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Music / Vapor Trails

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Vapor Trails is the seventeenth studio album by Canadian Hard Rock band Rush, released in 2002 through Anthem Records (in conjunction with Atlantic Records internationally). The album marks the return of the band and their drummer Neil Peart after two personal tragedies in his life. After the Test for Echo tour, he lost his only child suddenly in a one-car accident as she drove to college, and then, he lost his wife ten months later from cancer. He then decided to travel all around North America on his motorcycle to mourn and reflect. With lyrics talking about both Peart's losses and 9//11, this is easily the darkest album the band has ever done. The tour for this album was documented in the Rush in Rio concert film.

While it had the hit single "One Little Victory" and was praised for the heavier sound, it was a major victim of the Loudness War, being one of the first examples brought into the mainstream's eye. A much improved version of the album came out in 2013, under the title Vapor Trails Remixed.


  1. "One Little Victory"
  2. "Ceiling Unlimited"
  3. "Ghost Rider"
  4. "Peaceable Kingdom"
  5. "The Stars Look Down"
  6. "How It Is"
  7. "Vapor Trail"
  8. "Secret Touch"
  9. "Earthshine"
  10. "Sweet Miracle"
  11. "Nocturne"
  12. "Freeze (Part IV of 'Fear')"
  13. "Out of the Cradle"

Principal Members:

  • Geddy Lee - lead vocals, bass
  • Alex Lifeson – guitar, mandola
  • Neil Peart - drums, percussion

The Tropes Look Down

  • He's Back!: Neil Peart... and everybody, really. Alex Lifeson claims he didn't even listen to music or touch a guitar for over a year after Neil's tragedies, and Geddy's only foray into anything musical was his 2000 solo album.
  • Loudness War: The album's mixing was, infamously, so bad that entire backing vocal tracks and guitar solos got lost in the mess, and were only brought to light with the release of a remixed/remastered version eleven years later. It's probably worth noting that the remix is still fairly loud (DR7, compared to the original's DR5), but it still sounds immeasurably better due to the fact that, unlike the original, it doesn't clip at all.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover the album has was originally a placeholder, but the band liked it so much they decided to keep it.
  • One-Word Title: “Freeze”
  • Title Track: Almost, with "Vapor Trail".
  • Trilogy Creep: “Freeze” is part 4 of the “Fear trilogy” of songs.