Rush‘s Hemispheres turns 40 this year, and the album proved to be another milestone for the prog-rock legends.
In May 1978, Rush went on a nine-month tour throughout Canada, United States and the United Kingdom to support A Farewell To Kings. The band saw its first glimmer of success in the UK with “Closer to the Heart” reaching the Top 40 on the singles charts.
Rush took a quick break before getting back to work. None of the members had any ideas of what the album would tackle before recording–which proved to be a frustrating first. Alex Lifeson described it as “the trouble started from basics.”
They returned to the “really funky” (as quoted by Lifeson) Rockfield Studios in Wales where the last album was recorded, and wanting to continue a change from Toronto. The studio was located on a rural farm, and didn’t even have a sofa. A broken latch on the studio doors frustrated Lifeson to the point he created a hydraulic door to remedy the issue.
Neil Young turns 73 today, but the musician has faced a devastating loss of his Malibu home.
Young and his wife, Daryl Hannah, lost the property to forest fires raging in California.
The singer-songwriter lashed out against President Donald Trump for blaming the state of California for the fires:
“California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management, as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” he wrote on his website. “As a matter of fact this is not a forest fire that rages on as I write this. We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it… Our temperatures are higher than ever here in our hottest summer on record. That has not helped. DT seems to be the Denier. (I’m holding back and not using the word liar just because it rhymes with denier.) It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.”
November 7, 2018 marks the two-year anniversary since we lost singer-songwriter icon, Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934 and later attended McGill University where he met other writers such as Hugh MacLennan and Irving Layton.
Before graduation, he published his first book of poems, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956). This was followed by The Spice-box of Earth (1961) and a novel, The Favourite Game (1963).
He travelled and lived in Greece, New York, Montreal and California and continued to write. His most popular novel, Beautiful Losers (1966), was controversial with its mixture of history, religion and sexuality. At about this time Cohen also began to write and sing his own songs and make recordings. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released in 1967. His music caught on, with popular songs like “Suzanne,” “The Partisan” and “Bird on a Wire.”
In 1984, Cohen released “Hallelujah”. The song had limited initial success but found greater popularity through a 1991 cover by John Cale, which was then covered by Jeff Buckley. “Hallelujah” is one of the most covered songs of all-time, and has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages.