Permanent Waves is a 1980 album by the Progressive Rock band Rush. Musically, it represents a transition to shorter, slightly more straightforward pieces, while still keeping much of the complexity the bands music was known for. Vocalist Geddy Lee also began singing in a lower register at this point. The album was commercially successful and spawned the hits The Spirit of Radio and Freewill as well as the fan favourites Natural Science and Jacobs Ladder. The album remains well liked by the bands extensive fan base, although it often gets overshadowed by its successor Moving Pictures, which is often regarded as the bands finest album.
- The Spirit of Radio - 4:59
- Freewill - 5:24
- Jacobs Ladder - 7:28
- Entre nous - 4:37
- Different Strings - 3:50
- Natural Science - 9:17
- Tide Pools - 1:57
- Hyperspace - 2:21
- Permanent Waves - 5:07
And the tropes of the profits were written on the studio walls and concert halls
- Epic Rocking: The 7:28 Jacobs Ladder and the 9:17 Natural Science. The album in general marked a transition towards shorter songs for Rush, as mentioned above, and the band saw their record sales increase as a result.
- Gratuitous French: Entre nous means between us, which appears in the songs chorus as a stealth Title Drop.
- New Sound Album: As mentioned, Rush began making their songs more concise on this album and drew influence from New Wave Music, which increased their commercial success.
- Pun-Based Title: Like many Rush albums, the title has multiple meanings. It can refer to a hairstyle (seen on cover model Paula Turnbull), and it also relates to the lyrics of Natural Science, indicating that the ocean will always have waves.
- Shout-Out: The last lines of The Spirit of Radio are a parody of Simon & Garfunkels The Sounds of Silence that also provides a Take That! towards the record industry.
- Title Track: Downplayed, as one of the movements of Natural Science shares its name with the album instead of an actual song.
- Visual Pun: Several relating to the title. The lettering of the title on the cover is incorporated into a drawing of a waveform. The background is an altered photo of the waves caused by the storm surge from Hurricane Carla at Galveston, Texas. There is also a man waving, cover designer Hugh Syme.
- Vocal Evolution: Geddy Lee began singing in a lower register on this album. However, some parts of it still utilise his upper range; he has singled out the end of Freewill as an example of this.