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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Mon, Jul 15, 2024

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson on the making of A Farewell to Kings in new Prog magazine interview

Tue, Nov 14, 2017@9:34PM | comments

UPDATE - 11/17@3:23PM: John at has transcribed the article and made it available online here.

UPDATE - 11/17@9:40AM: The entire 12-page feature is now available for download on issuu, pages 34-45 (thanks RushFanForever). In addition to the main article/interview with Geddy and Alex, there's a sidebar piece where they speak with Terry Brown (available online here), along with 10 inserts where several different prog rock artists explain what A Farewell to Kings means to them (available online here).

UPDATE - 11/16@9:05AM: has also posted their interview with Terry Brown from the Rush A Farewell to Kings cover feature.

Rush's A Farewell to Kings celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and is the centerpiece of the cover feature in the latest edition of Prog Magazine. Prog's Philip Wilding chats with Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and producer Terry Brown to discuss the making of the album, its place in the Rush discography and the band's upcoming box set celebrating the album's anniversary. The issue will hit newsstands in the UK this coming Thursday, November 16th, and Prog has posted a preview of the feature online here:

... "Those knocking sounds at the beginning of Xanadu," says Lee, rapping on the oak table between us for effect, "that's the sound of the courtyard, the natural sound of that square. We got such a nice reflection off the buildings, we knew we could use them in some way.

"The guitar at the start of A Farewell To Kings, the title song, was recorded outside too. The acoustic was recorded out there to get that really crisp sound and I remember Alex was walking around this mic that Terry had set up while he was playing. He was just like a troubadour - he was playing as he walked around and, naturally, every troubadour has his guy trailing behind him playing a Minimoog!

"So I'm playing the Minimoog outside and Neil's hitting the twinklies or whatever he was hitting off the front of that - he was always hitting something - and Alex is walking around this mic recording the opening to A Farewell To Kings, so it was quite fun. You can hear the Welsh birds singing in the background, unless they flew in from somewhere else - they could be accidentals, as they're called in the trade.

"Farewell... was quite a different piece for us, because of the way the intro's structured, and then it comes in with a bang and there's this weird time signature going on. It's a tough song to play."...

Rush's A Farewell to Kings 40th anniversary box set is slated for release in just a few weeks on Friday, December 1st. The band has made streaming audio versions of the previously unreleased 1978 live versions of Closer to the Heart and Lakeside Park included in the box set available on YouTube and other streaming channels. You can listen to Closer to the Heart here, and Lakeside Park here. Fans can purchase either a 3-CD set, a 4-LP set or the Super Deluxe set as described here:

The A Farewell to Kings 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe version includes three CDs, one Blu-ray Audio disc and four high-quality 180-gram vinyl LPs.

The set encompasses the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album for the first time on CD; a complete Rush concert recorded in February 1978 at London's Hammersmith Odeon, newly mixed by longtime Rush engineer and original A Farewell to Kings producer Terry Brown from the multi-track live tapes; four newly-recorded cover versions of songs from the original album by Dream Theater, Big Wreck, The Trews and Alain Johannes; and an instrumental studio outtake of the spacey sound effects the band has creatively titled "Cygnus X-2 Eh."

The Hammersmith show features, for the first-time ever, over 34 minutes of unreleased performances including a complete "2112" suite, "Lakeside Park," a drum solo and "Closer To The Heart." The Super Deluxe Edition's audio content on its CDs is duplicated on its vinyl discs. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray Audio disc contains a brand new 5.1 surround mix of the album by four-time Grammy® nominated surround sound producer Steven Wilson, along with three original 1977 promo videos from a newly found 2-inch quad video master significantly improving the video quality for "Closer To The Heart." The Super Deluxe package also includes an elaborate new 40th anniversary cover treatment by longtime Rush creative director Hugh Syme, who has also created a new piece of artwork for each of the album's six songs, and an extensive 12,000-word liner notes by Grammy®-winning rock historian Rob Bowman.

Finally, The Super Deluxe Edition includes several exclusive items, including a unique King's Ring, with custom velvet pouch and neck chain; two lithographs with original artwork by Hugh Syme; a special 12-inch turntable mat featuring distinctive artwork by Hugh Syme; and a reproduction of Rush's original 1978 A Farewell To Kings tour program. ...

There's also a 1.5-minute promotional video highlighting the contents of the set which you can watch below or on YouTube. The set is now available for pre-order (3-CD set, 4-LP set, Super Deluxe set). There are also various merchandise bundles available via the Rush Backstage Club. Rush will also be celebrating the A Farewell to Kings 40th anniversary by participating in the Record Store Day Black Friday event on November 24th with the release of a 7-inch vinyl version of Closer to the Heart/Madrigal. Back in April Rush released a Cygnus X-1 12-inch 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl EP for Record Store Day, also in celebration of the album's 40th anniversary.