JohnRgt

Peart R-30 Drum Solo

40 posts in this topic

What I like most about Rush's Marathon is the way the harsh by Peart standards snare, combined with the odd time they usually write in and that quick bass line, conveys struggle and/or assertion (

)

This link is to video footage of the drum solo Peart put together for the band's 30th anniversary tour (R-30).

Regarding the Big Band ending (~7:00): Peart produced and performed on two Buddy Rich tribute albums, bringing together some of the best jazz and rock drummers around to perform with the Buddy Rich Big Band (V1, V2) The criticism I hear most often regarding these efforts is that they're cold; the musicianship is there, just look at the list of artists, but the recordings lack a certain spontaneity. I know what they mean, but I think there's about as much swing in these recordings as you can have and still showcase visiting drummers from various genres.

I also want to add that, unlike so many pop musicians, Rush do not shoot a dozen concerts in the hopes of getting enough footage to through together a DVD that makes them look like they're better musicians than they actually are. The DVD released not too long before R-30, Rush in Rio, is a one take thing (logistics.) He -- they -- are as tight as can be on that release (I, like many FORUM members I suspect, made my peace with Lee's singing ages ago...)

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Neil Peart is a wonderful drummer. What I like, in particular, is that he is very unique. With most drummers, I can hear the influences far too easily. Peart exemplifies individualism in drumming. Rush is the perfect vehicle for him. The few things I've heard him do outside of Rush have left me cold.

Here are some other individualistic drummers...

Steve Gadd: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/stevegaddgang.html

Jeff Hamilton: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/jeffhamiltonclayton1.html

Tony Williams (the originator of Jazz-Rock Fusion): http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/tonywilliamsnewyork1.html

Philly Joe Jones: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/phillyjoejones.html

Vernel Fournier (brush master): http://www.drummerworld.com/Sound/vernelfo...erPoinciana.mp3

Then, for some fun, some master technicians: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/showdown.html

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBTpJJ0Vg3A Higher quality version of the drum solo from R30: its called Der Trommler. This link takes much longer to load on high quality.

I have all of Rush's studio CDs, the deluxe R30 DVD set, and Snakes and Arrows Live.... 35 years worth of their music and I have never been disappointed with any of my purchases.

What is wrong with Geddy's voice? :D Early in their career he had a very high pitch, which can understandably put some people off, but his voice now is quite mature. Listen to some songs from Snakes and Arrows Live(2008) and you will see, and yet he can still hit the highs pretty well when needed.

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Listen to some songs from Snakes and Arrows Live(2008) and you will see, and yet he can still hit the highs pretty well when needed.

He's gotten much better over the years but Lee's singing is still this band's weak link -- both live and in studio recordings.

Lee lacks a good, solid timbre. His sound and ability to maintain a steady projection changes drastically within his range. And live, well, he makes tons of mistakes. I still have a good deal of overall admiration for Lee and, even after all this years, I still look forward to every release this trio puts out. I understand that, within the rock and hard rock genres, Lee is no worse than many. But the lead instrument is the lead instrument. Way too many rock singers just don't have the chops -- and Lee has fewer vocal chops than many.

he can still hit the highs pretty well when needed.

Two point s for your consideration:

1) Hitting highs, while admirable and necessary given the Rush book, isn't everything. I would say that, compared to a solid timbre, good projection, and an ability to express emotion while remaining both musical and true to that good timbre are far more important.

2) In a Westwood 1 interview, Lee once said that he never hit the highs he's come to be known for. It's his timbre and thinness that make it sound like he can out Carey Maria Carey.

(The only singers outside opera that I truly admire are Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Maria Carey, if she can sing live, and -- you won't believe it -- Little Richard. Oh, and Martin blew Sinatra out of the water in any number of ways! :D )

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Snakes and Arrows Live

I went to Rush.com to see if there was any news of a new studio album. As soon as I signed on I heard Train to Bangkok from their latest live album. He's horrible on it:

www.rush.com

That's not good singing. It's definitely not the sort of singing one would expect from a band that's rightfully known for excellent musicianship.

I then figured I should check other Lee performances, maybe something in a different part of his range:

Cover of Yardbird's Heart Full of Soul

Same thing.

Something even softer, perhaps:

Not much different.

So then I put on the studio Snakes and Arrows CD, grabbed my unvarnished 747s, and listened. His singing is simply nowhere near as good as the standards set in every other aspect of that album. To my ears at least, it was shockingly bad at places. The good news is that he got rid of a good deal of the harshness that typified his singing not too long ago, and his sound is better that it was when the effects are turned off. But better, though admirable, isn't good.

I love the band and see them live whenever I can. Given the potential risk to their chemistry, I wouldn't want to see them add a singer. But I can't claim Lee's singing is even passable, let alone as good as his bass playing, his seamless coordination of a million things on stage, his writing, his ability to arrange a song and his leadership.

