Making modern music

Rush, Signals and the limits of creative transgression

Authors

  • Andy Bennett Griffith University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.36832

Keywords:

Rush, Signals, rock music, pop, technology, heritage

Abstract

Released in September 1982, the album Signals by Canadian band Rush marked a dramatic musical shift for the band away from the hard rock and progressive rock styles that had earned them success during the 1970s to the pop styles of the early 1980s. Signals took fans and music critics by surprise at the time of its release and was also responsible in part for Rush’s decision to part company with long-term producer Terry Brown given his apparent ambivalence about the new musical direction suggested by the album. This article offers a critical reappraisal of Signals and its place in Rush’s musical legacy. Thus, it is argued, in an era when the heavy and progressive rock styles on which Rush had based much of their musical output up to that point became temporarily unfashionable, Signals provided Rush with a renewed level of artistic currency as a band able to re-invent itself in a way that was relatively unique among heavy and progressive rock artists at the time.

Author Biography

Andy Bennett, Griffith University

Andy Bennett is Professor of Cultural Sociology in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. He has written and edited numerous books including Popular Music and Youth Culture, Music, Style and Aging and Music Scenes (co-edited with Richard A. Peterson).

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Published

2019-12-16

How to Cite

Bennett, A. (2019). Making modern music: Rush, Signals and the limits of creative transgression. Popular Music History, 11(3), 191-209. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.36832

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