‘Headlong Flight’ Described as ‘Pure Genius’
Rush is a Band has been keeping its readers informed as Rush prepares to release “Headlong Flight,” its next single from Clockwork Angels. April 19 is the expected release date (June 12 for the full album), but all or part of the piece could be made available in some form before then. Music journalists who attended a listening party for the album hosted by the band’s new label, Roadrunner Records, describe the single as 7.5 minutes of epic-styled adventure along the lines of “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” but with a decidedly updated sound. Rush is a Band reader DJ_Carter describes the piece in its entirety here.
“Holy Fucking Shit!!!!! 7 and a half minutes of pure genius!!!!!!”
“I haven’t had goosebumps like this in years. This is Rush at their finest. Seriously. Fuck this is amazing.”
“New Rush song sounds like updated “By-Tor.” Epic, cool guitar break downs. “I stoke the fires of the big steel wheels. . . “—Dominic Nardella – Sirius XM
” . . . losing control of my bladder during the massive Alex Lifeson solo.”—Mike Hsu – WAAF in Boston
“Old school RUSH fans rejoice! It ROCKS 74-77 era! Just awesome!!”—Grover Collins – WUBE/WYGY in Cincinnati
“It’s awesome. #ByTorIsASnowDog.”—Lou Brutus, Sirius XM
You can get all the commentary from Twitter so far on Rush is a Band, or by following #rushisaband, but the above quotes are a sampling of reactions to “Headlong Flight” that are on the Rush is a Band blog.
Amazon is making the MP3 download of “Headlong Flight”
available April 20, the day after the April 19 radio release of the single.
You can hear 30 seconds of “Headlong Flight” in the album teaser the band released last week:
Not everyone loves “Headlong Flight.” Read criticism.
From what the blog is reporting, Roadrunner Records is going to make this a major release, throwing a lot of marketing into the album. There will be a lot of interviews, with cover treatment on classic rock magazines like Classic Rock and MOJO. Radio interviews are in the works, too.
The title track is a multi-part piece about a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, according to sci-fi writer Kevin J. Anderson, who’s writing a novelization of the concept with Neil for release later this year. The young man is “caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.”
The two earlier releases from the album, “Caravan” and “Brought Up to Believe,” are the first two parts of the title piece. Geddy has said in a Billboard interview that Clockwork Angels as a whole will have fewer overdubs than Snakes and Arrows. “As happy as we were with that record, in retrospect I feel we kind of overdid it with overdubs. We’d like to simplify that, just in terms of making sure the guitar, bass and drum sounds are big and loud and clear, and any time we are going to add an overdub, to make sure that it definitely is adding and not subtracting.”
Neil has said he wants the album to represent his “highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise.” He’s also said the drumming on the album will be far more spontaneous than what he’s done previously. On previous albums, he says, he would spend days by himself memorizing the odd numbers of beats, bars, and measures in each song. This time around, rather than commit the arrangements to memory, he only played through the pieces a few times, then brought in producer Nick Raskulinecz (Booujzhe) to act as his guide. More on this.