Clockwork Angels: The Novel paperback edition now available

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 9:15AM

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#52 - Posted 5/18/14 @7:47AM by Denny Crane [contact]

@ #50

Seconds Out was a 100 percent LIVE recording. ESL was a combination of live and studio effort. Not overly hard to make something sound good given this type of "musical freedom".

ESL is still awesome and probably one of the greatest live concerts ever.

DC
#51 - Posted 5/17/14 @11:34AM by CraigJ [contact]

I am a web application developer and I hand code everything in a text editor (BBEdit) WYSIWYG editors are for pussies.
#50 - Posted 5/17/14 @9:24AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

Although I really like "Second's Out" by Genesis, I still feel that "Exit... Stage Left" is better and I have held that opinion for almost 33 years. Of course, later this month will be an anniversary for me, of a sort. It will mark 17 years since I had started creating my now (long-archived) website. Here is a page from that website, now almost 17 years old:

link


Back in those days, you had to know how to use HTML. While most individuals had created a few pages, I had created a website with numerous pages.
#49 - Posted 5/16/14 @5:32AM by GrahamW [contact]

dinoman - all great points. It still all feels a little confused to me though, like it had too many directors and not enough focus on continuity and detail - something i've admired in the band for ever. I don't know... it just feels too rushed, excuse the pun. But still a great great album, and one of my favourites.
#48 - Posted 5/15/14 @10:24PM by HighFidelityRob [contact]

"Seconds Out" is an amazing album.
#47 - Posted 5/15/14 @4:47PM by dinoman [contact]

Also, regarding BU2B - I think it fits well where they put it (though I guess it would've worked quite well as the first song), but I think the intro should've been used as a "part 2" maybe after Carnies - it feels a little mournful, like the narrator is beginning to have doubts about his beliefs. Then, BU2B2 (which would now be "part 3" would come after Wreckers - his beliefs of how the world works have been shattered, he's beaten but not fully defeated. There's a distinct negativity, but also a glimmer of hope. Then Headlong Flight, which puts aside regrets and looks back on the life's experience as a whole; good and bad parts are irrelevant, because they all are part of what made him who he is now.

Sorry to pontificate so much - I'm procrastinating.
#46 - Posted 5/15/14 @4:40PM by dinoman [contact]

Graham,
Keep in mind that, at least according to the interviews that were coming out prior to the release of CA, originally it sounded like there was going to be 4 or 5 songs that formed a concept - not the entire album. It would seem that they (Neil) rewrote some of the other songs to better fit with the overall theme and create one narrative. Certainly Halo Effect, Headlong Flight (aside from the chorus), Wish Them Well, and The Garden (aside from the Watchmaker references) easily stand on their own. Actually, I would make the same argument for BU2B - sounds like it would've fit in well on S&A - even with the Watchmaker references.
Likewise, Caravan, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Carnies, 7CoG, and The Wreckers make a pretty coherent story.
I would tend not to think that this was on purpose to lessen the "preachiness" of Neil's lyrics, especially considering that BU2B was one of the first releases, before we really had a good idea of the conceptual thread. In fact, I remember a lot of disgruntled fans on this board when that one came out.
#45 - Posted 5/15/14 @4:31PM by CraigJ [contact]

#44, yes I listened to that the other day because someone mentioned it here. Even on YouTube it's quite good. I haven't listened to Three Sides Live recently, but my memory tells me that it's pretty good as well.
found this: link

Or just do what they did with ESL. I don't mind overdubs and studio fixes if it leads to a better end product. Broon's Bane -> The Trees -> Xanadu is damn near perfect.
#44 - Posted 5/15/14 @3:32PM by Denny Crane [contact]

However the recording was done for "Seconds Out" by Genesis should be the gold standard for live concerts. Incredible.

DC
#43 - Posted 5/15/14 @3:08PM by CraigJ [contact]

Whatever the process used to record Grace Under Pressure should be the gold standard. Just use that.
#42 - Posted 5/15/14 @2:37PM by jiminseattle [contact]

I would say that is a fairly fair assessment. I think it is the end of the process that needs tweaking. Don't know about everything in between.
#41 - Posted 5/15/14 @12:47PM by drummerboy2112

Is the following a Valid statement:

Nick R. is considered a revolutionary/genius in the Rush camp?
Or is he someone who the boys know they can knock around as needed bc he's a fanboy that happened to incredibly receive a Grammy on a record so inferior (foo's) to let's say a moving pictures that didn't even get nominated for one? (sure yyz did, but not an album so perfect that it scared the grammy voters into mediocrity)

such is the state of the music industry behind and in front of the mixing console.