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I've been a huge Rush fan for 28 years now. Geddy's voice is one of my favorite things about the band (my other favorite things being his bass playing, Alex's guitar work, and Neil's drumming :-)

I liked Geddy's voice even more in the earlier years before it mellowed (i.e., before he got too old to wail like a banshee). One of my all-time favorite music snippets is the vocals passage just after the solo break in Freewill... "EACH of us, a CELL of awareness..." /goosebumps/

...what was the original topic again? Oh yeah, Neil's drum solos. I consider Neil a very *musical* drummer, i.e., his phrasing and flourishes are very integral to the songs, instead of just a metronome timekeeper; I could hum a dozen Neil drum phrases off the top of my head, something I can't do with most any other drummer.

Plus, it was he that introduced me to Ayn Rand, so that's a plus, too.

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I consider Neil a very *musical* drummer, i.e., his phrasing and flourishes are very integral to the songs, instead of just a metronome timekeeper

...or a metronome that's out of control.

A while ago, Peart decided to stop overpalying (his term) and focus on creating percussion parts that work with the music. By Presto he was done with this purge. Given the fallout when similar announcements were made by icons like Clapton, I give Peart a good number of integrity points for making this choice.

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I liked Geddy's voice even more in the earlier years before it mellowed (i.e., before he got too old to wail like a banshee). One of my all-time favorite music snippets is the vocals passage just after the solo break in Freewill... "EACH of us, a CELL of awareness..." /goosebumps/

I also like that part, but it's because of thebuildup to that moment and the release that moment brings, not his timbre.

If that harshness only showed up when the lyrics or a given progression call for it, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. But it's a fairly constant thing and, to my ears, unmusical and beneath the band's standards.

Setting aside the timbre issue: Lee makes more vocal mistakes in concert than the band's overall musicianship should have to accept. He's frequently off key. His voice can crack abruptly and horribly. Outside of a rather narrow range, he seems to have very little control over his timbre, something that somehow doesn't prevent him from going outside that range at will. He also misses or evades those high notes at times, but that's not that big a deal in my book.

As I've already said, I'm a Rush and Lee fan -- I just can't stand almost any aspect of the man's singing.

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ADDENDUM TO POST 9:

I left out one of the more crucial criticisms I have of Lee's singing. I enjoy how masters of a given craft seem to put almost no effort into what they do. A truly high, barely matched level of skill seems just seems to flow out of them (never mind the sweat, or signs of fatigue.) Lee's singing is anything but effortless in many of the recordings I've hear and most concerts I've seen. And it's not a matter of style or any attribute of the piece he's performing.

Enough...

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This link is to video footage of the drum solo Peart put together for the band's 30th anniversary tour (R-30).

Regarding the Big Band ending (~7:00): Peart produced and performed on two Buddy Rich tribute albums, bringing together some of the best jazz and rock drummers around to perform with the Buddy Rich Big Band (V1, V2) The criticism I hear most often regarding these efforts is that they're cold; the musicianship is there, just look at the list of artists, but the recordings lack a certain spontaneity. I know what they mean, but I think there's about as much swing in these recordings as you can have and still showcase visiting drummers from various genres.

Wow, this is really an amazing solo. I bought Snakes and Arrows Live just yesterday and he does another solo in the same format, also finishing off with Big Band Jazz, but I like this one better.

I've only recently started to listen to Rush (like very recently, in the last few weeks!), and only have 2112 and Moving Pictures, and now SnA Live. I'm very impressed so far. The songs just don't get old! And unlike a lot of bands, they actually each sound different and offer something new for the ear. I did have to get used to Lee Geddy's voice, but I think whenever he's in his "comfortable" range (higher in the 70s and 80s, lower now) he sounds ok. Actually I like the way his voice fits into the band's sound. But I was cringing at a lot of the vocals in the SnA Live recording, mainly when they played older stuff. He sings the newer songs in a lower register which sounds pretty good, but tries to strain to make Limelight or A Passage to Bangkok sound like they did 30 years ago, and I'm sorry it ain't gonna happen. Just think of Billy Joel trying to sing Piano Man today! The voice changes, you can't fight it.

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The voice changes, you can't fight it.

How apropos! "You Can't Fight It" was the B-side of Rush's debut single in 1973. The A-side was a cover of the Buddy Holly classic "Not Fade Away". The single was never officially released and is a rare collector's item. Bryson, I think you're sandbagging on your knowledge of Rush! :D

I'm jazzed to see a thread here on Rush/Neil, and that there are Objectivists on here that really enjoy them, too. They're my favorite band. I'm eager to put my two cents in when I get the time. "Thank you very kindly -- good night!"

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"Thank you very kindly -- good night!"

"We hope to see you again soon."

Since this has become the Rush thread, here's a link to the opening of the 30th anniversary tour.

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The voice changes, you can't fight it.

I agree but Lee has had these issues forever. He has never been a good singer.

Aside: Hendrix hated his own singing. Asked why he didn't get a better singer, Hendrix said something like, "If Dylan's singing, I'm singing everything." The standards rock singers are held to are very, very low. Lee, even at his best, could hardly be said to be in the top third of the singers in his field; not with regard to timbre, not with regard to technique.

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I think this thread is acclaiming Peart too much. It is a good solo, but not a great solo. Technically, there are many drummers who can duplicate what Peart did in his solo. Compare Peart's solo to some that I listed above. Or, how about comparing it to Buddy Rich himself: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/buddyrichamazing78.html. Very few drummers can do what Buddy did.

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I think this thread is acclaiming Peart too much. It is a good solo, but not a great solo. Technically, there are many drummers who can duplicate what Peart did in his solo. Compare Peart's solo to some that I listed above. Or, how about comparing it to Buddy Rich himself: http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/buddyrichamazing78.html. Very few drummers can do what Buddy did.

That's not much of an artistic standard to hold a drummer to, is it? As I wrote above, he walked away from the "chops standard" a long time ago. Having said that, Peart does get a ton of reverence that may not be warranted. The other side of that coin, of course, is that many drummers outside the hard rock genre, and many commercially unsuccessful ones, tear Peart apart as soon as any praise comes his way.

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>That's not much of an artistic standard to hold a drummer to, is it?

In terms of musicality, Buddy's solo is objectively better. In terms of showmanship, Buddy's solo is objectively better. Technically, there's no contest.

>The other side of that coin, of course, is that many drummers outside the hard rock genre,

>and many commercially unsuccessful ones, tear Peart apart as soon as any praise comes his way.

I think Peart is an excellent drummer. However, justice demands appropriate praise. Peart tends to get exaggerated praise.

If you want to see a _great_ rock-oriented drum solo on a large modern drum set, check out Terry Bozzio:

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In terms of musicality, Buddy's solo is objectively better. In terms of showmanship, Buddy's solo is objectively better. Technically, there's no contest.

And therefore?

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In terms of musicality, Buddy's solo is objectively better. In terms of showmanship, Buddy's solo is objectively better. Technically, there's no contest.

And therefore?

Buddy Rich's solo is objectively better than Neal Peart's.

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Buddy Rich's solo is objectively better than Neal Peart's.

Who said otherwise? And why does Peart have to be the do-all be-all in his solo, ie, the laboratory where he works out ideas on tour, not a showcase, to be one of the greats?

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Who said otherwise? And why does Peart have to be the do-all be-all in his solo, ie, the laboratory where he works out ideas on tour, not a showcase, to be one of the greats?

My main point is that it's unjust to overly acclaim his solo. It's a good solo, but not a great solo.

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My main point is that it's unjust to overly acclaim his solo. It's a good solo, but not a great solo.

Where exactly was this solo overly acclaimed?

Further, you seem to have issues with Peart's acclaim . Is this so? If so, why not just put the cards on the table and share your views? I'm sure those who're still following this thread would love to hear what an experienced, intelligent musician thinks about Peart, Rush, his/their fans, contemporary drumming, what the prospects are for good musicians these days, etc.

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I bought Snakes and Arrows Live just yesterday and he does another solo in the same format, also finishing off with Big Band Jazz, but I like this one better.

I just watched this DVD. I have to say that it's probably their best live release yet. They're great on it, the quality of the sound and video are excellent, and there's a lot of material for the $21.99 I spent.

I went to Rush.com to see if there was any news of a new studio album. As soon as I signed on I heard Train to Bangkok from their latest live album. He's horrible on it:

www.rush.com (Click on "high bandwidth", AFTER lowering the volume on your puter.)

That's not good singing. It's definitely not the sort of singing one would expect from a band that's rightfully known for excellent musicianship.

Of course Train to Bangkok ended up being the worst vocal on the Snakes and Arrows Live DVD. :D (I still consider his voice to be the band's weak-link.)

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I just watched this DVD. I have to say that it's probably their best live release yet. They're great on it, the quality of the sound and video are excellent, and there's a lot of material for the $21.99 I spent.

I just have the CD, but I'm enjoying it also. One of my favorites on it is Spirit of Radio, it has such fantastic energy. I may pickup the video just because they're fun to watch (based on youtube vids I was watching).

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Where exactly was this solo overly acclaimed?

From Post #7:

I could hum a dozen Neil drum phrases off the top of my head, something I can't do with most any other drummer.

From Post #11:

Wow, this is really an amazing solo.

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