Rush Exit... Stage Left Drum Sound

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by saundr00, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby Thread Starter

    I've been listening to Rush's Exit... Stage Left tonight and noticed something I never caught on to.

    While listening to the first few tracks I realized that I wasn't in love with the sound of the drums. Then "Closer to the Heart" came on and the drums kicked major butt. Same for "Beneath, Between and Behind", and "Jacob's Ladder".

    I remembered that a few songs were recorded from the Permanent Waves tour in Glasgow and low and behold these were the ones with the much better (to my ears anyway) drum sound.

    Anybody else notice the difference? Any preferences one way or the other?

    Case in point: Jacob's Ladder about 6:30 in when Neil comes in over Alex's guitar and the synth pedals. I had to crank this way up tonight (sorry neighbors).

    BTW: I'm using the original cd, not the remaster.

    Any Rush fans out there?
  2. Greatest Hits

    Greatest Hits Just Another Compilation

    Probably just a different mic setup on the drums...
    Such small details can dramatically change the sound of a kit... the size of a venue... the types of mics... the mic placement... etc.
  3. rushyescrim

    rushyescrim Forum Resident

    Lutz, FL US
    on the tracks, red barchetta, tom sawyer and la villa strangiato, it sounds to me like neil is playing a different snare drum compared to the rest of the album. if memory serves me correctly, i believe that side 2 of the album (bangkok thru jacob's ladder) was recorded in the u.k while everything else was recorded in north america.
  4. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Resident

    Ringwood, NJ
    As far as I know, even though Neil went through a few drumset changes over the years, he always played a Slingerland Artist snare, with a solid maple shell (like the famous Radio Kings). He got the drum when he still played a Slingerland set, but kept the snare when he switched to Tama in 1978, then Ludwig in 1987. In the mid-90's, he retired it when he went with DW.

    He used that same Artist snare for around 25 years.

    You can hear EQ changes on that album. Listen closely to the YYZ solo. Someone adds low-mid EQ as he begins his snare workout. Really changes the character of the drum.

    Neil would have had Tama Superstars on that tour, with Evans heads on some of the toms. Around the time of Signals, he had Tama build him a 4-ply version of the normally thicker Superstars, and the Artstars were born.

    I don't think NP has had quite the same great sound since, IMO.

  5. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    You can hear the snare sound change in the middle of YYZ at one point. Or maybe it was an edit.
  6. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby Thread Starter

    I was pretty sure he was using the Tama's by 1980 but wasn't sure. Thanks for the info.

    Intrestingly, the snare was the main difference that I was hearing, but he has used that Slingerland snare forever, hasn't he?

    The snare sound on non-Glasgow tracks is much deeper. Almost sounds like a big military marching snare in some places. The Glasgow tracks have a much crisper, tighter snare sound to my ears.
  7. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby Thread Starter

    Sad but true. I loved the sound of the kit he was using for Test for Echo. Nice ringy low pitched floor toms. But when you combine that type of sound into the context of a rock album, you get mud IMO. :(

    Their instruments used to gel nicely on record, but now it seems less so.
  8. questrider

    questrider Forum Resident

    Middle, Nowhere
  9. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby Thread Starter

  10. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    Reviving this thread, as I've got an Exit Stage Left question.

    I picked up a garden variety un-remastered US Mercury (#822 551-2 M-1) copy the other day, and it sounds pretty good. Not the greatest recording quality, but its still pleasant to listen to. No problems until the last strack (La Villa Strangiato), and there is a weird hiccup at the 3:35 mark of this song. Tape error? Some kind of edit? I heard it real bad when listening with headphones. For some reason I never noticed it on the remaster, but it's there.

    So is this on every CD pressing? And if it is, anyone have suggestions for better sounding versions than the US remaster and pre-remaster? Are there atomic design pressings of this, and do they use the same mastering?
  11. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby Thread Starter

    It is on my US silver copy too just like yours. I just checked my vinyl copy and it is on that too so I'm going to assume it is on the master tape. Almost sounds like a VERY bad edit.
  12. J-Dub

    J-Dub Old School Rocker

    I've read that the snares broke during one song (which would have made his snare sound like a timbale)...could that be it? Not sure which song it was, but it was detailed in a book about Rush written by a long time fan...B-man I think he was called.
  13. dconsmack

    dconsmack Forum Resident

    Las Vegas, NV USA
    That happened on All The World's A Stage. I think during 2112.
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