If so, and either way, expect more of the same.

Another record recorded specifically for dre beats or iphone headphones, heavy on bass, poor dynamics and levels as high as possible without distortion....scratch that, who cares if there is a little distortion
#40 - Posted 5/15/14 @12:27PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Well written Graham. The first time I heard the album I thought the title track was kind of weak. Now it is my second favorite song on the album next to The Anarchist. I am so stoked to hear what they come up with next if anything.
#39 - Posted 5/15/14 @8:19AM by GrahamW [contact]

My feelings on CA and subsequent book / comic are mixed.

When I first listened to the album I was blown away by it, the sheer audacity that anyone would write a successful concept album in the 21st century was just astounding. It was my kinda thing, I love Neil's fantasy themed stuff - the nerd in me is still very much alive and kicking - and it was filled with inspiration and imagery that I wanted to translate to line and colour.

There was always a sinister underlying impression though that still won't go away... the feeling that the steampunk concept was shoehorned in to yet another collection of Neil's opinions and sentiments at a later date so as not to alienate a huge portion of fans against his somewhat egocentric and increasingly (though understandably) negative beliefs and attitude towards life.

Pretty much any song on the album could've been inserted into any other and would easily stand alone as a competent Rush track if you removed the odd 'watchmaker' and 'steamliner' here and there, and considering the huge gaps in the storyline and inconsistent narrative (BU2B should come before Caravan and Seven Cities of Gold has no place in there at all), I suspect the entire concept was strongly suggested later in the writing process by those in charge to please us oldskool concept die-hards and 'save' us from what they might have considered excessive negative preaching.

I hate thinking like this because I love the album as it stands. The imagery it conjures is rich and exciting, especially the most coherent section of 4 songs - Angels, Anarchist, Carnies, Halo, and although the novel and graphic novel are again inconsistent with the album they do serve to publicise the band in a wider arena, so more power to them. But they're not for me. I'm a Rush purist, and the studio album is the only true source of my inspiration - no need to expand, clarify or justify - it's all already in there if one listens hard enough.
#38 - Posted 5/15/14 @1:57AM by cagster [contact]

I Love Clockwork Angels, In my truck, at home and especially in the suv. For some reason the suv sounds clear, dynamic and really awesome.
#37 - Posted 5/15/14 @1:44AM by ToadBrother [contact]

I don't think albums serve the same purpose they did 35 years ago. Back then a band, and in particular a songwriter could make decent money off of royalties alone. Heck, John Lennon made millions in royalties while only playing a handful of gigs in the last 14 years of his life.

Now albums at best pay their production costs and are essentially loss leaders for tours, where the real money is. So it's little wonder that producers just don't care about sound quality. A fair chunk of music consumers are listening to crap low sample rate MP3s via ear buds, so fidelity rates very low in an engineer's mind.
#36 - Posted 5/15/14 @12:23AM by drummerboy2112

I meant to say *almost* every cd
#35 - Posted 5/14/14 @11:30PM by drummerboy2112

@#34, our ears are most likely fine, since we all concur that every rush cd, most notably 2112, hemi, mp, pew, gup, pow and hyf, and even cp, sound amazing, even to our 40+ yr old ears! we are just trying to defend rush to the bitter end, bc it's not the boys fault, it's nicks, and rich's.

The drums are the foundation that the song is built on, when it comes to recording, and that was all nick. If the frequencies of the floor toms and bass drum are so low, and loud and long, well then you can imaging what the other instruments have to do to find their place in the mix, and most of the time, their respective volumes are just turned up and that was all rich. The mastering of this cd is also a sore point. But it may have been sabotaged by the mix and there was only one solution, and that was again to just push the levels. Too bad, the dynamics of the cd had no chance.
#34 - Posted 5/14/14 @10:24PM by chuteski [contact]

I'm starting to wonder how much our ears have to do with this. I think a lot of us are older than we can believe and forget that we used to listen to music WAY too loud, on sub-par equipment, only for the sake of loudness. Driving away from High School could be an example. I only bring this up because my wife came home today and said "Clockwork Angels into The Anarchist into Carnies is totally awesome, anyone who says that disk doesn't sound great is full of shit". Her words, not mine. She is slightly younger than me, slightly, and she never listened to music too loud until she met me. Her ears are certainly better than mine and I would be in the camp that says Clockwork Angels is a bit muddy.
#33 - Posted 5/14/14 @8:53PM by broughttoyoubytheletterj [contact]

Unfortunately, $30,000 studio monitors arent going to make alot of difference than listening through my 4 way Infinity's...
CwA sounds better through headphones (no joke) and it's a format I rarely use.
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