Permanent Waves is the seventh studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released on January 14, 1980, through Anthem Records. After touring to support their previous album, Hemispheres (1978), the band regrouped in July 1979 to work on material for a follow-up. This period marked a shift in the group’s sound characterized by more concise arrangements and radio friendly songs, such as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill”, though their progressive rock blueprint is still evident with the over nine-minute closer “Natural Science”. The two former tracks were performed live before Rush entered the studio. Permanent Waves was recorded later in 1979 at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec with production handled by the group and Terry Brown.
Permanent Waves received a mostly positive reception from critics, and became the band’s most successful album at the time of release, reaching No. 3 in Canada and the UK and No. 4 in the US. The album was certified platinum in the latter by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling one million copies. Rush released “The Spirit of Radio” as a single in March 1980 and toured in support of the album in 1979 and 1980.
1. “The Spirit of Radio” 4:58
2. “Freewill” 5:23
3. “Jacob’s Ladder” 7:50
4. “Entre Nous” 4:37
5. “Different Strings” 3:50
6. “Natural Science” 9:27
Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer, Minimoog synthesizer, Taurus pedal synthesizer, Oberheim OB-1 synthesizer
Alex Lifeson – electric and acoustic six- and twelve-string guitars, Taurus pedals
Neil Peart – drums, timpani, timbales, orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, bell tree, triangle, crotales, cover concept