Caress of Steel
Caress of Steel.jpg
Album by Rush
Released September 1, 1975
Recorded Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Ontario, June-July 1975
Genre Prog-Rock
Length 44:51
Label Mercury Records
Producer Rush and Terry Brown
Professional reviews
Rush chronology
Fly by Night
Caress of Steel
Caress of Steelintended

Speculative original intended cover

Caress of Steel is the third studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1975. The album shows more of Rush's adherence to the hard rock and progressive rock styles of the band's first two albums. Long pieces, pieces broken up into parts, and solo passages of speed and agility are all included. The album is often considered notable for the inclusion of the band's first two epic pieces, "The Necromancer", and "The Fountain of Lamneth", which runs to nearly 20 minutes and comprised the whole of side two of the original vinyl release. Intended to be Rush's breakthrough album, it sold fewer copies than their previous record and was considered a disappointment by their record company, with the tour becoming known as the "Down The Tubes Tour".

Originally, the album cover was supposed to be in silver hue to give it a "steel" appearance. A printing error resulted in a copper color for the album cover.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

  1. "Bastille Day" – 4:37
  2. "I Think I'm Going Bald" – 3:37
  3. "Lakeside Park" – 4:08
  4. "The Necromancer" – 12:30
    • "I. Into the Darkness" – 4:12
    • "II. Under the Shadow" – 4:25
    • "III. Return of the Prince" – 3:52
  5. "The Fountain of Lamneth" – 20:01
    • "I. In the Valley" – 4:18
    • "II. Didacts and Narpets" – 1:00
    • "III. No One at the Bridge" – 4:19
    • "IV. Panacea" (Lee) – 3:14
    • "V. Bacchus Plateau" (Lee) – 3:16
    • "VI. The Fountain" – 3:49

Song informationEdit

"Bastille Day"Edit

Rush's Led Zeppelin influence is still prominent on this record, most obviously in the song "Bastille Day" (which discusses the storming of the Bastille in the French Revolution), though it is apparent on all three of the shorter songs on the album. "Bastille Day" reappeared on the "R30" CD and DVD as part of the instrumental R30 Overture. Reportedly, Dream Theater's core members John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy and John Myung named the first incarnation of the band Majesty after a comment by Portnoy suggesting this song's ending was "majestic".

"I Think I'm Going Bald"Edit

"I Think I'm Going Bald" was written for Canadian rocker Kim Mitchell, who at the time was the frontman of the band Max Webster. It is also stated in the book Contents Under Pressure, that the song "I Think I'm Going Bald" was written as a homage to KISS' "Goin' Blind".

"Lakeside Park"Edit

Mentioned in the song "Lakeside Park", May 24 is Victoria Day, a Canadian holiday. Lakeside Park itself is a park in Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Ontario, where lyricist Neil Peart grew up and worked as a teenager during the summer.

"The Necromancer"Edit

A necromancer is one who practices necromancy, a type of divination involving the summoning of Operative Spirits to discern information about the future. "The Necromancer" starts with heavy influence from J.R.R. Tolkien's literary mythology. The Necromancer was a pseudonym used by Tolkien in The Hobbit for the character Sauron. The song departs from the story of the book as Part III sees the return of By-Tor from Fly by Night, this time as a hero and not a villain. "Return of the Prince" was also released as a single in some countries. Also in the introductory prologue to the song, the "three travellers, men of Willowdale" is a reference to the band itself, an allusion to the band's home in the suburb of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario.

On the inside gatefold of the album, just below the lyrics to "The Necromancer", the Latin phrase "Terminat hora diem; terminat auctor opus" appears. This translates (loosely) to:

"[as] The hour ends the day; the author ends his work".

"The Fountain of Lamneth"Edit

The final song on the album, "The Fountain of Lamneth", predates epics like "2112" and the Cygnus X-1 series, and is only 34 seconds shorter than "2112". It also forms a complete story, this one about a man in search of the Fountain of Lamneth, and chronicles the individual occurrences of his journey. Regarding "Didacts and Narpets" (which consists mostly of a drum solo), in the October 1991 news release from the Rush Backstage Club, Neil Peart said: "Okay, I may have answered this before, but if not, the shouted words in that song represent an argument between Our Hero and the Didacts and Narpets - teachers and parents. I honestly can't remember what the actual words were, but they took up opposite positions like: 'Work! Live! Earn! Give!' and like that." A didact is a teacher, and "narpet" is an anagram of "parent."


  • Geddy Lee - Bass guitar and vocals
  • Alex Lifeson - 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitar, steel guitar
  • Neil Peart - Drums and percussion



  • Mixed at Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada.
  • Art Direction by AGI Chicago
  • Executive Production by Moon Records
  • Correspondance - 55 Glencameron Rd., Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.
  • Dedicated to the memory of Mr. Rod Serling


A remaster was issued in May 6, 1997.

  • The tray has a picture of the star with man painting (mirroring the cover art of Retrospective I) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left. All remasters from Rush through Permanent Waves are like this.
  • The remaster adds the album's back cover and gatefold (which included band pictures and lyrics) to the packaging which was not included on the original CD.

Some cassette printings of this album had "Didacts and Narpets" and "I Think I'm Going Bald" switch places (possibly due to cassette tape length and to balance out both sides), and all of the movements of "The Fountain of Lamneth" listed as separate songs.

Compact DiscEdit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 822 543-2 1990
United States Mercury P2-22543
United States Mercury 314 534 625-2
United States Mercury D-118698
United States Mercury P2-34625
Canada Anthem ANMD-1077 1997
Canada Anthem ANC-1-1003
Canada Anthem WANK-1003
Canada Anthem ANMD-1003
Argentina Mercury 534 625-2
Brazil Mercury 822 543-2
Brazil Mercury 534 625-2
Germany Mercury 822 543-2
Germany Mercury 534 625-2
Japan Atlantic AMCY-316
Japan Atlantic AMCY-2291 1997
Japan Atlantic WPCR-13474 2009
Russia RHCD-04000210
United Kingdom Mercury 534 625-2 1997


Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury SRM-1-1046 1975
Canada Mercury SRM-1-1046 1975
Canada Anthem ANR-1-106
Canada Anthem ANR-1-1003 1977
Brazil Mercury 6338-600 1975
Netherlands Mercury 6338-600 1975
Japan Mercury RJ-7066 1975
Japan Mercury BT-5203 1977
United Kingdom Mercury 9100-018 1975

Cassette TapeEdit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 822 543-4



Country Chart Position Date
U.S. Top LPs & Tapes (Billboard 200) 148 November 8, 1975
Canada RPM 100 Top Albums 48


Country Organization Sales Date
U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000) December 1, 1993
Canada CRIA Gold (50,000) February 1, 1978


"The Necromancer: Return of the Prince"
  • Released: (Canada)
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:
"Lakeside Park"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: