Vital Signs: Background

“‘Vital Signs’ closes the picture show, continuing the softly pulsing legacy of exploring what can be called exotic, technology-steeped reggae, a slight and side preoccupation began one record previous [Permanent Waves], to be revisited on Signals, double that on Grace Under Pressure.”—Martin Popoff, Contents Under Pressure

In the piece, “free will is assumed, as well as our capacity to choose our dreams based on our basic values. ‘Vital Signs’ specifies virtues which must be developed and fully engaged if our dreams are to be realized. The quirky, even funky rhythms and relatively spare arrangement sonically frame a passionate plea to avoid the vice of conformity and actualize our dreams through courage and persistence.”—Neil Florek, Rush and Philosophy

“The song [the last on the album] reprises many of the themes of Moving Pictures: the inability to absorb all the events flashing by and the struggle to achieve balance.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

“We purposefully left one song still unwritten with a view of writing it in the studio. Eclectic in the extreme, it embraces a wide variety of stylistic influences, ranging from the sixties to the present [1981]. Lyrically, it derives from my response to ‘Technospeak,’ the language of electronics and computers, which often seem to parallel the human machine, in the functions and interrelationships they employ. It is interesting, if not irrelevant, to speculate as to whether we impose our nature on the machines we build, or whether they are merely governed by the same inscrutable laws of nature as we [are]. (A Rush Newsreel) That song took about three tours to catch on. It was kind of a baby for us. We kept playing it and wouldn’t give up. . . . It opens up so many musical approaches. Everything we wanted in the song is there. So, it’s very special for us. But we had to wait. We had to be patient and wait for the audience to understand us.” (Guitar, 1986)—Neil in Merely Players

“Keeping with the album themes, there’s even a cinematic touch in the line ‘pause rewind replay.’ Geddy actually sings ‘evelate’ instead of ‘elevate’ near the end.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

For a little more on the “evelate” matter, go here.

More about “Vital Signs”

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~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.

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