song in response to the rock of that period, Rush seems to say 'this is how it oughta be done.' I've heard Neil isn't too fond of playing it live, though.

Cut to the Chase is absolutely brilliant! Rush hadn't had a song like this, sonically, before - nor have they since. It's truly a bright gem in their collection and NEEDS TO BE PERFORMED LIVE. My second favorite track on the record.

Nobody's Hero had a certain spirit to it, akin to Closer to the Heart and (later) Resist, not because of the prominence of the acoustic guitar, but just the overall nature of the song. Despite its melodic, easy-to-sing-along qualities it's uncomfortable in its lyrical themes around tragedies. A fine song for sure, but one I rarely revisit.

Between Sun and Moon is a 'love it or hate it' song, with some nice nods to The Who among other influences. I'm closer to the later camp, though I do give it the occasional listen to shake things up.

Alien Short is another amazing song: The dynamics ebb and flow from this manic intensity to a sort of fun, conniving reserve in the verses, only to break loose again going into the verses. And that solo - for some reason it feels like it's drawing sonic influences out of the 70s (in general). One of my favorite understated solos - that's hard to achieve, and Alex masterfully does so. This song has a lot of 'light and shade' in my opinion, something Jimmy Page said of Zep's music. But that's just my take, not his.

The Speed of Love is this sort of cleansing breath on the record. Half-way in, the guys seem to give us a track that is inspired by Bravado's unusual and endearing composition, but one that is more hypnotic and introspective. Unfortunately, I find the rolling snare drum portion coming out the bridge totally out of place with the rest of the song. (If only they had hired ME to produce that track! I tell ya!) What's worse is that it's awkwardly positioned before the most oddball song on the record, which makes listening to it harder in album order.

Double Agent: One of the last songs recorded for the record and written by The Rockin' Constructivists (if I remember correctly). This is not a song, it's an event. The concert video for this song - which I haven't seen in 20 years - haunts me still, but this song shows how effortless these guys can abandon their comfort zones and create something harsh and beautiful. I like this song, but again only on occasion. I don't want to get used to it. It's just too bold for casual listening.

Leave That Thing Alone should've swapped places with Double Agent to pull us out of Speed of Love a bit more gracefully. Alas. This is a cool instrumental, pulling the organ back in (which I think is a cool contrast to Presto's piano, btw). There's a nice simplicity to the song, one that accentuates the more complex passages and riffs that come along. It's the un-YYZ, and if both songs were people they'd be best of friends (probably singing Alien Shore to each other).

Cold Fire - I'm sorry, why isn't this track #2 on the record? Great song that, like Alien Shore, ebbs and flows between emotional exploration and grinding intent. Very radio-friendly, and I loved the counterpoint background vocals in the chorus - different, and cool.

Everyday Hero is Breathtaking. It's truly an amazing song. And it's an exceptional way to close an exceptional record: This amazing, full-on blend of drama and concern with optimism and hope. "No matter what they say." He just keeps saying it over and over, as if to say that this record is full of relationships - within self, with adversaries, with opportunity, with loved ones, with reality, with those who are different, with our mate, with our fears, and now with our circumstances. "No matter what they say." For better or for worse, there is hope and a reason for optimism. But we're the ones who have to fly. Sonically it's gorgeous and seems to capture so much of what came before on the record. It sort of ties it all together and sends us off with that message, that each of us has an everyday glory waiting to be pursued. And it does so with such powerful music.

I'd love to hear Cut To The Chase and Everyday Glory played live, but have my doubts it'll happen. Still I'm pleased these songs - all of them - were crafted and conveyed to us on such an amazing record.
#33 - Posted 10/21/13 @10:43AM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

#19- I always wondered why Neil switched to DW's after Counterparts and I just read an interesting article from an old DRUM!(Drumming for fanatics) and he says "Why the switch to the DW's? Once again I did a side by side taste test during the songwriting period,trying about six different brands in a real thorough comparison-because I had the time to give each one a proper test,and in the studio,where I could hear the results recorded on real songs."
Another article he says that him and Gump agree that his TMTour kit is the best sounding set of drums either one of them has ever heard.
So my question is why so much hatred for the DW's from so many drummers on this site? Are Neil's (and Gump's) ears totally f*#ked or is it just preference. I know a lot of drummers are vehemently loyal to their brand.
Just wondering also and this may be naive but what would Neil get paid for endorsing DW drums? Sabian? ProMark, etc? Anyone have any insite to this type of thing or is it just free stuff?
#32 - Posted 10/21/13 @10:22AM by Rubinowits [contact]

That g. solo from Cut to the Chase rules. It's one of his last guitar god shredding solos. The Cold Fire solo rules as well.
#31 - Posted 10/21/13 @10:21AM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

#31-dinoman. I really like "Everyday Glory" and the lyric that moves me most is "though we know that time has wings, we're the ones who have to fly." Also Ged's vocals are really good on that tune imho.
I like "Animate" but remember on the T4E Tour or R30 (or both?) that as soon as "Animate" started about 1/4 of the crowd got up and left for the can or beer lines.
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